Home Alone.

I made it very clear, my hopes and dreams for Melvin and Jake (the Tank) included them becoming snugglers. But in all honestly, when I took on a second dog my goals were simple.  I wanted them to be happy, healthy and tolerant of one another. They didn’t have to love the other, but they had to respect that I loved them both.  Dogs getting along, takes a lot of work, especially in the beginning.  I took a great many steps to give them as much opportunity for success as possible. They were separate at first, getting used to the other just being there.  Jake was on tie-down for several weeks after that, it gave Melvin time to acclimate to Jake being in the same room and it gave Jake a chance to learn the dance of the household. Toys played no role until they were both roaming free and we could take that next, cautious step in the training.  Jake, although now free to roam, still has accidents in the house so he is almost always within my visual path.  He doesn’t know I’m watching him, but it’s just another way to set him up for more success.

One thing has not changed (and I don’t know if it ever will),  the boys are separated when I’m not home.  This was never even a question in my mind.  So I find it surprising that I get A LOT of questions as of late about “are you leaving the boys together alone yet?”.

Yet? YET? YET!  Wait, what?

I have no plans to leave them alone, together.  It’s only been two months so this is not even on the radar. Am I crazy? (can you tell I’m hyperventilating ) In my opinion,  they are fine apart during the day, I have way more confidence in that then I do to leave them together.

So now I’m curious, are your dogs together when you leave the house?  Why or why not?  And if they are together, when did you know it would work for you?

"Please keep him jailed when you are not here."

“Please keep him jailed when you are not here.”

26 thoughts on “Home Alone.

  1. I think you are doing this integration in a very smart way!! It took me probably 3 or 4 years to leave my two out together. And it was another couple of years until I left them for a work day together. At first it was as short as a trip to the mailbox-then the grocery store, etc. My two fell into the toleration category..with a bit of spit and vinegar when my little guy would rile my bigger dog. At the very end, after 8 years they would cuddle on the couch and sleep back to back. But I truly think that was because my bigger dog knew my little guy was sick and very much a non threat. As long as both dogs are comfortable, safe and loved-who cares if they are separated by crates/baby gates for all of time.

  2. As I’ve said to you in our private conversations, Rufus and Turk have been together for yeeeears and we still separate them when we are not home. Rufus has a tendency to be a jerk to the Turkeyman, and I feel a lot more comfortable giving them “alone time” while I am away. It’s not mean or cruel in any way, shape, or form. You have to do what YOU feel comfortable with.

  3. At our house, some dogs are separated and some are together. The reasons vary, in some instances we worry about “altercations,” but it’s also practically too (since we don’t want other dogs stealing Nemo’s food during the day!). There’s nothing wrong with keeping them separated when no one is around indefinitely. It actually makes me cringe when people leap to doing that right away. Better safe than sorry!

  4. We have separated ours since day 1. I have two males, a shorty Jack Russell & a 120 lb Lab. The Jack can be touchy at times so I wouldn’t chance leaving them together for a long period of time. While given the right circumstances, the Jack would take on my big boy so there’s just no sense in tempting fate. We just added a new little girl to our dog family last week and she definitely is segregated for now and probably in the future, too. I’m of the better safe than sorry court, too!

    • Agree!!! I don’t think Melvin would ever hurt Jake on purpose but I do think Jake would taunt Melvin to the point that something could happen. Safe is better than sorry!

  5. I leave my two boys out together when I’m not home, but it really wasn’t my decision. When I brought Petey home, I intended to crate him. But he escaped. Every single time. Until I put close to 100 zip ties on the crate, and then he would just hurt himself trying to get out. All he wanted was to be by Monkey. Monkey didn’t seem to mind, so rather than risk Petey hurting himself, I stopped crating him. 2.5 years later, I trust them together more than I trust them apart.
    With that being said, do what works for your family and what gives you the most peace of mind. Sounds like Jake and Melvin like their alone time, so I don’t see why that should change.

    • As I have been thinking about this post I have thought about dogs where you just feel they are better off with the other than apart. This is the perfect example of that. If Jake was not so chill in the room I’d rethink the plan but when I come home he’s always out cold so I know it’s not stressing him to be in his own space. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  6. Oh, I agree…I think you are doing an awesome job (hugs)!!!! And see, you already have another picture of them so close together…I can’t help but think of “baby steps…baby steps” from the classic “What About Bob”…Giggles…

  7. I think it depends on the dogs (their personalities, their maturity, etc.) on whether or not you would leave them home alone.

    When we first got Boomer he was an only dog and he was left in one room when we were gone until I could trust him and he graduated to the whole house. When we got Dottie she was in a crate whenever we were gone until we could trust her to be with Boomer in the rest of the house. Now when we leave and come back they are most likely sleeping somewhere separately. It’s worked well for us… but that doesn’t mean it would work well for everyone. It’s something you can build up to like we did or just not do it at all.

  8. We do leave Cooper and Oscar together. Cooper had crazy separation anxiety, and he would go berzerkers when he was alone. He’d break out of his crate and trash the room he was in. So we originally tried it because we wanted to see if Oscar’s calming influence (he’s so chill) would rub off on Cooper. I normally would not recommend leaving two dogs together unsupervised when they’re new to each other like that, but we were pretty confident they’d be OK. We tried short periods of time at first and worked up to longer. Of course we never leave toys or food out while we’re away, and they just snooze the day way. 🙂

    • ….I should say, that our normal protocol for leaving foster dogs and Oscar in the house is that the fosters are crated in a different room from Oscar. But, since it’s been so long with Cooper, it’s been awhile since we’ve done that!

    • “Oscar’s calming influence..”, I love it! My decision to keep them separate def can”t be pinpointed to one or the other. I think Jake would prob end up being the ultimate instigator but Melvin can be spazzy sometimes and Jake often tries to follow suit. Maybe if they EVER mellow out!

  9. As is the case with human children, all families work differently. You must do what is best for yours. It is clear that Jake and Melvin are being raised in a safe, healthy and loving home. I know as a mom, you constantly question yourself, but as the casual observer … you are amazing! Relax, sit back and enjoy the boys.

    • Thank you!!! This is so true, people have the same hopes and dreams for their children but often raise them differently from home to home! Excellent point!

  10. With seven people in the house on different schedules the dogs are very rarely left alone, but when those times come Mr B (the deaf senior) is left to roam the house, the other three are in crates. Not doing so isn’t a risk I’m willing to take. All dogs and all situations are different and what works in one house could be a disaster in another.


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