Can a second dog help with separation anxiety?

Your dog cannot stay alone and you are thinking about a second dog?

Pros and cons of having a second dog in separation stress

Yes, it can work, but it doesn't have to and even in the worst case, it can backfire.


Believe me, I know how difficult separation anxiety is. Your dog suffers and your life is not as it used to be. Almost everything depends on your dog and needs to be organized. I had exactly the same situation with my dog Lefi. It's understandable that you're trying to grasp at every straw you can find. A second dog is often suggested to someone by others or on the Internet. I have described three possible scenarios for you here, which I have also experienced in my training sessions (or on my own). Small spoiler, unfortunately it didn't work for us and we continued to stick to our training plan. I know it all takes a long time and the steps are incredibly small. But sometimes there is unfortunately no other way, for the benefit of your dog.

Your dog suffers from separation anxiety and you decide to adopt a second dog?

So what can happen? In the best case, you get the second dog and are overjoyed, because the two get along very well.

(I assume that for the scenarios listed below, because otherwise it can quickly become dangerous to leave the two alone. You should never take a risk. If the dogs don't get along, don't leave them alone! In addition to the stress of separation, there are unfortunately other issues waiting for you.)

scenario 1

The second dog is not afraid of separation and your dog will learn from him. He can relax with the second dog when you're not around. Perfect, the problem is solved!

scenario 2

You bring the second dog along, but it doesn't affect the first dog's separation anxiety. I had a similar example with my dogs Milo & Lefi. From the start, Milo was able to relax and stay alone. Milo has always been a loner in character. When Lefi came along as a second dog, I never expected that we would have to deal with the topic of separation anxiety. Wrong thought! From day one, Lefi panicked as soon as no one (especially not me) was with her. It didn't matter whether Milo relaxed next to it or not. So in Scenario 2, the other dog didn't bring the desired effect and you should keep working on the separation anxiety.

scenario 3

You bring in the second dog and he lets himself be inspired by the stress of the first dog. Now you have two dogs with separation stress. The work doesn't get any easier, it gets even harder, because the two relate in their behavior.

My advice:

If you're thinking about a second dog, try testing it first. Do you have a dog that your dog is used to and can be relaxed left alone? Take the test and see if your dog is influenced by the behavior of the other dog.


Try to find out in advance whether the dog suffers from separation anxiety or not. Unfortunately, this is often a topic that is not taken very seriously in adoption. Unfortunately, I've experienced this many times during my training sessions. The new dog owners were told that the dog can be left alone, which was not the case from the start. Through the analysis we could guess that this problem already existed before the adoption.


As you can see, it is also very individual here and it is difficult to predict whether the second dog will bring the desired effect or not. I have already worked several times with stable packs that could easily be without people. However, there were always dogs there (brought into the pack) that couldn't be without people and needed extra training. Unfortunately there is no guarantee.


You can find out how I was able to overcome separation anxiety with Lefi in my book, including our training plan.

Click here for the book: Finally relaxing alone