How many is too many?

Dogs, that is. I’ve wondered how many dogs I could have mingling inside the house. I’ve had 5 for several days with 1 or two more in the kennels (converted garage). That was a lot. Of course, the answer first depends on which dogs are on the list. Some dogs just aren’t going to get on with other dogs no matter what you do.

This Thanksgiving weekend I have the opportunity to see if I can handle 6 dogs inside the house with 1 in the kennels. I’ve had all of these dogs boarding with me before but they all met each other. So I need to pay attention to the dynamics and behavior in the pack. You might recall each of the visitors: Arco, Yule, and Buddy.

Then there are my 3 long term dogs: Scrappy, Lilly, and Brandee.

Let’s see.  Arco has never met Brandee, Buddy, and Yule. And possibly not Lilly either. I think. I can’t be 100% certain. Yule has never met Arco; he may not have met Buddy. Buddy has not met Lilly, Brandee, and Arco. And maybe not Yule. Oh, and there’s Tucker in the kennels. Yule has spent a little time with Tucker but Arco and Buddy have not met. That’s a lot of not yet met not having happened.

Buddy is a sweet Golden Retriever that has never been big on confidence. You can see that he adores his Daddy. And he’s still as handsome as ever. We ended up bringing Buddy in to a yard with all the other 5 dogs present, plus Tucker. He might have been overwhelmed by the experience but I was proud to see him handle it well. Not that he wasn’t anxious, he was. But he didn’t try to escape the pack, he issued appropriate corrections to other dogs as necessary, and he began to socialize before long. Budd’s come a long way.

I haven’t seen Arco in a couple years maybe. He’s grown a sugar face, and he looks great. He seems to be quite content with life.

Arco hit it off with Tucker right away. They began to play almost right away but neither Yule nor Buddy had any interest in such shenanigans. So it was just Arco and Tucker having fun.

Yule has been wary of Arco since they met a couple days ago. He’s kept Arco at bay with occasional low growls. Arco, believing in the old adage that discretion is the better part of valor, has given Yule his space. Yule has tried to understand Arco but I’m not sure he has figured him out yet.

While I wasn’t surprised that Yule hasn’t wanted to play yet, I am fascinated that he decided to assume the “hall monitor” role with Tucker and Arco. It’s hard to tell in these shots but Yule is growling and barking in an effort to quiet the “offending” pair.

Brandee just chills while the boys engage in their drama.

And, finally, Scrapper shows us once again why his name should be “Kickstand”.

I am grateful to have the honor of knowing all these dogs, and many others.



  1. You are very fortunate, both in your location and the breed that you generally take in. I would not want any of your readers to be mislead into thinking that another dog or two is necessarily fine for them. We contemplated another dog as a friend for Ray, and was looking for a mature and secure dog (as an influence to Ray who is very insecure). We have an excellent relationship with two trainers and asked for their guidance on dog selection. There advice was do not do it! Their rationale was that we are likely to end up with two insecure dogs, rather than what we wanted.
    While I do agree that multiple dogs (or cats etc.) can be a positive asset to ones life, the rationale must be carefully thought through in order to avoid regrets later.


    1. Thank you for a thoughtful comment, Colin. I certainly agree that not every dog should necessarily be living with another dog. I am also convinced that dogs do better when they spend time with other dogs. And also that they will heal faster through canine companionship whether at home or away from. You are right that not all humans have the proper experience to handle this as it’s not just a question of putting dogs together, a point I have tried to make. Perhaps I need to do that more as I do not want to mislead people. But it is gratifying when we are able to help dogs of various breeds participate in canine life. We are not always successful, of course. Sometimes we can only get a dog to behave properly on a walk when passing other dogs. And occasionally we don’t even get to that point.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sargentmt

    WOW! Lots of grateful people that you can handle so many dogs at one time. hope you are getting some sleep. wonderful that you can take all these pictures and write a blog with 6 dogs in your care. Tell Yule mom says hi!


    1. Not a lot of sleep this time. Brandee is now helping Yule wake me up.


  3. Rob. They are grateful for you too!!


    1. You’re very kind. Thank you.


  4. Jana Hook

    Good work Rob! Hi Scrappy-doo!!!


    1. Scrappy sends his greetings.


  5. Like summer camp…without the smores! (We hope.)


    1. Oh, now I realize what they were trying make last night.


  6. Sounds like some interesting and exciting days. Boarding takes a lot of experience and it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. It is interesting to see the different personalities of all of the dogs under your care. I love how Brandee is just chilling.


    1. It’s pretty easy with these guys once we get past the introductions. Brandee has come a long way, and is still slowly morphing into a different dog. That’s not the reason I took her home but it’s welcome nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Goldentaxi

    Too many? Not a chance! You do great work.


    1. Thank you. Fortunately, the max number was only for 4 or 5 days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.