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Getting a Second Boston Terrier Isn’t A Walk In the Park. Here are 8 Tips to Set You Up For Success

  • February 19, 2020
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Getting a Second Boston Terrier Isn’t A Walk In the Park.  Here are 8 Tips to Set You Up For Success

Do you love your Boston Terrier so much you want a second one?

You might think that adding one more should be fairly easy. I mean how hard can it be to walk two dogs?

And isn’t there a saying that goes something like ..”double the trouble but also double the fun!”

But adding a second Boston Terrier isn’t as clear as making it twice as hard because of the complexities of the second dog it’s almost three times as hard.

Now don’t let this prevent you from getting that second dog. Just make sure you go into in equipped with tips to set you for success.

Getting a Second Boston Terrier Isn't A Walk In the Park.  Here are 8 Tips to Set You Up For Success

1.  Make Sure Your First Dog Feels Loved

Your first dog is going to have to adjust to the dog or puppy you are bringing home.

Your first dog is now going to have to share you, your home and your adventures.

Hopefully before you add a second dog you’ve examined if your first dog is a good candidate to add another.

Obviously you want both of them to get along.

Key to making this go smoothly is that dog number one feels loved.

It is natural to fawn over the second when you’re bringing them home especially if it’s a puppy.

Don’t forget to show your first dog that they are special and loved. Otherwise they might start to feel uncertain about their position in your home.

For example there are little things that Maggie loves to do with me like jumping together!

2.  Build a Relationship With Each Dog and Then One with the Three Of You Together.

It’s important that you build and nurture a relationship with each dog.

Take them out for their own outings so that they can not only feel secure being their own dog without their sibling around, but so they can bond with just the two of you together.

At a minimum I would recommend you do one long outing with each dog once a week.

And take the time for quick daily walks with just one dog.


3. Establish Rules – No Pushing

Oftentimes I see one of the dogs in a two dog home pushing and exerting their authority.

For example you might have one dog on your lap and dog number two walks in to push the other dog off and claim a spot on your lap.

Or if you’re giving treats, one dog might inch forward to be closer to you than the other.

If you notice a pattern where one of your dogs is being pushy you need to establish the rules that being pushy isn’t allowed.

If your pushy dog tries to push off their sibling, redirect your dog into behavior you want such as giving you a “sit”. You can then invite the pushy dog into your lap.

In the example of the pushy dog inching forward to be closer to you and the treats, redirect your dog back to where you want her to sit and ask her to hold and stay and only reward her once she is demonstrating the behavior you want to capture.


4. Establish Structure

Dogs need to know certainty and adding a second dog often throws the first dog for a loop.

You’re have to work hard to ensure dog number one feels secure as a family member.

You do this by maintaining structure and order in routines so that they are predictable and consistent. For example in my home Maggie is the older dog and Orbit is 8 months her junior. To maintain structure and order:

– Maggie gets treats first
– Maggie gets fed first
– Maggie gets groomed first
– Maggie gets leashed (and unleashed) first

This pattern of predictability establishes harmony and order which if you have an anxious dog like we do with Maggie is critical to her mental wellbeing.


5. Things They Do With Dog Dad Only

If you are a two person household there should be “fun things that only happen with dog dad”.

For example in our house the girls do zoomies as soon as Dog Dad comes home.

It was tempting for me to soak up their excitement but I held back so that Dog Dad and the two dogs Maggie and Orbit could enjoy this daily ritual together – just the three of them.

There’s also a special place in the kitchen that Dog Dad gives their treats and only he gets to do that with the girls.

This way they can build a relationship with him even though he’s not home for most of the day.

This relationship and these rituals are held sacred so that they feel bonded to him.

6. Solo and Combined Walks

Walking two dogs is complicated. It’s important they each learn how to walk in harmony with you first before you add the other.

Commit to daily short walks that look as follows:

Take your first dog out for a 15 minute walk.

Then take your second dog for her 15 minute walk.

Once you return you can pick up the other and all three of you can go out for another 15 minute walk.


7. Solo and Combined Training

Oftentimes you spend a lot of time training your first dog and then get lax with your second dog.

Your second dog then fails to build a relationship with you and instead builds with with the first dog. They become a pack and you become an outsider.

To avoid this you need to make sure that each dog looks to you first because they value the bond with you over anything else.

You can do this through training.

Training builds engagement and strengthens relationships.

It also mentally challenges your dog.

Training sessions need not be long. A short five minute training sessions will be enough.

Another way to look at it is to take a treat that you can break into multiple smaller pieces. I like to have between 20 to 30 small treats and I train until they are all gone.

You can do these twice a day after each walk.

It’s also important you train them separately.

You can choose to train in a different part of your house, or crate one with the chew while the other trains with you.

In addition to our short daily obedience sessions I take the girls out for agility lessons once a week.

They both attend class on different days and having their one on one time has strengthened my relationship with each dog.


8. Solo Adventures. Combined Adventures

Make sure you create memories with each dog.

On one day you could take your first dog out for a special one on one adventure to the park or the beach.

On a different day dedicate that time to your second dog.

And then of course there are trips all three of you do together.

In Closing – My Experience Having Two Boston Terriers

I let Maggie’s breeder know right away that I planned on adding a second puppy down the line. This way I could make sure she placed a sweet natured puppy with me.

And conversely when I was about to add Orbit I let her breeder know about Maggie’s personality so she could place a puppy that would have greater success for a personality fit.

Even then it took Maggie almost two weeks before she relaxed and accepted that Orbit was there to stay.

Having two Boston Terriers at home has been the best experience.

This breed is bred to be companion dogs not only to us as their owner handlers but to each other.

After having two Bostons I can never envision anything else and plan to always have two in our home.

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Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier to help you learn more about the breed or provide practical tips as you raise your own.    Read more about us. 

By, February 19, 2020
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