Sunday, April 12, 2015

The experience of getting a second Aussie

I finally took the plunge and got a second Aussie! After much thought, I decided I really wanted Indie to have a playmate and I was ready to have another little personality and fluffernutter to love. I mean, c'mon, what could be better to come home to than TWO excited wiggle-butts!? I felt ready to train another dog and see what it was like to have two, and to experience a new personality. 

I'm very happy to introduce you to this little boo: Tulsi Lulu Moonbeam (LuLu was her litter name). I've had her for about a month as of the writing of this post, so she's currently 3 months old. Tulsi is named after the holy basil of India and she is a large-toy, black tri austrailan shepherd. We are expecting her to mature somewhere between 14-17 lbs. Because Indie, our first Mini Aussie, is on the smaller side (21.5 lbs) and is already hard to tire out and can handle our adventures, we decided we definitely didn't want anything bigger than him! We absolutely love his perfect little size. I finally found a breeder who did large-toys (as I feel a regular toy size would be a little two small for us). Tulsi is just perfect!!

It has been wonderful to add another personality into our mix and it has been a joy (and also a trial) watching our dogs bond and play together.  Indie is not fond of sharing, but he has learned quickly to do so! Tulsi is sweet, mellow, and just takes in the world by watching and tilting her little head. Indie is sweet, but intense, displaying that full Aussie drive 100%! He's ready for action and a fearless investigator of anything and everything. They are completely different, yet they are both Aussies.

Full disclosure: I totally got a second dog so that our first dog would have a friend and also in the hopes that it would free me up some because Indie (dog #1) would have someone else to pester and rely on for entertainment besides me. Despite the fact that everything you read on the internet says not to get another dog for those reasons, I did it anyways so far, it has worked out splendidly!

It's been great to get another one of the same breed because no one plays quite like an Aussie! Watching them together you can tell they love to play the same way. Lots of wrestling and using their shoulders and butts to muscle each other around. Mouthing each others necks and nipping at each others heels and haunches. Lots of play bows and chasing. It's super fun!

Look, having a puppy and an older dog who needs a lot of attention has been tiring and challenging so far, I will not lie to you, but it gets easier every day as Tulsi gets older and seeing them play and have fun and be tired is the most rewarding thing in the world. I will say this: I am SO so so so so glad....that I waited until my first dog was very well trained and behaved before getting a second. It is (or at least seems to a mere mortal such as myself) to be impossible to train two dogs at once. And can we talk about bonding? I can't imagine trying to bond with two at the same time. I am glad I have had a nice, long few years to spend with just my Indie.

The most challenging part right now is dealing with potty training and the fact that baby puppy's needs and abilities are so different from the older one. Indie is used to long walks, lots of intense ball throwing and generally zooming around the yard like a wild monkey-horse.  It's hard to balance playing with Indie and also interacting with Tulsi as she is just exploring slowly and wanting to walk around everywhere and look for things to put in her mouth! I want to be spending time with her, making sure she doesn't eat anything bad, encouraging her, and going at her pace, but then I have this other crazy dog that's like "Mom, mom...throw this ball, throw this frisbee. Who CARES about that other boring, annoying dog!!" What I have been having to do for the first month is have them both (or just puppy for some one on one time) out and about for 45 minutes. Then puppy needs a 1.5 hour nap, so it's back inside for her and then I try to use that time to go back out and play with Indie. Then, come back inside and get her out and play with her for another 45 minutes to an hour, and so on. It's exhausting because I'm pretty much always doing something, not resting!

At first, Tulsi was very interested in toys and liked to play with them. The first few days I had her, I tried to keep the dogs mostly separate as she was adjusting to her new space. I would take her to my craft room, close Indie out, and just let her explore around and play with toys and try to get her interested in toys.

But soon, she knew Indie was there, somewhere, and she just wanted to play with him. She lost interest in toys, unless Indie had a toy, then she just wanted that toy. To take it and scamper off with it, or try and chew on it while it was still in Indie's mouth. This led to a lot of growling on Indie's part (he does not like to share), but nothing violent. Just understandable warnings.

At that point, I kind of gave up trying to keep them separate a lot.  She wants to be around him and that is kind of why I got her, so I am allowing it and I monitor them. Indie, however, does not always want to play with her. He still wants me to just do tug and to throw balls and to take all the toys I bought for her and claim them. I basically just ignore him and then he plays with her. And once they get going, they GO! It's so cute and so fun. Indie has been the most tolerant and gentle big brother. 

The older little boo gets, the easier. Now she is 3 months old and we are able to take her on some mini adventures. She watched brother Indie fetching in the lake at our college and explore the grounds there:

I am so glad I got a second Aussie! I definitely think you need to be prepared for it, financially and mentally, but it is very rewarding in the end.  There are definitely days where I wish it was still just me and Indie, but I know that he enjoys having a friend -especially while we're gone at work- and it is enriching all of our lives (well, maybe not the cat, she's not that stoked LOL).

Hope this helps you make a decision if you're thinking about getting another one (or not)!


  1. Thanks for posting this! It was funny reading this, because it's EXACTLY what im going through. I have a 4 year old border collie/Aussie mix and i recently just got a 12 week red merle mini aussie.

  2. Thanks for this post! My husband and I currently have a 1.5 year old blue merle mini, Lily, who is our whole world! We both work 8 hour days and Lily is crated during this time. We are considering getting a 3 month old red merle that jyst because available. I would love any advice you have! Do you leave yours uncrated when you are at work? How did you initiate this process?

  3. Just found your blog and I have to say I have a new favorite place to go to get advise. We have a pair of mini "Double Merle" sisters. The breader fully knew the risk and took the chance 'one time only' to attempt to spread the blue eyes into her pups and it failed. But not being a cold hearted person and ending the pups lives she will find good homes for any 'misfits' she has. Never having Aussies before, I am doing a lot of reading and studying on them to learn all about them and to find out WHY they do what they do! lol They are so much fun to have and have really enlightened our lives. I look forward to reading more and more of the blog as well as following on the Facebook page.