Does My Dog Need A Friend To Play With?


Lots of people have to leave their dog home alone during the day (or night) while they work. They worry that their dog is lonely while they’re away. Perhaps you feel guilty about leaving your dog home alone. Maybe your dog cries when you leave the house. Or, maybe your dog has some behavior problems and destroys things while you’re gone. Sometimes people think that if their dog had a dog friend to play with while they were away the dog would be happier. What’s the real story?

First of all, ask yourself if your guilt is well-founded or not. Almost all of us have to work and that means dogs will be left alone at least part of the time. Realistically, we can’t spend every waking moment with our dogs and it wouldn’t be good for us or for our dogs if we did. You, as a human, need to have some life away from your dog. And your dog needs to have some down time when he’s not watching your every move waiting to see what you’re going to do. Your dog needs some time to relax on his own.

Believe it or not, most dogs sleep while their owners are away. Although your dog may greet you ecstatically at the door when you arrive home, chances are that five minutes earlier he was taking a nap. Your dog simply has excellent hearing. He most likely hears you pull your car in the driveway, or even drive down the road; he can hear you enter your apartment building. Your dog has plenty of warning so he can be waiting at the door to greet you. Most dogs do sleep and relax while you’re working so there’s no need to feel too guilty about leaving them alone. He doesn’t spend the day fretting and pining for you.

Of course, there are some exceptions. If your dog has separation anxiety, which is a psychological condition, then your dog may bark, whine, cry, defecate in the house and destroy things while you’re away from him. But you should know that there is a difference between genuine separation anxiety, which may require behavior modification and medication to treat, and a dog that is simply sad to see you leave for work. Your dog may bark and cry when you leave the house but as soon as you’re gone he may pick up a rawhide and start occupying himself or take a nap. If your dog does this then he probably doesn’t suffer from real separation anxiety. He knows how to cope with your absence.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get a second dog as a playmate for your dog. Many dogs will enjoy having another dog to play with. But you should make sure that you have time for a second dog. If you’re already finding it hard to make enough time for one dog then two dogs can be even more demanding. There is twice the grooming, twice the exercise, twice everything. Plus, two dogs playing wildly in a house can get on your nerves sometimes. There are times that two dogs can be twice as naughty. Of course, they can also be twice as loving and comforting, too.

You should also consider your dog’s reaction to getting another dog. Not every dog likes to have a new dog come into the household. Dogs can be just as jealous and possessive as people can. If your dog is strongly bonded to you then he may not like the idea of sharing your time and attention with a new dog. In extreme cases two dogs may not get along at all and you may need to rehome one of them.

Even if your dog gets along well with other dogs in neutral places things could be very different if you bring a new dog into his home. Consider carefully before getting a second dog. It could take your dog a while to accept the newcomer and things could be tense until the dogs call a truce.

Getting a second dog as a playmate for your dog can be a good idea but it’s not something that you should rush into without thinking it through. Consider your situation and your time. Consider how your dog is likely to react. Then you may decide that your dog does need a friend but you’ll know you’ve made a good decision.

Tell us your experiences getting a friend for your dog in the comment section below.

Until next time…..


  1. Linda says

    Just got a second dog (border collie/austrailion shepherd) to play with my border collie. It was a good choice. They like each others company. My border collie looks like he is better shape than ever.

  2. says

    I adopted a second Golden Retriever 6 months after getting my first. I was looking for a “red ” coat golden, passed up 4 other goldens while looking for my next. My family was not supportive and tried to talk me out of it (too much to handle, too much care, twice the expense, etc.)
    They changed their mind soon after when they realized I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I love the breed, one is already a therapy dog (going on 3 years) and the other may or may not be a therapy dog. (he’s still young and learning the ropes for therapy)
    Being a trainer, I have the education, and experience to know the demands and rewards of owning 2 dogs. I don’t have a fenced in yard, but enjoy the daily walks showing off 2 goldens and being loved by 2 dogs is the greatest feeling ever.

  3. says

    Awesome Article…my clients are always calling me for my advice in getting a second or third dog. I have 3 of my own (2 Goldens and a Gordon Setter), plus a service dog in training (Golden), so believe me, we have a full house. There is a lot to consider before adding to your pack. Thanks for spelling it out. The only one that doesn’t get enough rest in my house is me!

  4. Bob Hempker says

    Wayne, this is a great piece. I couldn’t have said it any better. I have been asked this question numerous times by dog owner, and have told them pretty much the same thing. Keep up the good work.

  5. Daryl Houser Jr says

    Wayne great article. My fiance and I bought our Beagle “Harley” almost 3 years ago. When I moved home to go to school I brought Harley to live with me at my parents house with their SHeltie “Colby” whenever we seperate the 2 of them all the other does is lay around and you can tell they are depressed. They are like 2 peas in a pod. Having 2 dogs is double the responsability but seeing them play and jump around with one another and know they are happy with their “friend” makes it all worth it.

  6. KJ Rapp says

    For many years I had a single dog and small children. As the children left home I felt I had more time for a second dog. I got one. My male was nine and did not enjoy his younger sister until she was two and then I would find them sharing face cleaning sessions and going outside together to investigate with a friend. When my male passed my younger girl grieved and so we added a younger sister, who she accepted on sight. We now go to the vet together as the vet is not as scary if you think he might be looking at the other dog. Of course, you need to make sure this is ok with your vet. But two dogs are more work and if you do not have the time for training, playing and can not walk them together, don’t go there. Also, make sure your bed is big enough, even if they have their own beds , musical bed games can occur in the night.

