or more dogs live together they quickly form a pack structure
amongst themselves. This will also include any humans in the home.
While most multiple dog families are orderly, there will, at times,
multiple dogs creates a structural situation very similar to that
of rearing children. They must be taught from the onset that the
humans (parents) are in charge. Make sure they understand what
they are allowed to do and what they are not (right from wrong).
Feed them at the same time and frequency each day.
and instinct cause dogs to set a pecking order. This is entirely
normal and desirable. Just realize that you have nothing to do
with it and be willing to accept the outcome. The dogs determine
to whom they are subordinate and over whom they are superior.
The settlement process may include an occasional fight or two
so be prepared to mediate if the fight gets too intense. The disagreement
should be just long enough to allow one dog to establish dominance,
not hurt the other dog. Be prepared to intervene so no dog gets
hurt in this process. Use anything large or bulky that may be
at hand, a chair, sofa cushion, small table, etc. and shove it
between the dogs. Absolutely keep your hands out of the
fray. You can expect these occasions early on, when the
dogs first meet, however, the settlement process should be over
within the first couple of days. Once the pecking order is set
the dogs will be accepting of their position and will most likely
get along without further problems.
the settlement process is over, expect that there will be occasional
disagreements between the dogs, just like there are between human
siblings. These are usually settled quickly and although there
may be a bunch of growling and snarling (and yes, the occasional
bite) five minutes after it’s over, they will be friends again.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t bear grudges.
never hurt to invest some time, effort and possibly money in training
the dogs. Trying to train more than one dog at a time, though, is
just asking to be frustrated.
order will shift throughout the dogs’ lives, as they age or become
infirm. It is common for younger dogs to bully or pick on the aged
dogs (usually those 10+ years or older) in the group. Their instinct
is to chase off old or ill dogs to preserve food supplies for the
healthy ones. A prolonged illness or absence of one dog may also
lead to a change in the order.
fighting becomes frequent then the offending dog may have to be
placed where he/she is alone.