Are two better than one?

A little background - 19 years ago I rescued my first Basenji. She was a great little special needs dog, but I felt bad leaving her home alone during the day. So, a year later I got her another Basenji playmate; Alex.

Cassie raised Alex almost like her own pup until Alex reached maturity. At that time, Alex became the dominate and very jealous dog. He became very jealous anytime Cassi got attention and he didn't, and would frequently growl at / attack her to demonstrate his dominance. A few of these demonstrations ended in bloodshead/stitches for Cassi. They lived together for 14+ years. Alex tolerated her for the most part, but the would not sleep together. They did both react badly if separated for any length of time - sort of like a grumpy old married couple.

Now we are in a similar situation. We've had Bella for a year now. I really think she enjoys being the center of attention, but I still feel bad when she's left home alone during the day (or while we're gone overnight). However, I can't convince myself that bringing another B into the situation would be better for her. Will they get long like best friends, or turn out like my previous two did? If I thought Bella would be just as well off by herself I'd tend to keep it that way. I'd prefer to be a one dog family at this point in my life. However, the thought of giving her a playmate and helping out one of the pups at the local shelter keeps crossing my mind. 😕

have you thought about fostering a dog-friendly dog? Sort of like test-driving a needy pup. If it worked, you could adopt that pup, or start looking for what you want, if not, it's not a permanent situation.

Does Bella like other dogs? Have you exposed her to play dates to find out what she'd do?

She loves playing with other dogs provided they don't growl. Once another dog growls at her she goes into defensive mode. She's very friendly to dogs she meets while out on walks.

I'm considering bringing one of the male pups a the shelter home to try over the weekend.

@Craigh:

She loves playing with other dogs provided they don't growl. Once another dog growls at her she goes into defensive mode. She's very friendly to dogs she meets while out on walks.

I'm considering bringing one of the male pups a the shelter home to try over the weekend.

If you do that, be prepared for lots and lots of growling and noises like you have never heard before… all natural... and snapping... remember that is how adults teach puppies to behave... and puppies continue to push the limits, over and over.....

I just wanted to share my recent experience with adding a 2nd basenji to the house. I've had Sonny for 3 years and he's been an only dog. He's always been content with his spot in the window watching the world go by while I'm at work. But I thought it was time to expand our b family and bring in a sister for him. Sonny loves to play with all sorts of other dogs when we visit a local farm at night for him to run during his off leash time. He can get defensive when other dogs invade his personal space when on leash. I didn't want to bring a puppy into the house so I found a wonderful 1.5 year old girl to add to our family as a companion for Sonny. Well as it turns out Sonny wanted no part of having another basenji come live in our home. We had her on a trial bases for the first few weeks from the breeder which turned out to be a good thing. Sonny did not have one minute when he wasn't in attack mode from the moment we came home. It didn't take long to figure out it was not a good nor safe situation for either dog. With a heavy heart I had to bring her back to the breeder. I love Sonny and he's the most crazy fun loving basenji you'll ever meet but he just prefers to be a bachelor and I'm ok with that…. 😃

Sounds like BRAT is picking up the puppies Thursday or Friday, and the earliest chance I'd have to do a trial run is Saturday. Maybe it's fate's way of telling me something. 😉

@tanza:

If you do that, be prepared for lots and lots of growling and noises like you have never heard before… all natural... and snapping... remember that is how adults teach puppies to behave... and puppies continue to push the limits, over and over.....

+1. I thought I was ready for the noise and that the noise wouldn't be that different than what I hear with my 2 adults. Wrong - add a puppy in the mix and the noise is completely different and to me, much more alarming:eek:! Oh and +1 also on pups pushing the limits over and over and over and over and over and over… :D:D:D

I had one B puppy who suffered terribly from separation anxiety. I brought another B into the mix, 7 months older than the first one, and it healed all the problems - except of course now there are two B's under 2 years old, and double the puppy stuff. However, had Shaye been fine alone, I don't think I'd have gotten another. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. The foster program or trial period would be the best things for you to try until you know how your dog is going to react to another one in the house.

We have occasionally thought about bringing in a second B, which is shocking because most of our first year with Ella was so hard. But the second year has been so good it has become a fleeting thought. But the description you gave of what happened with Cassie and Alex is exactly our fear. Ella loves to meet all other dogs on walks but is pretty submissive and I have a feeling she very well might get bullied by a new pack-mate.

We think about it because Ella also stays home alone for much of the day 4-5 days a week. But I do not sense that she is stressed about it at all. She sleeps in the sun or looks out the windows most of the time. I usually have to wake her up when I come home for lunch and at the end of the day. When I am home during the day she pretty much ignores me and sleeps in the sun and looks out the window anyway. After the novelty of a new dog wore off, I think she/they would still do the same thing each day.

The thought I have is, if you get a second dog do it because YOU want a second dog. Don't do it because you think that is what your dog wants.

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