  7. Elly says

    Thank you for the advice this was the best. I have a Shih Tzu, and was thinking of another dog, But now I know it is my guilt she really does well alone. I don’t think she will like sharing me with another dog.I can barley talk on the phone without her pulling on my arm to get off.

    • Robin Coughlin says

      I have a Maltese and he does get separation anxiety. We have a 32 foot mobile home and are traveling the USA. He travels well…….. as long as we are together. There are days when my fiancé (a professional photographer) and I have to leave our boy home for several hours and he does not take that well. I thought getting a companion would help ease his stress waiting for his humans and being with a friend. What do you think?

      • Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

        Robin, getting another dog could do the trick but keep in mind you now will have double the work an obligation to the dogs. Good luck…

  8. Judi says

    I have a dog who is ten and he has been getting a little lonely when we are not around. He is a lab chow mix and very mellow. His idea of going to the vet is that he is at a play group, and our observation of him with other dogs is that he accepts them and is very friendly. Should we adopt a young dog or an older one? Should we choose one that is also a lab mix?

  9. Wayne Booth says

    Hi Judi:

    It sounds like you have a wonderful dog that would enjoy the company of a younger dog to keep him busy and young at the same time. I would go with a young dog but not a puppy. Sometime the pups are just too much for an older dog.

    A 2 year old dog would probably be good and you won’t have to go thru the puppy stuff. A lab mix is good but I don’t thinks that it is a must.

    Good luck and I hope your dog enjoys the company.


  10. says

    Great Article! I have a 2 year old min pin rescue mix. I thought he was lonely, adopted another 1 yr old min pin rescue mix (who is an absolute sweetheart) as a trial – but he did not enjoy sharing my husband and I with her. I know they would have been friends if I gave it some time, but after 3 days, he stopped coming around me and was previously a lap dog. I only adopted her for him, it was heartbreaking, but I had to give her back as he would not have been the same.

  11. Tony says

    I have a 9 month old Saint Bernard female, we love her very much and whenever we are home she behaves very well…… But whenever she is left home alone for anywhere from 4 hours to 13 hours she is chewing things. This is a newer behavior, she went through her teething phase and redirection was very effective at curing it.

    Our current problem started a few weeks ago, she has chewed the living room rug, taken books off tables and destroyed them, chewed cords, door trim, table legs…. well you get the idea.
    I am concerned about this behavior, we have tried redirection and chew toys, her favorite bones etc, etc, etc, and nothing is working.

    We take her to the park around 2 – 3 times each week for 60-90 minutes. We have a smaller yard but she runs around in that for however much she likes and plays at the fence with our neighbors dog.
    I think she may be lonely, and I am considering getting a second dog. I wonder if anyone has input to share. Any constructive advice would be appreciated.

    And just an FYI for those that are going to say that I am a bad owner for leaving her home for 13 hours a few days a week, please be mindful of the fact that I am a firefighter/EMT and this is the shift schedule that is available. Those that risk our lives for the public should not have to sacrifice the joy of having a dog.

  12. Wayne Booth says


    The truth is 9 month old dogs chew things ! She needs a crate or a safe place in the back yard.

    One thing I tell my clients….when you have a 1 year old dog chewing things you will have a 10 year old dog chewing things. It just becomes a habit. The answer is to take away the source of the problem and put the dog where it cannot chew things.

    Please DO NOT get another dog until this is corrected or you will have 2 dogs destroying your house.

    Get some help from a trainer with obedience training to establish the dog master relationship. That helps teach her what is right and what is wrong. She is going to be BIG so she needs the training NOW before she develops more bad habits.

    P.S. If you are in the Nashville area give me a call.

  13. jessica says

    I have a staffordshire bull terrier who I love dearly. The thing is I live in a flat but would like to get another dog for my girl dog. I take her up the park for over an hour each dayto play fetch plys 2 15 minutes walks just for her to go toilet. But I think she nweds some company as she whines at me all the time and likes alot of attention. I hate leaving her by herself for more then 2 hours as her whine is a bit more distressed when I get back (not social anxiety bad). Believe it or not she aibt a big eater so bones wont keep her happy and she loves seeing other dogs up the parj she just,wants non stop attention. Should I get another dog? Thank you

  14. Wayne Booth says


    That is a hard one to answer. But let’s try.

    Keep in mind that 2 dogs are twice the responsibility in time and money. You also need to make sure your dog is comfortable with another dog in the house, you know how staffys can be with other dogs.

    And don’t forget training….your dog/dogs must be obedience trained well.

    Good Luck


  15. jessica says

    My dog is very very well behaved and very submissive. Its hust the whining. Have you known anyone to have two dogs in a flat?

  16. matt says

    was wondering if you could help me? i have a 2yr old German shepherd bitch that i rescued when she was 6month old she is a fantastic family dog but she is not without her faults mainly being she will not tolerate other dogs outside of the house but inside she is fine. we have tried to moderate this behaviour with different training groups to no avail. however when we have looked after family members dogs she is fine with them and loves to play outside as well as in. ruby has a very strong bond to her family and because of this here’s my problem, im considering getting a GSD puppy (bitch) but am worried how it may effect how she feels in the house ( i don’t wont her to feel pushed out) and would love to know if you think she would benefit from having a companion or is this a bad idea?

