Ah; more than one............................big fan here.  I think all dogs deserve to have canine as well as human companionship.  That said I am also a big believer that you must want a second, third or forth dog.  Don't go out and get a dog to keep your existing dog company because you don't have the time or don't want to make the time.  Two dogs is two times the work; of course as time passes it gets easier and easier.  Having three here now is almost like having no dogs; being that they are 10, 13.5 and 14.5 a huge part of the morning, day and evening are spent sleeping. 

I am often asked "when is the right time to add another?"  A simple question with a complicated answer.  First off; I am not a fan of multiple puppies, getting two puppies at the same time.  I know that many people do this so that they can keep each other company but there are quite a few things to consider about this other than companionship.

-  They will tend to bond to each other and leave you and the family out of the picture. 

-  Much time should be allocated to spending individual time with each puppy; that's a lot of hours in a day.

-  Each dog must be trained alone before putting them together.

-  Just like with twins; when one is being good, #2 may not be being good.

Two puppies is not as easy as one; not by a long shot.

Okay; enough said about two together.  If you have a dog now and are considering adding another; consider this:

Is your current dog trained?  Are they reliable with their behaviors? 

Do you spend a good deal of time with your dog each and every day?

Now that #1 is all trained and well behaved; are you ready to do it all over again?

Do you have time to spend alone time with the new addition and your current dog?

Do you really, really want another dog? 

If the answer is yes; then congratulations.  I love having three dogs; I will probably always have three or more, life with a pack can be summed up as simply wonderful.  I love it.  But it is most definitely work; and the most important thing is that you; the boss, the leader of the pack become that and retain that position.  You should be the most important thing to each and every one of your dogs.  That means alone time with each dog.  Sure most of our time is spent as a pack; and the most important alone time is in the beginning so that you can bond and establish your connection. 

My pack is a great one; no fights, everyone gets along but they are very individual.  What they all have in common is me; where I go they all go.  Each may lay in different areas of the house at rest but if I go outside; they all go outside, if I come in they all come in.  I am the boss; I make the rules and everyone needs to follow the rules.  This way we have a harmonious, happy pack. 

So when is the right time?  My average age to add another dog is when your youngest or current dog is three years of age.  By then most dogs have matured; they are well trained and know the in's and out's of living in your family.  Now; not all dogs or families are ready at the age of three.  Many dogs mature slowly; it may be five years before you can even consider another dog.  And that would be a good decision on your part.  As long as your existing dog can handle dealing with the craziness of a puppy; should be your guide as far as how old is too old.  There comes a time in a dogs life; that they deserve piece and quiet and should not be subjected to the antics of a young'n in the house.

Adding a puppy to your family can be a fun and wonderful time.  It can be what an old dog needs to regain some vitality and put some spring back in their step.  But the most important part is to know your existing dog and try your best to get a compatible dog.  Meaning if you have a very dominant male; don't get another.  Maybe you have a tiny little pocket pooch; you probably should not get a Mastiff puppy.  You need to look at your lifestyle; your existing dog and choose appropriately.  Many people stay within the same breed; some make a clear choice to go in another direction.  But no matter if you are looking at a purebred or a mix; choose the personality and size to make a nice match.

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