COLUMN: The right time for a new dog


We at Lincs Training – Dog Training Made Easy, often get asked by our clients the right time to add another dog to their existing family.

We would always recommend that you wait from 18 months to two years before introducing
a newcomer.

Think carefully and ask yourself the following questions:

Can you afford another dog with all the additional food and vet bills? Have you got time to give another dog the exercise and interaction it will require? Are you out at work for long periods of time? Is your existing dog ready for another dog? Is your dog sufficiently trained and socialised to reasonably teach the newcomer good habits, as bad habits are invariably picked up more readily. Also if you have a very old dog would he want a lively eight week old puppy jumping all over him?

Don’t take on too much or think that a new dog will automatically make things better and will resolve any problems and issues that have been building up elsewhere in your life.

We have recently rehomed a dog. With five dogs already, we had to ensure that the new dog would fit in. We also knew that this would be a slow process, to be done over a matter of weeks.

Firstly we introduced the newcomer on a lead to the pack for a short time. We gradually expanded their time together and eventually let her off her lead. We were fortunate due to circumstances we could do this.

Overall, this introduction to the pack was done over a period of four to five weeks. She has now been with us for three weeks and it feels like she has been with us forever. She has been accepted with open paws by the rest of the pack.

So think very carefully before taking this step. You could cause a lot of grief for both yourself and the dog, and the dog’s needs should always come first.

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