Ask The Dog Guide: Getting A Second Puppy?

September 30th, 2008 by Dan

Question:
I have a 7 week old Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix and he is the only dog. He seems lonely. Should we get him another dog so he has a companion? Is he ok by himself? What breed of dog would be a good companion for him?

Answer:

Congratulations on your new addition. The reason he seems lonely is because he is actually too young to be away from his siblings and mother at this point. Ideally, puppies do not leave their parents until they are 12 weeks of age. These few weeks can make a huge difference in their development and are an important stage in which they learn social skills, including how to play properly with other puppies (their siblings and mother). He is a tiny baby and is just adjusting to being in your home. He is wondering where his brothers and sisters have gone. They have been replaced by unfamiliar humans and a strange environment. Routine and consistency are a must to make your puppy feel secure in his new environment.

Photo by sir_mencius

As for getting another dog, while I am definitely a proponent of multi-dog households, you *just* brought this very young puppy home. With his age being what it is, he is going to need extra attention, socialization with people and different environments a great amount of care. You and your family need to work on establishing a bond with him through time, affection and training. If you acquire another puppy right now it could cause problems during training, as one puppy will often mimic what another does. Humans can’t compete when it comes to the bonds that a pair of puppies share. Also when 2 puppies form a close bond at a young age, issues can occur if they are separated from each other (including inappropriate urination, barking, and separation anxiety).

I highly suggest you focus on training and developing a bond with your new puppy for the first year of his life. At that point he will still be puppy enough to desire the companionship of a new friend and you will be able to give both dogs the proper attention and interaction that they deserve! When that time comes, feel free to write back for breed suggestions! Good luck with your new pup!





2 Responses to “Ask The Dog Guide: Getting A Second Puppy?”

  1. Micaela Sessions Says:

    He had no siblings he was the only one who survived and the mother was refusing him. At 5 or 6 weeks old she ignored him and would not play with him. We are trying to get another dog to teach him safe play and so he has a companion.

  2. Saydrah Says:

    Geez Micaela, if you’re determined to get a second puppy, why ask the question if you’re not going to listen to the expert’s answer? I trust that Dan knows what he is talking about and that at this point another pup would do more harm than good. Raising a dog who had no siblings can be difficult, but not as difficult as treating, say, Parvo, because you brought home a second pup before both were fully vaccinated.

    Dan’s right about the separation anxiety, too. Dogs can get inappropriately attached to each other at that age. I have a pup who was rejected by his mother also, and he became very attached to a dog that doesn’t even live with us. When we visit the other dog’s house, he yelps and whines and runs in circles if they are separated.

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