A three-dog family vacation

Our Labor Day weekend was very pleasant, and we spent our days doing a lot of dog-wrangling, as we ended up with a three-dog household.

My brother-in-law and soon-to-be sister-in-law brought along their 4-year-old cockapoo Adelaide!


Adelaide is such a sweet little thing. She has a tendency toward nervousness, and gets particularly anxious about men, but she’s very cuddly and much more willing to warm up to them over time than Pyrrha is.

Adelaide makes it hard to tell which end is which. #thisisarealdog #cockapoo
Hard to tell which end is which.

She was a bit nervous coming into the house, which is absolutely fair, seeing as it was being run by crazy-dogs Georgia and Pyrrha. Although they eventually brokered a peace (which meant just ignoring each other), Adelaide and Pyrrha continued to make each other anxious throughout our weekend visit.

I think there were a few things going on:

  1. Adelaide and Pyrrha are both anxious dogs. Anxious dogs just tend to make each other more anxious.
  2. Size differential. Pyrrha has a good 45–55 lbs. on Adelaide, and she can also been kind of pushy/gregarious in her play. This, naturally, made Adelaide pretty fearful about her.
  3. Mixed signals. Adelaide, as you can see, is hard to decipher; her eyes are not visible and she has no tail to speak of. Pyrrha was throwing play bows at her, but this usually just solicited growls from Adelaide, and Pyrrha often didn’t have the sense to back off, and instead would growl back, creating a situation that we often had to intervene in.

All of these issues aside, however, Adelaide and Pyrrha were able to coexist peacefully by calculated avoidance of one another. They could pass by each other calmly and walk around the yard together without incident, so we were all assuaged by that (even though I continued to keep a very close eye on Pyrrha).

Georgia and Pyrrha, meanwhile, continued to be bosom buddies and playmates.

Georgia dog
Georgia, that little sprite!
Girl talk
Sharing secrets.

Adelaide was happy to observe and get the lay of the land.


Adelaide and her dad
Adelaide and her dad.

Watching Adelaide eat

Too lazy to play? #pyrrhagram #georgiadog #puppylove

All in all, I think we’re happy that the family dogs get along, now that we have all three of them in the mix! I hope Pyrrha and Adelaide will continue to get more comfortable with each other as time goes on.

Summoning the dogs
Summoned by the Keeper of the Treats (aka my father-in-law).

Soon enough, we were on our way home, although I’m sure Pyrrha missed all the action and her playmates.

Road tripping it. #pyrrhagram

Such a good traveler. Ready to be home! #gsd #germanshepherdHope you all enjoyed equally fun and pleasant weekends!


8 thoughts on “A three-dog family vacation

  1. Pyrrha looks very pleased with herself and pretty relaxed! It does make it tough when you have a couple of dogs together who don’t quite get along, though. I’m glad everything worked out and everybody had a good time!

  2. What a gorgeous group of dogs!! Lucas and my mother-in-law’s dog, Lucy, had a very tenuous relationship. They are both skittish, fearful, far-less-than-confident pups, but after a while and many positive visits, they learned to read each other. They never became besties, but they’re comfortable around each other!

  3. My brother brought his two dogs over this weekend. We were a bit nervous considering the last time we had my other brother bought his dogs and the meeting didn’t go well. We had them meet in the driveway, then took them on a walk. They they played in the yard for a while. This meeting was a lot better, a few minor issues we dealt with but all in all it was great to have the dogs get along and play. Glad you had a good weekend too!!

  4. Have you ever tried calming essential oils to ease the nervousness with the dogs? You can rub it on the tips of the ears or onto a bandana tied around the neck. Lavendar works best 😀 I use it all the time when intro’ing dogs that tend towards reactivity.

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