Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday's Multiples - Families with multiple dogs are all so different. Let's see what Kelly has to say!



Thank you, Kelly, for sharing with us today.

1) Would you start by telingl us how many dogs you have, their names and ages?

Kelly: We have 4 dogs: Cinnamon 16 yrs, Riley 5 yrs, Squirt 2 yrs, and Sammy 1 yr.

2) Could you tell us about their individual personalities? We know you are pack leader, but do they have a hierarchy among themselves? 

Kelly: Honestly they are all very different dogs. Maybe a little too different from each other. Cinnamon has always been extremely sweet, mellow, and cuddly. She is a foodie and likes Italian, Mexican, and especially peanut butter, but never ever jelly. She hates veggies, but loves meats and sweets! She and I have an extremely special bond and I reflect on her life a lot lately and she's nearing the end of it. I'm rambling, though...

Riley came to me from SC without me ever even meeting him, but I had to have him! He is also quite sweet and mellow. He wouldn't look me in the eye when he first got here, but has slowly come around to it. I think it's a trust, non challenge thing. He is my rabbit chaser and no matter how much I yell, "Riley, noooo!" he just has the drive and can't stop til the bunny is out of the yard. Or... there was that time he brought one in to the house. Eeeee! Oh, he is also my napping buddy. Each time I nap on the weekends, he's the one who comes with me. He has to or else he will paw on the door the entire time.

Squirt. Aaaaaah SQUIRT. He is my problem child. He has some pretty heavy duty behavioral problems. He is afraid of everything, especially people. We can't have anyone over else he will bark incessantly. He barks outside at the neighbors if they get too close to the fence. He has really made our lives kind of difficult, but we are choosing to keep him as we wouldn't want him to bounce around (we are already his 2nd home) or worse. We started with a behaviorist, but that is a long story. On the flip side, he is hysterical! He rarely sits still and his giant radar ears are always "on". Even when he sleeps they are tuning in to Mars, one will tune in to a noise towards the north, the other a noise to the south. He is ball centric, HAS to sleep squished up next to my husband EVERY night, and is extremely smart. His Mafia name is Tommy Two Tones. Forgot to mention Riley's mafia name is Frankie Two Teeth and Sammy is Sammy the Bull.
Which brings me to Sammy, my foster fail. Was only supposed to have him for a week. Squirt wanted to kill him for the first 5 or so days, but I knew they'd be buddies and now they are. Sammy is petite. He is all legs and I think he learned from brother Squirt that chasing a ball is fun! He doesn't like to get his feet wet and will go to great extremes to avoid getting his feet wet outside. He is shy around people and he loves the next door neighbor's dog. They will run the fence, but not territorially. They truly have fun. he tries so very hard to get big brother Riley to play, but Riley will have none of it. He loves to play with Squirt!! They wrestle quite a bit.

Heirarchy: yes, it's complicated, though. Squirt is the loudest, bossiest, most irritating somewhat aggressive dog in the house. he bosses Riley, Riley bosses Sammy, and Sammy (the smallest) bosses Squirt (the meanest!)! No idea how that happened. Everyone seems to leave Cinnamon alone though Sammy can give her a little growl here and there.

3) What is your key to keeping the peace among several dogs? 

Kelly: For the most part we don't have to "keep the peace". Every now and again Squirt will seem to try to intimidate Riley and we just try to step in as best we know how. "No Squirt" etc. We give Riley extra assuring cuddles if he does get intimidated. I don't see Riley really caring about it, he pretty much ignores it and doesn't back down.

4) How do you manage dinnertime with your pack?

Kelly: Oh, there is some peace to keep here. We learned the hard way that once again the smallest in the house, Sammy, has some food aggression. He is just fed in a different spot in the house while the other 3 eat. Cinnamon is the slowest so I am usually sitting with her guarding her food from Squirt and Riley. They are vultures when they finish. But like I said, Cinnamon is the sweetest dog ever and if they both started chowing out her bowl with her she wouldn't mind. I just don't let them.

5) Any advice you can give to someone thinking of adding additional dogs to their family?

Kelly: Hmmm... I'm not sure I'm the best person to give advice. I don't follow Cesar or Victoria. I don't read up on behavior like I probably should. I will say going from 1 dog to 2 is pretty different, but after that it's all the same! haha! Just a bunch of dogs milling around. I'm sure there is all sorts of good advice out there about introducing a new dog to your pack before you even bring home the new dog, but I don't do that. I just get 'em! They are all from different states: CA, SC, MO, and OK so no, they never met! We just try to give them all what they want. There are times when I am throwing a ball for Squirt, a different ball for Sammy, I'm rubbing Riley's belly, and petting Cinnamon as she patrols around for food. It can get a little overwhelming trying to spread the love, but it's worth it!

You seem to have such a relaxed approach! Great interview. Thanks, Kelly.


1 comment:

Tucker said...

Aww what a sweet pack, I can feel all the love Kelly has for them via her words...hugs fran