Night and Day

Mia and Maxie


2 dogs, 2  distinct personalities.

In my post “Think-er or Do-er?” I  described  personality differences between Maxie and Mia.

Since our move from Iowa to Ohio,  additional variations in their personalities have been revealed.

When I pet Maxie, Mia  will nudge my hand with her nose,  or launch into a vocal session- she can’t stand to be left out!

So much attention has been devoted to Mia and her adjustment issues due to our move, I feel like Maxie has gotten lost in the shuffle.

When Mia is on high alert and reactive, Maxie idly watches nearby; but  recently she has given off signals that I am just now noticing. For example, she trembles more than she used to.   I associate this with a heightened sense of nervousness perhaps due to the unfamiliarity of her new surroundings.

The other day, as I was engaging Mia in a training session, Maxie seemed to just observe.  As she  lingered near me there was a bit of an “a-ha” moment for me.   I was reminded that she has had to adjust to a new move too. Her bed is in a different place, the yard she knew for 14 years has been replaced by different sights, smells and sounds. She tends to be more subtle when she wants to go outside (which is more often now due to her age). When she wanders into the kitchen, she often becomes disoriented and lets me know this by barking until I pick her up and carry her to another room. She may not be as visible or vocal about it as Mia, but in her own way she has tried to communicate and I have not been listening.

As in any family, the noisy child commands the attention while the quieter one seems to blend into the background.

maxie1051BAs we all continue to adjust to our new surroundings, I am making a conscience effort to be more aware of signals from Maxie. She has been my constant companion for 14 1/2 years and she deserves my full attention.

Do you have a multiple dog household?  How do you deal with the differences in their personalities?


  1. Definitely multiple-dog household here: seven, all rescues, all mutts—and their personalities are not just distinct but, sometimes, diametrically opposite. There’s Panchita, our first, who came in off the street already a lady; seriously, a better-behaved dog has never walked the Earth. There’s Winter, with a bit of Corgi in her, whom no amount of training or exercising or—well, anything, really—will render ‘calm and submissive’. There’s Rusty, a sort of Lab-Rottie mix who weights 25 kg but is convinced she’s a lapdog (and who came to us, also off the street, somehow knowing ‘heel’… Abandoned? Lost?). You’re absolutely right; our attention tends to go towards the louder, most disruptive ‘child’… Good reminder here to avoid it, to look at the whole picture and stay involved with everyone.

    Great post, great blog. I found you through the A-to-Z list, and will be back. Often.
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    • Theresa says:

      Thank you so much for your comment and for visiting Ruff Talk. Multiple dog households keep life interesting. & we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Comments are closed.