If you’ve ever owned a German Shepherd, you know that they’re one of the most loyal dog breeds out there. They bond closely with their human family and are always ready to protect them.
But what about their canine companions? Does my German Shepherd need a friend in their life?
The answer may surprise you. While German Shepherds can certainly be happy as the only dog in the family, they often thrive when they have another furry friend to play with. A second dog can provide much-needed companionship and help keep your Shepherd active and engaged.
If you’re considering getting a second dog for your German Shepherd, this article will help you decide if it’s the right move for your family. We’ll cover the pros and cons of adding another dog to your home, as well as what to look for in a compatible canine companion.
How Do You Determine if Your German Shepherd Needs Another Dog?
Well, that’s a tough question. Every dog is different, after all. Some dogs prefer to live alone with their owners, while others prefer having another dog friend in the house. How can you decide if your particular dog would enjoy having another dog in the house?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself that may help you decide:
1. Does my shepherd get along well with other dogs?
If your shepherd loves playing with other dogs at the park, chances are they’ll enjoy having a canine companion at home. On the other hand, if your shepherd is shy or aggressive around other dogs, they may prefer to be the only dog in the family.
2. How does my shepherd behave when friends or family visit with their dogs?
Do they get excited and try to play, or do they seem nervous and try to hide? If your shepherd is excited and playful around other dogs, they’re likely to enjoy having another dog in the house.
3. Does my shepherd seem sad after a play date or when other dogs leave?
If your shepherd is always sad to see other dogs go, it may be a sign that they’d like to have a furry friend of their own.
4. Does my shepherd get along better with male or female dogs?
Some shepherds prefer the company of one gender over the other. If your shepherd seems to prefer the company of either male or female dogs, it may be worth considering getting a second dog of that gender.
5. Does the new dog’s personality match up with my shepherd’s?
You’ll want to ensure that the second dog you bring into your home is compatible with your shepherd’s personality.
If your shepherd is laid-back and easy-going, look for a dog with a similar personality. If your shepherd is high-energy and playful, find a dog that enjoys playing and being active.
6. What’s the age of your current dog?
The age of your shepherd may play a role in whether or not they would enjoy having another dog in the house. If your shepherd is young and full of energy, they may appreciate having a canine buddy to play with.
On the other hand, if your shepherd is older and more sedentary, they may not be able to tolerate a young, high-energy pup in the house.
7. Do you have enough time and budget to care for two dogs?
Of course, you’ll also need to consider whether or not you have the time and resources to care for two dogs. Remember, two dogs mean twice the food, twice the vet bills, and twice the amount of time needed to take care of them.
If you’re not sure whether or not you can handle the responsibility of caring for two dogs, it may be best to stick with just one.
8. Is your whole family on board with the idea of adding another dog?
Before you bring another dog into your home, it’s important to make sure that everyone in the family is on board with the idea.
If you have young children, you’ll need to make sure they’re old enough and mature enough to handle the responsibility of caring for another pet.
You’ll also need to be sure that everyone in the family is prepared to help out with feeding, walking, and exercising the new dog.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a better idea of whether or not your German Shepherd would enjoy having another dog in the house.
What Are the Wrong Reasons To Get a Second Dog?
There are a few wrong reasons to get a second dog that you’ll want to avoid.
1. You’re hoping the new dog will calm your German Shepherd down.
If you’re getting a second dog in the hopes that they’ll calm your shepherd down, you’re likely to be disappointed. In most cases, two high-energy dogs will just end up playing and running around together, leaving you with two hyperactive pups instead of one.
2. You’re getting a second dog to help your German shepherd be less anxious or shy.
If your shepherd is anxious or shy around other dogs, adding another dog to the family is unlikely to help. In fact, it may even make the problem worse.
Your shepherd may become more anxious if they feel like they have to compete for your attention and affection with another dog.
3. You’re getting a second dog because you’re trying to teach your shepherd to be less aggressive with other dogs.
If your shepherd is aggressive towards other dogs, adding another dog to the house is not the solution. Adding another dog to the mix may just increase the heat and the chances of a fight breaking out.
If your shepherd is aggressive, you’ll need to work with a professional trainer to help them learn to control their aggression.
