Hello! A lot has changed in the last couple of months - all for the good of course! I'm no longer an only child! My pawrents went away for a few days back in late June and came back with a nine-week-old cockapoo, called Holly. They did say they were coming back with a surprise! It was a little weird at first of course. I was introduced to Holly in a big garden and I think she was a little scared of me to start with because I was so big! But I have great manners so I let her be as she settled in.
When we went home, she wanted everything that was mine! My toys, my bed, my food! I felt I had to be a good big brother so I let her have everything she wanted - after all she was only a baby. Now though, I’m not quite so keen to let her have everything. But somehow she always ends up with whatever it is she wants!
I've had to be like an old school master with Holly - showing her how to behave in a domesticated human home. It's something that some dogs do struggle with so I made sure I told Holly from day one when she was doing something she shouldn't be. Cor, I didn't get much of a break! Every time I turned my head she seemed to be up to something! Biting chair legs, tugging the curtains, grabbing at my mum's trousers, chewing dad's phone cables. With every 'ah, ah, ah' mum and dad said, I barked to tell Holly to stop! And it worked - she only chewed through one mobile phone charger, which thankfully wasn't plugged in! It could have been worse!
But the amazing thing about having a little sister is I get to play! Some people might think we play a little rough but that's only because they miss-understand our intentions. This can sometimes lead owners to get too involved in their dogs play, which can cause issues. For instance, if mum picked Holly up when we were playing rough because she is smaller, I would get frustrated because I wouldn't know what I have done wrong. Holly too might get frustrated or learn there is something to fear when playing with bigger dogs. It is a tough balance though, you do of course need to step in if you think it's going to end in tears.
When we dogs play, we practice our survival and fighting skills, as well as chasing, wrestling mimics fighting and mouthing mimics biting. If someone saw still images of us playing in isolation, they might think we are trying to kill one another – but we’re not! You know we’re not when the play is being mirrored by both dogs and there are play behaviours thrown in such as play bowing and rolling over to expose our belly. Also, when we play we learn not to bite too hard.
Now, like all siblings, we have had our fair share of squabbles. Nothing major but for instance, I'm not keen when she jumps up at me at 6am in the morning and tries to wake me up by smacking me in the face with her paw then trying to bite my toe nails! But we sort out our differences. Again, my pawrents try not to get too involved. But if Holly bothers me when I'm ill or grumpy, they will try and call her away to distract her with something else and likewise, if I try and steal something from Holly and it gets a little heated, they call us in to distract us. Again, it's a balance. So trust your instincts.