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How to establish order in multiple dog household?

Updated on November 29, 2007

After the initial meet and greet and after your dogs have established their pecking order you will be faced with another challenge and that is how to manage your multiple dog household. It can be a bit tricky however there are basically 2 important things to remember before the process starts and that is a) once the pack order is established you will have to reinforce it and b) you will have to make sure that each of your dogs gets all the love, affecting, time and training he or she needs. How to go about making sure that all of your dogs needs are met?

As I said before once your dogs have established their own pack order you will have to reinforce it. That means that you as a human come first, then all other humans, then the leader of the pack and then rest of your dogs. If you have both male and female dogs, there will probably be male Alpha dog and a dominant female. You should make sure that the dominant dog gets his food first and then the rest of the pack. They should eat at the same time, however all of the dogs such have their separate bowls. You might have to separate your dogs while they eat in case of a) dogs having to have different types of food (whether due to age or special diet) b) in case your dogs fight over food c)one dog is a bit greedy, finishes his food first and then eats all the rest

Another thing you will have to ensure that each of your dogs gets plenty love, affection and training from you. You are the center of your dog's universe and he needs that extra time (regardless if he is the leader of the pack or not) with you when he is the focus of your attention. You might want to arrange with your family that you have some one-on-one time with one of the dogs while the other dog goes for a walk. Same goes for training.

Be prepared that there might be scuffles between dogs. And unlike a real potential fight with some random dog, fights and scuffles between your dogs in all probability are not alarming and will be over even before they begin. Most commonly it is either attention seeking behavior or the dogs are re-establishing their pecking order. It would be best not to intervene. However if the scuffle escaltes it should be sufficient to spray some water in your dogs' face, that should break them apart and give you some time to separate them.

And do not forget, get 2 of everything. Toys, blankets, dog beds, food and water bowls. To avoid any confusion on your part and avoid any potential scuffles from breaking out it will make your life much easier. If your dogs decide that sharing is ok that is fine, however do not try and force them to share stuff as in all probability they will not like that.


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