  17. Wayne Booth says


    You will never know if your dog will handle a puppy until you try but be careful.

    The other thing I want to mention is you are MUCH better off to get the opposite sex. Two females or two males is not always the best mix. Of course some times it works. There are exceptions to every rule.

    My thought is that if you are giving Ruby everything she needs in the
    way of training, exercise and love she doesn’t really need another dog.

    It sounds like you just want another dog. Of course that is OK as well.

    Good Luck


  18. matt says

    hi wayne (again)

    iv taken onboard your comments and have decided to get another pup and hes a dog as you recomended. i have 1 more problem, since ruby came she has always been fussy with food, and i know i have been the cause of the problem as if she has turned her nose up at it i change her biscuit to try and find one she liked. then i tryed her on meat, that worked for a while but then she refused that too, now shes on green tripe and has been fine on that but no the same problem is occuring she is refusing to eat when she feels like it. would you recomend putting her on a dry food? and should i just persevere with it weather she eats it or not? i worry because she is only slim to begin with. if you can shed some light on this i would be v grateful and maybe can u tell me a food u would recomend? thanks


  19. says

    Hi there!

    We have a 2 and a half year old Golden Retriever. We just moved houses and we can no longer allow her in all parts of the new house (as we did in the old house) and she seems very upset by this. She becomes very hyper and a little bit too much (even though she has been for training and such) to manage when I try to spend time with her.

    I was wondering if maybe she would benefit from having a friend to keep her company outside? I just want what’s best for my dog. She has a “friend” of sorts – our cat (they get along very well) – but I’m afraid it isn’t enough for her?

    Also, if we did get her a friend, would any breed be okay, even a mixed breed?

    Thanks a lot!

  20. Rachel says

    Id love some advice too please!!
    I have a 14 month old cav, desexed male. I’m wanting to get him a friend and play mate too.
    My question is … I’d like to get a golden retriever puppy (female) but I’m wondering how the size difference will go?
    I currently take my cav to the dog park often and he’s slightly cautious around the big dogs but once they’ve sniffed etc he seems fine and loves ‘watching’ them play. Occasionally he will play chase with one dog but if there’s a few he’ll just sit back.
    Will he be fine with a big dog in his home?
    He’s had small friends come to play, he tries to keep them from us but doesn’t do anything if we show the other dog more attention.

  21. Wayne Booth says


    Rather that getting another dog, spend more time with the one you have.

    At 2.5 years she should start to slow down soon. One of the biggest problems I see is that owners don’t spend enough time exercising their dogs.

    Take her for walks, throw the ball, maybe even try a doggie day care. You will be amazed what exercise will do for your dog.


  22. Wayne Booth says


    It shouldn’t be a problem with the different sizes. I’ve seen a bunch of small dog/large dog teams that live in harmony.


  23. Gabrielle says

    Hi Wayne,
    We recently experienced the loss of our 15 yr old Aussie. Dealing with his loss has been traumatic for me especially as he was my shadow. I’m dealing with his absence a day at a time (it’s been a month), and I’ve had many rough times with his absence. But my reason for writing is to ask your advice on whether to get a new Aussie for our other dog, a Border Collie Aussie Mix that we got a couple years ago. She’s an independent girl of about 6, and doesn’t really herd. Instead, she likes to sit outside and oversee our yard from deer. My husband does not feel we need another dog, but our Aussie Mix had a great time when a friend brought a male pooch over one day. She was like a puppy! We have the opportunity to have an Aussie puppy visit, and possibly keep, but I don’t want my husband to feel pushed into this. Any thoughts you could give me would be greatly appreciated!!!

  24. Wayne Booth says


    Maybe right now is not a good time for another dog. It sounds like your husband feels he isn’t ready at this time.

    Maybe your husband hasn’t gotten over the loss of your Aussie.

    Good luck


  25. Allie says

    Hi Wayne!

    I’ve been going back and forth on this situation and would like your opinion. I fell in love with my Shih tzu puppy the day he was born in December 2010 and was so excited to finally bring him home in January of 2011. I have treated him like my child since them. He has gone with me everywhere and just been the center of my attention. We lived at my parents house where there were already two older small female dogs that he grew up playing with. In October, we moved in with my boyfriend and little boy, who my dog took to very quickly and has adjusted. However, the other day my boyfriend brought home a shih tzu/jack Russell terrier mix 6 week old female puppy. I am very much an animal lover, but I found myself unsure of how I felt about the puppy. We have named her and had her treated by the vet. But I am not as in love with her as I am my shih tzu, but my boyfriend and his son love her. I feel guilty that I can’t solely give my shih tzu all of my attention like I always have his whole life. He doesn’t seem to not like the puppy, though. He has never once growled, barked, or bit her. He plays with her and also ignores her at times. He seems to have jealous tendencies such as always wanting the toy she has, eating her food and not his, and putting himself between the puppy and I. My boyfriend got me the puppy so that I didn’t feel so overcome by all the male in the house (boyfriend, his son, and my male dog). I know that he meant well but I wish we would have talked about it first. I feel guilty thinking that my dog may not feel like I love him as much as I did, which is absolutely not the case. But I feel bad for the new puppy too. The puppy is now part of a wonderful and loving home, but I don’t want my dog to not have adequate feelings like he did before the new puppy. Should I wait and see if I feel this same way with time? Maybe I’m just causing problems that aren’t even there…

    Thanks for your help,

  26. Courtney says

    I need help! my dog is 6 months kelpie cross lab he has been getting out every day even tho i have done everything in my efforts to keep him in! He recently got hit by a car so i am lost for ideas even resorted to an electric fence! He can be quite dominate so i am worried if i get another dog he will get jealous! I try to walk him every day after work it seems to help for a little while! Then i come home and he has found something new to chew on!


