Are Two Golden Retrievers Better Than One? [Not Necessarily!]

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Golden Retrievers are the best! That’s the consensus among owners and lovers of this breed!

So, you would assume that the answer to this question, “Are two Golden Retrievers better than one?”, is a big fat YES!!

Well, according to fellow Golden Retriever owners, owning a pair of Goldens has been the best decision they have ever made!

But, adding a second Golden Retriever to your home is not always smooth sailing, and for some owners, it has been a huge mistake.

So, before you decide to add a second Golden Retriever to your family, you’ll want to read this article.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • The pros and cons of owning two Golden Retrievers.
  • Things you need to consider before getting a second Golden Retriever, and
  • How to properly introduce two Golden Retrievers.

Let’s get to it!

Are Two Golden Retrievers Better Than One?

Naturally, one would assume that having two of a good thing is better than one! Owning two Golden Retrievers means twice the fun, cuddles, and love! Golden Retrievers are highly social, and owning two means that they would have each other to play with, and keep each other company while you are away or busy. But, there are many downsides as well, owning two means double everything! Expenses, chores, trouble, and sometimes they just don’t get along.

That was the short answer, now let’s go further and weigh the pros and cons:

Pros And Cons Of Owning Two Golden Retrievers

Two Golden Retrievers laying together on a field of grass.  Both of them are looking towards you.

Pro #1: They Offer Each Other Companionship

Probably the best part of owning two Goldens is that you feel less guilty when you have to leave to go to work or run errands.

Golden Retrievers do best when they are in the company of their family. They don’t like to be left alone, which is why many of them suffer from separation anxiety.

Having two Goldens means they will offer each other constant companionship while you’re away.

They’ll keep each other entertained, snuggle together, and of course, wait patiently together until you get home. The bonus is that you’ll come home to twice the tail wags!

Pro #2: They Will Potentially Become Best Friends

There’s nothing sweeter than seeing photos of two Goldens of the same household cuddling together, sharing the same bed, playing with the same toy, or even carrying the same stick.

I’ve seen all of these photos, and it’s really heartwarming.

The truth is, it’s not always an instant connection or bond between two Golden Retrievers. It takes time for your Golden to adapt and accept another Golden into the household.

But, once it finally happens, it’s amazing to see.

Owning two means they will become best friends.

Pro #3: Double The Fun, Love And Cuddles

Everyone knows that Golden Retrievers are gentle and loving, and they can often be goofy and comical!

Well, having two means twice the fun, laughs, love and cuddles!

You certainly won’t be bored, and you’ll enjoy every minute of it!

Pro #4: You Get To Enjoy Their Different Personalities

Just like human children, both of your Golden Retrievers will have different personalities.

One might be very sweet and submissive, while the other may be more assertive. You’ll enjoy seeing their different personalities and quirks unfold as time goes on.

A common dilemma that many owners face is whether to get a male or female Golden Retriever.

By having one of each, you’ll be able to enjoy the subtle differences between the two sexes.

Plus, it’s a common belief that two dogs of the opposite sex get along better than dogs of the same sex.

But, there’s no rule against having two males or two females in the same household.

In fact, many fellow Golden Retriever owners enjoy having two dogs of the same sex, without experiencing any issues like dominance or aggressiveness.

Check out this short video of the many differences between two male Golden Retrievers, Colin and Sterling:

Pro #5: Training The Second Dog Is Easier

Training a second Golden Retriever is easier not only because you’ve already been through the training with your first, and know all the ins and outs.

But, also because your older Golden Retriever will be able to teach the younger one new tricks.

Your older Golden will be a role model for your younger one, making things like potty training, basic commands, and rules of the house much easier and faster to learn.

Since most dogs naturally go potty where other dogs have gone, potty training can be accomplished with fewer problems.

Pro #6: They Will Exercise Each Other and Bring Out Their Playfulness

Two adult Golden Retrievers playing tug-of-war with a rope toy outside on the snow.

Golden Retrievers are considered high-energy dogs that require plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation every day.

