What Are the Pros and Cons of Getting A 3rd Dog? Does Gender Matter?

If you are considering getting a 3rd dog into your home, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea or not and, if it is, whether the gender of the third dog matters.

When contemplating it, you should start by looking at the general pros and cons of getting a third dog.

So, What Are the Pros and Cons of Getting A 3rd Dog? Does Gender Matter?

There are numerous pros of having a 3rd dog in the household. But this, of course, is accompanied by cons and extra responsibilities. Here is a list of pros and cons to help you weigh out your best option.


1. More companionship

Dogs have been proven to be man’s best friend and excellent companions.

Having a third pet can promote pet ownership’s emotional, physical, and social benefits, such as feelings of delight and love.

It might also offer more opportunities to bond with other animal lovers and pet owners.

2. Helps dogs socialize

According to dog experts, dogs might go into flight mode or fight when they encounter strange animals due to increased stress.

Dogs that are not used to walking in public, coming across new faces, and smelling other intrusive canines may look shy or display signs of aggression.

Hence, puppies must get used to such situations earlier through puppy classes to be introduced to other people, dogs, and different situations.

Adding a third dog might benefit the pets by increasing companionship and socialization depending on their personality.

However, if your dogs are not used to other dogs, they might need more patience and time.

3. More options and incentives for exercise

Getting a third dog will encourage you to get more exercise when playing and walking with your dogs as a pet owner.

According to research statistics, dog owners added approximately twenty minutes to their daily walk compared to those without dogs.

The research indicates that dog owners walk at an average pace of three miles per hour which falls under the prescribed moderate-intensity exercise by the CDC.

With lack of movement associated with obesity, having more than one dog, in this case, adding a third dog, will help owners become health-conscious and active.

Additionally, if the dogs need different exercises methods and durations, you will need to offer each dog their appropriate wants while getting more exercise sessions yourself.


1. More work

One of the main drawbacks of getting a third dog is increased work.

Having two dogs can be more than twice as much work as having one, and having three can need way back more than three times of work.

A third dog will mean more mess around and more paws trekking filths around your home for house pet owners.

You will need to bathe an extra dog, clean more toys, get another bed, pick up an extra poop, and even more dog fur around your household.

So, think if you will be okay with the extra work and have sufficient time to handle it.

2. Extra expenses

Of course, adding an extra pet dog will mean having an extra mouth to feed, an additional cuddly body to groom, and one more companion to take to the veterinarian.

According to reports by Time Magazine, a small to a big dog averagely costs $1000 to $1450 annually.

This breakdown also includes additional fees such as neuter and spray services and other resources that dogs might need with unique conditions.

Therefore, before you sign the papers to purchase a third dog, you should be sure you can afford the extra costs that come with the third dog.

3. Higher risk for more chaos

Dogs will always be dogs. When they come across a strange new dog, they are likely to become hostile.

This is especially so if you don’t regularly take them for a walk to meet other dogs and people.

More so, if your current dogs are females, bringing in a third female gives a higher probability of violence and chaos.

It is your responsibility to train, watch and keep them together successfully.

Does Gender Matter?

Gender significantly matters when adopting a third dog due to the dominance levels of other dogs at home. Naturally, female dogs rarely fight with male dogs.

On the other hand, males tend to fight constantly and refuse to share.

Hence, you will want to get a more submissive dog or puppy that will follow the lead of the dogs already in the house.

What Gender Should the Third Dog Be?

If you are considering getting a third dog, we would recommend you to get a male dog.

This is because female dogs are more likely to fight with dogs they live with, and the injuries are most likely to be more severe.

Having two females in the house will offer you the lowest chance of having a peaceful household compared to having two males.

While your two female dogs get along well, it does not mean they will accept another female in the house. They may, but a male is the safest option.

Six Tips For a Less Confrontational Introduction of a Third Dog

Bringing a third dog into the household can either be exciting to the current dogs or create stress and aggression between these canine friends.

Understanding how to handle pet introductions can go a long way in ensuring a harmonious introduction for your third dog.

Some of the tips that can help have a less aggressive introduction for your third dog include;

1. Bring The Third Dog Home Alone

Leave your current dogs at home when you go to get the new dog.

This will be a safe idea for everyone as managing the interaction of the new dog when driving will be impossible.

The small space could also make the first meeting to be more irritable.

2. Be Realistic

Have reasonable expectations when bringing a third dog into your pack.

Understanding the background of the new dog and how well it was socialized can help you manage what will occur.

3. One On One, Initially

Introduce each resident dog to the new dog one at a time.

This will help avoid both dogs from overwhelming the new member.

4. Take Your Time

Carry out the introductions calmly and slowly.

Slow-paced introductions might help in preventing any aggressive or fear-based reactions from being generated.

If unsuitable desires are not restrained initially, they can develop into a habit and become very challenging to manage in the future.

5. Don’t Leave Them Alone

Do not leave your new dog unattended- When more than one dog pets meet, it’s only safe to always keep an eye on them as the situation can change at any time.

6. Stay In Charge

Keep in control of the introduction. If not certain how your resident pets will react, you should take the necessary precautions and keep the new dog safe.

Stay adaptable and patient as you train your new dog to trust you and at the same time assure your resident dogs that you will continue being there for them.

Developing a good relationship between the new and resident pets takes time.

Final Thoughts

Take your time to weigh these pros and cons before you sign the adoption papers while ensuring that everyone-you and your two dogs – is on board for the third dog.

Keep in mind that there will be an adjustment period for you and the dogs, and the timeframe is different for everyone.

Training and management of any behavioral challenges in your current dogs before bringing the third dog can help.


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Adding a 3rd dog? Pros/Cons help? – Germansherpherds.com 


Does gender matter when adopting a third dog? – Mi Dog Guide