Many Golden owners consider getting a second one because they want a friend and companion for their dog. This can be a great idea if you and your family are willing to take on the responsibilities of a second dog. Here are a few things to know before you become a two-dog household.
Find a reputable breeder. If you decide to adopt another Golden Retriever, you may already have a relationship with a reputable breeder. If not, ask other Golden owners for recommendations. Make sure the breeder you choose is someone who rears puppies in the home for socialization, provides after-adoption advice and support, and makes sure that the puppies have received proper veterinary care and vaccinations.
Choose the opposite gender. Although Golden Retrievers are known for their easygoing temperament, they tend to get along best with dogs of the opposite sex. With two male dogs, you may experience some dominance and control problems. These tug-of-war bouts usually occur when the puppy reaches his troublesome teen years and tries to assert authority over the alpha dog. Early neutering can help the situation. Two female dogs can also have difficulties, especially when they reach maturity. However, problems can arise even if both are spayed.
Introduce the dogs. The best way to introduce your dog and a new puppy is to take them to a neutral place, such as a park. Taking them for a short walk together is a great initial introduction. It that goes well, let the two dogs sniff each other and play if in a secure area. During this time they will begin to establish who is top dog.
Let them establish their pack order. Dogs have a pack mentality and are accustomed to living in hierarchies. If your older dog growls at your new dog for annoying behavior, such as chewing his tail, don't interfere. You will undermine your older dog's authority. Also, it's important that you feed and praise your first dog first and let him be the first dog to enter doorways after you, as this will reinforce his status.
Give your older Golden some "quest time." Golden puppies have boundless energy and can play for hours and hours on end. This can sometimes annoy an older, more sedentary Golden. Give your older dog some quiet time away from your new dog or puppy every once in awhile. He'll appreciate the break. And be sure to give him lots of individual attention so he'll know that he hasn't been replaced.