View Full Version : Question for multiple dog owners

3rd July 2007, 08:57 AM
Hi everyone,

As you all know I got Lucy last month, I just wanted to ask those of you who have more than one dog a few questions. Lucy seems to be a bit of a bully when it comes to Prince, if I am petting Prince she will come over and either push him out of the way or lick my hand until I pet her too, (I do try to pet both of them at the same time but sometimes Prince wants a bit of one on one time). If Prince is lying or sitting on the floor and she walks behind him he gets up and moves and watches what she is doing, he seems to be a bit nervous of her. And the last thing is I got Lucy a new bed but they seem to be swapping around, I think she has taken over Prince's bed and she also keeps drinking the water out of his bowl and not her own. I am just wondering if this is normal that Prince seems a bit nervous of her, I am worried that she might be bad to him when I am not around, maybe I am just over protective but because its my first time ever having a second dog I dont know what way they should be together. Any advice would be grateful.:)

3rd July 2007, 09:20 AM
hi sue,god its like your talking about alfs,he is like that when my friends bring her 2 cavs here.he is such a pain and very aloof,he esp. does not like them behind him he will jump up in the air as if some one has grabbed him from behind.but when we got back from our hols. alfie had made friends with another cav called max and they had become good friends they were in the back of her jeep when i went to get him and he looked very relaxed and happy.i was talking to hubby and he sas its partly me babying him.so perhaps we should relax a bit and maybe ignore the behavior unless its ext. bad.but i am know expert.jus.

3rd July 2007, 09:30 AM
When we got baxter, freddie was that bit older and u could really see that bax was a real puppy compared to freddie! Mine 2 do this all the time, at the start if fred was in his bed bax wanted to be in it to now they lie in the same bed and yeah they drink from each others bowl, which i don't think it is to bad my main thing is they eat there own food out of there own bowl!! :luv:
Like me to in the end they will love each other!!

3rd July 2007, 10:00 AM

Is Lucy older than Prince? It may be that she is using her age advantage to create a higher place in the picking order?
Next time she tries to get between yourself and Prince gently push her back a little and gently tell her "Wait a minute sweetheart", don't get angry with her, just let her know that you are with Prince right now and her turn will come around.
The beds now, Yes they will certainly swap around, in all honesty I would forget the idea of 1 bed each and get a slightly larger bed that they can both fit into, I have 3 or 4 large beds yet my cuddle all seem to want to cram themselves into just one of them! Same goes for the water bowls, why have 2 small bowls down when 1 larger one can serve the same purpose? I have the largest bowl I could possibly find, 2 of them in fact and my lot all just pile in as and when they fancy!
They will find their own level of acceptance and interaction wothout much help from you, obviously if there is some aggression being shown then you will need to stem that, but personnally I would leave them to get on with it, they will soon be rubbing along just fine!!

Hope this is of help?

3rd July 2007, 10:43 AM
I am not sure how old Lucy is, we think she is the same age as Prince (he will be 6 in September), she looks a bit older but hopefully when she gets the weight off she will look younger again.

The problem with pushing her away and telling her to wait is that she is deaf so I dont know how to reassure her without petting her. I have a large water bowl out the back for when they are playing but she doesnt like Prince going near that and he keeps well away anyway. The night after I brought her home she snarled at Prince because he was getting his dinner first so I think Prince will just keep away from her bowl so sharing the one big one in the house I dont think will work, Prince is a big wuss I'm afraid so I dont know if he could stand up to her.

One thing he does do though is when I get home from work and they are both jumping around with excitement, he seems to nudge her side, near her back legs, it looks like he is going to nip her, I am not sure what he is going to do because I tell him to stop, should I just let him do what he is doing??? Maybe he is just playing with her?

