Monday, 11 April 2016

Reality Check!

I will be absolutely honest with you, I love both my girls and wouldn't be without them, but having a second goldie pup does change things. No matter what anyone tells you, two are not as easy as one!


Setting aside the obvious comments about finances, space and time, I'd say if you feel 'goldie broody' again, there's probably quite a bit to think about!  For a start, it's important to train your dogs individually as well as together, to allow th
em the opportunity to become well rounded dogs, ie dogs who are not too dependent on one another for confidence. Taking separate walks, as well as joint walks will become very important if pup is to learn how to cope out in the big wide world on his/her own.


To begin with, pup will need shorter walks than your older dog and rather than the long rambles through the countryside you have probably come to enjoy, pup may benefit from daily pavement walks, to practice walking to heel on her own without the older dog present ... walking two together is hard work to start with if Betty and Polly were anything to go by!  Betty never failed to try and pull forward to be 'the leader' and to begin with, I struggled to manage her on a lead if we were out walking with Polly.  After several months of hard work and loads of consistent training, I can now walk both girls together calmly on their leads but this has been a long time coming and was very tiring at times.


 Bear in mind, if they are playing off lead, two goldies who live together can become very excitable, so you will need to find local areas where they can play safely together, without making a nuisance of themselves in public. My two love a good game of chase, not to mention a wrestle!


A new pup will learn from an older dog, not only the good, also the bad!  New pup will teach your older dog a thing or two about puppy play too, so your previously polite, obedient older dog may suddenly start racing around like a puppy again!  As you can imagine, it's pretty important to have your first dog as well trained as possible before adopting a second.  


When pup joins your family, you may experience new issues with your older dog becoming possessive, or feeling they need to guard/protect you and pup on walks by barking/lunging at other dogs unacceptably.  So not only will you have a new pup to train, you may find you need to retrain your first dog too!


Our first year with two young dogs has been a challenge but I have loved it.  I am lucky in that I am at home with them all day and can give them the training, exercise and attention they both need, together and separately. I'd say if you are considering adopting a second pup, take your time to give it very serious thought and be completely honest with yourself about whether you really want your world turned upside down for the next year at least ... it's not all cosy puppy cuddles! If the answer is yes and you have the time, strength, patience, energy, space and financial wherewithal, then it will be an absolute a joy to watch your two goldies grow together.



That said, don't forget, if you are houseproud, two goldies in winter is bloomin' hard work - think mud, mud, mud, mud, and more mud!

:-)

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