  27. Wayne Booth says


    Hopefully the fence is keeping the dog in now. Now go find a good dog trainer to help you train your dog. Doing it yourself doesn’t seem to be working or if you have been using a trainer find a new one.

    Don’t forget when you start working with a trainer that repetition is the #1 principle of dog training so work with your dog daily.

    You can do it !

  28. Katie says

    Hi Wayne,

    Great article. I have a question as myself and my husband are back and fourth with what to do. We have a very well behaved 2yr old chocolate lab. He’s loving, great with other dogs and although he has his cheeky moments he just a great dog. He has bonded with us strongly and we r unsure wether to get a friend for him.

    We both work full time but Oscar is walked twice a day (before and after work) and when we r home he pretty much sleeps all day.

    I think he’s happy but I think he would be such a great big brother but then we know the responsibility would be double. We would both like another dog but I’m worried that Oscar would get a little jealous? What do you think??

    Thank you

  29. Elizabeth says

    I have a 19 month old male boxer named Tyson. I’ve been thinking about getting a young female boxer pup to keep up with him and to give him a companion. I don’t have behavior issues when leaving Tyson alone and I do have the time. The problem is I’m worried because I don’t want to loose my strong bond with my furbaby! If I do get another furbaby should I wait until Tyson is older? What breed? How old? I just want to do what’s best for Tyson. What’s best for him is best for his mom, me! Need all the feedback I can get!!

  30. Wayne Booth says

    Katie and Elizabeth:

    This is a question that a bunch of people ask. Will 2 dogs be more work….yes. Will it be harder to travel when you have 2 dogs….yes. Will the original dog be jealous…..maybe but probably not.

    For some people the answer is don’t do it and for others go for it you’ll have 2 dogs to love.

    So there is not a correct answer I can give you, but if you have a strong desire to get a second dog then just go for it. But do me a favor and send me an email and let me know how it turned out.


  31. Katie says

    Hi Wayne,

    Just want to give you an updated. We have decided not to get another dog. What I tried was to look after a friends dog for a play date. Which was fine. Oscar loved havign another dog but it was non stop play time. I also noticed that everytime Mavis (Oscar’s girlfriend) came to me for some attention Oscar would butt her out the way. He just didn’t want to share me. I think while he is young and we are childless he gets all the attention so we are going to wait until he is a bit older and we have a bigger family so there is enough love and time to give to another dog!!

    So i think you are right. Its not always the best to get a second dog when your current one is just very happy with his set up!!


  32. anna says

    Hey Wayne, brilliant advice but I’m still not sure.. I have a 3 year old Chihuahua cross toy poodle that has been with us from the very start, he is our little baby! He’s so affectionate and loves cuddles.. me and my partner both work full time and I do worry that gizmo is lonely and I worry that he sleeps too much, he sleeps all night with us in our bed and he probably sleeps when we are away and he has some naps when we are here.. he’s a bit unsure of dogs, my mum has not long bought a new dog and they get on so well at my house and play but gizmo is too timid around him to play at my mums house.. do you think we should get another dog for him? Older or a puppy?

  33. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says

    Anna, there just isn’t a right or wrong answer to that question. If you feel that you want a second dog I say go for it. However if you really don’t want a second dog then forget it, it would not be a good idea even if it gives your dog a playmate.

    So if you are a 1 dog home then just take some extra time each day to stimulate your dog. Walks, training, etc are good.

  34. Lisa says

    I am really glad I found this posting. My husband and I currently have a 3 year old female boxer. We have had a trainer who informed us that she is a rather dominant female (does a hand stand to pee on things outside). She is the sweetest dog ever and all she ever wants to do is be touching you. But she is also high energy and requires a lot of attention and exercise, which has not been a problem at all. We send her to doggy day care at least once a week where we are told how amazing she does with other dogs. But she is a bit leash aggressive, which we are always working on with her and she is also very possessive of me (mommy) because we are with each other a lot throughout the day. So when another dog gets my attention she can get a little tense. Yet, after some time she seems to calm down and with some dogs she doesn’t get this way. On to the point, I recently graduated from graduate school and now I am looking for a job. I am concerned that when I start working our dog will become sad and less active because she is used to me being home all day to entertain her. And when we are away we crate her. When my mom brought her dog over for a month when we went out of town she was able to leave both dogs out all the time and they did great. So my question is how can I determine if my dog wants another dog in the home for the rest of her life? I just don’t want to make the wrong decision because there is nothing that upsets me more than when people have to remove a dog from the home.

  35. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says

    Lisa, my answer is basically the same as my answer to Anna.

    Don’t get another dog unless YOU want another dog. When you go back to work your dog will adjust. Two dogs are not for everyone. Think of your responsibility now and double it . Do you have the time?

    Good luck with your decision……..

