“She tries to bite guests, pulls on the leash, doesn’t get along with other dogs or listen to us… so my husband and I are planning on getting another dog so she has someone to play with and maybe learn good manners from.”
The dog trainer in me is bursting at the seams, wanting to drop to the ground saying, “are you insane??”
Getting another dog is not the solution to your current dogs problems. Dogs do observe each other and learn behaviours quickly. This can be great if you have a well socialized and behaved dog when buying a puppy. Not, however, when you have a dog running ship and causing chaos. He won’t transform into a perfect dog, because the new dog is calm.
All dogs change in a group setting – what some call the “group effect”. Anyone who has walked three or more dogs at once, especially regularly, will know exactly what I am talking about. You can walk with all of them individually and they will behave like superstars, doing everything they should. When you walk all of them together and they will test you. Standing there, scratching your head, you’ll wonder what has happened to them.
If you have a dog who is shy or doesn’t tend to play with other dogs (might not be used to it), then a second dog could help with that specifically.
So if your relationship and communication with your dog is not harmonious – work on that first. Working with a trainer might help, reading books, watching films or youtube videos. Do everything you can to improve your first dogs’ training. Once you have learned how to work with one dog and everything is going wonderfully… then you could consider a second.
Do you have more than two dogs? Tell me about your experiences in the comments!