2 bedroom apartment, four dogs. How to keep the peace?

I'm moving into a 2 bedroom apartment and taking in my sisters 2 dogs because she can't "afford" them. I have no problem affording anything they will need but I have 2 dogs already but they all know each other and play all the time. I made a small list of what I should do when I move:

Crates for all four of them for 'me' time and for when im not home so they dont cause trouble.

Their own food and water bowl

No bones, just lots of chew toys so there is no guarding aggression (bones are just a pain to get them to not hurt each other over)

Feeding them after I've eaten and making sure their bowls are far from the others.

Am I missing something?? Is this a good list so far? I love the other two dogs very much and I do not mind adopting them from my sister. I have money, time and patience. LOTS OF PATIENCE. Help me out please!!

Asked by Shadow on Oct 15th 2013 Tagged adoption, family, pack, multidoghome, multidog, lotsofdogs in Behavior & Training
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Ultimately, the best way to make peace between 4 dogs is to #1. Make sure they get plenty of exercise (if they're big/hyper, they need long walks, long games of fetch, brain-stimulating stuff like agility/frisbee. If they're smaller, they still need a daily walk/romp to take the edge out of them). #2. Training and positive experiences. Do your own little obedience-training sessions with them. (Sit, down, heel in an open area) once you're confident with one dog, add another...and another.... Get to the point of walking all 4 of them in a nice heel-position at the same time. Invite two, three, or all of them to be pet. Show them that they don't need to argue over attention, you will give it to them on YOUR terms.

I did these techniques with my boys (they hate each other and fight all the time). I make them heel on the same side, it makes them realize they don't have to bite each other, they can cope together.

You're on the right track though! Once you're pack leader, it's amazing! ;)

Shasta answered on Oct 19th.

Other Answers


Tasha (in memory)

The question is, how big are these dogs, and do you have space? If they are all little (under 15. lbs) then fine. If not, you owe it to the dogs to have a yard and the land that you can not provide. It is also cruel to keep them in crates all day long to protect things. What kind of quality of life would you have living in a jail cell all day, even with a toy, some water and a bed? ^_^

Tasha (in memory) answered on 10/15/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Crate training is not cruel if it is done right. Now I have never used a crate while I am home for "me" time but as far as when your not home, yes most definitely use a crate, crate train properly and make it a happy place for them, heck my dogs go in their crate to sleep half the time when their door is open just cuz they are comfy in there. As far as giving them bones, maybe try only giving them while they are crated? As long as you make sure they have lots of exercise they should be fine, but know that in an apartment with no yard, they will need extra exercise, lots of walks and off leash dog parks and things like that. An exercised dog is a happy dog, so if your an active person you should be fine. I'm not sure how old your dogs are but if you are gone all day it would be good to arrange a trusted friend to come let them out at least once a day to stretch and bathroom break, good luck!

Mika answered on 10/16/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


What breeds are these dogs? A two-bedroom apartment is quite crowded for your dogs unless they are small breeds. Please make sure you are able to give them enough exercise, train them, give them regular vet care, and grooming.

Member 1166037 answered on 10/17/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I've known people who owned 4 large breeds in an apartment and all did fine. Most dogs living in an apartment receive far more exercise then those with huge gardens and outside space, and while it might be tight, there is no reason for the dogs to be unhappy.

You really don't need to feed them after you eat though. A dog really isn't going to take over the world if it eats before you. My own two eat whenever, but very usually before me, and I'm positive they're not plotting to take control. By all means, if that arrangement works for you, continue with it. But don't get caught up in the whole "dominance" thing which is outdated and mostly untrue.

You might want to look into other types of toys, maybe some squeaky, or stuffed ones if you don't have any already?

Apart from that it sounds like you have everything in hand.

Good luck!

Tyler answered on 10/17/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer