Everywhere we go, people stop and ask us about our Shiba Inu puppy, Ruby: “Oh my gosh, she looks like a little fox! What kind of dog is that?”
The second question nearly everyone asks is, “Wait, you have two puppies? Are you crazy!? Isn’t that double trouble?”
The answer is definitely no, it’s not double the trouble, especially given the breeds we chose, a Shiba Inu and a miniature Goldendoodle. Shiba Inus as a breed are known to be unfriendly with other dogs, even aggressive. They are highly intelligent and become bored easily, and when they are bored, they can be very destructive. Because they are so smart, they can find a way to get into anything and out of nearly any type of confinement. Goldendoodles are friendly, sweet, and good with other dogs but need TONS of exercise and stimulation. They can become very destructive if they don’t get enough exercise and interaction.
Let’s get the bad out of the way first; here are the ways in which two puppies are double trouble:
- Double the poop to scoop…but you were going out to scoop it anyway if you had one, so this is not really 2X the trouble, is it?
- Double the vet bills, which is pretty expensive the first year with all the puppy shots and several rounds of deworming medications given the fact that puppies eat disgusting things like rocks, worms, slugs, their own poop, other animals’ poop, dirt, grass, flipflops, garbage, compost, and any other foul, nasty item they chance to find.
- Double the food bill…but you had to go buy food anyhow, so even though it’s twice as much money, it is really no additional effort.
- Two puppies can chew up twice as many flip flops. Ask me how I know. But hey, flip flops come in pairs, so if one gets chewed up, you were just going to throw out the other one anyway…
- Twice the price for puppy obedience class; DON’T give in to the temptation to cut costs on this item. Both puppies and both spouses should attend puppy obedience school together. You will save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.
- They will on occasion lead each other into sin…that moment when they are headed toward the pond just when you are about to go somewhere and you call them back and one of them starts to come back but the other one keeps right on going, so the one who WAS coming back takes off, too…
But the benefits of having two at once outweigh the difficulties:
- They play together inside when we are home instead of begging for human attention every second:
- They sleep beside each other at night in their kennels, preventing that well-known Shiba scream, an unearthly sound that will raise the hair on the back of your neck and cause your neighbors (if they live near) to call the cops in the mistaken belief that someone is being viciously murdered.
- But most importantly, they keep each other company when we are not able to supervise them inside but don’t want to coop them up in their kennels, such as when we are mowing the lawn or need to run to the grocery store. At that time, we can close the baby gate my husband installed on the covered front porch and confine them to that space with some toys, fresh water, a puppy pee pad, and a blanket.
Because they have each other, they play, roughhouse, chase each other back and forth, and nap together. If one of them were left alone out there, I think they would become bored, lonely, and then destructive, gnawing on the wooden railings or trying to jump over them to escape, but because they have each other, they can get MUCH more fresh air and exercise than they could if we had just one who would have to be put in the kennel during unsupervised times.
- At 6:00 a.m., they burn off energy chasing each other around the yard at a full run while I stand there not moving with my coffee in hand.
- Being raised with another puppy provides the Shiba with the socialization she needs, given her breed’s tendency to be aggressive with other dogs.
- Being raised with another puppy gives the Goldendoodle the constant interaction he craves even when we can’t be with him.
- There is less squabbling among the children about whose turn it is to cuddle the puppy because there are TWO pups to go around.
- I’m pretty sure I’m not anthropomorphizing when I say they love each other.