Tips for Managing a Multi Dog Household

  |   Dog Advice, Dog health

Having multiple dogs in one household can be challenging at times.. especially at the very beginning when adding the new addition. So here are some tips on how to manage the most common issues you might encounter:


Feeding time
Feeding more than one dog in a single space can sometimes lead to snapping over food and even fights. It can also lead to problems if one dog finishes eating faster than the other and then tries to steal the slower dog’s food. The best way to avoid this is to supervise all feeding times. Make all dogs wait before putting their food down and feed the more senior dog first. If you have a slower eater, make sure the other dogs have a command for leaving the one dog’s meal alone. Do not let a bossy dog force another dog away from their food in order to steal it. With consistency, the dogs will learn proper feeding time manners.



Managing Greetings
Having one dog excited when company comes over is hard enough, but with multiple dogs it can become a problem. Start with how your dogs greet you when you get home. Don’t get over excited when you greet them. Instead practice calm greetings when or if the dogs are too overexcited, and try ignoring them when you first get home. Encourage your dogs to sit or lie down in order to receive affection and make sure both dogs comply. You can then apply these techniques to guests entering your home as well. You can also use something like the Place Command to teach your dogs to stay in one spot until released to greet guests.



Proper Play
Dogs are like children. They always want what the other one has even if both have the same toy. This can sometimes lead to fights in multi dog households. Make sure that both dogs have access to toys and supervise play closely. Don’t allow one dog to grab toys or bully the other into giving up their toy or bone. You can discipline this behaviour yourself or allow the dogs to sort it out safely between each other. That is sometimes the best way to solve the problem.



Having more than one dog can be great since they always have each other for company, however, without a proper pack order it can be stressful on both the humans and the dogs. Most times if there is an age difference the dogs will establish the hierarchy on their own, but having some help from you is never a bad thing.


Sasha Amin
Dog Trainer
Doggie Playland Inc.