New Brother

| October 1, 2011 | 2 Comments
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Dr Zeus

Dr Zeus

Dr. Zeus is known as Am GCH Can CH Gingerbred Celestial Thunder JH, CGC by the AKC and just plain old Zeus to his friends. He has traveled far and wide in his four years. All across the US and Canada where he learned many things about being a great dog. His show career brought him to the elite of the sport and he hopes his new passion of hunting will also bring him great success. In all of his travels Zeus has met many dogs of all breeds. His insight and knowledge is how he achieved his honorary doctorate in “How to be a dog”. If you have a question for him, Zeus would happy to give you a dog’s perspective, so please send them to

Dear Dr. Zeus: My family brought home my new “brother” who seems to get all the attention. Does my family not love me any more? – “Tucker” a Chesapeake Bay Retriever from Cincinnati, OH

Dear Tucker: First of all, I know how you feel. I currently have 6 sisters and I used to be the youngest … and the only boy – it was great! Lots of treats, lots of pets, brand new toys … and, now, well, not so much. It’s not that my family doesn’t love me – they just have higher expectations now. When I was learning to “sit”, I would get lots of encouragement and praise; now I’m lucky to even get a treat when I “sit” since I should know better. Funny how things change.

But I digress, so back to your question. Your family most certainly loves you. They most likely got a new brother FOR YOU because they thought you’d like company during the day when they’re at work or a pal to play with in the backyard. Of course the new puppy is going to get more attention at first – he’s new! If you’ll recall, you got all the attention when you were new (I know, it’s great, isn’t it?).  I’m sure that your family is giving you encouragement and praise when you play and be nice with your new brother so go with it! Welcome your new friend and teach him the ropes, especially playing with him to tire him out – they will LOVE you for that and may just get you some extra treats and playtime by yourself, too!  Ask them to get you toys to share, like a KONG Extreme Dog Toy, an Everlasting Beanie Ball, or a Nylabone Big Chew Bone. I would strongly discourage teaching him to dig holes in the backyard or bring home dead animals. However, if your parents discover a big hole in the backyard that you MAY have had a part in creating, here are the steps to follow to avoid punishment: 1) shake off all the dirt on you, 2) act innocent (since you should know better), 3) make eye contact with your parent, 4) then point your nose toward your brother and repeat (eye contact, point to your brother, eye contact point to your brother, etc.). At this point your brother will most likely appear guilty (how could he not be with all that dirt on him while your spankin’ clean?) and will get the scolding. You see, this new brother is looking pretty good all of the sudden.

Just remember that your family loves you and the goal is not to STEAL the attention but to SHARE it. All good parents know they need to SHARE their attention with BOTH of you to promote long lasting relationships in the family.  I have a great family – they spend time with all of us together and then spend time with each of us individually walking, playing, training, or just hanging out. We all feel special.

I was in the bookstore the other day, having  just written this article and saw a children’s book that may be related to this topic called Big Dog…Little Dog – a lot of folks are different (big or little, hot or cold, etc.) but we usually have something in common.


Category : Ask Dr. Zeus


About the Author ()

Lorraine has owned Labradors for over 20 years and has bred them about half that time. A good day for Lorraine is experiencing the unbridled joy of her labs greeting her (in the morning, after work, or even after a short trip to the store), witnessing the pure happiness of her labs in the field retrieving or exploring on a hike, and snuggling with (or under) them on the couch at night. A great day is a good day (just described) plus having a litter of puppies around!

Comments (2)

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  1. Lisa Powell says:

    Dr. Zeus is spot on and too funny!!

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