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Dogs/3 dogs better than 2?


I have a multi-part question I am hoping you can provide insight on. A little background first. We currently have two dogs: a 5-year-old, female English Bulldog and a 6-year-old, female Maltese. Our English Bulldog is so happy when she is able to play with others dogs, as most dogs would be. However, our Maltese refuses to play with her. Our Maltese is your typical lapdog, only wanting human companionship. We are starting to feel a bit guilty about our English Bulldog being bored with no playmate most of the time, hence our thought to potentially add a third dog to the mix mainly as a playmate/companion for our English Bulldog. We are unsure, however, if this is a good idea considering the harmony we currently have with just the two dogs. We do not want to disrupt this unless it is worthwhile, hence the reason I am here asking for your advice. Is it a good idea to get our English Bulldog a third dog as a playmate? Is having 3 dogs going to be exponentially more difficult than having 2 or just a bit more work? I am not concerned with extra food, vet expenses, etc., and we have enough room in our house for a third dog theoretically. I have been reading so many mixed reviews on having 3 dogs that it has made it confusing on whether or not my wife and I should pull the trigger on getting a third dog. The dog we are currently looking at is a 5-month-old Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix as we thought a medium to small size dog might be best/easier in terms of the logistics of having 3 dogs. I had read that a new puppy would likely follow our dogs around, and they would in turn help teach him/her the ropes, potty training, etc. Is this true or am I way off base here? Also, with a 3 dog scenario, is a small to medium size dog best or would a larger dog be easier? Should we get a male or female?

Are there other options we should consider for our English Bulldog instead of getting a third dog, such as doggie daycare twice a week, etc.? Id really like as close to a definitive answer on this as possible as my wife and I have been going back and forth on this issue for several months. Is the third dog worth it? I appreciate your time and advice. Thank-you.

Have you ever heard the saying "two's company, three's a crowd."?  Well it seems to be true in some dog families.  It very much depends on the dogs.  Bulldogs can be territorial and have been known to fight with each other, although the opposite sex is helpful, but then you have the Maltese, who may or may not want her two cents in there.  If you have harmony, I would definitely go with doggy daycare a couple of times a week.  At five years old, that may be just enough for her, where a full time puppy may just be to much for her.  At least with the day care she can come home when the day is over and rest.  If you have a pup at home, that is 24 x 7.  If that is too much for her if could affect her temperament.  Your sweet bulldog could turn into a crabby old lady.
If you do decide, the the cockapoo is a good choice, but I would go with a male.  Cockers and poodles get along with other dogs.
My advice would be the daycare, dogs usually love it.  Just start with small doses in the beginning, a couple of hours a day and see how it goes, then increase it to whatever she likes.
Hope this helps,


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Nancy Perry


You can ask me anything on dog training, dog breeding, dog grooming. What type of dog you should get. Pertinent facts about different breeds. I am also specifically knowledgeable about terriers and the diets that help maintain coat excellence. I have trained and helped owners train their dogs.


I have worked in dog training for 35 years. I have been a dog groomer for 25 years..

Certified trainer with Petsmart Certified Groomer with Petsmart

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approximatedly 2 to three hundred clients since 1993

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