By Thursday, April 9, 2015 22 No tags Permalink

Harley needs me! I must help him. I’ve got to find balance between these two dogs. Pawhaps it’s time to reach out…


photo courtesy of

It’s been a month since the arrival of the whirling dervish (aka Jax) and while Harley seems to have the patience of a saint…


My fear is that any day now, like a two sided coin – he could flip…


While adding a young puppy to a house with an adult dog is new territory for me, I “believed” I was prepared. But I missed the chapter that covered “protecting the adult dog.”

I read an interesting article What to Expect: Introducing a Puppy to Your Adult Dog (written by Laurie Luck – founder of Smart Dog University), and one particular sentence leaped out at me:

Too often, the adult dogs in the house are expected to take whatever the puppy can dish out…


Here I am pre-occupied about the puppy adjusting, I over looked ways to protect/preserve Harley’s sanity. #badpetparent

Constantly thinking “puppy this” and “puppy that” I didn’t set myself up correctly for a harmonious household.

Jax knows one speed – ZOOM. He’s fast as lightening and strikes like a viper. In the course of a few hours, Harley subjects himself to Jax:

  • jumping on his head
  • sitting on him
  • nibbling/biting his ear, tail or paw


I have GOT to carve out some freedom for Harley…


There must be a way to share time, fun, love and attention to two. How do I find more balance between two dogs? I want Jax to feel loved, yet I don’t want Harley to feel ignored or abused. #finelines

I do know not to punish Harley when he growls. I understand this is his/their form of communication. But puppies have poor communication skills and tend to “miss” subtle signals.

Right  now I:

SUPERVISE: Because Jax doesn’t have the same set of social skills as Harley, I’m present for all of the interactions between the two…


CRATE – CRATE – CRATE: I use his crate for two reasons. (1) he’s a puppy, and you crate puppies because you’re potty training and keeping them safe. (2) Jax is persistent and energetic, if there are scheduled separation breaks during the day, the less chance of Harley doing that “flip” thing I talked about earlier 🙂

From all that I’ve read, Harley’s behavior towards Jax sounds pretty normal. It’s never (nor do I ever believe would) escalated to an unsafe level.

Right now walking is our most challenging act. We look like a comedic ballet…


Moments like these help me “keep hope alive” that a harmonious household is in my future…

DSCN9265But I’d still be grateful if YOU would be my “Lucy” and share with me what you’ve done if you’ve been where I am. #anyideas?

Make this a great weekend, thank you so very much for sharing me with all your friends!

  • Emma
    April 10, 2015

    Harley will do fine. Just remember to give him some special mom and me time and extra loving. They will be best buddies for sure!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 10, 2015

      We’re now on a great schedule Emma – naps and all. Harley and I will continue to do things together as always. Jax is doing really well on the leash now, walking further. When we come back he’s exhausted and not interested in bugging Harley BOL.

  • Jenna Drady
    April 10, 2015

    Agree with Emma, definitely some great one on one time with mom! Lots of supervision, and regulating rough play when needed. Those things were super important when I brought a pup into my house with older dogs.
    Oh and BTW – I am nominating you for an award today on my blog 😉
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 10, 2015

      Thank you so much Jenna! (for the advice as well as the award). Congratulations on your awards. I enjoyed reading all your answers.

  • Karen
    April 10, 2015

    Maybe you need to carve out some mommy and me time for Harley separately, so he will feel the love (and get a Jax break).

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 10, 2015

      We have some time after lunch and then in the evening. On Sunday’s after church I think Harley and I will go down the street to Starbucks. I understand they now serve pupachino’s (how cool is that!) PAWhaps you and Mila can join us one of these days!

  • DZ Dogs
    April 10, 2015

    Harley will adjust with time, continue to supervise their interactions, remove/redirect Jax if he’s being naughty or climbing all over Harley, and I bet some one on one training with both Jax and Harley would be beneficial – maybe a puppy class? He’s not too early to start training! 🙂

    Keep up the good work mama!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 10, 2015

      I’m actually taking Jax tomorrow!!! Doodle Doc offers them on the second Saturday of the month. Harley will go to his regular daycare for the day, and Jax and I will go to his first puppy romp hour. Right now Harley gets ALL of me when Jax takes his after lunch nap, and then after 9pm for the rest of the night. We’ve got a schedule and that seems to be helping.

