Welcome to Mini, my new real estate assistant... kidding, well kind of. Mini is another welsh terrier (Effrey in my photo is a welsh terrier as well). Mini comes from the very prestigious Darwyn Welsh Terriers. The home page talks about Mini's dad, Joe, and there are some lovely photos of when Mini was a little puppy named Sara (we had to change her name!) HERE.
Welcoming a new dog into a house with another dog already in it can take some finesse. Here are a few tips I have learned from my research... I am definitely nothing close to being an expert, but here's a summary of what I have read and experienced so far:
- IF/WHEN TO ADD #2: first off, start with your current dog. In my humble, non-expert opinion, I think that your first dog should ideally be 100% "trained", a responsible and attentive member of your family. If your current dog is out of control, getting a second dog will just make the problems worse. I read on many blogs that if you are getting a second dog to "keep your first dog company", or to tire out your current dog that you don't have time to walk... well, you will probably realize fairly soon that even if the two dogs will play, they still need lots of exercise or they will become little energy balls with lots of attitude and potentially lots of problems
- INTRODUCTIONS: the best place for dogs to meet is a NEUTRAL location, i.e. not in your house, not in your yard, and I even read that you don't want your dogs to meet on the "turf" of your existing dog's regular walk. We didn't go quite so far, but introduced Mini to Effrey in the back alley behind our house. Some sites said to keep the meeting fairly brief, and one said not to let the dogs get into "dominant" behaviours, like when one dog puts its head over the other dog's head, which usually leads to other fun stuff like humping and fighting (NOT fun!). Now some trainers say not to let the dogs even meet without a fence in between until they have gone through a rigorous process - this would be especially useful for dogs who have any kind of fighting or agressiveness history - I appreciate the caution this guy takes: Leerburg Video - I think he works with a lot of security-type dogs and really goes the extra mile in ensuring no dogs get hurt or into fights.
- TRAINING... I'm a big believer in clicker training. Mini has had a few short sessions so far, and already figured out how to sit, lay down, and come. More tricks to come. I learned all about clicker training in the puppy and agility classes we took Effrey to at Sherwood Barks - I particularly liked it there because Jen the owner has two Jack Russell terriers and we felt she really liked and understood terriers... they're a different ball game than border collies or labs!!
- LIFE SO FAR... Mini and Effrey are getting along really well. We take them for two long walks every day in Mill Creek Ravine and around Old Strathcona. If you see us, say hi!
That's all for now, more to follow!