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Hi all! I'm picking up my Australian labradoodle puppy in a week and a half (yippee!) to join our family of three and our six-year-old lab and I have a zillion questions. I've been browsing this site for several weeks and have gotten some great info, but at least half a zillion questions still remain! :wink: Here's the first:

One of the puppy training books I've been reading suggests that if you add a second dog to a household, you need to play with the puppy roughly three times more than she plays with your other dog... otherwise, the books claims the puppy will bond with the other dog and will find that because it's so much more fun to do the doggy wrestling, biting, etc. than it is to listen to a human, you'll have a hard time training the puppy and she won't be as interested in the relationship with you as she is with being with the other dog. Do you have any thoughts on that? It seems like it'll be very difficult to do since it's summer and we'll all be out in the yard a lot -- how do you keep the dogs from playing together "too much"? Have any of you with multiple dogs had trouble with the second dogs not bonding with you as well?

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to posting more as time goes on!
 

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First of all, Welcome, MountainDoodle, and congrats on your new puppy!
You bring up some interesting questions about the puppy bonding. I don't know that the time spent with the puppy and your "old" dog is as important as the time YOU spend with them. My first concern would be to make the older dog not feel jealous or threatened by the new puppy. Spending so much alone time with the puppy may be setting yourself up for some real jealousy issues with your older dog if you are not careful. I always tried to spend a little extra alone time with my first dog, so that she wouldn't feel that she was being "replaced."
 

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tykesmom said:
First of all, Welcome, MountainDoodle, and congrats on your new puppy!
You bring up some interesting questions about the puppy bonding. I don't know that the time spent with the puppy and your "old" dog is as important as the time YOU spend with them. My first concern would be to make the older dog not feel jealous or threatened by the new puppy. Spending so much alone time with the puppy may be setting yourself up for some real jealousy issues with your older dog if you are not careful. I always tried to spend a little extra alone time with my first dog, so that she wouldn't feel that she was being "replaced."
This is my first time to have 2 dogs, and I did what Tykesmom said, make sure the first one doesn't feel neglected... I don't limit the amount of time the dogs play together, but my new pup had bonded with us just fine! I totally agree that it is about the time YOU spend with them!!!
 

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Hummm...what an interesting question. I just got my 2nd doodle a month ago, so I'm no expert, but I agree with Jenny and tykesmom. I generally give the girls the same amount of attention and I try (some days unsucessfully) to give each a little one on one attention. I have found that Juno (the puppy) is much more interested in her big sister than she is interetsed in me. When Uma was 6 months old her world revovled around me and my husband, but Juno seems more dependent on Uma.
 

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When we got our 2nd doodle Peanut she was 9wks old and max was 7mos old.
What we did was let them play/bond etc, but also would give each doodle one on one time alone.
We did the same when we added a 3rd doodle too.

I also did daily training with both using one for distratction training and later would crate one and train the other separately too.

I never played rough with Peanut or Max or Beau. IN fact , later on when your doodle looks to you as the Leader, they won't.
 

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in my opinion, it seems like dogs don't really have a sense of what "fairness" is in the same way people do -- so i wouldn't worry too much about making sure that you spend exactly the same amount of one-on-one time with each dog. it seems like dogs are more concerned with pack order and the entitlement that comes with being higher in that order. my interpretation of dog jealousy is more like "hey, you have something i want (attention) right now and because i'm higher up than you i am entitled to shove you out of the way or act aggressively until i get it and you don't". i don't believe they're capable of keeping track of how much time you spend with them vs. the other dog and getting upset about it -- it's more about what's going on right now, in the moment.

we currently have 2 doodles, 6 months and 2 years old. they have their own crates, and are generally separated in the house (by a baby gate) except during times we've given them explicit permission to play. the puppy is restricted to the living room / kitchen, and the older dog gets the rest. around 9 or 10pm we put the pup in his crate and the older dog gets to hang out with us for the rest of the night. when only one of us is around, the dogs are walked separately; when both of us are around we all go together. outings to the dog park are together too. we have just started training both dogs to go for a walk at the same time with only one of us, and still have a ways to go on that.

we probably spend more one-on-one time with the puppy, because frankly he needs the most supervision and training right now. it is impossible to train a puppy by oneself with another dog in the room. if both of us are in the room, one of us works on "stay" with the older dog while the other trains the puppy. but mostly, the pup gets more focused attention. i haven't noticed that the puppy has bonded more to our other dog than to us. we also have experienced no adverse reaction or bad behavior from our other older dog. we DID start using "time outs" in the bathroom (for a few minutes) when he got to riled up, or started barking to try to entice the puppy to play from the other side of the baby gate -- the time outs seem to have done their job because he doesn't do those behaviors much anymore.

