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August 19, 2011 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Bad Dog Behavior - "Can a New Dog Be a Good Influence?"

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

This is a very common question that I get from clients. A lot of people believe that getting a second dog will help reduce or correct their dog's behavioral problems more quickly. However - this couldn't be further from the truth.

Getting another dog to assist with the behavioral issue your dog is having  is a huge mistake.

This new dog will most likely come with their own behavioral quirks, and, if your new dog is a puppy, you'll have potty training, command and behavioral training to worry about IN ADDITION to the behavioral issue you're all ready dealing with.

This can set your dog back even further and may even bring on MORE behavioral problems. Bringing a new dog, especially a puppy, into the mix will force you to divide your focus, and, as a result, your current dog's behavior (and even your NEW dog's) behavior can suffer.

Take a look at your current situation. Really sit back and assess the behavioral issues with your dog. How full is your plate? Are you struggling to find time as it is?

Before getting a new dog, consider the time it will take to train TWO dogs and consider if your dog will take kindly to this new situation. You need to ask yourself, "Could this possibly create more issues than benefits for my dog?"

Most likely, you will set yourself up for regret if you bring in another dog before you get your dog's current issues under control. This isn't to say that another dog is out of the question, just that it's best to handle one thing at a time. Once you have things settled with the dog you already have, you'll be in a much better place to think about adopting another.

More Great Advice on Adopting a Second Dog:

ASPCA - Adopting a Second Dog

More from Health Coach Victoria Swanson Others Are Reading


  • Getting a new dog that you have to train, I agree, is not the answer. However having your problem dog spend time with a more mature and well behaved dog can truly be a godsend. Having an older dog to show a puppy "the ropes" is a great way to overcome the hurdles a problem dog can face. An older dog can show an unruly dog the way to his place in the pack often times more effectively than a human can.

  • I agree with you John, unfortunately it is usually reversed, I have clients that have a "troubled" dog and then wish to add a second dog thinking it will do the "job" for them in resolving their dog's behavioral many people don't want to invest the time it takes working with and teaching their dog and are just looking for an easy way out of it.....which there is none. Time, patience, commitment, and being consistent is what works for a dog with behavioral issues.

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