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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I agree with Kwhit. It's what the dog is accustomed to. We currently have 3 dogs. Neither of them have been a singleton so they don't know any different. The closest thing we have been to a "one dog family" is the days after we lost Phoenix in 2009. Reno was miserable as he was used to having his buddy around. Those days were few as we added Austin shortly thereafter and then added Lincoln.

I don't think having multiple dogs means they can't be spoiled. All of my guys are treated equally so there are no jealousy issues among them. And yes, they are all spoiled totally rotten!!! Fortunately we are in a position to have multiple dogs.

I think a one dog family is fine as that is all the dog knows. Owning multiple dogs isn't for everyone.
 

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4,215 Posts
I think it very much depends on the individual dog. I think some dogs really need a companion and some would rather have their humans (and their toys, etc.) all to themselves.

Riley is an only dog in a 2-adult household and he wouldn't have it any other way. But he's not a fan of other dogs, in general, so it's a little different with him.

He's okay with most small dogs and there are times when I think it might be good for him to have a playmate - a good-natured little Shih Tzu or something - but when I really stop to think about it, I'm not so sure. I really believe that Riley was cut out to be an only dog from day one. Even when he was a pup, he didn't like sharing me with Gunner - our GSD. He always tried to push Gunner away from me. And when we lost Gunner, Riley never skipped a beat. He never even looked for him. Didn't seem to miss him at all. So I really think that he's perfectly happy being an only dog.

I really can't imagine having another one at this point, either. Riley and I are pretty much joined at the hip and I don't think I'd want to take any of my attention away from him. He's my baby and I really don't think I have room in my heart for another dog right now.
 

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Nancy
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7,493 Posts
Hank is an 'only dog' but has companionship since we're home a lot. I don't want another dog, we had two dogs years ago, so it's more of a "been there, done that" mentality for me. If your dogs are alone a lot, a second dog would be nice but as long as s/he gets attention from their humans, an 'only' will do fine.
 

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Knife Swallower
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When I first adopted Ranger, I didn't think he was happy as an only dog. He'd never been in a house before, didn't understand people-dog relations and was generally lost at sea (though he hid it well). He'd a foster dog sister at his foster mom's place and would look to her when he was confused and she showed him the ropes, so to speak. Then he was in my house with no dogs...and all confused.

I made play dates with friends' dogs for 6 months until my brother adopted a dog. He'd bring his dog over every day to play with Ranger and Ranger loved it! Couldn't get enough! But by then he'd adjusted to being a house-dog and no longer "needed" dog companionship as much as he had in the first 6 months.

Now, Ranger is perfectly happy as an only dog. He loves when his buddy comes over to play but once it's bedtime he leaves his friend and goes downstairs with me. He gets very put out if his friend tries to come downstairs with him to sleep. Seems like he's just as happy when his friend leaves as he is when his friend arrives!

And when we get foster puppies, Ranger is an angel and plays with them night and day. He's much more forgiving of them when they curl up in his bed with him or sometimes even fall asleep on him. Ranger was very sad when our first foster puppy left but when the second puppy left, Ranger slept for a week straight besides getting up for pee breaks and meals!

If Lola has been on her own for awhile, then I think she's probably fine as an only dog. Sometimes as owners we project our feelings onto our dogs. You might think she's lonely, but she might have her own little routine down during the day and a new dog might disrupt her life more than enrich.

I agree with giving fostering a chance. You'll be able to see how Lola feels about having another dog in her space 24/7 and you'll be helping a dog who's in need. A win-win situation!
 

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Charlotte
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Jess is an "only" but I'm quite sure he's not lonely. He's not alone for more than a couple of hours at a time, he gets out to trails and parks a lot where he gets to play with other dogs( he has tons of "friends"), we go to my son's house every weekday to give his dogs a pee/play break, and when the time comes for us to leave, it almost seems that he is glad to get away and go back to "just us".
 

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I've thought about this, too. Max is definitely an only - when other dogs come to visit, he gets all excited and happy for about 1/2 hour and then he's ready for them to leave. . . .QUOTE]

This is exactly how Lacey is! This actually helped me to decide against a 2nd dog (plus the double expenses!)
 
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