If the dog you want to adopt is a cross breed, then do consider finding out what breeds are in the mix. Not only will this give you insight into whether any existing dogs will get along, it will also give you insight into both possible behaviour and physical concerns. DNA test are very easy to do, and can be done in the comfort of your own home. www.muttmix.co.za to find out more.
ASPECTS TO CONSIDER IF YOU HAVE AN EXISTING DOG AND ARE CONSIDERING ADOPTION
When you are adopting and have an existing dog, it really is helpful to ask yourself the questions below - this will give you a greater chance of a successful adoption.
We need to bear in mind, that if the adoption does not work out, not only will you feel terrible about this, each and every time a dog is sent back to the shelter, there is more physiological damage and stress, and the chances of the dog being successful adopted in the future are reduced.
Additionally, our responsibility is always to our existing dog, and he/she must be considered first and foremost.
The following is not mentioning the costs and training involved, however, these are aspects you need to take into consideration as well.
- If your existing dog is NOT sociable with other dogs, then rather do not even attempt an adoption, especially if there is any aggression involved. You can always contact a qualified behaviourist to help your dog, however, a dog such as this can learn to cope with other dogs when out for walks, but the chances of it accepting another dog in the home are very low.
- Some dogs will be happy with other dogs when out for a walk, however will not accept another dog into their home - this is more relevant in some breeds rather than others.
- If you have an existing dog which is of the fighting breeds, or a cross of same, these dogs do much better as only dogs - if you are not sure, then rather get the help of a qualified behaviourist to discuss the possible match. Here is a link to our Compatibility Chart which will give you more knowledge to make an educated decision.
- If you are getting a dog because you feel your dog is lonely, do ensure that it is getting sufficient physical, mental and sociable stimulation first of all. If not, do not expect the dogs to entertain themselves - you could possible end up with 'double trouble'.
- If you are getting another dog due to one dog dying and the existing dog being lonely, rather work on helping it to cope and get over the grief, before considering another dog. Here is a link to an article to help a dog that is not coping after losing its friend.
- If there are any behaviour problems occurring, even if not serious one's, it is far better to resolve same before thinking about adopting, as dogs often mimic one another's behaviour, and you could end up with two dogs exhibiting the unacceptable behaviour. A common problem that often occurs when a second dog is adopted is resource guarding - of food, toys and objects and food - contact a behaviourist to resolve first and foremost. This new knowledge will allow you to ensure that you can train the new dog to avoid problems where resource guarding is concerned as well.
- Ensure that the dog to be adopted is both dog and people friendly to avoid problems.
- Consider the sex of the dogs. Your ideal match is one female and one male. Two males can get on well together, however the breeds of each have to be taken into account. Your very worst match, and one to be avoided at all costs, is having 2 females. The chances of problems arising is very real, especially around the 8 - 24 month period.
- Consider the exercise requirements of both dogs. You don't want two high energy dogs together, neither do you want a couch potato and a very active dog. Consider also if you have both the time, and energy, to take 2 dogs for walks daily and also if you can control them.
- Think about the grooming aspects - if you are already spending time grooming your existing dog often, then perhaps a breed that requires less daily brushing would be a better fit.
- If the existing dog does have any behaviour concerns, even one as small as jumping up against people, you would have to do the work to change this behaviour. The majority of behaviour problems found in shelter dogs can be easily changed, however there is no magic wand to wave - you have to do the work involved, and there is always the possibility that your existing dog may mimic same.
- Think also of the breed from a point of view of how easily they can be trained - some breed are much harder to train than other, and you need to make sure your dog skills are sufficient.
- If you already have a young puppy, rather wait until it is about 6 to 7 months of age before bringing in another dog. This will allow you the time to really bond and train the behaviour you want - one dog is always easier to train than two at the same time. Additionally, if you do bring in another puppy close in age to your existing pup, they do tend to bond to one another more than to the owner. Additionally, one pup tends to become more confident and the other less so, and this can end up at extremes.
- If your existing dog has any physical challenges, or is a Golden Oldie, do speak to your vet to get their opinion as to whether getting another dog is an option.
After you have chosen your new dog, do get your existing dog to meet same, and always on neutral territory - this reduces the possibility of any resource guarding in the home. In order to help you have a success when you do take the new dog home, here is a link to an article that gives you the step by step procedure to follow - Introducing and new dog to a resident dog