I have an almost 7-month-old male, neutered Cane Corso/ bullmastiff/ bully pit mix.I’vee had Zeek since 9.5 weeks old. He has the best temperament, has yet to show a single sign of aggression. He’s been working on socialization since the day i got him. He’s a mixed breed but the corso is the dominant gene. I had always planned on getting another puppy because I love dogs and figure another dog would keep Zeek company and give him someone to play with.
My concern comes from reading some of your articles about Cane Corsos going through a phase around 18 months. Would getting another puppy while Zeek’s 7 months and still growing prevent him from having issues with the other puppy if he does go through this phase? Should we wait until this phase passes and get another puppy when he’s a few years old? Scrap the idea altogether and just have a single dog household?
I would be looking at another mastiff type dog whether its a Boerboel, English or even another mix.
Mike – Woonsocket
I just have a couple of comments/suggestions. The first is that, before you add a second dog to “keep Zeek company and give him someone to play with” read this article I wrote “Second Dog – Good Idea or Not“. Second, I don’t think a Cane Corso goes through much of a “phase” at 18 months of age if it has been appropriately bred, socialized, supervised, and trained. Cane Corso owners in increasing numbers are neglecting to ensure that these aspects are part of the Cane Corso they buy and raise and some learn why they’re so important when their dog hits about 18 months of age.
18 months of age is just when most breeds start to enter adulthood. They come into their genetics a bit more in some cases and a lot more in others and if the aforementioned areas are wanting they can become a handful for a lot of people and an impossible handful for others. I get most calls about the Molosser breeds like the Cane Corso when they hit this age but it’s the same for all the breeds I see. It’s just with a Cane Corso, they are physically powerful, very large dogs capable of doing a lot more damage than the average breed. Without the sort of attention to detail, I’ve mentioned another breed like a Golden Retriever may not turn out to be aggressively unfriendly but just may be aggressively overly friendly even when asked to suck it up by their owners. Either way, the problem is that the dog owner is then faced with changing the behavior in an adult as opposed to a youngster. Harder.
If you want to get another dog I generally recommend the opposite gender and opposite temperament. By temperament, I mean as it pertains to other dogs. If Zeek is a natural follower around other dogs then get him a companion that is more inclined to lead but not so much that he’s going to be bullied day in day out by some megalomaniac of a dog. Vice versa applies. Problems have been known to arise when the dogs are evenly matched in “dog to dog” attitude whether high or low on the spectrum.
The conflict between dogs occurs in a lot of households as well over perceived resources when the dogs’ owner(s) are not crystal clear from the get-go and with built-in daily reminders throughout life, as to who is living in whose home, so there’s that too. You can get away with things in a single dog home that you can’t in a multiple dog home. Hierarchy, exercise, training etc. become much more important for many reasons but certainly for keeping the peace between the dogs as well.