Is an “only dog” a problem ?

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Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by Nifty staffy on Wed Nov 15 2017, 19:24

I remember several friends teasing me, just after I had reserved Nifty, that dogs are much better as a pair at home.
Most of the other owners at the canine club I’ve spoken to also have several dogs at home.
Unless mistaken, a wolf is rarely solitary but lives as part of a pack.

After all of these thoughts, can an “only dog” of the family really be happy ?
Are there extra things that single-dog owners can do to ensure maximal happiness without another canine addition ?
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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by gillybrent on Wed Nov 15 2017, 20:43

short answer? No.

Dogs aren't wolves. You are their companion & most dogs are more than happy to be the 'only' household dog.

it obviously helps if your dog is friendly & can play with dogs at the park, but even dog aggressive dogs are happy at home!

Love, attention, companionship, discipline (fair) and play are what a dog needs to be happy.

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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by -Ian- on Thu Nov 16 2017, 00:53

I agree with Gilly, single Staffies are fine as long as they get the human contact they desire and need. Yes a pair will bounce off each other but will also be equally loyal.

As long as the Staffy has interaction with other dogs and doesn't forget that, actually, that furry thing coming towards me is also a dog then I don't think there's a problem. Perhaps it's we humans that think that a fur buddy is needed rather than thinking about it from the dogs point of view, like, hey... Why would I want to share this love and attention


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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by Nifty staffy on Thu Nov 16 2017, 05:02

Thanks for your replies.
It helps to have a nudge to see things from a different angle and I had certainly forgotten to consider the sharing love and attention bit.
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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by LizP on Thu Nov 16 2017, 08:09

There's no right or wrong on this one.

I personally like more than one, partly because you can't have too much of a good thing and partly because they do get a lot out of having a canine family. The interactions betwen dogs are different from those between dogs and humans, they can have a a really good rough and tumble, they shares sniffs, they keep each other company while I'm out, etc. However, there are the downsides of higher costs, more poo to pick up, less bed space (for the humans), etc.

I agree with the others, there are many, many, many happy only dogs. I'd be extremely surprised if Nifty wasn't happy just as she is.


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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by gillybrent on Thu Nov 16 2017, 09:41

LizP wrote: The interactions betwen dogs are different from those between dogs and humans, they can have a a really good rough and tumble, they shares sniffs, they keep each other company while I'm out, etc.

True, but if your dog is socialised & can play at the park, that's fine. To be honest, most 'only' dogs tend to sleep while their owner's out (as long as they don't have separation anxiety, of course!) and as long as they aren't left for too long with items that they could hurt themselves with, they'll be fine.

i've had 'only' dogs in the past, but so have i had 'couples'. they all seemed pretty happy and well adjusted.

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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by Jnestie84 on Thu Nov 16 2017, 10:51

I’ve always had two dogs together but Gus is an only dog. I have no doubt that Gus is happy as we love him to bits and he gets loads of play with dogs on his walks. But I still feel Gus would love a little sister or brother. There is only so much rough play I can put up with haha. We are looking for a suitable rescue to come and join our family but aren’t in any rush.


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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by MattsBabe7 on Thu Nov 16 2017, 15:10

Our last dog (collie x Doberman) used to live with her parents, a collie and a Doberman and then when her previous human parents separated she lived with her human daddy and a little Jack Russell.

We saw a very sad advert in the local paper asking for somebody to kindly take on both dogs as they were shut in a car all day while he worked.
We phoned and only Razzy was left.

We met her and took her on only for her human daddy to cry his eyes out when he said goodbye (that was tough to see).

In the end Razzy had eight long happy years with us as an only dog before cancer sadly took her from us in May at the age of almost twelve.

We did look into taking on a king Charles spaniel (his owner passed away from cancer) a couple of years after rescuing her but she was so used to being an only dog by then that she didn't want to share our love!

Chase is more than happy being an only dog. I think getting another dog to join him now would probably ruin our hard work!
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Re: Is an “only dog” a problem ?

Post by Nifty staffy on Thu Nov 16 2017, 21:37

LizP wrote:
I agree with the others, there are many, many, many happy only dogs. I'd be extremely surprised if Nifty wasn't happy just as she is.

Aw thanks, I sincerely hope she is happy.
TBH I have my hands full with one Nifty and am convinced 2 would be exponentially too much work.
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