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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In researching and trying to prepare for our new two dog household I actually had a hard time finding information. There is definitely information for the inititial stuff, greetings, feeding, etc. Most of it seemed to be for the introductory period though and not a lot on the ins and outs of daily life of living with two or more dogs. No real specifics. And of course, not much addressing the Spoo and mini poo combo. So….for my own learning as this really is new to us, I thought it would be helpful to me but also for others to have a thread for the two dog/poodle journey. I noticed a couple of people on this forum are interested in our Spoo and mini poo adventure so I think it would be a great leaning thing for all. I know there is a ton of wisdom on this forum of which I am so grateful for. So with that all being said here are some of our personal observations as we enter our 3rd day as a two dog/poodle household.

I love being a two dog household. I love saying, “The boys” and “the dogs.”

The feeding routine, surprisingly is our biggest struggle. The things I thought would be a huge challenge aren’t. I never dreamed feeding would be a major challenge. Between both dogs being easily distracted, poodle Velcro syndrome and slow poodle eaters it’s been a bit of a challenge. It’s not just enough to feed them in separate places like all the books and websites tell you. This is where the Poodle Velcro syndrome comes into play as obviously I can’t be in two rooms at the same time. I have found I need to feed at separate times with the poodle not currently eating distracted with something else in another room. It’s bit of a challenge but it is getting better as we figure things out. This is where I wish we had dogs who like to inhale their food. 😉

Mini poodles are fast!!! Really fast!!!:ROFLMAO:
I figured Joey would be fast but man, that little pup races around the yard like a rocket! I love to see his ears fly! He is our first little dog and with that being said….I am so afraid I’m going to step on the little guy. Also, I thought Bobby was a heavy duty sniffer. Joey has him beat by a mile!!! Lol!! His nose is constantly to the ground outside. Is this a mini poo thing? I think he could be a truffle dog! He’s already found 3 stinky dead worms to roll in. Yuck!
Bobby doesn’t sniff for dead worms like Joey seems to enjoy doing.

Last observation for today… it is a joy to watch two dogs play, especially mouth wrestling. I love having one dog but two dogs, I already am seeing has some specialness to it. Of course I’ve seen dogs play many times but it’s endearing to watch my very own two dogs.:love:
 

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Yep, mini poos are really, really active! Zoe still has the zoomies 2-3 times a week. She comes out of her crate every morning ready for action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would really love some specific ideas and tips for playtime. Bobby and Joey are doing very nicely when they are together. The only main concern is if Bobby gets too exuberant in running or playing, which is not too often or too bad at this point. He doesn’t pester like I thought he would. He’s very careful actually but I am afraid he may accidentally hurt little Joey. Just like me, Joey freezes when Bobby gets the zoomies. 😉 Or he zooms under something. And if I feel things are too hyped up I just redirect them to something else to settle the energy level. But I still worry.

Anyway, the real thing I want to address is the human and dog playing time. I am finding because they both want to join the fun it gets a bit tricky. I feel a little at a loss. They each want to play at the same time or have the same toy. This isn’t an issue when it’s just them. Bobby is actually quite respectful of Joey’s toys. It’s nothing serious but I would like to actually engage with playtime more. I’d also like to do this right so I don’t create a problem. I have been able to play fetch with Bobby because Joey likes to sniff so much.
I know I can separate them but Bobby, I think, may see it as a punishment as he definitely complains. It’s the dreaded FOMO problem poodles have. 😉 I may just need to have them take turns. I could have Bobby do a sit or down stay but with Joey, we have a ways to go, of course. I would love some ideas, specific toy and game ideas and techniques for two dog households would be fabulous. I am taking advantage of the times each dog is alone with me but I am finding it more of a challenge to engage in play sessions when they both are wanting to play.

