Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

August 3, 2017

Say Hello to Hynda!

We welcomed her at the end of June, but I've been too busy chasing this little bunny around to share a post about her.  Meet Hynda, Szuka's new buddy!

Bichon Frise Puppy

For two years I have casually looked for another pup to add to the mix.  Because I have allergies, it really limits my selection to about five breeds.  Because Szuka is kind of iffy with other dogs, we were really worried about bringing home an adult rescue but I kept my eyes peeled anyway.  Around here, there are a lot of Labs, German Shepherds, and Husky mixes all looking for homes, but all of those breeds make me super sick.  I started looking at breed specific rescues across Canada and the US but was turned down because of distance.  Most shelters and rescues wanted people to adopt nearby so they could easily return the pup if need be.  I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was to find a pup to re-home, but I guess that's just the reality of living somewhere kind of far flung.  I almost rescued a feral Komondor but he was mixed with Great Pyrenees (a major allergy maker for me).  When I was in Ottawa I almost found the perfect pup who was desperate for her forever home, but I missed out when a great family scooped her up before I could.  I wish I didn't have allergies because there are a million dogs I would have taken home from our local dog rescues.  I still look every now and then, in case a dog I can handle allergy-wise pops up! 
 Bichon Frise Puppy

Meanwhile, because I've been working more outside the home, Szuka sweetie has been a bit lonely so I started really seriously looking for another dog and finally started considering a puppy as opposed to a rescue.  At the dog park she always favors little dogs and when she meets other white dogs she seems to like them more.  She spends a lot of time looking in the mirror (it's kind of adorable) so I wonder, does she know she's a white fluff-ball?  My boss has four poodles and one of them is white and when Szuka met them, she and the white male poodle started at each other for SO long!

In the end, I found a great couple (registered breeders, no backyard shenanigans and no pet shops) who breed Bichon Frise.  I researched the breeds I don't have reactions to tirelessly and the Bichon seemed like a great fit because it's small but spunky so I figured it could hold its own rough housing with Szuka.  I also read that they don't need to be the dominant dog, which I thought might make for a smoother adjustment.

Bichon Frise Puppy with Komondor
Bichon Frise Puppy with Komondor

We brought her home at the end of June and things have been a bit bumpy.  Szuka HATED her at first but we tried to let her assert her dominance with this little gal (within reason).  Another reason I got a small puppy - and not a full grown feral Komondor - is because I figured that IF growing our four-legged family is impossible, it would be easier to re-home a smaller dog with friends and family as opposed to another massive beast like Szuka (who weighs in at 104 pounds these days).  In the back of my mind, I really worried about how Szuka would adapt but I really thought a buddy would ease her loneliness.

After only a couple of weeks, the girls seemed to be getting along a bit better.  But they still haven't really "clicked".  In between the fighting, they play and chase each other around and they do often lie on the floor together chewing or snacking.  They have cuddled a bit, but it's always Hynda who instigates and Szuka just tolerates.

Bichon Frise Puppy

We've been doing our part to make the pack whole but sometimes I wonder if Szuka wouldn't just be happier being alone again... I just wanted to make my working easier on her, but it's difficult because she's only ever known a reality when I work from home most days.

But maybe it's just an adjustment process because Hynda is waaay less chill as a puppy than Szuka was.  Hynda earned the nickname "Tuna Breath Face Biter" for good reason.  She's been a struggle to crate train and housebreak (good gravy I'm still struggling) and she is teething something fierce.  She's drawn blood from hands after a particular bad sneak attack and she also lunges for my nose and face leaving little tooth marks if I get too close. Szuka was so calm by comparison and had very few accidents indoors (I can count on one hand the number of inside whoopsies her entire life).  The three of us (Hubs, Szuka and I) are all pretty laid back so maybe this energetic nutty ball of energy will need to mellow out before we gel as a pack.  Although I'm also worried because my Mom has been caring for both pups when I'm working long hours and she's expressed some concern about not being able to handle both dogs.