Having one Golden Retriever means that you are solely responsible for meeting your dog’s daily exercise requirements, including walks and playtime each day.

But, having two Golden Retrievers, will alleviate some of your responsibility, especially because they will do most of their playing together.

Two Golden Retrievers means plenty of wrestling sessions, chasing each other, tug-of-war, and tiring each other out.

There’s still a need for you to walk them and play with them on a daily basis, but, they’ll definitely get their daily exercise requirements met!

Con #1: Double Everything! Cost, Work, Hair, Etc.

Owning one Golden Retriever is expensive, it requires plenty of work and devotion from you, and you certainly need a lot of patience.

And one Golden Retriever produces plenty of dog hair and dog poop!

But, owning two Golden Retrievers means double everything!

You’ll need to factor in the cost of food, treats, and veterinary care, including flea and tick medication.

Plus the time and effort it takes to brush and bathe two Goldens.

Each dog will of course have its own toys and beds, but you can guarantee that they’ll both share the same bed, and fight over the same favourite toy (even though they have identical toys).

There’s no doubt that owning two Goldens will double your expenses.

If you can swing it, that’s great, however, if owning two means you’ll be strapped for cash, you should not get a second dog.

Con #2: Owning Two Is Hard Work

A man walking two Golden Retrievers together on a leash.

Owning two Golden Retrievers can be a lot of work, and things like going for a walk, or driving to the vet’s office or to the park, can be much harder with two dogs.

Cleaning up after two Goldens who love to roll in mud and track muddy paw prints into your home is more work, not to mention the extra dog hair you’ll be vacuuming up.

Owning two dogs means that you will need to allocate time to spend with each one on an individual basis.

Of course, you’ll be able to do things together, but in order to bond with each dog, and to make sure each feels loved and secure, it’s important to spend one on one time together.

This means extra time spent going for walks, training, playing and grooming.

Con #3: You Need More Space

Can you handle a full-on wrestling match between two Goldens in your living room? Can your couch accommodate two full-size Goldens laying on it, plus yourself?

Or, will you find yourself sitting on the floor while your two Goldens occupy your couch?

Owning one Golden Retriever means giving up half of your couch and your bed.

But, owning two means you might have to sacrifice your own comfort or invest in twice the furniture!

Having two Goldens means you need plenty of space, not only in your home but also in your vehicle.

Con #4: Potential Of Sibling Rivalry

Two Golden Retrievers in the household could potentially lead to some sibling rivalry.

This is especially true when it comes to fighting over food, toys, and your attention.

Adding a second Golden Retriever to the household, suddenly means your current dog has to share your attention, love, and food.

It could lead to competition and jealousy between the two dogs.

Con #5: You Need To Consider How Losing One Will Affect The Other

A sad looking Golden Retriever laying on a field of grass.

Losing a faithful companion is one of the most difficult moments you must face during pet ownership.

It certainly is devastating for you to have to say goodbye, but, it is just as devastating for your remaining Golden to lose a best friend.

Owning two Goldens means eventually the time will come when one dog outlives the other.

Dogs grieve in much the same way as humans do, and it can be difficult to watch.

Some will whine and cry out for their best friend, become lethargic and depressed, and many will search their home, yard and neighbourhood for their best friend.

The more bonded your two Goldens are, the more difficult it will be when you lose one.

It’s definitely something that needs to be considered.

Many owners find that adding another Golden to the household helps the other dog heal, as well as themselves.

Con #6: Bad Habits Can Form

If your current Golden Retriever has some bad habits, you can guarantee that those bad habits will be taught to the younger one.

If you already own a Golden Retriever that digs up the backyard, barks excessively, pulls you on walks, jumps up on people, or counter surfs, adding a second Golden will mean you’ll have two naughty dogs.

Make sure your current Golden is fully trained and obedient, before introducing a second Golden to the mix.

This, however, can be reversed as well. For instance, a younger Golden can teach your older one some new bad habits as well.

Perhaps your older Golden has grown out of digging in the backyard, but once he sees how much fun the younger one is having, he’ll want to join in too!

