How to manage a multi-dogs household?


How to manage a multi-dogs household?

A lot of us will feel that keeping one dog at home, the dog will be lonely and bored. By getting another dog in the household will keep the only dog in the house occupied and provided companionship for each other. True.

Have you ever asked yourself if you have the time to look after them, play with them, bond with them, work them out and care for them? How is it like to have more than one dog in your household? Would you be able to train them some basic obedience skills.

First thing first, you have to be able to maintain order in the pack. If you are facing pack behaviour challenges, identify the key areas of conflict, so you can figure out how to put a management plan in place while you work on long term dog training solutions.

When is feeding time, feed the dog separately, either in different rooms, different corners of the same room, in crates or to feed them one by one. Tools like doors and baby gates can be used to separate the dogs and confined them to their separate space. Crates allow them to eat safely within the space itself and in the same room. Crate training is essential for this instance.

You had a long day at work and were out the whole day, while the dogs spent their day indoor and waiting for your return, the dogs are already keyed-up. One way to greet them is to let the dogs out one at a time and greet them calmly. If they get charged up, you can quietly turn your back, ignore them and walk away. Or you can enter the house without greeting the dogs, ignoring them completely until they calm down. Once they calm down, you may start greeting them one by one. This teaches the dogs to control their own behaviour, they will settle down quickly and fights will be avoided.

Why do dogs fight? Aggression is caused by stress. It can be avoided if you can maintain a calm demeanour around your dogs. Reframe from the scream of a yell when dogs are squabbling, this will only increase stress. If there is a need to intervene in a scuffle, use an object, preferably a piece of plywood board that you can slip in between to separate them.

While it is inappropriate to let dogs work things out among themselves, it is effective to let pack members settle small scuffles themselves. These are part of inherited behaviour developed for group survival. It can help to resolve hierarchy unrest and to restore pack equilibrium.

If dynamics in your pack are stressing you or your pack so much that quality of life is poor, then it’s time to consider other options. Finding one or more of the troublemakers new home may reduce the stress for the rest of the family.

Alternatively, you may choose to keep the more difficult ones and place one or more of the easy-going dogs with friends or family members.

Yeo Yee Chong

Asst. Obedience Trainer, Basic

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