Bichon Frise Puppy

Even though I love this little gal, sometimes I worry that I made a mistake but I'm hoping that over the summer with both Hubs and I taking some holidays, we can get everyone into a good routine.  On the bright size, Hynda is smart and after two days she already learned the command for "come" and she comes running immediately.  Szuka, on the other hand, looks over at me and sighs when I call her name, lol. 

I've never had a home with two dogs so I'm all ears for any tips, tricks or training references you suggest!  I've been reading a ton but I am always happy for more resources.  Soon we'll enroll Hynda in obedience but I'd like to get her fully vaccinated first.


They move in such a blur that I mostly just have cell phone snaps of them but I'm going to try to get some better quality pictures of them before Hynda loses her adorable puppy proportions.  Her waddle bum is the funniest!
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20 comments

  1. Surviving puppyhood can be a challenge to say the least for the 'pawrents.' Usually by 6 months you're over the difficult stuff and biting. Szuka will teach her better than you, what is appropriate behavior and what isn't. Good luck surviving. Your new little addition is adorable. Here's to a long and happy life with fur ball, Hynda.

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    1. I think we were SOOOOO lucky with Szuka, she was a dream puppy who caused barely any trouble. We were definitely not prepared for this little gal. Thanks for your words of encouragement, you give me hope!

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  2. I think you'll find once Hynda gets through teething things will get much, much easier. We have 2 dogs, and I also foster and volunteer with a dog rescue, and puppies are adorable but TOUGH. The energy is nuts, and the tiny razor teeth are horrible, and the constant pee watch is exhausting... but it all fades. Hang in there another month or two and I think you'll find it'll work itself out. :) And gosh aren't they just so cute together!

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    1. Yes - those razor teeth, oh my good. So tiny but so effective, lol. Thanks for the encouragement! I definitely think our next pup will be an adult rescue because I for sure cannot handle another puppy and neither can Szuka, lol. We were not ready for this because Szuka was the perfect puppy, so chill, so housebroken...

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  3. Oh my her pics are adorable!We've always had dogs either indoors or out for about 30 yrs now. Most of those years we've had at least two & or three. We're down to two, one big outside dog & a little inside dog. I'm well into the empty nest with my first grandbaby on the way so we've decided we'll keep it at one dog from here on out.

    We kind of fell into having more than one at a time & I think it's good for both the new puppy having the older dog to learn from & the older dog finds some lost energy. It does take time though.

    When we got our little Maggie (a morkie: yorkie maltese mix) our black labrador was 11 yrs old, pretty old to be dealing with a puppy. Our lab Daisy was the most easy going dog & even she, in her old age, was pretty frustrated at first & rebelled a little bit. But she kept Maggie in line & taught her manners. She would nip her if she got out of hand & let her know she meant business.

    It probably took a 9 months to a year for them to fall in love. Maggie loved everyone from the beginning. Daisy finally learned that here was a baby she could mother. Once Maggie mellowed they cuddled together every single day.

    My advice - protect your older dog. We always crated the puppy when we left the house. We gave Daisy her freedom & Maggie had to learn that Daisy was top dog.

    Small dogs are super hard to house break. It takes much more consistency, patience & time. They just can't hold it as long as large dogs & when they're excited they really don't have the control of large dogs. It took a good 9 months to house break Maggie & even now I make sure to give her a good bathroom break when I expect anyone to come by...even when my husband comes home. If she's had plenty of time to empty her bladder she doesn't have accidents in all the excitement.

    Congrats on your new baby & hoping the chaos she brings adds lots of fun times for everyone.

