|Sunny - Aliyah's CN- SunSpots|
I want to lick- your brain!
|Barked: Fri Jan 4, '08 2:46pm PST |
|"Yes." I too have always owned single dogs consecutively all my life, and am on my second Aussie (I own). We recently fostered a wonderful, low-key, loveable Aussie boy with our bossy little girl, but decided it was "2 dogs too much."
Individually, they were fine, but together, they were running herd through the house and constantly playing, wrestling, knocking stuff over, and suddenly I lived with the dogs instead of the dogs living with me. They are both loveable, but they both paid significantly less attention to me while the other was there, and trying to get them to listen was something else altogether. They learned reasonably well, and we had them doing "synchronized sitting", but the only way we weren't pulling our hair out was to keep them separated a lot of the time (one upstairs with my bf, one downstairs with me).
And while it started out with "Oh boy, a playmate!" and ended with, "I miss my buddy" the in-between time was a lot like bickering siblings. "He's shoving toys in my face!" "She's sitting on me!" "Mom!" There was jealousy, mostly by my (own) dog, and she's not very old, so it's not like a 10-year old who was an only-child his whole life. They largely got along well playing with the same toys, but a lot of it was, "I want the one HE has, because he has it." And bones, rawhides and other things created guarding behaviors and tension, so we did away with them altogether while they were together.
I can't say I felt MORE loved. Sure, there were two of them, and they both sought attention, affection, and gave plenty of love, but I didn't feel like there was enough of me to go around, and with this realization on their end, eventually I was forgotten altogether, except in terms of what I could do for them...
And while Sunny retained her genius, she didn't learn any new tricks during the time he was there (not enough individual time to work with her, for one), and while Champ wasn't a dummy, he seemed like he had been around dogs too long. I expect he will "brighten up" significantly now that he's an only dog and doesn't have any other doggy distractions. When I was teaching him one-on-one, he learned quickly. But together, he interestingly always looked at Sunny for cues and followed her lead. "Sit!" *Sunny immediately sits.* *Champ looks over at Sunny, slowly sits, and then looks back at me.*
So, if you've always had one single dog, I understand the question and concerns. I volunteered as a foster-home because I wanted to help, but it was also largely an experiment to try out having 2 dogs to see if it was right for me, and personally, I think the answer was a resounding "No!"
Both dogs were wonderful, sweet, good-natured, and got along pretty well - an ideal situation - but it was certainly an eye-opener for me. I'll continue fostering on a case-by-case basis, because I want to help out, but I think I know the answer to my question and concerns now, without being committed to the situation. Perhaps you could try something similar? We had our foster for 2 months, and probably could have kept him if we wanted to. We love him dearly, and will keep in touch with his new owner, and there's a part of me that wishes there was a way I could have both of them individually, but together, we agreed it was 2-dogs too many! ;-)
These are just our (personal) findings! I'm sure other people have different points of view and different experiences. We're now back to our single-dog family, where it's MUCH quieter, just as lovey (if not more, since she's paying attention to me again?), and we feel free to do things and go places again, because we don't have to include both of them. (I could certainly bring them somewhere without the other before, but I always felt guilty if it was someplace fun. But the reality is you can only have one dog under your control at a time.)
What kind of person are you? Do you like chaos, or order? Logic, or emotion? Do you like to be the center of attention, a part of the group, or off on the side? I feel I'm an orderly, logical, likes to be the center of attention kind of person, and it didn't work out for me. If you lean towards the other side on any of those, it might work out for you, and if you're a polar-opposite to me, you may love it!
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