Here’s what to consider before getting a second dog, according to one trainer

Shot from behind of father and son each holding a dog
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lot of people are happy with a single canine companion. After all, you can get plenty of love, affection, and happiness from just one dog – plus plenty of work to keep you busy too! 

But many people like having multiple dogs, whether they want to give the first dog a friend who will happily play a game of tug with them using the best puppy toys or they’d just like to have a couple of pups around the house, it’s a popular choice.

However, just like the decision to have another child, the decision to get another dog is one that it’s worth thinking about carefully. Sure, the jump from one dog to two is probably not as vast as the jump from no dogs to one, but there’s still a lot to consider.

But professional dog trainer and behavioral consultant Amelia Steele, known as Amelia the Dog Trainer on Instagram, has discussed what it’s like to have more than one dog in a recent post. So, if you’re considering adding another canine to your family, it’s a good idea to listen to what she has to say.

“Most people are lying to you about what it’s like to have two dogs,” Steele begins. “I absolutely love having two dogs, but I see videos all over the internet like, ‘Get a second dog, you won’t regret it,’ or ‘Get a dog for your dog, you won’t regret it.’

“But, having a second dog comes with its challenges and I feel like we need to talk about it.”

She explains that, when you get another dog, you have two dogs both vying for your attention. When people get another dog, part of the reasoning is often that the dogs will have each other, so there’s less stress on yourself as the dog parent. But in reality, you’ll have two dogs who want your attention rather than one, and they’ll be competing with each other. Even if you know how to introduce a new dog to your home and other pets, there’s no guarantee they’ll always get on peacefully, either.

And it’s easy to feel guilty, Steele says, because you might feel as though you’re giving more attention to one dog or the other. 

“Walks are always going to be harder, as well,” she continues. “Even with the best-trained dogs in the world, there are always things that are going to be harder. Even the training process of training them to walk nicely together is a long process.”

Steele points out that if you’re working full-time or you lead a busy life and you just want a nice, quiet walk after work, it’s a lot less relaxing with two dogs. Meanwhile, there’s twice the mess, twice the costs.

She writes in her caption alongside the video, about having multiple dogs, “It’s great and I’m not trying to put you off if you really want a second dog, but please consider these things when making your decision.”

If you’re thinking of getting another dog, but you’re worried about the potential for reactivity, you might find this feature useful: My reactive dog impacted my entire household, here's what I did about it.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering pets, lifestyle, health and culture, and he has six years' experience in journalism. He was senior editor at, and has written for The Independent, GoodToKnow and Healthline

He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' golden retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.