Multiple Dog Households

When you already have dog, some problems can arise when a new dog joins the family.

A confident adult dog will discipline a newcomer to control bad manners or games that become too rough.

However, some older dogs find it difficult and may either allow the new dog to bully them and/or become too aggressive when trying to put the dog in its place.Try to make sure that the new dog forms its strongest bond with you, rather than the other dog. If you allow too much unsupervised access and play for the first few months, the newcomer will look first to the other dog, rather than you, for direction. This can lead to control problems, as the new dog has not learned to respond to you, he/she has merely followed the lead of the existing companion dog. In the absence of the other dog, he/she may well ignore you!

If your other dog is excessively tolerant of the newcomer’s rough games, it is easy for him/her to learn that this is the way to play with all dogs. You may then have a bit of a bully on your hands. At some point,                                                               your dog is likely to meet a strange dog that may not tolerate this sort of behaviour. Your dog may be attacked and become involved in a fight and this can lead to the development of a fearful aggression to strange dogs.

If you are at all worried about the relationship between a newcomer and your existing companion dog, please seek advice from an experienced trainer who can see the dogs together. Most problems of this sort can be overcome quickly and simply in the early stages of the relationship.

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