Friday, August 21, 2009

Pocket Pups....I Never Thought it Would Happen Here

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2008
Toni and Oliver are Off to Shop

I have a confession to make. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be the owner of a toy dog. I always envisioned me with a good sized athletic dog, one like Tanner who loves to gallop around the dog park, play fetch and swim like a fish.
When Toni adopted Oliver, I certainly had my concerns. I knew I could integrate him into our family. Xena and Tanner are quick-studies, and very accommodating of other pets in the house. After all, they were both raised with a cat and a rabbit. I didn't expect any problems, but on the same note, I did study up on how to properly manage a pack of mixed size dogs. Especially since the toy dog was the puppy, I wanted to be sure that no one would try to take the leadership job away from me. Suffice it to say I devoured the Dog Whisperer's books and videos for tips on keeping this little guy in line.
Do you find it odd that I was more worried about a 3 pound dog taking over the house than I was my 60 pound Golden Retriever? Maybe. But you have to know Tanner. He's generally quite a submissive dog.
Since he was the logical playmate for Oliver, I quickly taught Tanner the rules:
  • Play in a down position.
  • No paws; only snout.
  • The toys and the food belong to the pack leader.
These simple guidelines worked to assure that we have no food aggression or toy aggression issues in our home. That said, I still remain diligent about keeping tabs on everyone. The good news is our pocket pup has integrated into our pack with a good nature and an affection for his whole family. Now we're just working on getting to "calm." I suppose it is in our future, just not tomorrow or next week.
Is there a toy dog in your future? Who knows; you may get a surprise like I did.


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