It all started with one dog. Big or small, fast or slow, old or young, it was still just one dog. And that dog was fun to take care of; you enjoyed the routine of it all. So perhaps you thought you would get another one. Maybe another two. Did you consider more?
How many you have doesn’t really matter because the point is as soon as you get more than one dog, everything changes. One dog can have a routine, but can two or three, or four? The answer is yes, but it will be a different one, and it’s important to understand exactly how to manage more than one dog in your home if you’re considering expanding your fur family. Read on to find out more.
Be A Confident Leader
One of the most important things to remember about owning more than one dog is that they will need a leader. What you don’t want is for that leader to be anyone other than you – you don’t want it to be one of the dogs, for example. If that happens, you’ll lose control, and that’s hard enough when it’s one dog that won’t listen to you; imagine if it were two or three.
Therefore, you need to assert your authority from the start. A lot of this will come down to training (which we’ll talk about below), but it also relies on your personality and your ability to take charge. Having more than one dog and ensuring they all behave is hard work, and you need to know that before you begin, otherwise it will become stressful for you and them. Build up your confidence with one dog first, so you know whether or not multiple dogs are a challenge you’re willing to undertake.
Training Is Crucial
You might (although it’s not recommended) be able to get away with not training your single dog. If it’s a timid dog, an older one, or you are able to be in control of it without additional help, you might just leave things there and co-exist quite peacefully in your home.
This can’t be done if you have more than one dog. Because each dog has its own distinct personality, you can’t just assume you’ll be lucky enough to get another dog that doesn’t ‘need’ any training. What worked for the first may not – and probably will not – work for the second. Therefore, you’ll need to organise training, and you’ll need to make sure you take on board all the information you’re given.
This will cost money and take time, and if you already have plenty of responsibilities and/or a tight budget, it might not be possible. In this case, it might be best to stick with one dog until you definitely have the time to train them properly. If you can train them, life will be much easier and more peaceful, so it’s definitely important to do.
Get The Right Equipment
This is something that will apply whether you have one dog or more, but if you have more than one, there is more to think about; you need to have the right equipment.
Of course, we’re using equipment as a catch-all term to describe anything you might want to get for your dog, but the principle is the same no matter what. For example, food. If you’re lucky, all your dogs will eat the same food, but this may not be the case. One might have allergies, another might be older so need special food. Another might not like the food you’re offering. This means ensuring that you have the right food in the right place at the right time for the right dog. This can be hard if they’re eating different things, and training will come in useful if they have to eat at different times.
Bathing multiple dogs can also be problematic. Even if you don’t run a dog grooming business, investing in a professional dog bath could be a good option. You can potentially bathe more than one dog at once, or at the very least, you can get it done quickly so there is very little fuss. Could this be an option for you?
Then there is walking the dogs. Ideally, you’ll want to take each dog out at the same time; it helps them socially, and it means you only have to walk twice a day rather than four or six (or more) times. Again, it all comes back to training, because walking two or more untrained dogs would be a challenge, to say the least. You will also need to consider where you will take them, how you will get them there safely, and what leads to put on them to make the task a less daunting one.
Owning more than one dog can be a wonderful experience, but it will take plenty of planning and consideration and is not something you can go into lightly.