3rd July 2007, 11:22 AM
With me i had Sally first and a long came Sam there was actually no probs at all with these 2. Then when Toby arrived, again fine. What is happened since though is that Toby is the one that will push hes way in if i am with Sally or Sam what i tend to do now when he does this is to ignore him. I dont think this should matter if one of these is deaf she will soon realise that when shes bossy she gets no attention but when she step back she does. As when Toby stands back for even only a couple of secs hes reward will be attention.
It worked for me anyway

Cathy Moon
3rd July 2007, 11:39 AM
Sue, it's fine for them to share water bowls, but not food bowls. I'm sure my three would not get along at meal times if they had to share a food bowl. Besides, I measure their food so they'll each stay at a healthy weight. I place their food bowls well away from each other in the kitchen at feeding times!

We do need some ideas on what to do about her guarding the water bowl in the back garden. Perhaps you could set out 2 water bowls far away from each other. That will make it more difficult for her to try guarding two bowls!

You might want to begin teaching her 'sit' and 'wait' with hand signals. That way, when you want to pet Prince, you could tell her to sit and wait. I would do the same with Prince, have him sit and wait while you pet her. Make sure they are awarded with attention or a treat for sitting and waiting.

I don't think Prince is playing with her when he nudges her. This might be a good time to make them both sit and wait to be petted.

Don't worry, this won't go one forever. Eventually they will accept each other as family members. We had some of the same issues between Geordie and Chocolate when Chocs came to live with us at age 4. I used to have to put them both in 'time out' (down-stays and ignore them) to stop some of Geordie's bratty behavior.

Also, I agree with Cathryn - the dog beds and water bowls should be shared. One of these days, you'll see them together in the same bed!

Barbara Nixon
3rd July 2007, 11:40 AM
Monty was 19 months older than Izzy, when we got the latter, but he took over as boss. in fact as two went to three went to four, Monty went further down the pack order. The twosome got on well otherwise, with Monty accepting his position and they'd often share bowls and sleeping positions. When we got Joly, Izzy became even more obvious leader, not allowing the youngster near him, but fine if Joly kept his distance. My trouble started with Teddy, who wanted to be boss and took to bullying the two lower dogs (and tried it on with me at one stage).

It's natural for dogs to have a pack order, even in a twosome and I've read that it is advisable to go with this and not fight it. Even soppy Joly bosses Monty in that he shoves in, if Monty gets a fuss, so I get round this by treating and fussing Monty when the other two are outside.

3rd July 2007, 11:50 AM
if Monty gets a fuss, so I get round this by treating and fussing Monty when the other two are outside.

:rotfl: That is like me with Prince, when Lucy goes outside I hug and kiss him to death while she is not looking icon_whistling its terrible!!

4th July 2007, 04:08 AM
Good advice has already been offered here, so I'm going to approach from a slightly different angle.

Having once been an 8 dog family I loved watching & learning about pack dynamics. Here are the things I learned:

Establish yourself is arch-alpha bitch. This is extremely important;
Let the pack work out who is going to be 2IC or canine-alpha. It is often times the more senior dog, but a younger one can challenge & win alpha positon. Canine packs are not egalitarian and it is a mistake for us humans to try to alter this. A happy well functioning pack is one where there is a well defined alpha and the other dogs know their place. Don't think this is sad for the other dogs. An under dog can be very happy knowing that the other dogs are taking care of things for them.

The only times we had fights in our pack was when an alpha died & there was a spat over who would take her place (yes it was usually a female).
Once you know who the alpha is, acknowledge this by putting his food down first (may only be a couple of second earlier), petting him first etc, but then you can still give the other dog just as much fuss & attention, so don't think he will be going without.

Obviously keep an eye on things and do not let violence occur, but honestly it really is best if you let them work things out themselves. If the under dog is getting a bit bossed about, it is probably that he has not learned his place & is over stepping his mark.

I know this can be difficult as we humans believe in equality, but in a canine pack, equality usually spells disharmony. The hierarchy can often be very subtle and people often thing there is no hierarchy among their little pack. I happen to believe otherwise. You've just go to know what to look for. ;)