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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 5 yo female miniature apricot poodle, Ginger, who is a wonderful dog. She's very low maintenance, and we keep her with us as much as possible. We have a very busy lifestyle, with my wife and I working busy schedules, mixed in with 3 active boys who play sports that keep us travelling everyday. Ginger loves to go with us everywhere, and loves being in the car. Her easy-going nature makes our lives much easier, short of having no dog at all.

Ginger is definitely a person dog, as she gets quite shy around other dogs. She typically runs behind our legs when another dog sniffs and becomes curious. She never barks or growls, though.

My wife and kids have their hearts set on another apricot miniature poodle, this one a male puppy. He has a wonderful disposition. When introduced, the puppy tried to play, but Ginger ran away. She had no interest in interacting with him.

Some questions -

1) Will Ginger's shyness fade as she becomes accustomed to a new dog?
2) Will her behavior change with a new dog in the house? As I said, she is very low maintenance, and I worry about upsetting the apple cart.
3) Is it unusual for a poodle to be so easy to care for as Ginger? In other words, are we tempting fate by hoping that a second dog will be like her?

Thanks.
 

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1. It's hard to say. It's really up to you and your family to help Ginger learn that dogs are not scary. You need to shape positive experiences for her, and to be honest, puppies typically aren't the best for creating calm spaces in which she can slowly come out of her shell. Her shyness could get worse, it could get better. What do you typically do when she hides behind you?

2. Yes. Her behaviour will change. It's a totally new concept to her. She might become more needy, she might become more reclusive, or she might handle it really well. There will be an adjustment period though, and it's important to assess if in fact it is beneficial or detrimental for Ginger to have another dog in the house.
Again, it's up to you to help her through this transition to make it as easy as possible for her. If you have a regular routine, stick to it, this will help out a lot.

3. All dogs are individuals. Some poodles are more relaxed than others, but I would consider most poodles to be medium-high energy dogs. I don't have experience with minis, only standards, so perhaps minis are calmer than standards.

I think it's most important to make sure you have time for another dog. It'll be awfully hard to potty train a puppy if you and your wife both work full time and are a very active family, puppies take time to settle down and relax. You'll have to make sure you give Ginger her space and alone time because puppies can be a PITA! Also keep in mind what you will do if the puppy turns out to be high maintenance or Ginger does not do well with a housemate. Would you be prepared to change things around to get in the extra walk or two it needs? Would you be able to part with it to find it a more suitable home? I think those things become much more difficult when kids are in the equation, but its important to keep both dogs' needs and well being in mind.

Take it slowly with introductions but don't be afraid to let them sort out a few things. Also, if you want your new puppy to be confident around other dogs, keep Ginger and the pup separated when meeting new dogs. You don't want the pup mimicking her behaviour.

Good luck with a new addition!
 

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Thanks for the advice.

We ended up picking up the new pup. Ginger's slowly getting accustomed to him. I'm doing my best to get him crate trained. I'd really like to keep his housebreaking as straightforward as possible. I'll post my questions about that in a separate thread.

Hopefully, the 2 dogs will bond, they develop into a low maintenance pair, and our lives remain as dog-care-free as they've been.
 
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