Do you have a Cocker Spaniel and are wondering if you should get another one? Maybe you’re tempted to get two Cocker Spaniel puppies together? Here’s everything you need to know about whether Cocker Spaniels do better in pairs!
Do Cocker Spaniels Do Better In Pairs? Yes, Cocker Spaniels are a friendly and playful breed that can do better in pairs. As long as they’ve both been well socialized as puppies, they’ll be great playmates and companions for each other, which can be helpful if you need to leave them alone during the day.
Read on to find out the best age to introduce a second Cocker Spaniel into your home, what issues can occur if you get two Cockers from the same litter, and what questions you need to ask yourself before adding another Cocker Spaniel to your family!
Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years.
Should I Get Two Cocker Spaniels?
Yes, adding another Cocker Spaniel to your family can be great! However, this isn’t essential.
Cockers are loyal dogs that are eager to please their owners. So, if they’re getting everything they need from you, they may not benefit significantly from another canine companion.
You should always consider your current Cocker’s personality and temperament when deciding whether to add another to your life.
Cockers do tend to get on well with others of their own kind, but it’s not essential that you have two. They can live just as happily as an only dog, or even with another dog breed.
Should I Get Two Cocker Spaniels From The Same Litter?
No, it’s not always a good idea to get two Cocker Spaniels from the same litter.
Although you might be tempted to get a pair of super cute puppies, it can sometimes cause big problems! In fact, it’s quite uncommon for responsible breeders to allow you to purchase two puppies from the same litter.
Having two Cocker Spaniels from the same litter increases the chances of them developing ‘Littermate Syndrome’.
This encourages them to form extremely close bonds with each other, making training them much more challenging.
This can go on to cause the puppies to develop a whole host of behavioral problems, including potential aggression as they reach maturity.
Cocker Spaniels can also be prone to suffering from separation anxiety as a breed. And, the chances of this becoming a problem with two siblings are even higher.
Two puppies from the same litter can become so dependent on each other that they struggle to be apart, even just for a few minutes.
Because they’re a playful and fun-loving breed, sibling Cocker Spaniels will likely be wrestling and chasing each other at every opportunity!
When they’re having so much fun with one another, they’re less likely to listen to or bond with you. They’re bascially getting everything they need from their sibling!
Do All Cocker Spaniel Puppies Get Littermate Syndrome?
No, not all Cocker Spaniel puppies get ‘Littermate Syndrome’, and it’s possible to reduce the chances of them developing it too.
You just need to be committed to treating them as individuals, instead of a pair of puppies who must do everything together.
So make time to walk, train, feed and interact with them separately. This can help them feel more confident when they’re experiencing things on their own, without the presence of their sibling.
It can also help them create a stronger bond with you, instead of relying on their sibling for support.
It’s also worth noting that Cocker Spaniels from different litters can still develop littermate syndrome if they’re of a similar age.
So, just because they’re not genetically related, they can still suffer from the same issues as puppies who are siblings.
Of course, it’s not going to happen to every pair of puppies, but it is something to be aware of.
What Age Is Best To Get A Second Cocker Spaniel?
It’s best to wait until your Cocker Spaniel is 12-18 months old and fully matured before bringing a second Cocker into your home. You’ll also need to consider your existing Cocker’s personality and level of training when deciding on the right time.
Just bear in mind that some Cockers take longer to settle down and mature, than others. So you’ll have to consider your dog on an individual basis.
Some adult Cocker Spaniels may find it easier to adjust to living with a puppy, instead of another adult Cocker. Most dogs see puppies as less of a threat and can tolerate them more successfully than an unknown adult.
However, if you would prefer to add an adult Cocker Spaniel to your family, you should spend time with them first on neutral ground.
This allows them both to greet each other and see how they get along, before you commit to bringing the newbie home.
It’s best to avoid adding a Cocker Spaniel puppy to your family if your current Cocker is elderly or has health concerns. A lively young puppy may be too much to contend with if they don’t have as much energy or are in pain.