I’m so new at the two dog thing. I have
so much to learn!
Bobby got so much attention when he was little. I feel like I did when my second kid was born. 😉 Maybe I’m expecting too much too soon of myself and the dogs at this point. So much is going well. I am pleased with Joey’s training at this point. While he doesn’t get as much one on one as Bobby did I take advantage of the times as they come so I look for opportunities throughout the day.
Hope this makes sense. Thanks everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One specific question for playtime. Bobby and Joey wanted to play with the same stuffed toy this morning. They do have separate toys and I keep Bobby’s favorites away from Joey for now. Bobby was quite interested today in a particular stuffed toy we got for Joey. Bobby gently took it. Joey then proceeded to get it back from Bobby. Bobby gently took it then Joey went and got it. Then when Bobby went to get it again Joey barked and ran off. Joey is starting to assert himself. They are totally good and nothing alarming but should I be doing something or is this something I let them work through unless it escalates? If things escalate I would just put it away. Bobby tried taking it again, very gently but then Joey did a little growl and Bobby walked off. I kind of don’t know what’s normal in the puppy adult dog relationship. I don’t want to do things wrong and create future problems. We didn’t do anything and just watched carefully and it ended up fine. I certainly don’t want this little spunky boy to bully Bobby.😉 He’s young and he’s got a lot to learn and Bobby and we have a lot to teach him. I kind of wish Bobby would assert himself just a bit more but maybe his gentleness is good. We are working on figuring things out and I know they are too. I’m just so unsure when I should intervene when it’s not obviously serious at the moment or dangerous. Would love some thoughts and advice. 😊
 

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Certainly no expert here, but don't forget to get Joey plenty of sleepy time. You and Bobby both may accidentally keep him up too long encouraging a cranky puppy. I think for now I'd play with Joey more one on one as what Bobby want to teach him may not be the same as what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Totally good advice. I’m pretty careful about them both getting enough sleep. Joey gets lots of naps and time in his kennel. Both dogs are snoozing now. I don’t think sleep is the issue but yes, definitely something to always keep in mind. I don’t think Joey was sleep deprived cranky as they hadn’t been up long but definitely he’s testing his little puppy boundaries. 😉 They are getting along great really. It was just one little incident and they went on their merry way to play after. I just want to set them both up for success as Joey matures.
 

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Hoping others weigh in with some suggestions, but I wouldn’t expect Joey to defend his toys from Bobby. I would be grabbing another toy and engaging Bobby with it.

Yes, Bobby was being gentle. But he was also being persistent. It sounds like he earned that growl from Joey and did the right thing by backing off.

You say you wish Bobby would be more assertive, but asking for a toy and then accepting Joey’s answer sounds like the perfect level of assertive to me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hoping others weigh in with some suggestions, but I wouldn’t expect Joey to defend his toys from Bobby. I would be grabbing another toy and engaging Bobby with it.

Yes, Bobby was being gentle. But he was also being persistent. It sounds like he earned that growl from Joey and did the right thing by backing off.

You say you wish Bobby would be more assertive, but asking for a toy and then accepting Joey’s answer sounds like the perfect level of assertive to me. :)
Makes sense to me. Joey actually had the toy first and Bobby was persistent so yes, Bobby did deserve that little puppy growl. I have a feeling I’m going to be learning a lot more about the subtleties of canine language. 😊 I was thinking Bobby just gave up and that Joey got his way so to speak so then I got worried for future similar scenarios. I will try engaging with another toy the next time it happens, which I’m sure it will.😉 I’m going to need this thread as we travel this new adventure!
 

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This is one area where kids and dogs really do diverge. With kids you might scold, “Share, Joey!” With dogs, I think it’s better to say, “Joey is playing with that toy, Bobby. You go find another.” And then turn that into a fun game. Most likely, Joey will hurry over to see what’s going on, all possessiveness forgotten.

Here’s some solid wisdom from one of my favourite online trainers:

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Peggy has a lovely social collie friend who instantly backs off when Peggy asks. This means no snarling, no snapping, no escalation, no stress. It’s a good thing, for sure. :)

Peggy is now quick to lose interest in toys around him, because she doesn’t feel she has to defend them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you! That’s the exact kind of help I’m looking for! I think it’s a fine line between letting dogs find their way in a relationship and letting them be dogs but knowing when to intervene and help them. I don’t want to be a helicopter dog Mom but I also want to know when it’s time to take action.😊 That’s the guidance I need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Today I played a bunch of sound effects so Joey could get exposed to lots of different sounds. I’m bringing him out and about of course but I like doing sound effects too. I did this a lot when Bobby was a pup. We did all kinds of bells, whistles, thunder, wolf howls, beeps, sirens, banging, etc… Joey, being the busy little puppy he is just looked up a few times but for the most part, he just kept playing. Bobby, on the other hand, listened quite carefully and was quite interested or curious.
Dog Dog breed Water dog Carnivore Tile flooring
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is one area where kids and dogs really do diverge. With kids you might scold, “Share, Joey!” With dogs, I think it’s better to say, “Joey is playing with that toy, Bobby. You go find another.” And then turn that into a fun game. Most likely, Joey will hurry over to see what’s going on, all possessiveness forgotten.

