Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
So here is the updated story on our attempt at life with two doodles...
Our first doodle was brought home at 4 months of age...
sort of a second-hand / wouldn't sell right away pup from a breeder. He is a medium ALD. We got him Feb 2010. One year later I was so enjoying this whole dog owning adventure that I really liked the idea of a second dood. I thought Sam was looking bored and lonely and that he maybe get more exercise and have fun with a second dood and I liked the idea of getting a different sized dood and doing training again and all that. DH wasn't thrilled with the idea but I started looking into it. DH really didn't want a brand new puppy so while I thought the puppies were DARLING... I was looking more at doodle rescues or dogs needing guardian homes for breeders (which is what our neighbor's doodle was... a stud dog for a breeder and they are the guardians).
So then I find a local breeder with a 1 year old male mini ALD needing a home and I look into it. I take Sam with me and we go visit -- they seem to have a great time playing and do well together. We talk about the terms of guardianship and all that and I decide to go for it. I go home and ready our home and get supplies and make a plan to pick him up a week or so later. All goes well.
The first few months were really fun. Sam had a play mate, the new dog Mojo seemed to take really well to the kids (I have 4 boys aged 12, 8, 8, and 3). I started him in obedience classes as he had never really had any and he was smart and took to basics pretty easily. He is much more hyper than Sam and I had lots of trouble getting him to stop jumping on everything and everyone and he didn't seem to think the dog gate was a barrier for him... so lots of trying to escape and run off and get into things. He also would still chew on anything he found... he destroyed a pair of kids' shin guards, lots of socks, stuffed animals and who knows what else. I really had to go back to lots of crate use to deal with his crazy attacks at night -- they would fight in the house and he would get really worked up when people came over. He is just VERY different type of dood than Sam is and I was hard at times.
After a few months and my husband constantly getting annoyed and yelling at Mojo I started suggesting maybe he should go back to the breeder... the agreement was always open like that -- he always had a home to go back to if things weren't working out well for us. But strangely, my DH said... "No... he is ours." and so things continued.
Then we started see more dog fights. Not just playing... but teh more aggressive, alpha dog type fights with growling and such... and often in the house near my kids. I could usually just open the door or get one of them in the crate or something to stop it... but it was scaring me.
Our dog trainer had warned me that after about 4 months the "honeymoon" period would wear off and the dogs would fight more and we should be careful about it -- she suggested feeding them totally separately and not having any dog toys out but controlling when they could have them. I admit, I really thought, "oh my dogs are fine... they won't be like that..." and didn't really do anything different. But around 4 month we did start having fights over food and toys and such and it got really frustrating.
Long story short... Mojo went back to the breeders about 3 weeks ago. We had had a fight where Sam got really defensive and went after Mojo and bit his ear to the point that he was bleeding everywhere and then another bad fight happened again the next day... and DH went through the roof when Mojo started chewing on a new wooden deck chair... it was just too much yelling and fighting for me. So I just said, "we are done -- I am taking him back." No one objected.
(Below - Mojo on the day we took him back to the breeders... he really was a sweet boy -- just too much energy for our household. The breeder had 3 different options for other guardian homes to place him... hope he is doing well!)
Life has been SO MUCH BETTER now that we are back to 1 dog. Sam seems so relaxed and at ease... honestly, I swear he is a much happier dog now. We have gotten to take down the dog gate and Sam gets to roam free (something he was just about ready for when Mojo came along but then we kept it up because of the new dog). We are all enjoying getting to give our 1 dog all the attention and I think we all appreciate him more now that we have seen what some other dogs can be like. Sam is so well behaved -- so good with his commands and such... so laid back.
So I think we are likely too be a 1 dog household for a long time. MAYBE... when my kids are out of the house and I have more doggie time available I will try out the two doodles option again. But I think I would 1 boy and 1 girl and wait about 2 years between them... AND would start each one as a pup so I have more control over training. Training a 1 year old was so much harder in terms of basic house rules and manners... he was great at learning sit, come, down, how to walk on a leash, etc. But was terrible about jumping on people, barking at everyone, jumping on furniture... etc. Stuff that is harder to train because it is not teaching a command but teaching him what NOT to do.
Anyhow... I felt like a terrible bad doodle mommy after deciding to give him up but the breeder was very understanding and sweet and welcomed him back with open arms. I so appreciated that and will recommend her to any local friends looking for a great doodle breeder to work with.