Friday, 9 February 2018

In Which Everyone Does Something New, and Lots Is Learned

As a dogsitter, I only ever board dogs from one household at a time with me at home. More often than not, that means only one dog at home. It's easy and comfortable for me and my family.

But it doesn't make for much dogsitting, and it means I may not be available for my clients. So occasionally, if someone wants just daycare or overnight, I'll consider taking multiple dogs -- if they're a suitable match.

Yesterday, I did a trial for one such situation.

Ava and Darcy

I trust these two with almost anything, you know that. Meeting strangers, being in public, meeting dogs. But as I learned yesterday, relationship dynamics are always more complicated when there's two of them interacting with a third party together.

Darcy and Sherlock

My current boarder is 3yo cavoodle Sherlock. Tallest cavoodle I've ever seen, and quiet and gentle.

Rawr!

Well, I followed all my usual protocol -- leashed introductions outside my property, but then inside (into the yard) for off-leash as soon as possible. I needn't have worried about Sherlock, who has lived here for the past week, being territorial -- it was Darcy (and Ava?) who barked at him and he backed away, unsure.

Fortunately, things settled once we were inside. Over the day I discovered that Darcy can be pushy with other dogs, that Ava can be the fun police and that Sherlock and Ava can't share tennis balls.

Can you spot the fun police?

But I also discovered that the dogs can be mature enough to settle when separated. So with a little management -- like a lot of things in life! -- they can coexist together.

And I appreciate the joyful moments, like this one:


I loved seeing all the playful body language from Darcy and Sherlock -- and think I've worked out what Ava's behaviour is too. Any guesses?

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Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!