Training sessions and spending equal amounts of time with each dog individually can help to curb some of the bad habits.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Second Golden Retriever

Two happy Golden Retrievers laying together on a hardwood floor.

There are many reasons why owners decide to get a second Golden Retriever, including:

  • They love the breed.
  • Their current Golden is amazing, and they just want a second one.
  • They feel their current Golden could use a companion.

Whatever the reasons may be, adding another Golden Retriever to your household is a big decision that shouldn’t be made lightly.

Here are some important things you need to consider beforehand:

Your Financial Situation

Can you afford to properly care for two Golden Retrievers?

Adding a second Golden Retriever to your family will certainly pull on the purse strings!

The cost of food and treats, toys, grooming, vet bills, pet insurance, training, and other expenses quickly add up.

You need to be sure that you are financially capable of caring for two Golden Retrievers.

How Will Your Current Golden Retriever Feel?

Consider how your current Golden will feel about sharing his home, toys, and your love and attention with another dog.

Very few Golden Retrievers accept a new dog into their household right away, usually, there is a lengthy adjustment period lasting a few weeks to a few months.

There are also a few instances where adding a second Golden has not worked out. This usually results in having to rehome the new dog.

Before making the commitment, be sure to evaluate your current Golden Retriever, and if they enjoy being around other dogs, their energy level, play style, and health.

It would be unfair of you to bring home a second Golden, only to have your current Golden’s quality of life suffer.

Time & Commitment

Do you have the time and commitment it takes to care for two Golden Retrievers?

Sure, the two of them will keep each other company and play together, but, they will both want your attention as well.

Your new Golden Retriever will require plenty of your time and commitment to train and bond with, and your current Golden will require your attention equally to prevent feeling neglected.

Space

Having enough space for two full-size Golden Retrievers is an important factor to consider.

When fully grown, these dogs range in height from 51 to 61 centimetres and weigh anywhere from 55 to 75 pounds or more.

Having a large home with a large yard is ideal, but it’s not necessary.

Goldens can easily adapt to smaller homes, as well as apartment living. That is as long as they get plenty of daily activity in the form of exercise and mental stimulation.

Age Of Both Dogs

An adult Golden Retriever playing with a Golden Retriever puppy on a field of grass.

Many middle-aged to older Golden Retrievers don’t enjoy being around puppies, they’re just too much energy, and their constant nipping annoys them.

Some, however, enjoy being motherly toward them and taking them under their wing.

Age is an important factor to consider.

If you currently have a senior, a puppy might bring out the playfulness in him, but it could also wear him out and affect his health and mobility.

Typically, the most compatible arrangement is having two Goldens of similar ages, at least 2 years apart, so that they will have the same energy level.

You’ve probably heard of littermate syndrome, which is why it is not recommended to get two puppies of the same age, especially of the same litter.

But, the reason why a two-year age gap is preferred is that your current Golden will be fully trained, and you won’t go through the struggle of training two pups at once.

Of course, there’s no rule against getting a puppy when you have a senior dog at home. It just means you might have to step in and ensure the puppy is not too rambunctious for your older one.

Gender

Two Golden Retrievers sitting on a field of grass.  Both dogs are looking off to the side.  The male dog is wearing a red and black check bandana, and the female sitting behind him is wearing a pink bandana.

Most dog experts agree that dogs of the opposite sex get along better than dogs of the same sex.

Plus, for many Golden Retriever owners, having both a male and a female allows them to enjoy both genders.

But, that doesn’t mean two female Golden Retrievers or two male Golden Retrievers can’t get along in the same household.

While gender is an important factor to consider, it is more important to consider compatibilities, such as temperament and personality.

Two alpha males and two alpha females are likely to have jealousy and aggressive tendencies.

How To Properly Introduce Two Golden Retrievers

An adult Golden Retriever and a Golden Retriever puppy sitting outside in the snow together.

Alright, so now that you have decided that adding a second Golden Retriever into your home is the right decision. It’s time to look at the proper way to introduce both Golden Retrievers.

