Many people have more than one dog in the household, or would like to add a second or even third dog. But to do that they are not sure how to train more than one dog at the same time. It comes down to knowing who the “leader” is within the dog pack.
When you begin training it makes it hard for the dogs to understand who the teacher is and where they should focus if all the dogs are present. Always start with individual sessions with each dog to let them clearly focus on the problem at hand. Always start with the “leader of the group”, the one that the other dogs follow or watch.
If you want to walk all of your dogs together, teach them individually how to walk properly. Walk the leader dog around the inside of the house for a few minutes until she is comfortable with you walking properly, and then move outside. Start with walking around the outside of the house, so she learns the proper way to walk when outside, where there are more distractions. Teach her your walking command and proper leash manners. Once she is obeying, walking well, put her back in the house and work with the next dog, in the same manner.
Once each dog knows the proper way to walk on leash individually, you can start to walk them together. If you have room in the house, begin inside where there are fewer distractions. Once they are listening to you, move to outside of your home. Start off slow. Walking more than one dog is harder than walking one dog. Stay calm and confident that both you and your dogs know the proper way to walk on leash.
Repeat this process every day for the next few weeks. As you and your dogs improve, increase your distance away from the home a little bit each time.
This same process can be used for any behaviors you want to teach your dog or correct – not jumping on counters, door manners, etc. Slow down the training process. By working with each dog individually, you establish the rules and guidelines, allowing you to keep control of the process.
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery County, northern Chester County and eastern Berks County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
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