View Full Version : Multi-dog households

14th August 2007, 10:47 PM
I came across this interesting page on trainer Ian Dunbar's website, about managing multi-dog households, and thought others might find it useful as a lot of us have at least two dogs! He offers some information and links to some recommended books as well:


This is also a good article on thinking about whether to add another dog:


Cavaliers do seem to get along well even in larger groups, in comparison with some other breeds. I know of some people who have had very serious fights (by serious I mean a dog requiring hospitalisation or nearly dying) in households with three or more dogs but have rarely heard of this happening with cavaliers.

14th August 2007, 11:00 PM
Great links karlin, thanks!!

I can, hand on my heart say that in 15 years of owning this amazing breed have only ever had 2 fights that resulted in veterinary care being required, sadly the end result was that one of my boys had to be rehomed to my in-laws as he quite simply could not tolerate my other boys prescence! This was best demonstrated by the fact that when Chad went through Merlin's territory (kitchen area), Merlin would go ballistic trying to get him, whereas when Merlin went through Chad's territory (lounge area) Chad would simply ignore him! It was obvious who the aggressor was and when my in-laws offered him a home it was an easy decision! There is nothing more heartbreaking than the sight of 2 of your much loved dogs trying to rip each others throats out let me tell you!

I have to agree with the advice of recognising the pack leader (often not the obvious choice!) and dominating them, this has worked very well for me, I can mix all of my "cuddle" around and with only 1 exception, an elderly girl, they are happy to co-exist with each other!

Cavaliers are a happy crowd who enjoy each others company on the whole, no wonder I say "The more the merrier" :lol:

15th August 2007, 01:00 AM
Very interesting reading! Thanks, Karlin.
Cathryn---you are so in tune with your dogs---I enjoyed reading your input very much!
You are very knowledgeable and very helpful! Thanks!;)

15th August 2007, 01:32 AM
I suppose a lot of it is to do with the individual dogs themselves, too. Holly is naturally er... shall we say, stubborn?..whilst Amber is naturally submissive. It's a good mix. The only down side is that Holly has regressed to obsessing over food bowls. I thought Amber coming had cured that- when Amber was younger, she used to pinch food from Holly and Holly ate her food faster as a response. Now Amber's been so well trained by Holly that Holly can have a full bowl of food sitting there and Amber will simply sit and gaze at it longingly!

Thanks for the links, Karlin.

Cathy Moon
15th August 2007, 03:57 AM
Great links Karlin - thanks!

The Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. books are very helpful - our dog trainer recommended Feeling Outnumbered and How to be the Leader of the Pack when we got our second and third cavs.

Geordie and Chocolate were a bit tense with each other at first, but by using ideas from the books we managed to overcome that!:)

15th August 2007, 10:33 AM
Thank you! I got five dogs in my household, so I need this.

16th August 2007, 08:37 AM
Some good sound advice on those sites. Sometime you just have to think like a dog.