Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reasons to have Multiple dogs...

People ask me how we can have the number of dogs we have...well...I guess it just happens :)

Dogs come into your life at times you need them I think. In my life they seem to come at times that I would rather they not :)

Ace came as I was just moving into my first apartment in college...not a great time for sure, but he has taught me a lot.

Zip came 5 days before my wedding....NOT a good time for a puppy, however, I wouldn't change it for the world.

Klink came to me after I had returned a dog due to BAD temperament issues (and when I say bad I mean BAD) and I thought I just got really lucky with Zip having a great temperament...Klinker proved that wrong :)

Gator, I didn't need another dog, much less a BOY dog, but he has been a LOVELY boy for me...doing well in agility and now starting to mature in herding--wouldn't trade him for the world.

Paige, the dog that we have no pictures of because cameras make her run and hide :) She was a rip the face off a sheep gripper...she came to me by chance due to Carol Campion and Derek Scrimgeour at a clinic I was attending saying to her owner "let Loretta see what she can do with her"---I had a funny feeling about her...scared to work with a gripping dog...but BOY did she teach me so much...and she is a LOVELY LOVELY working dog now....great chore dog and a wonderful pet too! She taught me to work hard and figure dogs out, don't look at WHAT they are doing, but rather WHY.

Crackers--HORRIBLE timing...but this dog is PERFECT for Andy has he has made me realize there IS another breed of dogs I could have (really?? IS there?? LOL).

And the girls...I had this one time to breed Zip. She was going to be 6 and I wanted to either do it or spay her. It was winter, cold and my grandmother was very ill...we were heading down to Missouri to see her and Zip came into heat. She was only on day 8 of her heat, but we thought, well if she stands that is great, if she doesn't the litter won't happen. She stood....things worked grandmother passed on and I named two puppies after her Eve and Lynn...after 8 weeks of puppy fun I picked my two girls...forgot they were named after grandma...and things worked out :) I adore these two girls and I wouldn't have it any other way.

There are many good reasons to have multiple dogs, they are great pack animals, they teach each other good (and bad) things, but there are lots of smaller reasons multiple dogs are good for people who train dogs especially.

#1 People who are dog trainers LOVE to train...which is GREAT, however there are times in a dogs life that they need breaks, puppies go through phases that can be weird, and a person with multiple dogs (either by raising so many or just by the fact that there isn't enough time in the day to train them all) will just go "oh well, I am sure it is just a phase" and LET THE DOG BE for awhile. Letting a dog be is a great thing really, it puts no pressure on the dog and lets them figure it out. Case in point. Lynn---she was not really fond of the teeter slamming....I just let her be, tried in another month, she was better but not I let her be some more---now, without months of "desensitizing" etc etc etc I have a dog that LOVES the teeter? Why? Maybe her maturity level wasn't there yet, maybe she was in a period of growth that her brain wasn't into it..who knows? But letting her be was just fine. If I had ONLY her to train, as I see in many people with just one or two dogs----I might obsess (I see it in people all the time)...but since I have other dogs to keep me busy...I just don't worry about it.

You see it in herding people all the time, the dog gets on stock, is grippy or chasing..they just put the dog up for a month or biggie? They bring the dog back out and TADA!! Different dog.

#2 They are more balanced. Having a multiple dog household you see all the things the other dogs teach each other, patience, proper dog language, respecting their elders, even sharing! Dogs are great teachers in this respect and I always let my adults help raise the puppies. Case in point, when we go on walks off leash, there is an occasional car that will drive by. My dogs know to get in the ditch and lay down. With NO help from me, both Even and Lynn have learned this from watching the other dogs. They will even now do it without the other dogs present!! Again without my help they have watched the elder pack members and followed suit.

#3 The relationship is stable between you and your pack. When you have many dogs there is not time to coddle and snuggle and baby the dogs. They are treated well, even allowed to get on the couch at times to have a cuddle, but they are not treated like kings and queens....which is GREAT for their stability. Dogs do not walk around all day hugging and kissing one another, sleeping RIGHT on top of each other and being doting. So it can cause issues when a human does that to a dog in LARGE amounts. With multiple dogs, each dog gets time with you, but that time is split to lessen the "spoiled dog sydrome".

I am sure people can come up with more than just the reasons that I have listed to have multiple dogs! Of course owning several dogs won't work if you don't have the right lifestyle (even though in my opinion ONE dog is a lifestyle if you treat your dog right!).

But just to show people who think those that own many dogs are crazy or insane...there IS a method to the madness...AND at times there are HUGE benefits to be had :)


Doodles said...

Your dogs are the picture of health stunning animals i love each and every one of them but then again i am a dog lover my own border is a handful but i love him so much.

hope your weekend is great

Kendra said...

You make me feel sane for having just three dogs :) One day, when I leave the city I will most likely have six or seven myself but probably pit bulls and mutts :) I have one BC/Aussie cross and and I can't imagine having to keep up with more herders...maybe when I retire.

Schutzhund said...

First time visitor to your blog but I enjoyed the read very much so will be back again. Kudos.

fulltiltbcs said...

Well thanks everyone!! :) I appreciate you reading the blog!

stickitbc said...

All very true =)

I am a victim of the only one dog and putting pressure on him unfortunately =(

Anonymous said...

My long time friend Nancy Little alerted me to this post and wow, can I relate! You are so 'right on' about the many wonderful reasons for having multiple dogs and I sure could not have explained it as great as you did! I especially loved the part about no one get to be king or queen:>)
thanks for taking the time to write such an insightful post. Now I must get back to my pack!

fulltiltbcs said...

Thanks! Nancy is a great gal :)

I always find people look at me like I am insane for having many dogs...just thought maybe seeing the positive sides might be a good thing ;)

Thanks for stopping by!