Here’s some solid wisdom from one of my favourite online trainers:

View attachment 482612


Peggy has a lovely social collie friend who instantly backs off when Peggy asks. This means no snarling, no snapping, no escalation, no stress. It’s a good thing, for sure. :)

Peggy is now quick to lose interest in toys around him, because she doesn’t feel she has to defend them.
So today, Bobby and Joey wanted the same toy. I have no clue who had it first and nothing serious at all but because I want to set them both up for success I just called Bobby in the kitchen. He came to me right away, got a treat and found something else to do.😊 Easy peasy, no stress for them or me. Both dogs were happy.
 

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So today, Bobby and Joey wanted the same toy. I have no clue who had it first and nothing serious at all but because I want to set them both up for success I just called Bobby in the kitchen. He came to me right away, got a treat and found something else to do.😊 Easy peasy, no stress for them or me. Both dogs were happy.
Sometimes the best thing to do it take the toy away and redirect to something else. The toy can come out of hiding later when the dogs aren’t claiming ownership over it.
 

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So today, Bobby and Joey wanted the same toy. I have no clue who had it first and nothing serious at all but because I want to set them both up for success I just called Bobby in the kitchen. He came to me right away, got a treat and found something else to do.😊 Easy peasy, no stress for them or me. Both dogs were happy.
Yay! My only worry would be what if Bobby had it first? But I’m probably more concerned about resource guarding than you are, since it’s been an issue with Peggy.

I think if we were to bring home a second dog, we would shift to a no-toy household, at least to start. There’d be designated chew times and places, plus interactive playtime with me. But they wouldn’t be able to claim toys for themselves or play with them unsupervised. Would be an adjustment, for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I do supervise pretty carefully when they are playing with toys. I don’t think Bobby was phased at all about the toy thing when I called to him today. I called more to be preemptive. It really wasn’t much of anything as I caught it immediately. There was no growling or anything. I treated him just in case but also because he came right to me. If things do become a problem I will reassess but I think for now, as long as they are supervised and I catch things immediately things will be ok. Bobby actually isn’t a huge toy player other than his beloved squeezy toys and his balls to play fetch and those aren’t shared. Those are strictly for Bobby when I determine the best place and time. Bobby has no interest in Joey’s rubber Kong toys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This two dog thing is fun and I’m definitely learning. It’s hard work for sure but it definitely is another level of learning about dogs that you don’t get with just one dog. At least for me it is.

Two or three times a week Bobby gets a bully stick before bed. So far, I’ve just waited until Joey was in his crate but last night I thought I’d try to give them both one. I got cute little ones for Joey. I put them both in different spots but in the same room, our living area. As I thought, Bobby wanted Joey’s but I kept directing him to his big bully stick and with great success and very careful supervision, they had a side by side evening bully stick session. 😊It was pretty sweet. The bully sticks were put away after a bit as I won’t leave them out. Everything remained positive and ended on a good note. Celebrating our bully stick success. 😊
 

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What very good dogs! One game I have found very useful is taking turns for treats - dogs sit, and get a treat when their name is called out. It helps to start with not very exciting treats - Freddy is finding it very hard to wait for his turn when the treat is a lick of dog toothpaste, which he thinks is the best thing ever!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here’s something that’s encouraging that I read in Ian Dunbar’s book. Wow! It makes me look at Bobby in a whole new light as he so often “shares.” He’s always sharing with our cat, Winston! 😉Dunbar says, “In fact, true top dogs are confident in their position and are usually quite willing to share a bone, toy, or food bowl with lower-ranking
individuals.” This is very helpful information as I navigate two dogs. 😊
 
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