Dear Poodle Lady: Should I Get a Companion for my Poodle?

Dear Poodle Lady,
 
I am the proud owner of a nine month old poodle named Jane. I have recently been thinking about getting another poodle as a canine companion for her. I have three children and Jane has fit into our busy lives beautifully. She spends very little time alone, as I work evenings and am home throughout the day. The kids are home with her in the evening. 

However she loves other dogs and does get to play with my sister’s dogs quite frequently. We live in town and have a fenced backyard which Jane happily shares with the children. I am a runner and Jane joins me daily and runs along nicely. What is your experience and thoughts on two poodles in one home? 

Thanking you in advance,  Wondering about another poodle

Dear Wondering,

It sounds like you have a busy, full life and a wonderful home for a poodle.  At nine months Jane is still quite young and immature (about the same as a 14 year old human) therefore socialization with other dogs is understandably very important to her.  However, I would suggest that you delay getting another dog for at least a year, or even better two years.  Two young dogs can form a pack and start thinking collectively about what kind of mischief they can get into together rather than about being part of their human family.  Teenagers display the same behavior.

Jane is at an age where she may begin to question your authority and not do the things she knows she should do in order to test the boundaries.  This is very common behavior in poodles who tend to be independent thinkers and come up with new ways to do things, or avoid doing them.  She may also resent having to share all the attention she is getting at present with a newcomer; much as an older child is jealous of a new baby in the family.

Jane’s need for a play companion would best be filled by having a friend, neighbor or family member’s dog visit for an afternoon a few times a week. Or plan activities together with a friend that has a dog whose company Jane enjoys.  If you find that you still would like to have a companion for Jane when she is finished maturing (this is late in poodles, two years or even three) that would be a better time to add another poodle to your family.

The Poodle Lady

 

 

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