Managing Your Multiple Dog Household
Guest post by: Carrie Boyko of All Things Dog Blog
Every week or two I receive at least one letter asking for help in managing a houseful of dogs, other pets, and kids too. It’s really not rocket science—more like team management.
If you know you’ll be tied up after school with car-pooling, dinner preparation and homework duty, this should be your cue to prepare early. Prepare? How?
- First and foremost, dogs need exercise. If they are stuck behind four walls all day, they’re bound to get into some mischief. Save your couches and those precious shoes; take a brisk walk with the pups BEFORE work or your daily activities begin. With this done, the dogs will be tired and ready for nap time; no wrestling matches or chewing of table legs is likely when they are sleeping.
- After a potty break around mid-afternoon, most dogs need some sort of entertainment, activity or challenge to soak up their sudden burst of renewed energy. This is where busy bones, treat balls, boredom busters and games come in. A good, hearty game of Fetch or a swim are also great to tire out a reinvigorated dog before dinner time.
- If your house is anything like mine was with 3 kids and 3 dogs, the revolving door can get in the way of a structured evening. Yet dogs are creatures of habit, so keeping them on the same schedule can have many benefits. Most notably, their potty schedule will gain a degree of predictability when their eating and exercise schedules are similar each day. This is helpful in getting everyone to go in the same time frame. You don’t need to be running them outside one at a time, all day long.
- On the topic of feeding, it is also important to teach your dogs that YOU own the food. This will help to reduce, if not eradicate any food aggression, which is often a problem in houses with multiple dogs. Disciplining Your Dogs through Feeding is a must-read for owners with more than one dog. If you do nothing on this list, read this article.
These are my best strategies for keeping my pack in line. We’d love to hear yours. Happy tails!
Carrie’s pack of 3 spirited pups teaches her every day how to be a better pack leader. You can visit her at All Things Dog Blog.