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Friday, February 8, 2013

Where do we go from here? - Multi Dog Household

So you've taught some basics like sit, stay, come, leave it, etc..
What's next?

Teach sit in a boring room, teach sit in a more interesting room. Teach sit in the backyard. Teach sit with another dog in the room. Teach sit with 2 more dogs in the room. Teach sit when a dog is walking buy, teach sit when a dog is running by. Teach sit when a rabbit is running by, etc..
More on proofing here:

and here:

- Premack.
Proofing is teaching your dog to ignore distractions.  Premack can take that further and pet parents can use distractions as rewards.
Here is an explanation of Premack:
And here is an example of using distractions as rewards:

- Multi dog training and stationing.
Once you have taught each dog individually, start teaching two dogs together, then three dogs together and so on.
Then take that further with stationing - 
After you have taught stay individually, you can eventually teach "stationing"
Basically several dogs learn to lie still while one dog works.

Also teach wait at the door with one dog, then two dogs and so on:

Go to crate

Go to mat

Drop (like when dog is running away)

Impulse control

Multi dog household safety.
A few things to consider - that may or may not work depending on your situation

-Have several crates in living area and sleeping area. If trouble happens, you can send dogs to crate  or throw them in the crates if necessary.
Crate acclimation:

- Have obstacles around to keep dogs from bunching up and to slow down charging dogs. These gates are lightweight and can be easily picked up to put in between dogs as well.  This might bunch dog up even more so use with caution.
Or use them to separate dogs if a crate isn't handy.

- have water bowls stationed throughout the house. More water for dogs to drink plus can be picked up and thrown on fighting dogs if needed.

- Condition a positive interupter.  Use it if you see any signs of trouble. Stiffening, hard eyes, lip curl, etc..
Jolly and/or baby talk also works for some dogs.

Carry a couple of light weight slip leashes in your pocket.  Safer than using your hands to get dogs apart.

If necessary, carry citronella spray on your person.

Maintain Calm
Consider Karen Overall" Relaxation Protocol:

Calming aids:

Couple more resources
Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household.  Patricia B. McConnell.
Fight!: A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-dog Aggression. Jean Donaldson.

Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs. Jean Donaldson.

An  article by Pat Miller in the Whole Dog Journal:

More on dog-dog resource guarding

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