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Q: 1 or 2 dogs? ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: 1 or 2 dogs?
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: leebrowne-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 15 Mar 2006 06:23 PST
Expires: 14 Apr 2006 07:23 PDT
Question ID: 707548
1 dog or 2 dogs in a family? Which is better for the dog?

We (2 adults) have 1 great 4 year old lab who we walk with twice a day
and who watches TV with us at night. While we have home offices, we
are absent from the home on average of 1/2 the day.

Would the dog benefit, healthwise or socially, from another dog in the
house? Now he is "owner centered", peaceful and does not have to
compete for attention or anything else, but would he be better off
with another dog (new puppy, 4 years his junior)?
Subject: Re: 1 or 2 dogs?
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 15 Mar 2006 07:49 PST
Dear leebrowne-ga

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. Your
question is difficult to answer because of the many personality issues
unique to your pet and that of the proposed pet and the myriad of
unknown factors involved. The American Kennel Club described the
typical Lab this way: ?The ideal disposition is one of a kindly,
outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and non-aggressive towards
man or animal.?

As a rule, a Lab lives and plays well with companion dogs but because
of their size they can sometimes be a bit rambunctious where indoor
living is concerned. A playmate can exacerbate this behavior,
depending of course on how they get along, the breed/gender of the
playmate, whether each of them are spayed/neutered, etc. With some
consistent and careful attention and training a Lab is relatively easy
to teach to accept a playmate. While a sedate Lab often thrives
without a canine playmate, assuming that he gets enough attention from
his human companions, a bored Labrador will often make up its own fun;
sometimes in very inappropriate ways. Generally speaking this breed
needs interaction and companionship with people or playmates and
should not be expected to lead a solitary or independent life.


Labs tend to learn animal socialization skills best as pups, but
depending on your dogs disposition and temperament it may be possible
to introduce a new dog to your pet with great results. A lot of labs
though are just happy for the company of any human and if your dog is
one of them then it is not necessary to insist on getting him a
companion. If your idea of acquiring a companion is based entirely on
your desire to have a second dog, keep in mind that Labs are quite
versatile and they normally adapt quickly to new circumstances if
socialized properly.

?Is this breed good with other dogs in general?
Labrador Retrievers generally do well with other dogs if they have
been socialized and trained properly. Spaying/neutering is one of the
most important keys to having a dog-friendly animal. Pack position is
important and will affect and vary each dog's acceptance of other

Having been a law enforcement dog handler and trainer myself, I have
seen some working Labs and witnessed first hand their strong points
and peculiarities. In my opinion, if your dog seems happy to be YOUR
companion and is not bored it may be best to leave well enough alone.
People often make the mistake of applying human psychology to their
pets, which is often the wrong thing to do. Labs are quite intelligent
animals but they are, after all, dogs. If you simply must acquire a
second dog, it would be (again, in my opinion) best to acquire a young
dog with similar interests, intelligence, energy and size (if not
another Lab). The reason for this is because the new young dog can be
socialized and even if your current dog does not take well to the
situation initially, you?ll have, at the very least, one dog that is
trying to get along instead of two adult dogs that are already set in
their ways where the pecking order is concerned. In addition, if you
have one dog that simply cannot tolerate the other, the young dog will
eventually grow to a comparable size and be able to adequately defend
for himself (or at least be viewed by the existing pet as a formidable
opponent) as opposed to a small dog that remains small and lives his
entire life as an unwanted guest to your current pet.

All in all, there is no conclusive evidence that a companion pet will
either enhance your current pet?s life or health or prove detrimental
to it. The matter depends mainly on the personality and temperament of
both dogs and their health, life, and activity factors thereafter.
Having said that it might be best to consult your Veterinarian for a
more definitive opinion; my guess is that you can do this in very
short order with a simply telephone call.

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher


Defined above



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Other dogs



Subject: Re: 1 or 2 dogs?
From: probonopublico-ga on 15 Mar 2006 08:06 PST
Years ago I bought a Lab puppy from some folk who found that their
older dog resented a newcomer and hid under their bed most of the
time. Hence my purchase. He was a great dog.

More recently, some friends of mine bought a Lab puppy and even more
recently a Springer Spaniel puppy. They both get on really well and
everyone's happy.

In other words, you can't generalise.

These days I have a Yorkshire Terrier, Daisy, who will be 16 in May.
She doesn't seem to like other dogs much and I would not risk bringing
in a newcomer.

Good Luck with your new puppy (when you get it) ...

I hope that, again, everyone's happy.

It's certainly worth trying.

Subject: Re: 1 or 2 dogs?
From: colorwolf-ga on 24 Mar 2006 06:59 PST

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