Double Dogs: Double the Fun, Double the Trouble

Double Dogs: Double the Fun, Double the Trouble

Grace Shu
Sep 2, 2008

When we got our second dog, Bananas, it was definitely an adjustment for the whole family. See, we decided to get doggy #2 because we thought that Herbie needed a buddy. In fact, everyone and everything we read told us that dogs like packs. Even when we'd walk Herbie, we'd get asked by random strangers the same question that our parents were already asking (although they were referring to uh, babies), "So...when are you going to get the second one?" Little did we know that Herbie, despite his husky-pack-heritage, was perfectly content being the sole dog in our household and any four-legged addition to our family would be met with distaste, distrust, and dismay.

This is the precursor the photo above...Notice how Nanners has edged warily closer to Herbie chewing on a toy.
Now that it's been six months and Herbie has resigned to the fact that she's staying, we've learned some very valuable lessons about multi-dog dynamics. Here's a few we'd like to share, and if you have some tips of your own, please share them!

• No matter if you have 2 toys or 2 bones, they will always fight over the one that the other has.
• Establish the pecking order IMMEDIATELY. We cannot stress this enough. Herbie eats first, goes out the door first, gets walked first, etc.
• Take time out for each dog. We usually walk Herbie alone first, and then Bananas. This helps us on two counts: we don't have to play twister with the leashes every time we go for a walk, and it allows us to have individual time with each dog.
• In the initial epic dog battles, we were worried that Bananas would get hurt (or crushed, considering that Herbie is 50 lbs and can throw his weight around). One of our friends told us to just let 'em battle it out as it lets the dogs know who's the boss.
• Don't expect the raising of the new dog to be anything like how it was with the older dog. Herbie's puppyhood was a breeze compared to Bananas. You can read all about her crate training here. It took her about 4 months to get used to her crate--and she's still kind of pissed about it. She's also terrible on the leash--gentle leader included.

Got your own tips? Share it with us in the comments...

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