  • DashLilly
    April 10, 2015

    It is never ending!! Still today — I am petting Dash and along comes Lilly. I am petting Lilly and along comes Dash. I do love when I can take them on walks or adventures on their own. They do work it out and balance is found, but they are two individuals! And they each want you!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 10, 2015

      As soon as Jax becomes 6 months old, my memory should kick in and I’ll remember when Leo was here 🙂 I’m walking Jax further and he’s passing out when we get home, so that’s good. He’s a bundle of energy – Harley is hanging in there.

  • Barbara Rivers
    April 11, 2015

    Exercise is a pawfect way of keeping your little pup balanced & less likely to “plan” mischief around your Senior Doodle 🙂
    Have you taken Harley for a one-on-one walk while Jax recovers from a play or training session in his crate? He would probably enjoy that.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 12, 2015

      Barbara, once when I tried to take Harley out alone, he didn’t want to go w/o Jax. I’ve noticed this weekend that Jax will play harder and longer now with me and himself. He seems to sense when Harley’s not interested in playing and he finds a stick, weed, or ball to keep himself entertained.

  • 2 Punk Dogs
    April 11, 2015

    Love the pics, especially of the 2 of them sharing the bed! It sounds like you have a good plan going on now. 🙂
    Maggie & Duke get along really well, but definitely need to be on completely separate leashes on walks. I tried one of those Y-type leashes & Maggie was really annoyed by being yanked around by the puppy. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 12, 2015

      I’m able to see in Harley’s eyes when he’s looking for assistance from me -especially when we’re on a walk. I too tried a “Y” leash once with Harley & Leo, I fell (need I say anything else!). Don’t worry about “sonds” I will fix it for you 🙂 Take care and have a wonderful week! #2punkdogsrock

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    April 12, 2015

    Imagine the balance we had to find with 2 adult dogs and 2 puppies. One thing we did was give the dogs a break by taking them walks without the puppies and they loved it. We also worked very hard to wear the puppies out so that the dogs would have breaks when the puppies were napping.

    Have fun. This is truly such a fun time.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 12, 2015

      Kimberly – I think about you often! I know you understand when I say – “I am exhausted – and loving every single moment of it!” Jax is now three months old, so he’s holding his urine a lot longer – therefore we are able to play for longer periods. He is snoring at night now!

  • Jan K
    April 14, 2015

    Honestly, it sounds to me like you’re doing everything right, Cathy. It’s not easy to find that balance, but it sounds to me like you’re doing fine. I do still try to give my dogs some one on one time when I can, and I think they really enjoy that.
    To this day, Luke can still irritate Cricket when she’s tired, and she’ll snarl at him. We will tell him to leave her alone and he does, because he just never learns not to get in her face in the first place!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 14, 2015

      Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I know it will be fine, Jax just has to get a little older – Harley does well, and I’m trying to help him the best I can when I see his frustration. Thanks my friend!

  • Denise Gruzensky
    April 18, 2015

    Wow, it sounds to me like you are doing the work and it will pay off! But I’m sure you are VERY TIRED!!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 19, 2015

      Denise – I was exhausted. It took a minute for me and my old body to adjust to the change of a puppy in the house. But I’ve found my rhythm and I am beginning to see the fruits of my labor so I’m good 🙂

  • Monika
    April 19, 2015

    I know i’s hard to see your older guy being subjected to the energy, bounciness and sharp teeth of the pupster but I’ve found when they’ve had a enough, a quick ‘reminder’ sets things straight. I’m a firm believer in letting dogs sort out the pecking order on their own (with mom supervision close by to keep things safe for both). The puppy tussling will get pushback if too rough or too much and it keeps the dynamics between ‘siblings’ more natural. Hang in there, only a few more months of the roughhousing. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 19, 2015

      Monika your comment is so “on time” because the transition has already begun. Jax is now 14 weeks old and seems to have a better understanding of the pack mentality and order. Harley also seems to be more tolerant of him and allows much more to go on. I’m now able to find time for both of them independent of the other. So life now is starting to look good girl 🙂 I never interfered with the boundaries training, I never felt that Harley would hurt him, therefore I allowed the life of the wild to take it’s course. They’re bonding splendidly now, can’t wait for the summer months and water fun! Take care and thanks for reading.