Multiple Dog Household Case Study – Philly Dog Training
When dogs play roughly with one another, it may be innocent, or it may be the sign of a serious behavior issue. It’s easy to tell if two dogs are having fun, romping around and wrestling, but if one dog begins snarling or hurts the other dog, this play can quickly become a battle in the war for dominance.
So how do you fix this problem? If you have more than one dog and you notice aggressive behavior from one or both of them, you must establish yourself as the one in charge.
A family contacted me because their young dog, Tyson, was not getting along well with their older dog. Tyson was showing unruly behavior, growling, and refusing to listen to his owners’ commands unless he felt like it at that particular moment. The fact the owners’ daughter was his favorite family member and about to go away to college brought on the possibility of separation anxiety. So, in Tyson, we had a large dog that hadn’t yet learned to bond with his siblings and was showing aggressive tendencies, hyperactivity, and the potential for anxiety.
I noticed a few contributing factors during the in-home consultation:
First, Tyson was allowed to roam wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Contrary to popular belief, dogs prefer structure. Without physical boundaries, they are less likely to respond to verbal commands. When free roaming is allowed, they are sometimes unsure of what they should be doing, decide it’s their decision, and get anxious/unruly.
Second, Tyson only listened to the daughter’s commands, if ever. To convince a dog to listen to every person within a household, the family must stay consistent in the dog’s handling, schedules, etc.
Third, Tyson believed he could be the one in charge. Through basic obedience training and ensuring there was absolutely no favoritism among the dogs, he discovered he was fighting a non-existent battle. The one in charge is always the owner, as long as they stay committed to the dog’s personalized training plan.
These techniques worked well for Tyson and his family. To learn which techniques would benefit you and your dog, contact Independence Dog Training today at 215.709.2560.