A dog is a huge responsibility but if you already have a dog of your own, I am sure that you have acclimated to the added responsibility and may have thought about getting another dog. Most French bulldogs owners that I have met seem to fall in love at first sight with their Frenchie. Could it be due to their squishy faces, facial wrinkles, big ears, stubbornness, or their snorts when they agree with you? A Frenchie may be a small dog but it sure has a huge personality that wins over even the most hesitant animal person.
I know from my own experience, I want my Frenchie to have the best doggie life possible. I mean how can you look at that wrinkle face and not fall in love? Cooper has a great doggie life from getting weekly visits to the local restaurants that allow dogs, to visiting the pet store every week to pick out his new bone, and his weekly summertime paddleboarding adventures. I am sure if Cooper could write this blog, it would be called "Frenchie Party Life," but until Cooper grows some thumbs, we will be keeping this blog more refined.
Even though my Frenchie has a great life, I often wonder if he ever gets lonely. Animals are meant for companionship both to humans and other animals alike. I like to think that I am all that Cooper needs in his life but when I see him meet another Frenchie, my heart rejoices at seeing the happiness on his face. It frequently makes me wonder if I should get a companion for Cooper. How hard could it be to take care of one more dog?
Rather than being reactive and adopting another dog, I thought that having a controlled experiment with Cooper was a better way to test if getting another dog was the right thing for us. I saw a post on our online local Frenchie group asking if someone would be willing to watch a two-year old brindle Frenchie male for two days. It seemed like the perfect fit since Cooper was only six months older and also a brindle Frenchie male. What could possibly go wrong in two days? It seemed like the perfect test run for me and a new experience for Cooper.
Bowser, our dog guest, came over on a Saturday, and I think both dogs were excited to meet each other. The dogs were looking at a mirror-images of each other so I felt the dogs were wondering if they were looking at a ghost image of himself. After a few nips and wrestling matches later, they figured out that they were not dreaming, and the doggie sleepover was happening. A few celebratory hot laps around the condo, followed by a few squirt sessions, and the introductions were over. I am sure that it was the usual ritual of any dog going into a new home, and we hoped that Bowser was feeling right at home.
Bowser was on the prowl to figure out his new space and the toy bin was his next target. Little time passed before Bowser found the treasure bin that awaited him, essentially a cornucopia of squeaky toys and tennis balls. We quickly learned the strengths and weaknesses of each dog. Cooper loves playing soccer with tennis balls, while Bowser loves playing tug-of-war and keep-away. Bowser also had a lot more energy and stamina when playing games, while it gave Cooper a chance to improve his endurance. Needless to say, Bowser usually won at the game selection since he would pick his toy, dance in front Cooper until he decided to join in, and then the game of keep-away and/or tug-of-war ensued. Bowser definitely had a high win-rate but once Cooper figured out his strategy over the next few days, I believe Cooper won a few rounds.
The boys even had a field trip to visit a friend’s house in the country, complete with another dog and a large fenced yard. It must have been so exciting for the boys because they never tired out, even with a third dog. Maybe it was all of the excitement of meeting new dogs or having a large yard but after a few hours of playing chase and wrestling, the boys were still playing after getting back to our home.
Dinnertime was better to enjoy in separate areas because I did not want the boys to get aggressive towards each other since it involved their food. Each dog ate in a separate area until their food was finished, which for anyone that owns a Frenchie, you know that dinnertime is very short.
After dinner, I expected the boys to be too exhausted to move anymore but they rallied to have more games of tug-of-war and keep-away until bedtime. It was like late night entertainment as I supervised the boys, watching their strategies develop as their game-playing excelled. The boys were unrelenting and neither of them wanted to admit that they were tired or slowing down. The only way to get them to bed was to turn the lights out, and put a Frenchie on each side of me in bed so that they could have some separation, allowing them to settle down and sleep.
By the next day, the boys were best friends, starting their morning off with more hot laps around the condo and a few rounds of tug-of-war. It was as if they never took a break from the night before, and it was nice to see the two dogs get along so well. The day before, I was worried that Bowser may not feel at home but he warmed up to Cooper and I right away as if he had always known us forever.
Walks with the boys were a bit more challenging because walking one Frenchie usually gets a lot of attention from bystanders but walking with two Frenchies, who look similar to each other, gathers double the attention from spectators. Regardless of the extra attention, the boys walked well together and seemed to look after each other. The boys kept a steady pace and breaks were rare, which I can only guess was to stay in stride with each other.
Cooper and I shared one of our weekly experiences with Bowser in that we took him out to our favorite, local restaurant that allows dogs. Even though Cooper does not eat at the restaurant, it is one of his favorite places to visit, and we were glad to be able to share the experience with another Frenchie. Our experience taught me that Bowser is not as food motivated, unlike Cooper, so I did not have to clean up a drool pile under Bowser at the end of my meal. In comparison, Cooper studies your food, waiting for a morsel to drop his way so maybe he can get a taste.
After dinner, I wanted to put on a dog-themed movie for the boys to relax to; however, the boys were ready for more rounds of wrestling and tug-of-war. Cooper was finally starting to figure out how to win the games that he never had much of a chance to play before. The boys had a lot of fun playing with each other, and if I did not have to make them go to bed, they would have stayed up all night having multiple rematches to determine who could win the next round of tug-of-war.
So what did I learn from this experience:
- Two dogs are more work than one dog
- Have a cleaned, designated area for play time
- Walking the dogs would have been easier with a double dog leash
- Supervision is mandatory to ensure that the dogs do not getting aggressive with each other. (Although it was not a problem for my experience, both dogs were still new friends in close-quarters, and I wanted to keep close watch of them).
- Two dogs are a lot of fun, and I think that Cooper enjoyed having a friend around
All-in-all, I believe our doggie sleepover was a success! Cooper was sad to see Bowser leave but I think he was also happy to sleep for the next two days. It was good practice for me to determine if I had the stamina to keep up with two dogs, and the experience was beneficial for Cooper as he learned new doggie games from Bowser. I would definitely love to have another dog but this experience taught me that I need a larger space and/or yard to accommodate a growing canine family. Until my life situation changes, I would love to host more doggie sleepovers because I think it was such a rewarding experience for Cooper, without having to make a permanent commitment. Who would not want one more Frenchie around their home for cuddles, even if it is just for a weekend?
Do you have any tips, tricks, or experiences you want to share from hosting your own doggie sleepovers? Feel free to share in our comments section below.