Training with Multiple Dogs

Training with Multiple Dogs

If you live in a multi-dog household, I’m sure you’ve already experienced some of the struggles that can come with training multiple dogs. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to make it easier!

Teach new things individually first. Always go through the learning stage with any new behavior in a low distraction environment, one-on-one. Additionally, making individual time for each dog allows the opportunity to grow and build individual relationships with each dog in your household.

Using crates, tethers and baby gates makes separating dogs much easier. Crate training has many additional benefits as well. You can also provide the dog that isn’t training an interactive game or toy, like a stuffed kong. Once you’ve taught all of the dogs in your household a Place command, we recommend using that as well during training sessions. One dog can be practicing self control by maintaining their place command while the other works with you!

We would also recommend using different release words for each dog. A release word is what we use to tell the dog they no longer need to stay in a command and they’re free to do whatever they want. Some common release words, are free, break, okay, release, relax, etc. Those are just some examples, you can get creative! Using different words for each dog allows you to free one dog from a command while keeping the others in place without adding a lot of confusion.

Once you’re dogs have a solid understanding of their obedience commands and release words then you can start working them together. In the beginning if you have access to multiple handlers (1 person for each dog) that can be helpful as the dogs adjust to listening around each other. If it’s just you, don’t worry, you can still make it happen, you’ll just need a little more patience. It’ll be helpful to keep the dogs on leashes so help maintain control and reinforce behaviors. Remember to ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT.

Now that you’ve been working your dogs separately and together, it’s time to work that training into your everyday life. Use your training when you’re out on walks, before feedings, at doorways, and the list goes on and on! The more you practice, the better your dogs will be!

Happy Training

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