  36. Norma Kelley says

    Hi Wayne, I’ve read all the posts. My question is the same. Do dogs need canine companionship? My 6 month old male BC is very energetic, a typical BC. We spend appx 2 hrs daily broken up into 1/2 hr sessions of training and play. I don’t work outside the home. Whatever room I’m in Killian is with me. Are we enough stimulation for him? Killian adors both myself and husband. When my husband kisses me Killian has to be right there joining in. Would there be a benefit of a companion for Killian? Is my BC missing out on friendship? He loves when another dogs comes to visit, but I don’t know how possessive he would be or if he would feel left out having to share the attention. He has a 5 ft fenced acre yard w/access via pet door. When he see the neighbors dog he sets at the fence and watches, he loves kids, and is very social. Want was is best for my BC. Thanks!

  37. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says

    Norma, only yo can answer the question. However I really believe that if you give your dog a lot of attention you are all he needs. Good luck with your decision, it can be a tough one!


  38. Norma Kelley says

    Hi Wayne
    Well I took the plunge and adopted a 7-8 month old BC & Collie mix ( I think he has Golden Retervier) know for sure mom was BC. They get along well, my only concern is that when they get to playing ruff, that they each grab at the other ones fur at the neck. They aren’t growling or anything, it is more of a “tag you are it” then they are back to chasing one another or exploring the yard. I’m afraid that one of them is going to get hurt or loose a lot of fur. How can I stop them from doing that?
    The descision was a tough one, but once I looked into those eyes I couldn’t turn my back.


  39. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says

    Norma, it sounds like they are just playing to me. You will know when it is too much. Good luck and have fun.


  40. Judy says

    I enjoyed the article. But I could use a little advice. My adolescent puppy wants to play with my older cats. They tolerate him, so far as sniffing, but don’t want to play or be cuddle friends. I walk him several times a day. We do training at least once a day. And I take him to a dog park usually once a week (it is not close). He is well-trained and pretty mellow, for a puppy. But he is very attached to me and seems to want more attention. I was wondering whether a younger puppy would be good for him. Oh . . . I am retired.

  41. Alyssa says

    I would like some advice regarding our dog. She is a 2.5 year old staffy and has always lived with a Begal cross. Recently the Begal moved away and at first I think our dog enjoyed all of the attention and we now let her inside the house when we are home so she can be around my partner and I. I am starting to find that she whimpers a lot now and seems lonely, we are at work all day. We had a friend bring their dog over for a play date and she just kept pushing her out of the way and wanting all the attention so I am confused if she would want another dog or not.

  42. jeff says

    I have a 2 year old maltipoo that has the athletic skills of a retriever.. I work but I play with the dog a 3-4 hours a day with a ball/fetch and she enjoys immensly. She is pretty much my life. I probably play with her too much. My mom has a toy poodle about a year old. They are good friends and met when my mom’s dog was 8 weeks; then run around the house together , tug of war etc.. hours during the day. They play well 90% of the time and they see each other 1-2 days a week sometimes overnite. Here is the problem which could be more my problem then my dog. When my mom’s dog visits she takes all the balls and my dog lets her. (my mom’s dog takes whatever toy my dog has (little bratty lol) ..My concern is if I ever end up with my moms dog do you think my dog will be bothered that we aren’t playing ball like we were when she was my only dog.. or does the playtime they have together off set the one on one ball time we shared. I know i shouldn’t but i feel guilty. Thanks in advance

  43. brittni says

    Hi. I have a 13 mth old Shih Tzu and we had my sister in law n her Shih tzu live with us for a few months and they were best friends and they moved out a month ago and My Shih tzu hasn’t been the same dog..she is tearing things up she never did before and has no interest in food like before and searches and whines for someone/something..I let her go to a family members house who has a maltipoo around my sisters shih tzu age and she was back to normal..but as soon as she came home she went back to being weird searching for someone/dog being sad..We were already thinking we would get a bigger dog eventually but now i’m thinking we should get one sooner to help her cope? Good or bad idea? I need expert advice!!

  44. Jamie says

    Hi Wayne,
    Great article! I have a 15 month old chihuahua mix and he is very attached to me. He never lets me leave his sight, always following me around and laying next to me or on my lap. My family love him and he loves them too but he doesn’t follow them around, only me. When they’re holding him and he sees me go into another room, he’ll get away from them and follow me. He just likes to be next to me in whatever I do. He doesnt have separation anxiety though. Do you think I should get another dog so he can be more independent? I feel bad that he can’t just relax cause all he does all day when Im home is follow me around, and be next to me when im doing something, he wont even go to the backyard to play, when i let him out he wants to come back in right away. Maybe if I get another dog, they can keep each other company, so he won’t follow me around that much anymore?

  45. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says

    Jamie, a new dog may not change anything at all. Just enjoy the fact that your pup thinks you are his best friend and he wants to be with you. Its not unusual !

  46. Yolande says

    Hi Wayne
    Really appreciate your article. Like many others I also sit with the dilemma whether or not to get another puppy. A few months back we bought 2 female beagles from 2 different breeders. HUGE mistake, they fought to such an extent we had to rehome the one. Since then Malibu has completely calmed down and even my two cats are coming downstairs (not playing yet, but at least they are in the same room). There is no one at home during the day. I take her to the park and she is very sociable and always submissive, she is always playing with all the other dogs and just want to make friends. She is 7 months old now, when we get home and I’m cooking or something she generally lies on her pillow and looks heartbreakingly sad. I give her all my attention, don’t know when last I sat on the couch since she is not allowed on it, I generally sit with her on the carpet :-) She doesn’t have a good appetite (although the vet is happy with her weight, etc), when we go to my sister with her 2 dogs, she has an fantastic appetite. Should we maybe get her a friend? We are comfortable with the extra expenses and responsibility :-) I just want to do what is best for her (and the cats). If we do get another dog we are considering a Dalmatian . (We don’t have any children, we are a 30-something active couple). I would really appreciate your help!!!

