To be clear upfront - NOT NOW!!!! I'm not looking for a green light to go 'rescue' some pathos case I found on Petfinder. This is just a general question about how feasible/hard is it to add a second dog to a long-term one-dog household. I feel guilty just thinking about it I've always had one at a time, but for a variety of reasons, I've been thinking about adding a second dog this time, if the stars align and my finances allow.
How long have you had 1 sod only? I know you say only dog, do you leave him/her alone alot? How spoiled is this dog? Time in your lap? Can you tell if it is a jealous dog? When I go to my moms her dog FREAKs out when i bring mine in. He is extremely jealous, has no reason to be. Not mean tho. I guess you know your dog. Good luck!
I think it depends on how your current dogs acts. Do you take him/her to do the dog park? to visit other friends? Does anyone bring their dog to your house? How does your dog react to it? I think these kinds of things will tell you how your dog will react to a new dog.
Most importantly when you bring the new dog in you need to make sure you still treat your dog like top dog. Don't bring a new dog in and then feed it first, pet it first, give it treats first. If you can bring the new dog in for a test run/meet that would be great as well. My friend has two dogs (one very dominant female and one very submissive male, both have been neutered) and she brings in fosters on a regular basis. They always stay on the sun porch to start off with, always go into the crate when she's not home (other dogs get free roam of the house all the time), and when she does start letting them in the house they start off while her two dogs are outside. She's only had one or two that just really did not get along with her female dog.
She doesn't really like being on my lap as it's too confining, and too hard for the Greatest Sheepdog In The World to monitor potentially moveable objects from the claustrophobic embrace of a maudlin owner but she's pretty spoiled. We don't go to dog parks, but that's because I just don't like them, not for any behavioral reason of hers. She has regular visits with a few dogs and she's okay with them. She always wants to be king of the mountain, and that can be a source of friction with other dogs, but it's never turned ugly (ie, loud but no biting or attacking on either side). She is bark/jump/push territorial and possessive of the house and me. If I did get another dog, it would be after a move to a new place, though, so that might help. She adores cats, and shows no jealousy/possessiveness with them. So I wonder if she'd take it easier if the new dog came as a puppy.
From my experience, the easiest way to add a second dog is the opposite sex puppy. But some don't have the time/setup to deal with a puppy, so if you end up with an adult, I would look at a male, and a submissive type. It's really annoying when the two are always vying for top dog. Of course, always bring her with you to meet any potential newbies on neutral ground. I personally love having two. Not really any more work than 1 and they can keep each other company if I'm away. Plus, my single was getting a *bit* too attached to me and would get weird when I was away. New baby seems to be helping that a lot!
We adopted an older ( spayed) female last spring. We are usually a 2 dog household, but had only one dog for about a year after the death of our old girl. We prefer females, but that's just us and after 30 years of "same sex" pets, haven't had any real problems. The dearly departed old girl was 13 when the "new" girl arrived ( 7months old)and they got on OK . A few growls and a nip or two to establish just who was ( still) in charge. After she died we waited a while and found an old girl at a shelter. We had one "meet and greet" at the shelter- just a walk down the road, before Lola came home . She walked in like she'd always been there- no stress, no fuss, no issues. She plays as hard as the now 2 1/2 year old . So, you never know how things will work out. You have to be on guard for a period of time. You've had some good ideas here. Try to meet on neutral ground if possible- maybe once or twice before the homecoming. The rescue advises removing all toys , separating feeding areas, especially for the first few weeks just to minimize any territorial excuses for a battle. Two dogs aren't much more trouble than one, and lots of fun.
As someone who has had more than one dog for over 22 yrs, I'd say go for it. I'd get a neutered male dog to go w/your female. I avoid puppies as they can really PO an adult dog that hasn't been around puppies regularly. I'd get another adult dog 2yrs old or older.
All of the dogs I've had have all gotten along together great. I'm a big believer in walks though. They walk together the first time they meet, and I continue to walk them at least twice daily. It instills a sense of "being part of the pack", as well as eliminating excess energy.
I'd go for opposite sexes for a first additional dog. Some of the worst fights I've ever heard of have been between females.
If you are worried that the dogs won't be as attached to you because they have a buddy, don't be. Mine still follow me around if I leave a room, and each want some individual attention. But they do play with each other a lot, and seem to enjoy having company.