Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday's Multiples

Starting today, we are going to have a new feature, 'Thursday's Multiples' featuring families having two or more dogs. Our guest today is Fran and her three dogs, (from left) Brody, Logan and Sugar.




1) Fran, let's start by you telling our readers your dogs names and ages.

Fran: Sugar, our adopted American Eskimo, just turned 8 years old on May 12th. Brody, our German Shepherd, turned 4 years old on March 8th. Logan, our other German Shepherd turned 1 year old on April 7th.


2) I know Logan is your newest addition. Tell us about his first day at his new home.

Fran: Logan's first day home was very easy. Logan was just going to turn 7 weeks old, and usually you're not allowed to bring them home until at least 8 weeks. We had a situation with Brody who was showing major depression over the lose of our Tucker. The breeder understood it, and told us, since we are seasoned German Shepherd owners we can bring him home earlier. Logan was used to other big dogs, and he also met Brody two weeks prior when we brought Brody and Sugar to the breeder's home for them to meet Logan. On the way home he was crying. It was his first time in a car, so I was singing a song, much to my husband's dismay! Soon as we got him home, I went and took Brody and Sugar out into the back yard. My husband met us with Logan. They ran to him and smelled him, and Logan was all excited, he wanted to play. And PLAY he did..right away with Brody. Then we all came in, showed him the water dish, and his spot to lay down, and he went to sleep. Soon as he woke up, out we went again, and he chased Brody all over. Dinner time, usually breeders have ONE big dish for all the puppies to eat from, so he had to learn that he was not to go into Brody's dish or Sugar's, that he had his own. Soon as he finished eating, he carried around his bowl, and then started to empty the three water dishes to play in the water! He followed Brody all over, Brody had not one moments rest. It's important to give the older dogs a rest from a puppy, and I did try, bringing Logan out in the porch. Brody cried. He didn't mind Logan's attention one bit and he wanted to be near him constantly. Sugar was happy since she was a bit bigger than Logan but soon she found him to be a thorn in her side and she didnt want to deal with his puppy antics. She would jump up on the couch, and he would find her right away! It was a very exciting and happy day for all of us, and as much as I was totally exhausted, our bond formed right away.

3) While you and your husband are the leaders of the pack, sometimes there is a hierarchy among multiple dogs in a family. Is there one among your three?

Fran: Yes, there is, and it's much easier for us humans to pick how it will be. It relieves the stress of the dogs having to figure it out. I have read they want US to do it for them. We had to have Sugar all the time to be at the bottom of the hierarchy since in her past she had issues. Even though she is small, wants to be dominant and shows it. That was the reason she was given up by her prior owners. 

4) How do you manage dinner time?

Fran: Everyone eats in the kitchen at the same time. No one touches the other's feeding dish. The boys eat on feeding stands. Sugar will go later when they are finished to see if they left anything on the floor. She has the habit of doing that. She can be full, and will still do it.They eat twice a day, in the morning and at night. I don't have to tell them, but they all go in a sit position. I put Brody's bowl down first in the feeding stand, then Logan's, then Sugar's. Then I give them the signal they can eat. Our signal is two slaps to the side of our leg, and "okay". Brody is a very slow eater, and usually finishes last.

 5) Tell us about grooming. Your three are definitely ones that require grooming. About how much time a week do you spend at that?

Everyday they get their teeth brushed. Sugar is not too keen on it, the boys love it. I brush them everyday, it's part of our ritual. We go outside in the morning, I have my tools already in the back porch, and I brush them. It's a good thing to do, you need to see if there are any bumps or anything we should be aware of. Brody gets his ears cleaned often as his ears tends to build up a lot of wax, usually three times a week for him. Logan once a week is enough. Sugar the same.
Trimming of nails.. that is my husband's job, they sit for him, and he does the clipping. It's very important to keep their nails nice and trim.

Right now both of my boys are shedding a lot, so I brush them more than once a day, several times in fact a day. If we are outside, I grab the comb and brush. It's good for their coat.Sugar doesnt shed as much, but she needs baths. The boys don't, they get two baths a year and that's it.

So honestly I can't give a time figure, I enjoy doing it, so it's not a chore for me. I feel brushing and combing is all part of the bonding we have with our dogs.
I start them very young. On day one when we brought home Logan I brushed him, I needed for him to get used to it. Also touching their paws helps so when it comes to trimming of nails there is never a issue.

6) Do you have any advice to give families who may be considering adding another dog or two to their family?

Fran: Yes, I feel one of the main things is to try to consider the dog you already have. Is he/she a couch potato or very active? I feel it's a good idea to try and match the same or almost the same activity level. Also to make sure you have the finances. Also most important is "TIME", having more than one dog is not for everyone. If a person doesn't have the time to play and interact and take care of one dog, getting another dog so that dog can have a playmate just isn't right. Yes dogs do play with each other and interact, Brody was a major babysitter for me with Logan. I didn't have to do the usual looking to see what the puppy was doing, he was with Brody! He kept him busy and active, therefore Logan was never into things, getting into trouble or chewing on things. I also make sure I give one on one time, just like we do with "human kids". Since I have three it's easy, two stay inside with each other, and I take one out to do some special playing with him or her, then I reverse it. Although my boys always want to be together, I do play with them separate. My three are very bonded with each other. Even though Sugar does not want to play with the boys, she wants to know were they are and what they are doing. They are all part of a pack.




1 comment:

Sandy Simmons said...

An interesting read. I loved it.