  47. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says


    If YOU want another dog you may want to give it a try. There is no right answer here it is simply what works for you and the dog.

  48. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says

    Leon and Matt, there is no CORRECT answer. Everybody has different situations. I all depends on what works for the two of you.

    Good luck with your decision.

  49. says


    I have a two year old male Cavalier/Poodle mix, very well behaved velcro dog. I have been looking into rescuing another dog. We found a 6 year old submissive female that gets along well with our dog. I really like this new dog and think she will be a good addition to our family. My question is, will my current velcro dog stop hanging out with me and sitting on my lap with the new dog living in our home? I know it sounds silly, but I truly love our current dog and don’t want to loose our special relationship :)

  50. Wayne Booth, the Dog Training Blogger says

    Trish, I doubt that you’ll loose the loyalty of your current dog. However you may end up with 2 dogs in your lap. Double love!

  51. liam says

    Hi, I have a 7/8 yr old border collie. She was attacked by another dog when she was 1, and is now nervous around all other dogs. But I really would like a second dog. Partially to keep her company, as my circumstances have changed and she will be left alone a little bit more. I introduced her to a neighbours puppy and her initially reaction was to growl at it, show her teeth, then turn around and eat grass. I also think she is depressed because she is always laying around looking sad and I think a companion for her might be good.

    I am worried that if I get another dog she might get depressed? I don’t want to “ruin” her as she is a brilliant dog, the last thing I would want is to upset her. I am just so confused.

    Should I get a second dog?
    If I do I will crate train it. And most likely get another girl, because I don’t really like male dogs.

    Please help me

    Thank you in advance

  52. Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

    Liam, I can not answer that question for you. You know best what will work for your family. If you do adopt a dog make sure you are able to take it back if your dog just can’t seem to live with a new friend in the house.

    One thing for sure it may take a little while for your current dog to adjust to the idea so be patient.

  53. Angela McErlean says


    I have a 3 year old Yorkie. He is home alone from 5am to 6pm. He has access to the garden and to the house.

    When we get home all he wants to do is play. We walk him on weekends and in Summer but in winter its too cold.

    We are thinking about getting him a friend?

    He is just SUCH a good happy dog and we dont want to change him at all.

    He is fixed and we will get a girl- what do you think? Do you think he is even lonely?

    He is a yorkie and we will get another Yorkie.

    I am happy with one dog- the sole reason I would get a second dog is to keep him happy?

    • Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

      Angela I wish I could give you a firm yes or no. However this isn’t a yes or no situation. Every dog reacts differently to having a companion. You know better than anybody and I know you will make the right decision. Good luck!

  54. Linda says

    We have a 6 1/2 year old female golden. Our 11 1/2 year old male just passed away a couple months ago. Our female has hip displaysia and is very mellow and independent, while still affectionate. She and our older male got along great, as she grew up with him. Our kids want a new male golden puppy, and I just don’t know if it’s the right thing for her. I think my husband and I could both go either way on the matter. We had 2 before and loved them, but she is a great dog and could possibly be enough. On the other hand, with her ailment, she is unable to go hiking, running, etc., which we like to do. Another note is that she seems frightened/disinterested with our neighbors puppies she has met out on the street (both labs). Do you think a new puppy may pep her up a bit and that she may have a positive, calming influence on a new puppy? Or do you think it best to let her be an only dog from here on out?
    Please help!

    • Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

      Linda, this has really been a popular subject but I just don’t have a right answer for you. But here is how I would handle the question.

      If you and your family agree that you want another dog then go for it. Your current dog will get used to having a pup around. It sounds like you guys are active so get a dog that can do it with you.

      You may want to consider adopting a golden from a golden rescue in your area. Good luck with your decision!

  55. says

    Hello, I have a 8yr old Boston Terrier. He’s a rescue that we’ve had for 3 1/2 yrs. He’s a great dog, loves his home and people which basically is my 23yr. old son and I. His background was he came from a puppy mill and was used to produce babies. Lived in a outdoor dog run for the first 4yrs. of his life and never knew a house until he came home with us. He is wonderful, gentle and has the run of the house only because his exemplary behavior warrants giving him free reign. He is the perfect fit for our house. Problem is, he now all of a sudden appears to be lonely. When we first got him, we eventually found out he has an autoimmune disease which is in remission and not contagious. He takes a medication for life for this. Before this issue was under control, he came down with pancreatitis and was hospitalized for 4 days. Because of all the medications he was on regarding trying to diagnose his autoimmune disease and treatment of pancreatitis, he developed diabetes and now is twice daily insulin dependent. For 6-7 months now, he’s evened off and is as healthy as can be for the first time since god knows when. Physically he is doing absolutely fantastic other than cataracts in his left eye and now a bit in his right. His vision is now compromised so I am considering taking him to Cornell University Animal Hosp. in Sept. to see if they can correct the problem. Anyway, he appears to be lonely. I’m shopping right now with the local SPCA to find a companion for him. Truly, do you think this is a good move for him. He loves his home and us, but it bothers me that he appears that he now needs more so of course I want to do whatever I should. He’s actually a dog that came from nothing into we’ve invested much time, vet care, love, top of the line best food to accommodate his diet to avoid another bout of pancreatitis. We truly take care of him like he’s just a little boy, like a human. We love him and give him all that we can. What do you think about taking a dog that deeply appreciates and now he’s lonely…. Do you think he needs a little guy or gal friend? Thank you. Maria

  56. Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

    Maria you have a better idea what he needs than I do. If there is any doubt do a foster first to make sure it works before you actually adopt. Whatever you do make his new playmate a female. There will be less chance of problems.