Bring Home Your New Golden’s Scent First

If you can, allow your current Golden to sniff the scent of your new one.

This is easier if you are bringing home a puppy, but can also be accomplished when bringing home an adult.

You can rub a blanket, towel, toy, sock, or any other item on the puppy, and bring the item home with you for your current Golden to sniff.

This allows your Golden to become familiar with the new puppy’s scent.

Introduce Them On Neutral Ground

Pick a neutral spot to make the introductions, such as a park, parking lot, friend’s house, etc.

This way neither dog will feel like their territory is being invaded.

Let both Goldens sniff each other, and become familiar with each other. Don’t force the interaction.

Remove Your Current Dog’s Possessions

Before bringing home your second Golden Retriever, be sure to put away toys, food bowls, and beds that belong to your current dog.

Doing so will ensure that there won’t be any jealous reactions from your current Golden if the new one goes near the items.

Once both dogs are comfortable around each other, you can return the items.

Separate Them During Meal Times

When it comes to feeding, it’s a good idea to separate both dogs. Many Golden Retrievers become territorial over food, and an incident can occur.

Separating also allows each dog to eat in peace, and not feel like it’s a competition.

Supervise Play

For the first little while, and especially if you have a puppy and an older dog, you will want to supervise their playtime.

A young puppy can be too exuberant for a senior dog, as well as a bigger dog can hurt a puppy by accident.

Another important tip is to ALWAYS remove your dog’s collars when they are playing together or unsupervised.

I have heard of too many close calls, from dogs almost being strangled because their collar got caught.

Expect An Adjustment Period

Don’t expect your two Golden Retrievers to take to each other immediately, I mean on rare occasions it does happen.

But, realistically, you should expect there to be an adjustment period.

It could take days, weeks, or even months for the two of them to accept each other.

This short video demonstrates the adjustment period of Sterling and Colin, the same two Golden Retrievers we watched in the video above.

Final Thoughts

Having two Golden Retrievers is certainly the best decision for many fellow Golden Retriever owners.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to come home to twice the tail wags, hugs, and kisses, and have double the fun?

However, there are certainly many factors to take into consideration such as your financial situation, and how your current Golden feels about sharing his home and you with another companion.

Adding a second Golden Retriever into your home is a huge decision, and it’s not always smooth sailing.

It’s a huge adjustment for your Golden as well as yourself.

Are you thinking of adding a second Golden Retriever to your family? Do you currently own two Golden Retrievers?

Share your thoughts, experience, and comments below. I would love to hear from you!

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I am the proud owner of a Golden Retriever named Ellie. She keeps me busy, and when she is resting, you can find me working on my blog. She is always close by though. I live in Stirling, ON Canada with my husband, and we both enjoy the never a dull moment life with our Ellie.

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2 thoughts on “Are Two Golden Retrievers Better Than One? [Not Necessarily!]”

  1. Thanks for such a comprehensive read on having two golden retrievers. This is a wonderfully informative post.

    I have only ever had one dog at a time. So many of the complexities of having two dogs, and two golden retrievers are new to me. The similarities with children/people are amazing when you think about it. 

    Dogs share so many of our traits and qualities that there are so many nuanced considerations that require our attention. 

    Do these ideas cross over to other breeds of dogs quite well? Thanks again for sharing such a great read.

    Reply
    • Hi Dale,

      Golden Retrievers are a special breed, and you’ll find that most owners will agree with me when I say that they are almost human.  

      They are extremely social and require plenty of our attention at all times!! LOL!  More so than any other breed.

      That being said, Golden Retrievers do best when they are with their companions (either human or other canines), which is why most owners decide on having two Goldens at a time.  

      Many of these important factors to consider as well as the pros and cons of having two Golden Retrievers, certainly apply to other breeds as well.

      Your financial situation, age and health of your current dog, how your dog acts and feels around other dogs, your lifestyle, etc, all need to be considered when adding a second dog into your home.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and kind words.

      Jenny.

      Reply

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