keeping the dogs separated most of the time has helped us a LOT with controlling barking levels -- if the barking starts they don't get to play any more -- and also with housebreaking, since puppies tend to pee when they're excited or really active. another thing we do while they play is interrupt them periodically to make them do a sit or a down, and give them something really tasty. this has served to teach them to always be paying attention to us, even if it is just a little bit. also, they've learned that being interrupted doesn't necessarily mean the end to playing, since we let them go back at it after a couple of minutes. we've been slowly allowing them to spend more and more time together -- i expect as the puppy matures we'll reach a point where the baby gate will go away and they'll be allowed free access to each other.

sorry so long -- i hope this helps...
-em
 

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This is a good question.....Welcome, MountainDoodle, and congratulations on your new puppy!
We kept a puppy from Tuesday's litter.(now 8 months) He has ran side-by-side with Tuesday, only separated when I put him in his crate when we were gone.(he offically is free of the crate for 2 weeks now as he has been tested and has done great!!)
When I read your post I was thinking about it. Marley listens, but alot of the time he looks to Tuesday before he makes his move. Like when I ask him to come, if Tuesday see's he is not doing what he is asked, she will come to me and he will follow her. I guess I am lazy and need to take more time with him alone to make sure he has everything down...somehow I suspect he does though. For me Tuesday has HELPED me teach my younger dog.
I always make sure if one gets patted, the other does too.
I don't feel however, that he is bonded more to his mother than us, he is very much a people dog and is eager to please us! :D
 

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one weird thing about our two doodles. We got Hershey first, and because she was alone with us she is very confident on her own. she can lay on the deck in the sun watching birds and be a happy dog. We got Gus second and he went from being with littermates, to being abandoned, to being with us and Hershey. He doesnt play outside by himself, he will sit and wait at the door for either us of Hershey to come out with him. Not sure how we could have avoided this, it would be nice if he liked the yard by himself as well. sometimes Hershey wants to stay in and nap and Gus wants to go outside and just sits there and waits for her.
 

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I should have added that too.....Marley and Tuesday are connected at the hip. They are very much like your 2 Kingston Todd. And as I said, Marley has been here since birth.
 

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Todd - I find your story interesting. Dex has been with us since he was 9 weeks old. He got used to our work schedule and has no problem with it. Kirby came to us at 13 months and it took a bit of time for him to adjust. He wound up really disliking his crate and now is finally much more settled in a routine - I think he dislikes being alone much more than Dex does.

When we get home from work, Dex just wants to play and all Kirby wants is to be with us. He will "hug" us...Dex just stands there with a stick in his mouth waiting for the chase to begin - he seems to care we're home, but mostly because he will get to go outside (and then eat dinner). Kirby also always follows us around the house and Dex will now stay put where he is if he's tired enough.

That overly long story is my way of saying that our 2nd dog seems to have bonded more to us than to Dexter. He enjoys playing with Dex too, but he chooses us first. However he was not a puppy when we got him :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the responses (and the welcomes as well!). It sounds to me like it's mostly going to depend on the personality of the second dog, and is of course a bit dependent on making sure to spend one-on-one time with both. Our lab is about as laid-back as they come but he does have some issues with the cat getting attention (no aggression, just shoving and pushing and stepping on the cat when the cat's being petted, and coming at break-neck speed when he hears the cat being called) so I'm planning to be mindful of that anyway.

I also plan to do puppy classes throughout the first year of the new one's life so that will probably help with the bonding with her.

I told the breeder in the beginning I was looking for a very people-centric dog anyway because our lab was so dog-crazy when he was a pup that if we'd had another dog he wouldn't have wanted anything to do with us... hopefully her allocation is right!

I just have to decide if I'm going to separate them part of the time like Em... I guess I'll just see how things shake out when we get the puppy and see what her personality is like. I plan to crate-train her when we're gone and the lab will be outside or loose in the garage so that'll be a separation.

On question -- Katie, does it bother you that Juno is more interested in Uma than you guys?

Thanks again!

Traci
 

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Coco was just a little over a year old when we got Abby.
Abby came home at 8 weeks old.
They got along famously immediately....with Coco mothering her somewhat and deferring to her....like letting her steal the chew toy.

They are joined a tthe hip now...love to play wildly outside if it isn't too hot....and have only been seperated when I leave them here alone.
Coco stays out...( meaning out of the crate and free to roam the house) and Abby is either in her crate, which she loves, or tethered to the leg of the kitchen table. She sleeps under a chair the whole time I'm gone. I left them free together one time and they became
partners in crime....chewed my visor up, two pairs of flip flops and
a pencil...also the african violet....Soooooooo, they are seperated every time they are left alone in the house. Coco wouldn't have done all that, if she hadn't had Abby's clever ideas....but, they are both equally guilty!
Forgiven, but GUILTY!

We go one walks together....in the right formation....they can't stand being on the wrong side of each other....they heel and do the loose leash, most of the time...but that took a long time!!

They sit and wait for the dinner and only go to their bowls when released from the stay....They tattle on each other when one gets the others toy or bone....Barking at me to fix it.

You'll figure out how to spend the time with each one and then together..
personality does matter....but it usually will shake out and be a very
natural fit.
8)
 
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