It can be challenging to have multiple dogs sometimes. One of the most common calls I get is about intra-household aggression meaning that two or more dogs that live together are fighting amongst themselves.
This issue causes a lot of pain and stress to everyone involved. Pet parents are often at their wits end because they love all of their dogs but they can’t continue to live in a situation where their pets are at risk of seriously injuring each other or the people they live with.
One of the most important parts of having multiple dogs is managing safety around resources – food, bones and toys! If you don’t set them up for success than many dogs will escalate to dominance displays and aggression.
As a dog trainer I know this so I take some steps to keep everyone in my pack safe and happy. And today I am going to share these with you because I want everyone’s dogs to get along and stay safe!
NUMBER ONE RULE
Everyone eats separately. I hear it all the time – my dogs can eat out of the same bowl! Or my old dog just lets the younger one take his and it’s not a big deal. Well you know what it’s all fine and dandy until it isn’t. One day that passive dog may have had enough and bam you have a dog fight that never needed to happen.
There’s many ways to feed dogs separately but what I’ve done is taught every single pack member that they eat in their own personal kennel (meaning my dogs all have their own designated spot – they aren’t allowed in each other’s kennels). My kennels are in the same room however if I had a challenging dog then maybe that dog’s kennel would be in a different area.
As soon as I reach for the food bowls all of my dogs will go on their own accord to their own kennel and wait there. If I drop food or am delayed – guess what – they still wait! They know that they are only get food if they are in their kennel so that’s where they want to be. This keeps everyone safe and should I have any young kids visiting it gives my dogs peace of mind while they eat.
No one comes out of their kennel until everyone else is done. As soon as the dogs come out then I remove the bowls. Its easy and it keeps all my pets safe. My dogs still eat in the same room but they know that another dog isn’t going to steal their food and a wayward human isn’t going to bother them either.
I also feed bones and kongs in this same manner.
So if you have more than one dog please follow the NUMBER ONE RULE! Feed separately and live happier lives.