Boundary Games and Gated Communities
We do talk about boundary games often but that’s because them solve a multitude of training struggles! There are too many to list!! If you own more than one dog, boundary games are an absolute must! Having multiple dogs who are all well versed in boundary games elevates so many challenges. Boundaries provide a safe area for each of your dogs, allowing them some independence from one another. Your dogs don’t have to be together in the same room all of the time, so as well as boundary games we love gated communities. Using gates, pens, crates etc is an excellent way to help to manage certain situations. Remember – management is training!
Fair Doesn’t Mean Equal
Guilt is the driving force that tells us our dogs all have to enjoy the same activities all together at the same time. That goes for walks, chews, kongs, scatter feeding, training sessions etc. Let go of that guilt and ditch any kind of ‘the dogs do everything together’ routine! Sometimes you may be in a situation where if you were to treat your dogs equally it could lead to a negative event taking place. For example; when out on a walk, you might be in an environment where one of your dog’s recall skills aren’t quite dependable, they are a work in progress! Rather than feeling guilty and taking a chance by letting them off lead to enjoy some freedom with your other dog/s, let go of that guilt and say to yourself that it is far better to keep them on lead to eliminate any rehearsal of what you don’t want, i.e; them running off! Added to this keeping them on lead while your other dog/s are off lead is a great opportunity to get some 121 training in and you can play some proximity and relationship building games! In our book, that’s a win-win!
Train the Dog in Front of You
Each and every dog has a different personality, we get that, right?! Even within the same breed, personalities can vary greatly. As you all know, we love to train concepts and we know that each individual dog will need help with concepts that are personal to them. One dog may be a natural optimist, while the other dog struggles with this. One dog may be a thinker, while the other dog may be a doer…and so on… What we mean by this is when it comes to thinking about your training sessions, look at each dog you own and work out what concepts need enhancing and go from there to create your training plan.
A one size fits all approach to your training sessions will only get you so far and we suggest that you look at each dog as an individual so that you can not only get the most from your training sessions, but actually create real life changes and results.
Acknowledge Individual and Household Stress Buckets
Here’s the very important thing to know when it comes to a multi dog household. When it comes to stress buckets, we must consider the communal bucket. By that we mean that within your household each of your dogs have a shared stress bucket.
One thing to always be working on with your dogs is… CALMNESS!
We really can’t express the importance of this enough and ensuring you are working through the calmness triad with each of your dogs is crucial. When it comes to the calmness triad, your dogs could be working on different areas at one time. So, for example; one dog could be enjoying a passive calming activity, while your other dog enjoys some active rest.