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Living in Harmony: Training Techniques for Multi-Dog Households

Are you living in a multi-dog household and finding it a bit chaotic at times? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Having multiple furry friends under one roof can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. That’s why I’m here to share some techniques to help create harmony among your Furkids. So, grab a treat (or two) and let’s dive in!

In my own household, I’ve got a lively bunch of pups who love each other to bits, but who also have their moments of tension. Until recently I had three furkids. A wee 4kg elderly JRT who’s since crossed the rainbow bridge, and the two big boys – Brock at 55kg and Stan Lee at 36kg. Through trial and error I’ve discovered some effective techniques for fostering peace and harmony among my furry crew despite the age and size differences.

Now, let’s talk about the importance of establishing clear rules of engagement. Just like most people, dogs thrive in an environment where they know what’s expected of them. So, set some ground rules for things like mealtime, playtime, and bedtime, and be consistent with them. This will help prevent conflicts and promote a sense of order and security within your home. Remember that Management is Training too!

Next up, let’s talk about the power of rewarding nothing. Instead of focusing on what your dogs are doing wrong, praise and reward them for the behaviours you want to see. For example, if they’re calmly sitting on their bed doing nothing wrong then calmly give them a gentle pat or some food. This not only reinforces good behaviour but also strengthens the bond between you and your pups.

How about incorporating group training sessions into your home? This is a great way to work on obedience cues and reinforce desired behaviours in a fun and interactive way. Plus, it gives each of your dogs a chance to shine and show off their skills. Just be sure to keep the sessions short and sweet to prevent anyone from getting overwhelmed or bored – 3 minutes is the sweet spot.  This is something that happens every day in my house. Turn taking at playing training games. Boundary training is key here so that your furkids will take turns at training.

Building harmony in a multi-dog household is an ongoing process. It’s natural for there to be bumps along the way, but with patience and dedication, you can create a peaceful and loving environment for all of your furry companions to thrive. Just like I say learning and training are lifelong, so is exercising that harmony muscle.

Let’s not forget about the importance of individual attention. While it’s great to do things as a family, it’s also important to spend one-on-one time with each of your dogs. Whether it’s going for a walk, playing a game, or just cuddling on the couch, carving out some quality time for each of your furkids is important. Be mindful of each dog’s individual needs and personalities. Just like people, dogs have their own unique preferences and quirks, so it’s important to respect their boundaries and cater to their specific needs. Pay attention to each dog’s body language and signals and be prepared to make adjustments as needed to ensure everyone feels comfortable and secure.

Make sure you celebrate the small victories along the way. Whether it’s a peaceful mealtime, a successful group training session, or a moment of quiet cuddles on the couch, take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the moments of harmony and connection shared between you and your furry companions. All those 1% wins add up and in a hectic household I’ll take all the wins I can get.

Another key to success in a multi-dog household is to provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Boredom and pent-up energy can lead to tension and conflict among dogs, so it’s important to keep them engaged and entertained with regular exercise, enrichment activities, and interactive games.

And let’s not forget the importance of creating a peaceful and relaxing environment for your furry friends. Make sure each dog has their own space where they can retreat when they need some alone time, and provide plenty of comfy beds and cozy spots for them to rest and recharge. Creating a calm and stress-free environment will go a long way in promoting harmony among your furkids.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you’re struggling to manage your multi-dog household. A qualified dog trainer or veterinary behaviorist can work with you to develop a customised training plan tailored to your family’s specific needs and dynamics. With the right guidance and support, you can create a harmonious and happy home for all of your furkids.

If you need help then please reach out. I love working with multi-dog households to help create a harmonious home.

Game On! Let’s Play!


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