Choosing Dog Companion

Animal: Dog
Breed: Mongrel

Pet Symptoms: I recently lost my west highland terrier. I also have an 8 year old mongrel who was definitely top dog. I would like to get him a new companion. Would he be more accepting of a dog or a bitch?

Our Advice: Sex doesn’t generally make a huge difference as to whether a new dog will integrate well with an established pet, and any dog can be accepting of a new dog or not depending on the circumstances and the individuals concerned. Generally it’s easier to introduce a new puppy to an older dog, if done gradually and carefully, as the older dog will often accept this easier than another adult.

If introducing an older dog, it is easier if they are neutered. Both male and female dogs can be aggressive if not raised properly and some dogs can be difficult to house with other dogs or in certain environments. A lot of rehoming centres have already tested their pets for adoption to ensure they show no signs of aggression towards other dogs, so they may have suitable animals. If you are getting a puppy, some breeds are easier and more laid back than others, but a lot of their behaviour comes down to training and socialisation as they grow up.

Alternatively you could find a behavioural specialist near you and they may have more detailed advice:

There are very few SPECIALIST veterinary behaviour experts in the UK – it’s best to discuss this with you current vet as to who they recommend in your area or if there is a specialist in your area that you may be able to contact for advice.