Multiple Dog Ownership
My first advice to any person desiring to take on a new dog or puppy is only obtain one! If you have an existing dog make sure that this dog is at least 3 better 4 years older than the new one; especially if the new addition is 3 years or younger, which in most cases it will be. Try and get a different breed, opposite sex but difficult if more than two of them! Lastly if possible have a different character which by obtaining a different breed you may well manage anyhow.
Assuming you don’t want to take the advice above or may have already done the deed you can minimise the problems many discover by taking on more than one young dog. These are likely to be: One will listen to you the others simply follow this dog. Your home may become a canine gymnasium for MMA canines. Training them to do simple things may be an issue because even when they do listen to you that dog will seek the approval of the others and run to them each time you teach an exercise. Natural behaviours will develop outside of your influence, such as chasing game, other dogs and often anything else that moves quickly as well. Then as they mature focus on other dogs may develop as they practice the behaviours they use on each other on any unsuspecting dog they encounter. Unmanageable pulling on leads, panic attacks when one of the gang is absent or when one dies – the list may be endless.
There are advantages to owning several dogs the same or similar age. They won’t feel they need you, so may be left alone more easily without feeling anxious as you are not there. Other than for social referencing you won’t need take them out and exercise them as much as they will do this on their own in or out of doors. However surely you wanted the dogs to share fun and activities together?
Regardless of how I feel about multiple ownership of young dogs of a similar age this phenomenon is occurring more regularly. Probably due to unscrupulous breeders and dealers who try to push two puppies onto a novice owner.
More and more regularly I am now consulted by people at the end of their tether because the siblings they bought 6 months ago are now unmanageable. As I write this I reflect upon today. Three new sets of clients, all with siblings bought together. First ones with German Shepherds, Second with spaniels and the last two lively terriers. In fact this has prompted this new document and service. Having seen so many owners of multiple young dogs often siblings, and this year is unprecedented! Through the sheer volume and practice I have developed strategies and methods to manage multiple dog ownership. Please don’t read this and run out to buy two pups, I cannot make the situation wonderful but I can give guidance and methods to help the owner of multiple dogs to understand why they experience difficulties and how to manage this problem much much more easily.
If you want an easy answer to this issue it is this: ensure you the owner provide your dogs with fun and activity. If they provide their own you will very likely lose influence over your dogs. If you want help and guidance make an appointment to see us at daviddaviesdogtraining. I and no one else can give accurate advice without seeing you and the dogs, so make an appointment. The first will be a consult at your home, at one of the premises I have access to use occasionally to deliver consults or at my own venue outdoors. Following this fact finding consult you will be given a program to follow and then continuation appointments will be offered. Appointments will be between 1 and 2 hours depending upon the nature and the requirements.