4. You’re getting a second dog because your kids want another dog.
If your only motivation for getting a second dog is because your kids want another dog, you may want to reconsider.
Because in the end, it’s you who will be responsible for taking care of the new dog. If you’re not ready or willing to take on that responsibility, it’s best to wait.
What Are the Benefits of Having Another Dog in the Home?
Of course, there are also some benefits to having another dog in the house.
1. Two dogs can provide each other with companionship.
If your shepherd is left alone often, they may appreciate having another dog in the house to keep them company. Having a canine buddy to play with can help reduce boredom and loneliness.
2. Two dogs can help keep each other exercised.
If you have two high-energy dogs, they can help keep each other exercised. This can be a great way to make sure your pups are getting the exercise they need without you having to put in the extra effort.
3. Two dogs can make training easier.
If you have another dog in the house that knows the tricks or commands you’re trying to teach your shepherd, your pup will likely pick up on them more quickly.
4. You’ll get double the love.
Of course, one of the best things about having two dogs is that you’ll get double the love and affection. If you’re looking for a furry friend to cuddle with, having two dogs will give you plenty of opportunities.
5. You’ll save a second dog’s life.
Adopting a second dog from a shelter or rescue organization is a noble deed. You’ll be giving a dog in need a loving home and saving their life in the process.
What Are the Best Dog Breeds To Pair With a German Shepherd?
If you’ve decided that getting a second dog is right for your family, the next step is to choose the right breed.
When choosing a second dog to pair with your German Shepherd, it’s important to take into account your shepherd’s energy, personality, size, age, and activity level.
Some of the best breeds to pair with a German Shepherd include:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Australian Shepherd
- Siberian Husky
- Belgian Malinois
- Portuguese Water Dog
- German short-haired pointer
- Another German Shepherd
If you’re unsure which breed is right for your shepherd, talk to your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer. They’ll be able to help you choose a dog that will be compatible with your shepherd’s personality and needs.
How Do I Introduce My German Shepherd To Another Dog?
If you already have decided to add another furry friend to your family, congratulations! The next step is to introduce your shepherd to the new dog. Here are a few tips to help make the introduction process go smoothly:
1. Choose a neutral location.
When introducing your shepherd to another dog, it’s best to do it in a neutral location. This could be a park or another open area where the dogs can get to know each other without feeling territorial.
2. Keep the introductions short and sweet.
The first few times your shepherd and the new dog meet, keep the introductions short. Let them sniff each other and get acquainted with each other for a few minutes before you call it quits.
3. Always supervise.
When your shepherd and the new dog are around each other, always supervise. This will help prevent any disagreements or fights from breaking out. It’s usually recommended to leash both dogs during introductions and meetings for the first few weeks.
4. Reward good behavior.
If your shepherd is behaving well around the new dog, be sure to give them plenty of praise and treats. This will help reinforce good behavior and let them know that you’re happy with how they’re interacting.
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when adding a second dog to your home:
1. Don’t shoot for female-to-female pairings.
While it’s not a hard and fast rule, dogs of the opposite sex tend to get along better than those of the same sex.
One theory is that same-sex pairings are more likely to result in dominance disputes, while mixed-sex couples are more likely to defer to each other.
Another possibility is that male and female dogs simply have different communication styles, which can make them more compatible.
2. Activity similarity is more important than breed similarity.
When people are trying to find the perfect dog for their lifestyle, they often narrow their search to a specific breed. However, activity level is often a better predictor of compatibility than breed.
Two dogs with similar energy levels are more likely to enjoy playing and walking together than two dogs with different energy levels.
3. A similar health status is more necessary than a similar age.
According to some experts, similar health status is more important than a similar age when pairing two dogs.
For example, an older dog who is in good health may find it revitalizing to be paired with a younger, high-energy dog. But if the older dog is slow and has health problems, they may not appreciate a young pup bouncing all over him.
In conclusion, I would say that it depends on the German Shepherd in question. Some might do fine without other dogs, while others might get quite lonely.
Take a look at your shepherd’s personality and needs and then make a decision based on that. If you think another dog would be a good fit, go for it!
Just be sure that you’re ready to take on the extra responsibility of caring for two dogs, and be sure to follow the tips above to help make the transition go smoothly.
Thanks for reading!