    Good luck, come back again and let us know how it went!

  57. Laura says

    Great article we have a 1.5 year old blue heeler. I really felt like he would enjoy a 2nd dog because he always enjoys going to the dog park and he is very high energy so I thought a playmate would help.

    We adopted a 2.5 year old collie cross this week. She is VERY different from the blue heeler. VERY calm, submissive and basically just lets him play with her but doesn’t really play back. She follows my husband and I around and doesn’t show a whole lot of interest in our dog. I think that our dog may be jealous that she is always sitting with us or following us around.

    Now I feel like maybe we made the wrong choice. Maybe Dexter ( the blue heeler ) preferred playing at the park but coming back to his own home and having all of our attention ( he is also very needy ) .

    I don’t want to have to rehome this new dog but at the same time I want to put Dexter first, since is our ” fur baby ” and I don’t want to feel guilty about brining a dog into his home!

    Any suggestions? How do I know if he enjoys this other dog? I think the new dog would maybe do better in a single dog home ( though she came from a home with 2 dogs ) because she doesn’t pay much attention to our dog, just us.

    Is it too soon to tell?

  58. Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

    Hi Laura,

    I hear what you are saying quite often from my clients that have taken the plunge and gotten a 2nd dog. You have just had her a few days so this is all new to her and Dexter as well. They may become great friends.

    However only you know the answer so if you feel that she would be better off with a single dog home return her and let them find her a new home now.

    Good luck with your decision, I know it can be tough!

  59. Kate says

    I just ran across this article. It is extremely well written, and full of helpful advice.
    My husband and I had a kelpie min pin mix, and he was being a ‘bad dog’ while we were gone to work. We found him another min pin for a companion. It has worked out very well for them. Our Kowboy has a buddy to play with and has returned to his exemplary behavior. Our Abe was rescued from an abusive home and is learning to play and relax around people again. On his last walk he even went up and met new people.

  60. Dianne says

    I just found this site and I’m so glad that I did!
    My Lola is a 14 year old ShihTzu. Until recently, she has never been alone during the day. I’ve had her since she was 12 weeks old so she is my ‘baby’. My husband, who had been retired since before we adopted Lola was home mostly all day and she was his lap baby. We also had my Tuffy, a 15 year old ShihTzu, and Lola’s mate, since July, 2000. Sadly my hubby passed away in May, 2013. Our Tuffy died 3 months later at age 15.
    Shortly before my husband passed away, our adult daughter moved in with her 10 year old Yorkie, Dutch, so after my husband passed away and Tuffy passed away, Lola still had a companion in the home as my daughter and I work full time during the day.
    Well, my daughter got her own apartment a month ago and took her Dutchie with her. Lola is alone all day for the first time in her 14 years. She sleeps most of the time but she is a senior and thats normal. I can tell that she is excited when I get home because she is peaking around the side of the sofa when I come in the door and she ‘yells’ excitedly and zips all around like a year old pup! I do feel that she is lonely as she also gets so excited when my daughter visits with Dutch.
    So sorry to go on and on with my story, but my question is….would it benefit my Lola to bring in a companion? Definitely not another dog as she does not do well with those that she does not know. I’ve thought of adopting a cat. My concern is, if I adopt a rescue, I don’t know how he would be with my Lola and at this stage in her life I don’t want to cause her any stress. The cat that I am considering is declawed (by previous owner and which I think is a horrible thing to do to a cat). Anyway, what are your thoughts about Lola’s loneliness and bringing in a cat at this stage in her life. Would the cat be ‘company’ or ‘an intruder’?
    Thanks for listening!

    • Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

      Dianne, I don’t know you or your dog however just because she is so excited when you come home, it does not mean she needs a new playmate. You may be all that she needs.

      In fact at her age bringing in another creature could cause her some distress. Of course you know her better than I do and I know you will make the correct decision for you and your dog.

  61. Amanda says

    I have an 8 month old shih tzu called Molly. She has just had her first season, I am planning on getting her spade. I am seriously thinking of getting another shih tzu but I have read 2 females aren’t a good idea and can fight to the death. If I get a male, probably about 12 weeks old, will they be ok together , as I don’t want babies. Any advice appreciated.

  62. Tammy says

    Hi Wayne

    I have a 9yr old Pomeranian x Maltese girl and she mine and my partners everything. We both work from 8 – 4.30pm monday to friday and play with her everyday.

    When I leave in the morning since I’m the last on at home she shakes bad but I believe she calms down when I leave and is always waiting for us to come home excited.

