6 Well-Bred Tips For Keeping The Peace In A Multiple Dog Home
The more, the merrier, right? Well, not always – especially when it comes to a home with multiple dogs. Here’s how to handle your pack and ensure that your household doesn’t go to the dogs.
Being a dog owner is a wonderful experience but it can also be challenging at times. Not only do you have to make room on your bed for a third party at night, but you also have to spend extra time during the day doing your ownerly duties such as walking, training, and feeding your pooch. Caring for one dog is work enough, but living in a multiple dog home can seem utterly unmanageable at times. Don’t panic! We’ve got some practical tips for making your life easier as a multiple dog owner.
General Tips and Tricks
Ensuring peace and harmony in your multiple dog home can be tricky, but there are a few simple tips and tricks that can make life much easier:
- Choose your dogs carefully: If you plan to keep multiple dogs, don’t select breeds that are naturally inclined toward being the sole dog in a household.
- Maintain a strong leadership position in your household: All of your dogs should be properly trained and look to you for leadership. Even if one of the dogs becomes the “pack leader,” you should still be higher on the totem pole than he is.
- Prepare yourself for the possibility of aggression and fighting: Know the warning signs and what kind of triggers might set your dogs off, and do what you can to prevent them.
- Make an effort to maintain a routine in the home: Dogs tend to thrive when they follow a routine and any sudden or drastic changes in routine could lead to behavioral problems. With multiple dogs in the household, behavioral problems are much more difficult to handle. That means the sooner you set a routine, the better your household will function.
- Take care when introducing new dogs: Don’t rush the process or expect the dogs to get along perfectly at first… it will take time.
- Make an effort to encourage your dogs to develop their individuality and independence: Feeding, walking, and training your dogs separately on occasion will help them to bond with you and it will keep them from becoming too dependent on each other.
Dealing with Aggression
Even the most mild-mannered of dogs can become aggressive if the situation calls for it. While many dogs have the capacity to get along with each other in a multiple dog home, you should still be prepared for the occasional fight. The key is to understand the individual temperaments of your dogs and to identify their triggers. Some dogs have endless patience while others may have a short temper, especially if one of your dogs is a puppy. If you know that one of your dogs tends to get annoyed more easily, make an effort not to leave him in a situation where his aggression might be triggered. Making sure that your dogs are socialized from a young age is incredibly important in preventing dog-on-dog aggression later in life.
Another tip for maintaining peace and organization in your multiple dog home is to separate your dogs before you leave the house. Each of your dogs should have his own crate, a place in the home to call his own, and that is where he should be kept when you are not at home. While you are home you will be able to stop arguments before they start with a loud should or a clap of your hands. If you are away from home, however, and your dogs are left together, even a minor argument can quickly get out of control. It is best not to leave things to chance.
Managing a multiple dog household can be a challenge, but it is by no means impossible. The key to success is to know your dogs as individuals and to treat them as such. Do not place your dogs in a situation that could lead to trouble – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.