It’s been 2 months since we brought Oliver home. And it’s 2 months since my little Harvey became a mature & smarty-pants dog :)
When we drove to get Oli, my heart was pounding as I had so many worries but now I can’t understand why we delayed this decision for so long!
To be very honest, I expected way more trouble and challenges (I think I should be very careful with my words) as Oli seems to be the most humble and lovely puppy ever.
My personal learnings of first 8 weeks:
1. Puppy Oli is actually a copy-cat. He does almost everything what Harvey does: he even lays on the sofa pillows in the same manner as Harvey :) This is both a blessing (quick learner) and a curse (quick learner). Why? It’s not only positives that they take-over. Hrrr…
Insight: train your older dog to the best version of himself until the day you take a second puppy home and you’ll minimize the trouble. I obviously left some gaps...
2. You can survive without pee-pads if you’re determined enough. I consciously took 4-week vacation when Oli arrived, so that I could train him as much as possible. The whole focus was towards potty training & staying home alone in a crate. Yes, I had lots of challenges and couldn't take my eyes off Oli as I wanted to prevent him from doing his business at home. I used to take him outside every few hours and it’s actual going way better than with Harvey when he was a puppy. He didn't have accident at home for approx. 3 weeks now!!
Insight: discipline is the key. Oli is already starting to approach the door when he wants to pee/poo. He’s super happy to stay in the crate and sees it as the safest place. 4 MONTHS OLD IGGY!!
3. Socialization of the first weeks is a base for a happy and confident puppy. I am more than lucky to have both Iggies from an amazing breeder Živilė (Kopos Namai) who puts enormous effort to raise social and healthy puppies. From the day one I took him home Oli was very friendly, courageos & curious. My job was to keep developing him by meeting as many different people (kids, men, women), visiting places (cafés, loud city areas, forests, fields…), getting used to dogs (being super cautious about him still developing his immunity to diseases – only vaccinated, friendly and familiar dogs!).
Insight: not to wait until he’s fully vaccinated to go outside and explore the world. The socialization is a must for a puppy. Lots of research and advices are found in any book about dog development. If possible, make sure you get a puppy for a responsible, educated and caring breeder. Fixing damages done on the first weeks of puppy’s life is extremely hard & frustrating.
4. Puppies are so different! Though I was super afraid Oli would not be as perfect as Harvey is (this applies to all dogs and their owners I guess :)) , he proved me so wrong. He is as cool as Harvey was, yet he is soooo different – his humble temperament, behaviour, being so daring yet careful when needed… This was very surprising! Same breed, same breeding home, same family – such a different dog!
Insight: all puppies are love. Different but very lovable, bringing new colors to your life. When choosing smartly, you’ll get an amazing companion for life <3
5. Having a sibling for iggy is the best thing that can happen to them. Though Harvey was the only dog of ours, spoiled (couldn’t help myself), our full attention was only for him, it took only a few weeks for him to approve Oli. Now they play, cuddle & sleep together. Finally, the staying home alone frustration for Harvey simply disappeared! I can’t be happier, Harvey can’t, too :)
Insight: one is good. A couple is better. While not that many concerns added up after Oli arrived, being a couple brought only the benefits of being brothers and spending the time together.
And of course, having two iggies who loves you is truuuuly better than having one!
Can‘t wait what the next period brings us.
[UPDATE] Psss! Fast forward to when Oli was 6 months old! I have put together another blog post later, check it out: My Second Iggy Is 6 Months Old! Joys & Learnings
We would love to hear your experience with raising two dogs, despite their breed. Feel free to share your insights in a comment section below!