    When my mum comes up with her 2 dogs Millie seems happy for the first few days then seems to get annoyed with them (they are young and a lot more energetic) and Millie loves catch but when they are here she can’t play as they won’t let her and when they leave she seems happier but after a while I think she gets lonely.

    When we don’t play with her she just sleeps all day and I feel like she wants to do more but we can’t play all the time but she does come outside with us to do chores etc in the day.

    She can be stuck up sometimes aswell and ignorant of other dogs but likes playing with them aswell.

    I am in such a hard place working out if a companion for her would be good and get a second dog.

    Advice would be good.


  63. Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

    Only you know what is best for your dog. Maybe a weekly play date for a couple of hours with a friend or neighbors dog will be enough for her. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  64. Lori says

    I adopted my first dog – Kyra – about 3 years ago. She was about 7 months. She was a great dog, but kind of shy and anxious. My fiancé and I work during the day, and I always felt a little guilty. Then we bought a house, installed an electric fence, and it worked really well for Kyra, but I always felt bad that she had no companionship during the day. We finally adopted another dog – Riley – about 2 years ago – who has a completely different temperament – Outgoing, super friendly, kind of annoying lol. They have turned out to be great companions. It’s fun to watch them, and it makes me feel much better knowing they both have buddies to play with. It hasn’t really changed Kyra’s temperament much, but I think she has relaxed more. I remember we took her to a party at my sister’s house, and we went out to a store for 20 minutes tops. Meanwhile, people were arriving, and Kyra sat in the farthest corner from everyone shaking the entire time. Once we returned, she was relieved and followed us around. My point being is that I don’t think she would do that today with Riley around. I don’t think she’s as scared because she sees him greeting people and getting attention, and she is like…hey this must be okay. Adding a second dog is normally a GREAT idea in my opinion IF you can afford it and IF have the room for one and if your first dog doesn’t have major behavioral problems.. I don’t think adding a second dog has taken up any more time. And it has made my first dog waaay more active and fun. And has relieved all of my guilt! ***This is not to say that I think having just one dog is not good. I think those dogs are probably perfectly happy. I just always thought mine was lonely. Therefore I felt guilty when I was at work, and I didn’t go out as much after work or on the weekends, etc. I can safely say I have no guilt at all now because I know my little Hellians are living it up together (probably sleeping). :)

  65. says

    Hi, I have a 3 year old staffie Bella, and I would love to get another dog but I previously had a bad experience last year where I had 2 staffies and they got into a huge fight unfortunately we had to let the male one go and we kept the female. Bella loves people without question and gets overly excited when she meets them, she seems very nervous and cautious of other dogs but she wags her tail as if she is excited. I get confused with the doggy language so do you think she would be happy with a second dog and remain the only one

  66. Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

    Adam, since Bella did not get along with the last dog there is always the possibility that she is meant to be in a single dog family. Whatever you do don’t try adding another female. Two females can really be nasty with each other.

    Good luck…..

  67. Barbara Lane says

    Thank you for the article. I am a 2 time Leukemia Survivor who is 39 and unable to work anymore. My family is all 2 hours away so my parents bought me a doxie named Oscar. He is 2 and I have wondered if I needed to get him a friend but your article makes me think Oscar is happy with his life. I have a roommate who has a pit and our joke is Oscar into big beautiful women. Oscar gets so excited when he gets home and out the dog door they go for a run around the back yard. Yes my doxie is spoiled. He has a dog door and a fenced in yard. Even steps to get on the bed. Oscar loves people. I started as soon as I got him letting him ride in the buggy at the pharmacy and visiting the nurses at the doctors office. Oscar has a crate and when I am leaving I say Oscar get in jail and into the crate he goes and does not whine. Yes Oscar has a good life and being home makes us always together but it works for us and we make each other very happy.

  68. Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

    I am glad the article helped you make your decision Barbara. Good luck to you and Oscar.


  69. Heather says

    Nice read here that has me further wondering about the personal guilt/projection of lonliness vs actual feelings of my pup. We have a 2 year old BC mix – super sweet, loves other dogs 95% of the time (big dogs are not his favorite) and goes to work with me once a week, gets hikes 6 days a week and has an acre to run around on. My thing is that when we aren’t playing, he often seems to mope around the house: he’ll lay there and stare at me with puppy eyes, play bow and whine at me here and there. I’ve begun to internalize this as “he needs a buddy”…perhaps he just thinks I’m supposed to play with him always.

    I have my eye on a stunning little rescue – a 20 lb female BC mix so now I’m caught up in the emotion of general cuteness. My current dog has my family down the road to play with (they have 3 dogs), my husband is not enthusiastic about having two dogs, and there have been many clear benefits of just having the one dog (travel, taking him to events, work)…BUT, I grew up with multiple dogs and think I have this idea that more than one dog is not only normal but the way it “should” be…hence, feeling like I may be reading into my pups cute and loving traits as loneliness and need for a canine buddy. Only now am I beginning to see that maybe not EVERY dog needs a buddy – even if he LOVES other dogs?

    Do you have any comments on behavioral signs in a dog that would imply general boredom and massive love for their humans/the wish that the human would be even more entertaining vs boredom and the desire to have both the human buddy and a dog buddy? Am I making up his “need” for a canine companion?

    Thant was a long one…thank you for any comments!

    • Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

      Heather, I would be willing to guess that is more your desire than your dogs need to get another dog. However that decision is always yours. However be sure that you consider what your husband is saying and his feelings about a 2 dog home.

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