June 6, 2014

Five Things I Love About Having Two Dogs

They entertain each other.
This is probably the greatest benefit to becoming a two-dog household again, especially for a high-energy dog like Ruby. The ginger sisters lay in the morning sun together while I'm fixing their breakfast and wrestle on the bed while I'm getting ready for work. I am able to be more productive in the evenings during the week, since the dogs play together for much of the night. 

Learning more about dog behavior by watching them interact. 
It's incredible to see the relationship develop between Ruby and Boca, particularly the way that Ruby defers to her. Boca is exceedingly gentle and patient, perhaps due to her experience as a young mother. Ruby is so obviously happier overall and enjoys having a big sister to look up to and emulate and I adore seeing more of Boca's personality emerge every day.

Trying out my training skills with a new dog. 
Ruby's brilliance has made some aspects of training a piece of cake, namely teaching new behaviors. It's been really fun for me to see how what I've learned with Ruby translates to Boca. She has been a fairly quick study so far, and I'm excited to think up some two-dog tricks to work on. I also look forward to doing some things with Boca that aren't possible with Ruby due to her reactivity, such as trips to the farmers' market or dog-friendly businesses.

Mealtime is easier.
Ruby has been a historically picky eater, but now that Boca has been integrated into our feeding routines, the dog food juggle has gone more smoothly. The dogs eat on either side of my attached kitchen island, and their bowls are licked clean every time. I'm thrilled that this has enabled me to make the switch entirely to dehydrated mixes for breakfasts, as previously Ruby had been hit or miss with The Honest Kitchen. 

Double the snuggles. 
Just look at them - need I say more? 

 

13 comments:

  1. awwhh... I can relate with all of that! What a cute little family you have! Interesting about the food. Stella now cleans her plate when its breakfast time. She only does that when other dogs are in the house.

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  2. I'm glad you've had such a great experience with two dogs, it makes me even more excited to have Tessa in our home in a few weeks!

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  3. I wish the keeping each other entertained part were true here. But I definitely love that I am SO much more knowledgeable about dog behavior by watching my three with each other and with other dogs (plus I can put behavior theories and studies I read to the test!) It is less stressful that the crash course I got working in a doggie daycare. And with three very different dogs to train, I am an infinitely better and more versatile trainer! Best of all, Wilhelm never ate fruits or vegetables when he was an only dog. Watching Brychwyn and Huxley actually enjoy these foods (the way Tynan did!) has made a healthier eater out of Wilhelm!

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  4. Do you have any issues regarding Ruby teaching Boca "bad behaviors" due to the reactivity say when you are all out together?

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    1. Great question, Melody! I had a previous pair of dogs, with one being leash-reactive (to dogs) and one being very well-adjusted. My reactive dogs' behavior never "rubbed off" on the well-adjusted dog, and I'm not seeing any signs of that happening with Ruby and Boca. I believe that reactivity is a deeply rooted issue having to do with genetics and temperament and not a learned behavior.

      I do want to take Boca to some places on her own so that she can continue to meet other dogs on-leash, since that isn't possible when I'm walking both dogs and practicing avoidance for Ruby's sake.

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  5. We are always a two dog family. I think they need another dog friend no matter how much they love us.

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    1. My home feels so much more complete now!

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  7. I love having more than one dog. What I find fascinating about our pack are the different personalities, how they interact with each other, and how the interact with us. We laugh daily about their antics.

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    1. It is so fun getting to know their little quirks, isn't it?

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  8. There are some things I miss about having two dogs - and I think if I could be guaranteed to have two that got along as well as Ruby and Boca, I'd probably try it again. I love hearing about both of them and how well they are getting along. They both have such different personalities that definitely compliment one another!

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  9. I think having two dogs is much more than twice the work, but the fact that they keep each other company and keep each other busy makes it worth it...

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