Life changes just a little bit when a puppy joins your pack.
On one hand things really shouldn’t change too much when you already have two other dogs that already dictate the flow of household. On the other hand when those two dogs are two and a half and nine years old it’s a little bit like bringing a new born home just after all your existing kids are out of diapers.
Kali, the nine year old and Kloe the two and a half year old are pretty self sufficient and respectful of the house and our belongings. When Koda – the puppy – came home the dog gates went up, regular trips outside for house breaking began again, sleeping in became a thing of the past, and all shoes and slippers had to be put away when they weren’t on our feet. Is it hectic? Duh! Is it worth the disruption to the pack? Absolutely!
Little Koda, now five and a half months old and 36 pounds is tenacious with attitude.
This is not a great combination when we need an immediate behavior correction. But I think in the long run it will serve her well once she learns how to pick her battles. She is quite vocal tells us in no uncertain terms that she is not pleased to know that she cannot jump on visitors or the furniture. A little yelp or “Roo roo roo” as she begrudgingly adheres to our request to behave is not uncommon.
For now (and hopefully not forever) Koda is binary. She is either on or off. When on, her energy level is 11 on a scale of 10. During play Kloe will wrap her entire mouth around Koda’s head to demonstrate her dominence and deliver a lesson. Koda will momentarily acquiesce to Kloe’s reminder of who is bigger and stronger before immediately striking back with her own gnashing teeth never for a moment acknowledging the 45 pound advantage Kloe has on her. Kloe does shoulder rolls landing on Koda like a greco wrestler pinning her down only for Koda to reemerge and perform the same move on Kloe.
Much to Koda’s chagrin Kali is not interested in any type of play with her. At nine years old and visibly much slower than she was only a year ago Kali prefers sleeping to almost all activities other than eating. I’ve seen Koda sneak attack a sleeping Kali landing on her back and riding her like a bronco as Kali gets up trying to toss her off while she moves off to another corner of the room to sleep. Koda used to sass back Kali just like she does to us when being told no. “Yelp! Roo roo roo…! Play with me…” To Koda’s credit she now (mostly) understands that Kali is the big sister she sleeps next to when she is in the off position. Kloe, although sometimes a reluctant participant, is the big sister used for rough play when Koda is in the on position.
It’s striking how the dynamics of a family can change so dramatically when that
newborn baby puppy comes home. I think it rocked Kali and Kloe’s world a bit to have a new little sister that seems to get more attention and more treats. I’ve been caught off guard from time to time realizing that Koda is not Kloe and training may be more challenging and that different techniques may need to be deployed. These pups are not plug and play. But I like it that way. Like people, dogs are unique and don’t fit into the same mold as the previous puppy. Life would be boring if all of your dogs had the same personality and demeanor. It might be easier but so much less “fun”.
So is it hectic? You bet. Is it worth it? Absolutely!
So yeah, life changes just a little bit when a puppy joins your pack.