I have read on JL that some think it is important to have individual one-on-one time when there are multiple dogs. I never thought so because they all seem to like being together so I never left any behind. Now I'm begining to change my mind. Mitzi always seemed so happy whenever I took her in the yard alone. It's the only time she will play catch frisbee or catch me, catch me. I always thought it was because Bruno played too rough with her and she would get away from him and refuse to play. Now I'm thinking that she just likes my undivided attention. Judy, on the other hand was always my problem child, strong willed, sometimes refused to come when called, the only counter surfer. Now I'm thinking this behavior is to get my attention much like a child gets into trouble to get parents' attention. Yesterday she was on her bed whining for no apparent reason. I went over to her, loved her up and she was OK then. Today I had some errands to run and took only Judy in the car. I never take just one except to the vet. Judy ate it up and when we got back home, the other three surround her sniffing from head to tail, ears back while Judy has hackles up and nose wrinkled. I will never understand canine pshchology.
If I take just BJ anyplace I am told that the other three stand at the gate by the front door and cry - sometimes for hours. When we went to the river a couple weeks ago my daughter came down the hall and found the oldest beagle sitting on the dining room table at a point where she could look out the front window. I do try to give everybody a little individual attention when I get home each night.
Rusty, Blaze & Buster Brown
BJ - 3/9/2007 - 2/6/12 - miss you everyday
Boomer - ? - 3/15/12 - always in my heart
I try to give both some individual time.
We think that we need to give the boys some one-on-one, so they aren't so dependent on one another. Champ seems a bit lost lost if Buddy is not here. Buddy, though, is just fine when Champ is gone. I think either one would adapt to being an only dog again with little problem, but they do love each other a lot and I love seeing that.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
I don't quite know how I manage this with six, but every afternoon/evening they each get at least 5 or 10 minutes undivided attention from me. I make the "unattended" ones respect this little ritual. By now they each know they are going to get a turn, so it all works out just fine.
Seamus and Flynn
I think labs need individual attention. At least mine do. If Tanya thinks that the others get too much attention, she crawls under the back porch and pretends she can't get out. At first we thought she really couldn't, and almost paniced. I was on my way to get a crowbar, when my wife discovered it was all a hoax, and called me back.
I try to give mine individual attention too. Sometimes I take one to work, sometimes the other, sometimes both. Willy is more dependant on Libby than she is on him, so I try to leave him sometimes so that he can be more independant, but I'm careful not to always just leave him. She gets her turns home alone too. I also take one outside to for playtime. This doesn't go over so well though because the other one cries at the door! Libby doesn't care, but if Willy is the one outside, he'll go stand at the door because he wants her outside too!
I am pretty big on spending individual time with the boys, but only because unlike your crew, my two don't seem to particularly love each other. I see pictures like Sandie posted of Tankie and Orson, and I'm thinking, "How do I get two dogs who love each other like that?" My original plan was to get Simon as a companion for Angus, so they could play with each other and help wear each other out. Instead, I created twice as much work for me, keeping two of them entertained.
I do think it's a good thing, though (to spend individual time with them). When the boys are together, Simon tends to herd or crowd Angus out. We do almost all of our training individually, and except for this recent agility class, they've never attended classes together. I think they really appreciate having Mom all to themself.
I try to make a point of having one on one time with each of mine. I know Molly enjoys going out in the back yard with just me & we throw some bumpers & just goof around. I will do the same with Abby. Now with Kate I will take her out alone for awhile. I do think they enjoy that special time just with me.
When they are together there is usually some bitey face or chasing going on.
All of mine get individual attention; whether it's lying down with them and petting them or taking them for an individual walk or car ride. Even the new foster boy is getting his own time.
On nights I can't sleep I get up with my boys and just veg with them on the couch while the girls are upstairs snoozing away. It's kind of neat.
Right now every one of them are around my feet like a circle sleeping...gotta love dem labs.