Training more than one dog

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 1:36pm PST 
In classic "life is what happens while you're making other plans", Teeko came along. My daughter is moving out and taking Kale with her in a couple of months, and I'd planned on Ace being an only dog for a little bit at least, to work one on one with her on some of her remaining behavior issues. But along came Teeko, and he and Ace love each other, and it was destiny.

But that opportunity for one on one training is gone now. Teeko has his own issues.

In general, any helpful hints on training two dogs at the same time? Leash manners, and when the right and wrong time and place for wrestling play is, for example. Neither dog is going to be really happy about being left alone while the other is walked, so I'd like to be able to train better manners on-leash without a third hand to be a treat dispenser.

I may end up hiring a trainer, but hubby complains enough about what I spend on the dogs as is.

Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 3:12pm PST 
Patience and persistence lol. Just make sure to reinforce every good behavior. I thought it would be impossible to do any new training having three dogs but I managed to get some new things taught. It just takes patience and time. As for walking them politely (something I haven't perfected) have them heel, treat, then hold treats at their nose in heel position while you walk. Eventually, tell them to heel and start walking. If they leave heel stop walking and tell them to heel again (reward every time they listen). Eventually they should catch on that if they want to go anywhere, they need to walk politely at your side smile good luck

bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 3:27pm PST 
^That's how I trained heel as well. I also have one dog on an over the shoulder leash so it's one less thing to worry about and one more free hand. As much of a pain as it is, I personally like to train them individually first until they get the hang of things and then put them together.


Let's play tug!!
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 5:18pm PST 
Congrats on your new family member smile

I think training two dogs at once is generally harder, but there is a natural sense of competitiveness that can work to your advantage. For example, you can have heeling contests or sitting contests on walks. If one doesn't comply or takes an unreasonably long time, only the other gets the treat. Same thing if one is walking nicely beside you and the other is pulling at the leash, the well behaved one gets the treat. When both are walking nicely, they get tandem treats. (I'm assuming here that you're just working on general leash manners and they aren't fearful/reactive). You could do the same thing during play, teaching them to suddenly settle by letting them work each other up and then calling them to come and sit. If one comes and one doesn't, the one who doesn't watches the other eat something delicious. Most likely they will catch on VERY quickly. Or alternatively you could use go to your mat or crate, which might be more conducive to establishing longer-term calm, though either way you would probably have to work up slowly, both with the intensity you let them get to before asking them to settle, and with the amount of time they have to spend on their mats before they earn the treat.

Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Sun Feb 17, '13 6:17pm PST 
Neither are aggressive, but they both want to chase squirrels and play with other dogs. Teeko wants to chase birds, Ace wants to chase cyclists and joggers. And jump and wrestle with each other occasionally (Ace usually instigates).

I think hiring a trainer will actually be more useful for me cataloging the issues we have and what needs work. For a couple of rescues with an amateur owner, I think they're pretty good, but there are some habits I just can't break Ace from.