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    1. Thank you for this excellent advice! We have enjoyed seeing Szuka have fun and be so much more energetic but then she does seem to crash while the puppy keeps pestering and nipping her. We've started separating them when Szuka seems done and popping Hynda in her crate or play pen area but then we felt bad for Hynda. Thank you for saying that it's a good thing to do because I needed to hear that! Hynda has these pleading eyes that make me give in, lol. I'm also glad to hear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel - I just have to make it to the 9 month mark, haha. Thanks for sharing your stories and sage advice, I really appreciate it!

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  4. Wow, congratulations! We need a new dog but my father has just moved in with us so any thoughts of a puppy have been put on the back burner. Look forward to more pictures.

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    1. Wow, what a big life change for your family! How sweet of you to invite your Dad to live with you. I hope when things are settled you can add a little pup - maybe it would make your Dad happy too? In the meantime I
      promise to share way too many of Hynda for you, haha.

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  5. We have the only small dog I have ever had now, Sally, and she is 13 these days. I was shocked at how difficult she was to house-break b/c I don't remember going for more than a few weeks with any big dog puppy, ever. But she really didn't understand until we began to crate her and that was the first time in my life I had crated a dog. It felt bad at the time but it was the way to go. We did struggle with her for a long time but she is our family dog in a true sense and I am so glad I did not bail, as I often threatened to do. She's a very good girl, now with diminished hearing, sight and energy and so we miss those old crazy days.

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    1. I had a Jack Russel Terrier long ago and I don't remember her being so difficult! But then, I think my Dad was super harsh when he reprimanded her so we probably scared her into potty training the hard way. Dog training was less gentle back then. God I'm old. We've been crate training now and we feel bad too, but it seems to help. I love hearing these stories because sometimes I do feel like I made a mistake so I like knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think we were just so spoiled with Szuka, that we had unrealistic expectations! So happy to hear Sally become a really good girl - she's lucky to have you :)

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  6. Awweeee how adorable! Hard to see where one ends and the other begins :) Congratulations!

    We've just crossed the 6 month mark with our beagle puppy and I finally have some time to darn all the clothes he has shredded and for our scars on hands and feet to heal. I couldn't wait for him to grow up and teeth and learn some potty manners. So puppyhood is a difficult time, and I agree with Jenny's excellent advice. Once you get through 6-7 months, they calm down a bit. I think they are so cute precisely because they need to make up for their otherwise abhorrent manners!

    From my previous life with two dogs, I agree that the older one needs more time and space to accept the puppy rather than the other way around.

    I'm also conflicted about crate training, preferring a play pen or other enclosed space. And the initial few weeks set the rhythm, so taking time when they are young to teach them manners will help a lot as they grow.

    But can we talk about how ridiculously hard it is to adopt a dog/puppy? We live in France and we looked for nearly 1.5 years. We finally adopted our beagle from a research laboratory studying canine reproduction. I think our next dog will be a senior, like a retired guide dog. I'm also wary about not getting another male, and also ensuring that there isn't a huge size difference between the beagle and our next.

    Bravo on persisting with expanding your canine family in spite of your allergies! It's admirable. And good luck!

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    1. I love that they're both white! It makes me smile so much to see them together.

      So glad you left a comment - you're encouraging me to just hang in there! I can make it to six months, lol. I will definitely heed the advice and give Szuka some more alone time and make sure she's protected from the little ball of energy.

      We have expanded from a crate to a crate with an enclosed pen. So much more room to play but still confined a bit and safe when we can't watch her. I totally agree with being conflicted so we thought this was a good compromise as well.

      It's funny to hear you had a hard time finding a puppy too! I wasn't even looking for a puppy, I just wanted specific breeds I am not allergic too. I'm sad I couldn't give an older dog a home but maybe someday!

      So happy you found the right pup for you family! You sound like you've really clicked as a pack now :) Thanks for sharing your story with me.

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    2. I realised I wasn't very helpful apart from sharing my story, haha, sorry.

      The enclosed pen sounds perfect for Hynda!