Equally, adding a second Cocker companion when your first is still young can make your life very difficult too! If your existing Cocker’s not fully trained, it can be like training two puppies together, which will be hard work!
So this is a very individual answer that depends on your current Cocker Spaniel’s temperament and your own lifestyle too.
Should I Get A Male Or Female Cocker Spaniel As A Second Dog?
It’s usually better to have two Cocker Spaniels of the opposite sex. Having two males or two females may increase the chances of them developing ‘same-sex aggression’. However, this isn’t guaranteed to happen and boy-girl pairings can still work.
But it’s not as straightforward as saying you should get the opposite sex to your existing Cocker Spaniel.
Cockers tend to be a friendly and sociable breed who can feel happy around males or females.
So, it depends more on your current Cocker Spaniel’s personality as to whether you choose a male or female one next.
No matter which gender you choose, you’ll need to introduce them to your existing Cocker calmly and slowly.
What Should I Consider Before Getting Two Cocker Spaniels?
These are the types of questions you need to think about before adding another Cocker Spaniel to your family:
Your Existing Cocker Spaniel’s Personality
- Is your Cocker Spaniel outgoing and confident or shy and nervous?
- Does your Cocker Spaniel prefer the company of male or female dogs?
- Is your Cocker Spaniel particularly bonded to you?
- Does your Cocker Spaniel enjoy being around other dogs?
- Would your Cocker Spaniel feel jealous if you got another dog or puppy?
- Does your Cocker Spaniel prefer puppies to older dogs or vice-versa?
Your Existing Cocker Spaniel’s Health
- Does your Cocker Spaniel have any health issues that may cause them pain, making them less tolerant?
- Does your Cocker Spaniel suffer with separation anxiety?
- Is your Cocker Spaniel neutered or still entire?
- Is your Cocker Spaniel generally fit and well and able to keep up with another dog or puppy?
Your Existing Cocker Spaniel’s Age
- Is your Cocker Spaniel still a puppy or are they fully mature?
- Is your Cocker Spaniel a senior dog that may feel overwhelmed by a new puppy?
Your Existing Cocker Spaniel’s Level Of Training
- Is your Cocker Spaniel generally responsive and well behaved?
- Does your Cocker Spaniel need more training?
- Is your Cocker Spaniel generally sociable with other dogs?
Your Living Arrangements
- Is your home large enough for two Cocker Spaniels to live in comfortably?
- Do you have a garden or yard for two Cocker Spaniels to play in?
- Is your home shared or rented and, if so, would your landlord happy for you to have another Cocker Spaniel in your home?
- Do you need to work and leave your two Cocker Spaniels alone for long periods?
- Do you have time to commit to training two Cocker Spaniels?
- Do you have time each day to exercise and interact with two Cockers?
- If you have other family members living with you, what are their thoughts?
- Do your family want a second Cocker Spaniel?
- Is the whole family committed to training and caring for a second Cocker Spaniel?
Your Financial Situation
- Can you afford dog food and treats for two Cocker Spaniels?
- Can you afford pet insurance for two Cocker Spaniels?
- Can you afford dog bedding and toys for two Cocker Spaniels?
- Can you afford veterinary bills for two Cocker Spaniels that could include checkups, medications, vaccinations and flea and worming treatments?
- Do you have funds for emergency medical treatments should either of your Cocker Spaniels get injured or become unwell?
- Can you afford doggy daycare, dog walkers or kenneling costs if needed?
Two Cocker Spaniels Means Twice The Work
- Can you handle twice the number of muddy paws running through the house?
- Can you deal with double the amount of dog hair shed around your home?
- Can you handle the grooming needs of two Cocker Spaniels?
These are all great questions to ask yourself. And, if you’re happy that you and your existing Cocker Spaniel can handle all of this, then there should be no reason not to bring a new puppy or dog into your home.
So there you have it! Cocker Spaniels are a fun and friendly breed that do well in pairs. They’ll be great companions and playmates for each other when you’re not around. However, Cockers are just as happy with human company, so it’s down to you to decide whether two is better than one!
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