Everything had been imagined to be so beautiful. The four-legged friend finally has a playmate with whom he can romp around all day as he likes. There is also no longer a guilty conscience because he has to stay home alone from time to time. There is no longer boredom, he has a companion.
But what an unpleasant surprise: Now two whirlwinds turn the apartment upside down, and when walking you have twice the pulling force on the leash. Besides, how do you actually walk two dogs? One on the left, the other on the right, or rather both on one side? But which one?
This is one of the most frequent questions Angelika Stahl is regularly confronted with in her courses for “Two & more”. “The best thing to do is to try several variants,” she replies. Because sometimes it is advisable to lead both dogs on one side, but sometimes the dogs can get too tight to run next to each other. Then it may be better to lead one to the left and the other to the right.
“In my experience, multiple dog owners have the same difficulties that single dog owners have, only that it may increase under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, dogs tend to look at things from others that are part of normal dog behavior and not quite as good for us as humans liked “, explains the dog expert.
According to her experience, the most common problems are a lack of obedience when running freely, aggressiveness on the leash, hunting behavior, the curiosity to run anywhere where something might be of interest. Barking passers-by or other dogs at the garden fence is at least twice as much fun together as alone.
Before you venture into exercises such as walking, sitting, sitting down, staying in a double pack, both dogs should be fit in basic obedience. In any case, she recommends that novice dogs wait with the second dog until the first is well trained. “If he is well trained, he can act as a role model. If he is called, the second dog usually comes with you. If he stays calm in a difficult situation, so is the other. It makes things a lot easier if the first dog helps “, she says.
Play with the idea of getting a second one, but don’t wait too long either. The first dog should still be young and fit enough to have fun with it. If he is older and is slowly becoming frail, you should carefully consider whether you want to expect him to have a colleague or even a puppy. The longer a dog has lived alone, the more difficult it can be for him to accept a partner. Even if it may be comforting for you to already have a successor in the house, you should better forego it out of consideration for the senior.
“Only advanced owners should get two puppies at the same time,” advises Angelika Stahl. “The dogs then always have a play partner, but they also do a lot more ‘nonsense’. Adding a puppy to a young dog or vice versa is not a good idea because they usually do not go well together in terms of play and development.” It is best to look around for a partner in the same or a similar breed. Then the dogs have a similar behavioral repertoire and play behavior.
The size ratio should also be right. “Although the Labrador and Jack Russell Terriers can make a good team, playing with significantly larger dogs is often stressful for dogs, they often feel harassed and there can be health problems. So you shouldn’t necessarily socialize masters and chihuahuas Be careful when you meet dogs of very different sizes. This is by no means the case – they do it among themselves, “explains the trainer. She thinks it advisable to take the dogs for a walk and exercise separately. So you can concentrate fully on one dog and the four-legged friends learn to be without the other. “It is a valuable experience for both of them that they can be alone with their person or be alone at home. At some point one will no longer be there, and that can become a big problem for the other,” she says.
Sometimes it can make a big difference to a double which one should perform a command first. Once the dogs have come to a hierarchy, it can be difficult if you want to change that. Therefore, watch your dogs carefully to see what habits they have with each other.
One of them cannot want to get into the car because the “boss” is already inside. If you reverse the entry sequence, the problem is resolved. The order of feeding can also be important. This can lead to “intelligent disobedience”. For example, you first call the “boss” to you. He comes, sits in front, and while he’s waiting for his treat, you call the other person. Although you followed the order that your dogs agreed, the second does not dare to obey the order. Because he knows that eating is involved and that his “boss” is not joking. If you insist that he sit down, you can provoke an argument.
“As a multiple dog owner, you have even more to consider than a single dog owner,” says Angelika Stahl. “Nevertheless it is a wonderful task. If you do it right and socialize the right dogs, your four-legged friends will thank you twice for it. Because humans can give a dog a lot, but never replace their fellow dogs.”
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