I get a lot of calls here at Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia from owners with multi-dog households. I did not look up the stats but I would have to say just as many households that have one dog have a multi-dog house.
So basically we do a lot of training for owners with multi-pups and the question always arises on what is the best way to do this?
Remember pups need separate training time just like people each learns somethings faster than others. You should not expect your pups to learn at the same pace. Some require a lot more time than others but they can all end up in the same place!
The example I give everyone is you have 2+ pups standing in front of you and you tell them to sit. One sits, so what do you do? You say sit again! When pups are not excellent at their commands this just confuses the one that did the right thing.
So while pups are going through our training we ask that each gets a half hour of reinforcement a day. Lots of clients practice more, some less (you know who you are) but adding a 2nd dog just adds more work.
I will give you the pros and cons you can decide which of the following work’s best for you.
Here are 3 ways owners do our training with multiple dogs:
1. Back to Back Hours- (Most Common) This is clearly the most convenient way to do the training especially when you don’t live close. Now if you have or make the time for the 4 weeks this works out fine. But if you know you don’t have the time due to life please don’t choose this option.
2. Different Days or Times- This is the choice of owners that either can’t handle their pups together or the dogs cannot be put in the same car. I have also had several owners that just can’t be away for 2+ hours at a time due to kids or parents they take care of. The same issues arise with this as the first option, less time you put in the less you will get out.
3. 4 Lessons with One, Then 4 Lessons with the Other- (My Recommendation) (Least Chosen:-) No matter if you have time or not you have twice as much time if you train one at a time. All your concentration into one thing at a time! I find that pups almost always come out more advanced with this option.
I never push our 2-Week Board and Train Program but if you know your life does not permit the time to practice or you know yourself well enough to say I will slack off and not put in the work, you are wasting your time with the lessons.
For the Boarding Program we require pups be dropped off at least a week apart so will not pick both up at the same time.