It's been about four months now since we've added our second dog, Diesel, to our little growing family. Diesel is my first second dog I've ever owned so life adjustments have had their ups and downs. Our family has had to learn how to adjust to this change over the past several months and address each dogs own individual needs.
Bear is now 18 months old. He is almost finished growing and he has matured into a very large lean boy. If he gets any bigger going forward it will most likely just be filling out and putting on more muscle mass. Bear is a very high energy and sensitive dog, he needs lots of exercise and attention. Bear is a combination of two very smart breeds and can very easily pick up on little things. He can be very sensitive to changes and meeting new people and dogs. Even though we socialized him early on at the dog park he has become very reactive and unpredictable around new dogs. He gets very easily excited when he meets new dogs and tends to have trouble controlling himself.
Our training is now focusing on helping Bear manage his excitement in new environments. The calmer we can keep him the less reactive he is. He's still a very friendly but doesn't tolerate any crap, he's the kind of dog who probably wouldn't back down if faced with a threat. While we've been training him we have been taking him to lots of different places with other dogs and distractions. I do find that if he comes face to face with another dog that barks or growls at him he gets very stressed and feels the need to stand up to another dog and put them in their place....again something we are still training and working on.
Diesel is now 6 months old. She is still very tiny for her age but still has a lot of growing up to do. Diesel is defiantly the more smarted and fearless one of the two dogs. She tends to think before entering a situation and always uses caution. Diesel picks up very quickly on new training, again she comes from two very smart breeds but defiantly has a lot more German Shepherd in her than Bear does. Within a few repetitions she picks up on what you are asking her to do.
As Diesel is still very young she defiantly needs a lot more training and socializing. I find that she gets very jealous when her brother ignores her and plays with other dogs that are around. She doesn't fully have a grasp on how to play without her brother around.
I find that Diesel a good mix of independent and codependent...Bear is defiantly codependent. The two dogs together make a great pair. The two of them will take turns leading and following each other, which is something that I never expected. I thought for sure that Bear would be the main follower and Diesel would be the main leader. It's nice to know that they take turns and switch off in their roles. Diesel really helps her brother through stressful situations such as bath time and going to the vet. She takes charge in those situations and shows her brother that there's nothing to be afraid of - "if I can do it, you can do it"!
Owning two dogs isn't for everyone, but I will say that I really lucked out and got two great dogs that are very compatible and complement each other very well. We still have A LOT of training to do but I wouldn't give either of them up for anything in this world.
For more pictures and to stay more up to date with Bear and Diesel you can follow my Instagram. Share in the comments below how many dogs you have and what breeds? I love to hear about other furbabies.