Training a dog is never easy. Training more than one? Well, if you’re looking for a challenge, you’ve found it. Although training more than one dog can be difficult, it can be done. The secret is that you don’t actually train more than one at a time if you don’t absolutely have to. Training a dog is an intensely personal experience between you and your dog, so keep the training as singular as possible – at least in the beginning.
Training a Dog in a House of Dogs
It can be difficult to get one-on-one time with a dog when you live with more than one. However, it’s the easiest way to train your dogs in the long run. Trying to train more than one dog at the same time is like trying to herd cats. It’s not going to turn out well.
Separate Your Dogs
When it’s time for training, the first order of business is to separate the dogs, although that’s easier said than done. If you live with other people, the best way to do this is to put one of your dogs in a room with someone who can play with them and keep them occupied while you have a little training time with your other pooch. If you live alone, leave one dog in the house while you take the other outside for some training time. However you do it, the main goal is to get one dog alone with you. Personal attention is the name of the game when training a dog.
Keep it Short
When training a dog, you should always keep the sessions short. This is doubly true when you have more than one. Your dog’s attention span will be decreased because he’ll be looking for his buddy. Make every second count when you train, and when your dog begins to lose interest, don’t push it. You wont’ get anywhere anyway.
Stagger Training Sessions
You won’t be able to do back to back training sessions with both of your dogs. They’ll both be two wound up from being separated and the subsequent reunion for you to get anywhere. Rather, have some training time with one dog, and then do it again with your other dog in a few hours. That way, you’ll always be starting fresh.
When It’s Time to Train Them Together
There are times when you can train both of your dogs at once, but those times are only after you’ve mastered the basic commands with each dog individually. While training a dog should be a personal experience, you can reinforce training behaviors with both of your dogs. Here are some commands that can be practiced with both of your fuzz buddies.
Sit is one of the first commands generally taught when training a dog, and it’s a great one to practice in a group setting. That’s because the command should be given on its own without a name. If both of your dogs known it well, when you give the command, they’ll both sit. Then they both get a reward.
Do this in the same way that you’d practice sit. Simply give the command, and when both dogs lay down, give them their reward.
Stay and Come
This one could be a bit iffy. Your dogs will have to be absolutely keyed in on you for this. Otherwise, they could end up just playing with one another. If they’re up for it, give the sit command and follow with stay. Walk back a few feet, and if they remain where they are, give the come command. Reward them when they arrive!
Training a Dog in a Multi-Dog House is Totally Doable
Training a dog in a house of dogs is more difficult, but it’s doable. The key thing to remember is that training more than one dog at the same time is incredibly difficult, even for an experienced trainer. The better approach is to separate your dogs and train them individually, then reinforce their training when they’re together. Training a dog is an incredibly personal experience, and it should always be done that way whenever possible.