When you have an “only dog,” a common default mindset is to think that they may need a friend, a buddy or a sibling. But is getting a second dog really the best option?
If you’ve been tossing around the idea of a second dog, it’s important to determine what your reasoning is.
Do you think your Dachshund is bored or lonely? Do they need more exercise?
There could be other options for getting your Dachshund the stimulation they need without adding another dog to the mix.
Adding a second dog to the family doesn’t always work out the way you hoped. Be sure to have realistic expectations and consider your goals (and if there are other ways to meet them).
Pros and Cons of Adopting a Friend for Your Dachshund
- The pups could end up being the best of friends!
- Ideally your Dachshund receives more physical and mental stimulation.
- Provides companionship with another animal, rather than just humans.
- Helps with socialization, loneliness and boredom.
- More physical exercise to keep them fit.
- Double the expense.
- Potential for the dogs to not get along.
- More difficult to travel with two dogs, or find them a pet sitter.
- More difficult to find a new place to rent with two dogs.
- Need more space for multiple dogs.
- They may never end up being buddies like you hope. They may just learn to co-exist.
- You may end up with two dogs who don’t like each other, then you have more problems on your hands than you did before.
Tips to Test Your Theory
If you’re interested in adopting a friend for your Dachshund, there are a few things you can do to test it out before making a commitment.
Test it out before making a commitment using these tips.
Foster a Dog
Shelters and rescues are always looking for fosters.
Try fostering a dog first to see if your dog would even be interested in living with another canine companion full time.
Have a Sleep Over
If there’s a specific dog you are interested in adopting, inquire to see if a sleepover option is available.
This way you can see how the two dogs interact without being obligated to keep the dog.
Involve Your Friends
If you have friends or family members with dogs who’d be interested in a play date, set one up! It can be a sleepover or just playtime for a few hours during the day.
Observe your dog’s behavior and body language. Are they showing signs of being incredibly interested in having a companion?
Other Tips for Offering Your Dog Companionship
There are several other ways to get your dog the socialization and exercise that you think they may be lacking, without having to commit to another dog.
Ways you can give your dog what they need without adding a second dog to your household.
Doggy daycare is a great way for any dog to get fantastic physical and mental exercise. Doggy daycare can be a daily routine, or maybe your dog just needs an outlet for a couple of days per week! Many daycare facilities have separate yards for small and big dogs. It may just require a little bit of research.
Set Up Regular Play Dates
Have weekly play dates with a close doggy friend or two.
If you have a friend who takes their dog to daycare, offer to have the dog over at your house for a day instead. This will help you and your friend save the cost of a day at doggy camp.
Meet Up Groups
Find a meet up group in your area for pet parents.
You may be able to find size or breed specific groups to go on outings with.
If you’re in the position to, pet sitting in your home could be a good way to give your dog a buddy to play with (assuming the dogs get along).
The great thing about options like daycare, play dates, and pet sitting is that they are all temporary. You are giving your dog the fun and excitement that your Dachshund may be craving without having to incur the cost and other aspects that come along with owning two dogs.
Expectation vs. Reality
Pet parents have an ultimate fantasy in mind when dabbling in the idea of adopting a new pup.
Best case scenario is your Dachshund and newly adopted dog getting along famously. They play tug, they chase each other, and they cuddle at night.
Much like humans, not all dogs will become friends. Some merely learn to peacefully co-exist.
But is that really the most likely scenario?
Much like humans, not all dogs are going to get along. They don’t all have the same temperament, demeanor, and personality.
In my case, when I adopted my second Dachshund Gretel, my first one, Chester, wouldn’t even lay on the same couch as her for over 6 months.
While it’s likely that your two dogs will be friends, it’s equally as likely that they will prefer to be independent of each other.
The fact is, just because you get another dog to “be friends” with your current dog, doesn’t mean they will be.
As pet parents, we cannot force our animals to get along. A case of “sibling rivalry” can occur, when perhaps your dogs get along sometimes, but other times they don’t want anything to do with each other.
Every situation is simply unpredictable.
Tips for Adopting a New Friend for Your Dachshund
Although you don’t truly know how the circumstances will end up, there are several ways you can ensure the smoothest possible outcome that is within your control.
Follow these tips to increase the chances that your Dachshund and the new dog will be friends.
- Consider adopting a new Dachshund as a puppy, so you can raise them alongside your current dog.
- Try to adopt a dog that has the same personality and demeanor as your dog. An energetic dog and couch potato probably won’t be best pals.
- Adopt a dog within the same age range if necessary. A 12 year old senior may not appreciate a six month old puppy.
- Don’t force the issue. The right dog will come along. Sometimes time and patience is key.
Tips for Helping Your Dogs Adjust
- Use lots of positive reinforcement to encourage healthy interaction between the dogs.
- Give them each personal space and a place to relax alone if they need it, like a crate.
- Offer one-on-one time with each dog.
- Don’t force the dogs to co-mingle if they are not interested. Dogs need to adjust on their own time.
Dogs co-existing and being best buddies are two completely different scenarios. Before committing to another dog, try other ways of socializing and exercising your dog first.
You never really know how two dogs are going to get along, and what their life together will be like. However, you can do your due-diligence and plan accordingly.
About the Author: Through her 17 years of owning and caring for Dachshunds, and almost 10 years researching and writing about them, JW has become a respected expert in the Dachshund community. Read more about her here.