It was trucking along smoothly for a while - I have Violet, Eric has Piper. Mary has Woo the ultra-affectionate Chihuahua/Dachshund, and Whiskey the inbred, introverted Sheltie, and her two stay relatively separate from our two. Well, long story short, Adam decided that he really wanted to get involved in a dog sport and therefore needed a dog of his own.
Swiffer is a Border Collie/unknown spaniel mix, and he is, no joke, the smartest puppy I've ever met. He had a rocky first day (some troubling resource-guarding-only-not-exactly issues), but by day two he had changed his tune. I have never met a puppy his age (11 weeks) with toy drive/chasing instinct like he has. Holy meatballs. He retrieves everything and brings it back, almost without fail. Violet is 7 months old and we're still working on that. His intelligence is almost unnerving, I can see him thinking. I don't see how he could be anything but the best frisbee dog on earth.
So that means that there are 5 dogs in this house. Only 1 is actually mine, but 5 dogs. So today, I sat down with Eric and decided that we're going to have 5 well-behaved, well-rounded dogs in the house, and started an all-dogs kindergarten. We spent some one-on-one time with each dog today, even the long-since adult Woo and Whiskey, and it was awesomely fun. The dogs all loved it, we were using whatever reward they worked best for, writing down a learning plan...it was a great time, even though it felt an awful lot like homeschooling. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.
Leashes are all over the pool table, gentle leaders and training books are all over, dog toys are on every surface, dogs are on every surface. Phrases like "high-value object," and "building drive," and "finding currency," and "capturing a behavior" are being thrown around like normal families throw around, I don't know, "soccer practice" or "pass the salt, please." It's fun. Hopefully we'll be able to take them to the dog park tomorrow, if it stops raining.