Living with More Than One Dog | Dogalize
Living with more than one dog can be a rewarding experience. Dogs love the company of other dogs, but sometimes it’s hard to find the right balance. Knowing how to prevent problems and teaching dogs how to share resources so they do not bully each other, or pester you, is pivotal to having a harmonious multi-dog home.
If you regularly let your dogs work it out among themselves, you give them a clear signal that you do not want to be involved when there is social conflict. If there is then an emergency, and you need to get your dogs’ attention, they will be less likely to look to you for guidance.
Dogs will frequently compete over resources. Resources include your attention, eye contact, affection, and praise; locations in the house and in the car; toys, balls, bones, food, and beds. A little preparedness on your part can go a long way toward preventing conflict. Your dogs should wait their turns for affection and food, respond to their names, and know how to sit, stay, look at you, and leave or drop objects.
– Teach your dogs that all toys, affection, games, play, and petting come from you only when they are nice to each other. If they misbehave or bully each other for resources and your attention, give them a time-out or remove what triggered the behavior. Make sure the situation is managed so the problem does not reoccur.
– Provide plenty of resources for your dogs so that there is little competition between them. If you have only one food bowl, dog toy, or dog bed, your dogs will be forced to take turns or fight over them.
– Say your dogs’ names routinely so each dog can figure out who is being focused on. If other dogs get involved when you are focusing on an individual, turn your back on the intruders or look away from them.
– Do not give your dogs attention for being nudgy, barking at you, jumping on you, or bullying each other. Don’t pet your dogs when they barricade you or push themselves on you. Teach your dogs impulse control, and reward polite manners.
– All dogs should wait for treats and meals or have places to go when they eat so that they do not intrude on each other.
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