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If you're looking at a Labradoodle as your next or new dog, there's a good chance they won't be the only dog in your home.
More and more today people have multiple dog households. And since it's becoming more common I thought it would be a good idea to give you some things to consider when it comes to training dogs in a multi-dog house.
Dogs living in pairs, trios, or larger packs need to have a special relationship with their human family. Special because for us to have control of the environment there's a very strong need for training.
This training is done best with one dog at a time until the relationship between you two is solid and clear. Although it is fine for all your dogs to be with one another for scheduled play time, it is more important for each dog to have alone time with the family for bonding and training.
Once you have solid control of your pack, begin to expand on the time they spend together and block some training time every week for working your group. Keep them sharp, whether it is one-on-one or the whole group..
Generally, your Labradoodles name would be used for commands like "let's go" or "heel." For stationary commands such as "sit" calling your dog's name prior to the command isn't necessary.
But in a multiple-dog setting, it's best to use each dog's name so each one can be controlled without any confusion. If you lined them up in a "sit-stay" position and called just one, the others should remain sitting. If one begins to move make an ugh-ugh sound followed by the command "Wally, staaaaaay."
Okay, so how do people keep 2, 3 or 4 dogs and keep peace and harmony? It's an attitude, a learned way to behave around dogs.
Some people are naturals and just have "it,". These owners have a quiet, calm, strong presence combined with a attitude of fairness and compassion that earns them the trust of their dog.
Learning how to read the structure of your pack is an important component for success. You call the shots, and it's crucial support the hierarchy as it naturally falls. You can't choose who the Alpha dog is, they must do it, and hopefully without violence.
There are numerous cases of dog owners who report their dogs get along fine by themselves, but all heck breaks loose when they come home. This is an indication the owners are disrupting the natural order and the Beta or Omega dog is owner-reinforced to be dominant.
The way to avoid this type of problem is to side with the dominant (Alpha) dog and help the subordinate dogs to become comfortable in that space.
Realistically, it is much easier for us to yell at the growling dog than to yell at the dog being growled at. This is wrong. We should side with the dominant dog to try to avoid a fight. If you discipline the subordinate just as the dominant dog does, then things will change for the better.
Another common fight scenario is who can greet visitors first. The dominant dog is allowed to greet first. If the subordinate is bold enough to try to get to the door first, the dominant dog might attack.
Help this situation out by teaching the subordinate dogs to stay back when someone comes in the door. On a natural level, the dominant dog will allow the subordinate access to the visitor, but in their own time, and the subordinates should wait and look to the Alpha for that time.
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