I wish I knew then what I know now.

I wish I knew then what I know now is a common statement we here at The K9 Company, so I thought I’d share some of the most common things people say when it comes to the power of HINDSIGHT.

Hindsight, it’s one of those wonderful things that we all wish that we had. Here I have listed for you the most common topics of hindsight that we quite often hear about at The K9 company:

“I thought getting two dogs from the same litter would be a great idea so they can keep each other company”. Having littermates often leads to nothing but stress and heartache for the families involved.  Having two puppies from the same litter create so many multiple challenges for people to have to overcome. Some breeders will also promote that having two dogs from the same litter can be good for the dogs.

Here are some of the issues and concerns you may have with littermates.

Firstly is independence training. If your pet is always used to being in the company of each other, quite often what can happen is the level of stress can really increase when they need to be separated; for example going to the groomers or even going to the vets can make this experience so much more stressful for littermates.  Having littermates can also often lead to the display of fear aggression and antisocial behaviours as they can often use each other as a “security blanket”.

You also need to be sure that having littermates doesn’t lead to separation anxiety-related behaviours and in order to ensure that you’re littermates don’t suffer from this it’s you that needs to put in the extra effort.  Now that extra effort means separating them quite often so that might be that you take one for a walk while you leave the other one at home so that might be an extra half an hour out of your day which equals an extra hour out of your day for walks. The same goes with their training. Now training a puppy can be challenging at the best of times but when we’ve got two it’s Double Trouble.

Dogs can learn a lot of their behaviour through mimicry so imagine the extra challenges that you may face when it comes to things like toilet training. It can be challenging enough to teach one pup to go outside to the toilet let alone when you’ve got two.  These are just some of the challenges we quite often hear people complain about when it comes to hindsight and an “if I only had of known then, what they know now,  then they would have made a very different choice especially when it comes to getting littermates.

One of the other statements of hindsight that we quite regularly here is that “We went and got another dog to keep our other dog company”. Now this can be a tricky one as often what happens when you have two dogs, they can spend all day sleeping and just waiting for you to come home and then you’ve got two dogs to entertain train and exercise.  Brent and I live in a multi dog household and currently we have 2 dogs – Zooka and Zia. People are always coming up and asking how we go about training our two dogs.  When it comes to teaching a new skill, so something that they have no concept of previously we always train them separately. When you have two dogs they often distract one another from training or as with the case of our two. they quite often just try to outdo each other. So if you consider the time that it takes in order to teach two dogs separately, that’s a really important consideration to take on board as to whether you have the time needed and to dedicate for two dogs.  

A few years ago we had four dogs, it was a retiring community and as a result we lost 3 of them in a fairly short time span. I remember a client asking me if Zooka was sad or depressed because we lost the others,- he’s lost all of his friends and my honest reply was “Not at all, if anything he’s actually celebrating because he prefers being an only child so as to speak.  now he gets all of my attention almost every training session is always with him and he can have as many cuddles as possible because he doesn’t have to compete”. Now I refer to Zooka like this because there is Brent’s dog Zia and she loves having Brent all to herself as well.  Whilst Zooka and ZIa certainly play and love hanging out together they definitely love their one on one time that they get with us too.

Now if you decide that getting a second dog is the right thing for you guys to do in your family, these are some of the things to consider. As I mentioned before there is a thing called mimicry. I know a lot of people sit there and think that the older dog will teach the puppy how to be well behaved, and now whilst this may be true in some cases remember mimicry can go both ways so depending on whether your first dog is a leader or a follower which can certainly change the moment you introduce another another dog into your home it may very well be your more mature dog that learns to get up to the cheeky mischief of a new little pup.

I key thing to keep in mind is not to make a decision with your heart, as the moment you see a picture or meet a potential dog in person, you know you’ll fall in love. You should even write a list of all the Pros and Con’s with a mammoth focus on the Cons. I often use the analogy of looking at welcoming a dog into your family, the same as you would a used car.  It needs to suit your needs and be an asset to your lifestyle. I will be writing a blog on this in the future.

If you would like help selecting the right pooch for your family’s needs and wants, our Find your Ultimate Dog sessions are for you. During your session we will personally go through and discuss all of your wants and needs whilst highlighting any potential factors that you may not have been aware of.

A dog is a family member for life and you deserve to love them for everyday you’re blessed to share with them.

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