We have four dogs of our own now … not entirely sure how that happened, but we love ‘em all! Mia, our 8 year old from Pembina Valley Humane Society, Shodan, 4 years, Funds for Furry Friends, Lexxie, 3 years, Winnipeg Animals Services and Paisley, 7 months, Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue.
Living with multiple dogs can be rewarding and a lot of fun. It does come with it’s fair share of training and cooperation amongst the family. Three tips to live harmoniously with multiple dogs:
Be sure to spend individual time with each dog to maintain a strong bond with them. It is important to give each dog the opportunity to connect individually with you and your family to improve their listening skills and overall behaviour while with the full pack.
Provide plenty of resources for your dogs – bones, food bowls, beds, etc – to avoid the need to take turns or fight over things.
Teach your dogs respect and manners for one another. Do not give your dogs attention for barking at, jumping on or nudging you. While giving attention to one dog, if another dog intrudes, ignore it by turning your back, looking away and standing up with your arms crossed. Once the dog realizes its behaviour did not work or loses interest, return to the dog who you were giving your attention to.
If you’re looking to add a second (or third or fourth!) dog to your family, be patient, choose wisely and put in the time training each of your dogs. Your dogs reap the benefits of extra socialization and mental stimulation!