Thinking of getting another dog - should it be the same or opposite gender of my dog?
Well, I'm thinking of going to the shelter to adopt another dog. My current dog is an older female pit bull. She is very sweet and gets along well with the neighbor's dogs. I've heard that it is better to get a dog of the opposite gender. Is there any truth to this?
I agree that it depends on the individual dog.
We currently have 2 males and 2 females all living in the house. About 1x a year there will be a fight between the two females, and it's almost always because the less dominant female pushed the alpha females buttons too far.
I do volunteer work with a local rescue and foster dogs (we have one foster currently)... and really, it does depend on the dog. IMO other factors play a role on whether dogs get along moreso than gender, such as size and behavior.
The best thing to do is have your dog meet the other dog before bringing him/her home. Most, if not all, rescues will allow a meet and greet type thing first.
"People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"
Most of the shelters around here allow you to take the dog for 3 days if you have other pets they need to meet. They help you introduce on neutral ground and then you take them home to see if they will behave. It's actually a fabulous idea and would save a lot of problems if more would do it! That being said you have to basically have committed to taking that dog already though and its just a temprament test for the 2 together.
Our only experience with opposite sexes was with a purebred spayed female Springer Spaniel "the Princess" who was the only dog in the family for 2.5 years. Then I rescued a male Basset/Lab about a year old. Had him neutered and the Princess dominated him for a couple of years. When we had to put her down, the Bassador became THE MAN.. he was a different dog, still a love but now more sure of himself. Since then we have had only neutered males together. They get on quite well but there is always an Alpha in the pair. When one of our dogs died, the other male grieved so badly that we had to go out almost immediately and adopt another. We took him with us to meet the new guy and they are now joined at the hip.. the older dog is the Alpha, young dog happily follows his lead.
With already having a female I would look for a male. In almost every species females are prone to being more opiniated, and in the dog world that equates to fights. Most of the time they are self limiting little scrap fights, but pits(or any 'bully' breed) by nature aren't going to give in as easially as another breed, so you could wind up with more severe fights when they do happen. It sounds like your female is well socialized and pretty good with other dogs, but if you can I would have a good trainer help you evaluate her to see what kind of personality would suit her best.
I would also stay away from very young puppies, as they tend to aggrivate older dogs when left to their own devices
** and before anyone starts it, NO I have nothing against pits, but the reason they make good fighting dogs is because with most of them, once the fight starts its not over until it's REALLY over. They're not more prone to starting fights, just finishing them.
I am gonna add my two cents worth 'cause I am sort of going thru this at the mo.
I have an old female lab mix. Sweetest dog ever. Very Laid back. The only time I saw her as vicious, was when a groundhog mistakenly got into my yard, and Amy came alive to kill the thing. Anyway, she had her buddy, Auggie. Auggie was a perfect gentleman-would let her go thru the door first, let her have the best of his food-he worshiped her. Well, Aug has passed on, and I thought about getting another. After reading on here about all the rescues out there, I decided to try another dog. Well, I got a female, not realising there would be a problem, and though there are problems, I think it is gonna work out. The new dog is an Aussie mix,fairly aggresive. She gets it that I am alpha, but she wants to be #2. Badly. It has been a month, and I like the new dog, [Toffee], but if I had to do it over again, I wuld look for a neutered male.
I think it depends on the individuals, both the dogs and the humans.
I have always had female dogs, and always at least 2. Right now I have 4 of varying ages - oldest is 11, the 2 youngsters are almost 2 years old. They all get along just fine. But that is most likely because I am the alpha dog in this house.
There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams
We've always had 2 dogs and they've always been females. The two we have now are 2 and 8-12?. Oldie came from a shelter in March . They are both GSPs. Lola( the toothless wonder- oldie) arrived as if she'd always been here and they have bonded like mother and daughter. No issues with toys, or bones- they "share" -one on each end of a bone. However, we took all items away at first for a few weeks to see if any issues came up. They eat in separate areas, but also share their goodies. We're sure Lola lived with another dog so she knows her manners. My son has a male( neutered) lab/Chow who is the nicest dog. They visit often and there have been a few curled lips and mumbled obscenities, but all in all they tolerate each other.
I agree with the "it depends" group, which isn't very helpful, I suppose :P
The two dogs we have right now are different in that regard. Neutered male Collie can be somewhat dominant with other male dogs, but is much more tolerant of female dogs. So in his case, opposite-sex interations are much smoother.
The Schnauzermutt (female) is relatively submissive, everybody's friend. Sleeps curled up with the cat. So I don't think it would matter much to her.
The two of them get along great. Collie is past his playing days, but since the mutt is so submissive, she doesn't bother him. And all he ever does to reinforce his position is pee on top of anywhere she's peed.
Last edited by Wayside; Jul. 2, 2009 at 12:28 PM.
Thanks everyone for the input! I don't think my dog is aggresive with other dogs really... she seems to be somewhat submisive with the neighbor's Chow. I am thinking it may be best not to get another pit bull. I have seen her get riled up before and she will attack the lawn equipment... I have to put her up to mow, or she will bite the front tires of the mower.
I am thinking of staying away from young puppies, but what age range is best? There are a few 1 to 2 year old male dogs at the shelter.
Again, "it depends". Our last two( GSP and Lab/hound) were only 6 months apart in age and they left us within 6 months of each other- two heartbreaks in a very short span. That's something to think about when adopting a second dog. We decided on an older dog as a companion for the 2 yo GSP, but had no actual age in mind except "older". Lola( also a GSP) was at a local shelter and , with few teeth in her head and pretty arthritic, age was hard to determine, but we knew she was over 6. Also, with her health issues, we knew she'd be hard to place. So far, I've just added a joint supplement and some PROIN to stop the occasional "leak". She moves funny, but she never stops! At that age she's as settled as a GSP ever gets! We know we don't have more than 5-6 years , with her , if that, but the older dogs can give SO much more than they might require in care. Young dogs are easier to place, as a rule, but don't count the old guys out and they really do deserve a wonderful lasting home in their twilight years.