Living In A Multi-Dog Household

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

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By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Dogs are extremely social animals. They are pack animals, after all, and are used to being in the company of other dogs as well as people. So it’s no surprise that dogs enjoy each other’s company.

Having two or more dogs in your home doesn’t have to be a difficult situation. In fact, a multiple dog household can sometimes make life easier since the dogs can actually keep each other company. The only thing that is essential in a multi-dog household is exactly the same thing that is required in the single-dog family home. That is… leadership!!

Leadership from you and the entire family is mandatory for any dog to adapt smoothly, but even more crucial in a multi-dog home. That’s because every dog needs to know what place they occupy in “the pack”.

It is your job to remove the burden of the leadership role or “alpha” role from your dog and assume this for yourself. If not, your dog will most likely become frightened and anxious and by his/her very nature, assume that burdensome role, (as stressful as it is) purely for survival of his/her “pack” or family.

When you have more than one dog, you must calmly, gently, but responsibly and consistently assert the role of a loving leader with boundaries, rules and continuity, as well as affection. This will result in a secure and relaxed dog. In this way, the dogs can live a healthy, well-balanced life with your family, as well as peacefully with each other.

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