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Structuring the Multi-Pet Household - By Dawn Watson, ABC Mentor Trainer & Owner of Brother of the Wolf LLC

Saturday, January 30, 2010 : 12:16:23 PM
Updated Thursday, August 18, 2011 : 9:59:44 AM
You didn’t mean for it to happen. The situation developed without warning: your best buddy, Fido is housetrained, quiet, a pleasure to your family and then BLAM! You find another dog or another dog finds you and your quiet home becomes a noisy, chaotic, multi-pet household!

Fido suddenly begins marking (urinating everywhere), barking, and growling at Fifi. Short of splitting each room down the middle with a barbed-wire fence, what can you do about these behaviors? There is no short answer on this one but you can make the process less stressful if you follow a few simple rules:

Do not allow either dog together without human supervision.
If you catch Fido in the act of marking make a loud sound and immediately take him outside. Offer praise when he has ‘finished up’ outside. Clean the place where he marked with a product such as ™Nature’s Miracle.
Take time to work with both dogs individually but not within sight of the other dog.
Keep leashes on both dogs until they can interact acceptably.
Keep rewarding the dogs for offering calm behavior.
Never feed the dogs, together.
There are lots more suggestions on this topic but some of them are situational. I encourage clients to bring the entire household of humans and dogs for training so that everyone can work together to restore peace in their home.

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