If you’re thinking about getting a second poodle, you wouldn’t be alone. Many poodle owners find that once they have their first, they want to keep adding more to their home. It certainly doesn’t help that poodle puppies are possible the cutest animal in existence. But, cuteness aside, many wonder if a second poodle is a good idea or not.
So, are poodles better in pairs? Poodles are intelligent and friendly dogs that often do well with canine companions, however, they do not need to live in pairs. They bond just as easily with their human companions as they would with another dog. Of course, this discounts the fact that having another poodle in your home could bring you immense enjoyment.
Before making the big decision to add another poodle into your home, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of such a decision. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when you get a second poodle.
Do Poodles Need Another Dog?
Most poodles do not require canine companionship. They are natural-born people-pleasers, and the affection and attention they get from their human pack are typically enough for them.
However, if a poodle is not satisfied with the attention it gets from its humans, then a second poodle could help bridge the gap.
The Advantages of Owning a Pair of Poodles
There are plenty of reasons you might want to add another poodle to your home or bring two poodles at the same time into your home.
1) Poodles Are Social and Like Friends
Poodles are social creatures. For the most part, they like people, and they like other dogs. Having a second poodle will allow your dog to have a lifelong, reliable friend to keep them company and to play with.
If you live alone with your poodle, you may not be able to give your poodle enough attention, which is where puppy number two comes in. If you have a large family that keeps your pup entertained, this might not be as much of an issue for you.
2) A Second Poodle Helps with Separation Anxiety
Many dogs, and perhaps most notably poodles, suffer from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety will cause a poodle to become distressed when it is separated from family members that it is bonded with. Separation Anxiety can cause a poodle to:
- Bark excessively
- Destroy things in your home
- Go to the bathroom inside your home
- Become withdrawn
- Refuse to eat or drink
- Become excessively clingy when you are home
Having a second poodle can help both poodle deal with separation anxiety while you and your family are out of the home. This can be especially important if you spend a lot of time away from home or anticipate needing to board your pooch while you’re on vacation.
3) Two Poodles are Double the Fun!
There is no overstating the fact that having a second poodle will add so much fun and love into your home. If you have a large family, two dogs can help spread out the love a little, so to speak, so that one dog doesn’t get the brunt of several attentive, young handlers.
If you love having your first poodle, adding a second to your home will likely be just as fantastic of an experience.
4) Training Could be Easier
If you have an older, well-trained poodle, training your second poodle could be much easier because the poodle puppy will be able to follow the example of your older dog. You will still have to provide appropriate training, but it might not be as intensive as it was with your first.
This could backfire, however, if one of your dogs teaches the other bad habits.
A great behavioral training course can really help when training multiple dogs. I found a fantastic training system called Brain Training for Dogs. I really liked the private member’s area where I was able to connect with other dog owners to get solutions to issues I had with his training. If you need any behavioral training at all for your dog, I would highly recommend this course! Check it out here
5) Poodles do Well Together
If you already have a poodle and you want to bring another one into your home, selecting another poodle can help avoid any issues with mismatched temperaments.
For example, pairing a friendly, sociable poodle with a less social basset hound, can lead to two frustrated pooches.
So, if you have a poodle, it can be best to stick to poodles, but since most poodles are happy to be around other dogs, this is a matter for debate.
The Disadvantages of a Pair of Poodles
Having a second poodle will come with some distinct disadvantages that offset some of the advantages. Bringing a second dog into your home is a personal decision, and both sides need to be considered to make the choice that is right for you.
1) Dog Care Will Cost More With Two Poodles
Before bringing a new poodle home, consider the cost of taking care of the poodle. You won’t be doing your poodle a favor if you can’t provide for it and keep it healthy. Here are some costs to consider:
- Flea and tick prevention
- Spaying and neutering
- Leashes, collars, food bowls, brushes, etc
- Unexpected vet bills including major surgeries
- Caring for a poodle as it ages (issues with vision and hips are common)
This is not to say that the second poodle isn’t worth the expense of caring for one, only that you should be prepared for the financial consequences of bringing home another dog. I recommend sitting down and crunching the numbers to get a real idea of how much a second dog would cost.
You can read this article to learn more about how to estimate the monthly costs involved with poodle ownership.
2) Some Poodles Won’t Welcome Company
While most poodles are trainable, friendly, and happy (at least eventually) for a new friend in their family, there are some poodles that would not enjoy it. Consider your poodle’s temperament. If separation anxiety isn’t a problem, but your poodle likes your undivided attention when you’re home, it might not like having to share your attention.
Additionally, if your poodle is aggressive, you should avoid a second dog until you can work out those issues first. Read this article to learn more about why some poodles can be aggressive and also how to correct this negative behavior.
3) Mismatched Ages Can Cause Conflict When Pairing Poodles
Puppies, even poodle puppies, are known for their abundance of energy and enthusiasm. It is part of what makes them so darn cute. If your first poodle is entering its senior years, it might be hard for him or her to adjust to this new youthful addition, and conflict could break out.
This is especially true if your senior poodle is having health issues or trouble with vision, which can increase its anxiety and its reluctance to change.
4) Walking Two Poodles at the Same Time Requires Training
Walking two dogs together takes some getting used to for the human doing the leash holding and the dogs. You’ll need to leash train both dogs separately first and then slowly introduce walking them together.
Interesting parts of your pups’ personalities will likely arise when they are expected to walk and sniff together. Since poodles are easy to train, this isn’t usually a huge problem, but it will take some getting used to.
How to Pair Poodles: Male/Male, Female/Female, or Male/Female
Most people who own two poodles agree that the sex of the poodles doesn’t matter nearly as much as the temperament of the poodles. Matching temperments can help avoid fighting and bullying in the future, both of which can be harmful to your dog.
Getting your pair as puppies of the same can help work out any temperament issues and pack rankings while they are young, and it is less problematic. (Two fully grown poodles fighting over who gets free reign of the fluffier dog bed can be scary!)
Many poodle owners prefer females over males because of leg lifting issues that can be hard to train out of your male poodle. To learn many more behavioral differences between male and female poodles, read this article
Should You Get Two Poodles?
If your heart is set on a pair of poodles, then there is no compelling reason (outside of being unable to manage their care) to only get one. However, as long as your poodle does not suffer from separation anxiety, there is also no compelling reason that you must get two. It is up to you!