How to Determine a Second Dog's Compatibility

Two dogs nose to nose

It's crucial to understand how to select a second dog and guarantee dog compatibility. Age, health, sex, genetics, and features of instinct, size, personality—the list goes on—all affect how successfully your present pet(s) accept a newcomer.

While certain can be downright violent, others are more accepting of other dogs (or cats). Prior to bringing the "new child" into your house and introducing him or her to other dogs, you must ensure the safety and wellbeing of your new puppy and older canines.

Breed Considerations

Terrier-type breeds bred to hunt "critters" and other breeds with a high "prey drive" may not be able to control their desire to pursue and/or attack your new puppy, however there are exceptions. Sighthounds like Afghans, Greyhounds, and Scottish Deerhounds may also have the need to follow fleeing animals and may view a young puppy as more of a target than a friend. If you spend your life with one of these go-getters, be prepared for extensive because herding dogs naturally chase things like runners, bikers, sheep, and cats.

When there is another dog living with them, some unsocialized canines may find it challenging to get used to it, especially if they don't know how to interact with them. With proper training and encouragement from their human counterparts, dogs can generally adjust, learn to get along, and even enjoy each other's company.

Size Matters

If there is a significant size difference between the animals, even amiable dogs might become dangerous. If playtime becomes too violent, an 80-pound dog may damage your Chihuahua puppy by accidently sitting on it.

On the other paw, a large Your senior might get hurt if the puppy pounces on their frail body. To make wise decisions, research the breeds and consult experts. It can work, but you'll need to be extra watchful and careful.

Cat Considerations

Tiny puppies may be at risk from large, bruising cats. If interactions with a new puppy are not carefully supervised, a cat's predatory instinct triggers games of stalk and pounce that can result in injury. Claws have the potential to cause canine retribution or harm canine eyes. Cats may lose the desire to create new pet pals once they are between the ages of 12 and 18 months. They could behave aggressively or they might just hide and act funny in their own house.

Puppies can have an excessive desire to play and may not yet be aware of the limits of what is considered rough play. Additionally, they might not be aware of the telltale indicators that a cat is not interested in that type of attention. Because of this, cats may hiss or swat at a new puppy to express these feelings and, in a way, to scream, "Leave me alone!" Your current cats will be far more likely to eventually accept a new pet into the home if they've had pleasant interactions with other pets. If your new puppy has been properly with cats and already respects the feline way of life, that is extremely beneficial. In any situation, first meetings should be attentively watched, and it's a good idea to let each pet explore the spaces where the other spends time before meeting face to face.

Cats should never be penalized for growling, hissing, or swatting, which are crucial warning signals that canines must learn. Instead, they should always be given a secure area to go to during these situations. To stop dogs from pursuing or attacking, they should be restrained or kept on a leash. When both pets are calm throughout these encounters, positive reinforcement in the form of food and toys should be provided to them so they may see that nice things happen when they are together.


Numerous elements can influence whether your dogs get along, but in the end, their unique personalities will be what makes the difference. Some individuals advise picking a new pet that is the opposite sex and younger than your current pet if possible. In other words, introduce a female puppy if you already have a male adult dog. This isn't always the case, and with the appropriate personalities, almost any combination may succeed. When looking for a matching housemate, it may be useful to take factors like your present dog's activity level, size, and temperament into account.

It's unfair to introduce a new pet to all of your household's cats and dogs at once if you already have more than one dog or cat. One pet at a time should be introduced. Sometimes there is at first sight, but more frequently, the animals need days or even weeks to warm up to a visitor. For this reason, it is best to keep the new pup apart from other animals at first so that a slow, careful introduction may take place. All first encounters should be thoroughly monitored, and rewards and toys should be used to show all the animals that this is a good thing. The contact should be stopped and the animals separated if any of the pets start growling, playing rough, or otherwise displaying indications of hostility or fear. In this approach, introducing your new puppy may need a number of tiny baby steps, but your perseverance will be rewarded with a peaceful household. The best puppy for you and the nearby dogs that also share your heart may be chosen with advance planning.