      The best advice I had when we got the puppy was that his bladder would generally hold for x number of hours where x was his age in months. So for a 3 month old puppy, he could hold it for 3 hours. It may vary a bit for smaller breeds, but this was a good thumb rule. And we also noticed that his sleep patterns coincided. When he was 3 months old, he would sleep for 3 hours and then have some crazy activity for 3 hours. So after 3 hours of playtime, if he didn't fall asleep by himself, we put him on his bed and gave him his nap-time-chew-toy and he promptly fell asleep.

      So excited for you and looking forward to many more adorable pictures of your pack! :)

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    3. You were super helpful! It's even just nice to hear other peoples experiences and strugggles - the tips are an added bonus! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks! I need all the help I can get :)

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  7. I just had to laugh at your comment about the difference between their energy levels! Large and giant breed puppies are a whole different kettle of fish compared to smaller ones, which you've now found out! haha The giant breeds usually are incredibly calm and laid back until they 'wake up' during adolescence.

    I assist with puppy training classes (we do clicker training), so I can offer tons of advice. :D Definitely give Szuka her own space that the puppy isn't allowed in. Having a strict schedule for Hynda will make things a lot easier. I even write up a spreadsheet so everyone in the household knows: for example,
    - Wake up, out to pee, breakfast, back out to pee
    - Play time for 30 minutes, back out to pee
    - Nap time for an hour or two, out to pee
    - Lunch time, out to pee
    - Play time, out to pee, etc

    Puppies need A LOT of sleep and can get out of hand when they're overtired. Respect Szuka and help her out when she's had enough of puppy shenanigans - usually dogs give signs before a growl (body stiffens, looks away, sniffs the floor, etc) when they've had enough of a dog interaction. Put puppy in a crate or safe confinement area at that point, so that Szuka learns to trust that you have her back. It's totally normal and fair for her to have her limits and not want to interact any more.

    Here are a couple of resources, btw: https://mrsbehaviour.com/category/puppy/ & Ultimate Puppy is AWESOME http://www.ultimatepuppy.com/

    Have fun and things will get better!

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    1. Yep, I found that out the hard way, lol! I had a Jack Russel puppy ages ago and she was NOWHERE near this nutty so I really was not prepared. Yikes, I miss Szuka's puppyhood.

      Thank you so much for this amazing advice! I've been reading like crazy but there is so much conflicting/confusing advice online and in books. I was definitely getting overwhelmed, for sure. I love your idea to write down the schedule. We're trying to keep to one but then we forget who let her out last.

      I've noticed that if we don't MAKE Hynda sleep she gets so crabby. I wasn't sure why but that makes sense. I will make sure she gets to snooze.

      I will read those resources, thank you so much for including them in your comment, I really appreciate it! Your advice and encouragement was perfect and exactly what I needed!

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  8. Thank you for this post! We have a Black Russian Terrier (he looks just like an all black version of Szuka!) and have been thinking about a companion for him but really worry about how he would tolerate an obnoxious puppy. He was rather a difficult puppy himself so he kinda deserves it but an unhappy 115 lb dog makes everyone unhappy. Reading about your new addition and particularly all the helpful and encouraging comments makes me feel so much better! Good luck with Tuna Breath Face Biter, she's pretty cute :)

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    1. I wish I could loan Hynda to you for a trial run! You could try fostering a little pup and see how that works. If I didn't have allergies and need such specific breeds I would have done that. Lots of shelters need temporary homes. Day by day these jerks are getting along better. All of these tips helped and I've been reading a lot about integrating new dogs. We've set firm rules and separated them more and that's helped. Szuka is happy with some alone time. Whenever Szuka has had enough, the pup goes into her play pen. Today I caught them snuggling! Then it was all out war again but that's progress. Your dog sounds so adorable!! It would be hilarious to get a photo with Szuka and your Black Russian Terrier because they look so alike! I hope that if you add a pup it works out! I think, like most things, it just takes time and patience...? I hope...

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