One isn't always sufficient. Having one dog is wonderful, but having several dogs is even better! A multi-dog home may have you tearing your hair out over the smallest of things, with twice rewards and treble the obstacles. Many dog owners think that having many dogs in the house makes their lives more exciting and full. Whether you're expanding your single-dog family or beginning from scratch with many dogs, you'll need to teach them how to get along. It isn't tough, but you will need some patience and consistency with all dogs.
01 of 08
You'll need to complete a meet and greet if you're adding another dog to your existing one. The initial encounter between your established dog and the newcomer might set the tone for the rest of their relationship, for better or worse. If at all feasible, arrange for them to meet at a neutral location away from their homes. If you're adopting from a shelter, ask whether you may bring your dog in to meet the new dog before signing the adoption contract to see if they'll get along. Allow enough time for the dogs to get to know one another.
02 of 08
Pay Special Attention to Puppies
If you're ready for the challenge of bringing home two (or more) puppies, you're going to have to take a few special steps to make the transition smooth.
- . Crate them together when you aren't available, but the crate is invaluable for getting one-on-one training time with each puppy. Crate one while you work with the other.
- Buy two of everything! Two toys, two , and especially two beds/blankets. They may be amenable to sharing now, but that could change as they grow older and bigger.
- Use different colors for everything, even if the dogs are different in looks and there's no mistaking them for each other. It's not for them; it's for you.
03 of 08
Plan One-on-One Time
Every day, every dog in your home should feel special. Make time to interact with each of your pets individually. Individual are required for everything to sink in, and they require your undivided attention (without competition) in order for you to establish yourself as the owner. Otherwise, your two (or more) dogs may become reliant on one another, and you may be reduced to background noise. If you have additional adults (or older children) in the house, have them walk one of the dogs while you train or play with the other. Take turns training your dogs so that they learn to listen to all of the humans in the house, not just the family's leader.
04 of 08
Prepare for Dog Fights
It's a reality that if you have more than one dog, they will fight. The majority of fights between domestic dogs are not dangerous and stop quickly after they begin. The most prevalent reason of these tussles is a matter of rank: the dogs must figure out who comes first among themselves. These sorts of dog fights are unavoidable unless both dogs are very docile. To prevent severe conflicts from escalating:
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- Neuter them. Rampaging hormones are a huge factor in dog aggressiveness, especially toward each other.
- Do your part to reinforce pack order: You are first, then the other humans, then the dogs, in whichever order they have established.
05 of 08
Reinforce Pack Order
You should pay attention to rank even if they aren't battling. You'll need to know which dog came out on top once they've sorted themselves out. Even if your favorite isn't the leader, you must contribute by prioritizing the other dog (after you and the other people in your home). Feed your dogs in order of rank, starting with the top dog's food bowl. Allow that one to leave first, and don't be upset if the puppy appears to have monopolized your love.
06 of 08
Set Feeding Times
Feed both dogs at the same time, but give priority to the dominant dog of the two (or more) by placing its food first. There should be no issues as long as both dogs eat the same food and complete their meals at the same time. Although each dog should have their own food dish, a common water bucket is typically sufficient. Feeding the dogs in separate sections of the house may be essential if:
- One dog finishes first and tries to eat the other , as this can lead to an overweight pooch rather quickly
- They fight over the food
- They eat different foods (for example, if one eats an adult diet food, and the other gets a puppy food)
07 of 08
Anyone with many dogs understands that the most hectic period is when you, the human, returns home from wherever you've been. Bouncing, perhaps barking, butt-wiggles, excited yipping noises, and even even excited puddles are all possibilities. Don't give in to the madness. After a long absence, walk through the door and ignore your dog until it has calmed down enough to sit correctly, then lavish praise on the pup. If you can ignore the pandemonium when you first walk in the door and refuse to accept anything other than a seated dog, your dog will soon learn.
08 of 08
Problems and Proofing Behavior
You should expect a few squabbles whether you're introducing a new dog to an existing dog or bringing home many pets. If difficulties persist after the pecking order has been established, you may require outside assistance. Another issue might arise if one dog is easy to teach while the other is challenging. A veterinarian or a pet behavior specialist can assist you. They will normally visit your house to see your dogs in action before collaborating with you on a and training strategy.