Are you tired of the sound of your dogs growling at each other? Have you had enough of them trying to topple each other down on your floor like drunk brutes? You are not alone.
The challenge of having multiple dogs
In households with multiple pets, sometimes it is a challenge making everyone get along. As a dog parent all you want is for your dogs to love each other. Or if love is too a strong a word, at least for your canine companions to like one another and be great companions to each other as well. Unfortunately, the situation is not as simple as you wishing doggy harmony to actuality..
The most efficient way to ensure harmony among your canine housemates is by first consulting with an animal behaviorist. These professionals are knowledgeable when it comes to dog behavior and they are skillful in fine-tuning these behaviors to serve specific goals, which in your case is peaceful cohabitation between your dogs.
Also, you need to be in-the-know when it comes to the specifics of canine body language. This will help you determine whether your pets are playing with each other or are actually trying to off the weakest in the pack.
Playing VS fighting dogs
First and foremost, dogs should have gone through strict obedience training. This training is what separates dogs that will stop fighting at your command from dogs that will not heed any of your warning. Now whether your canine friends have their fair share of obedience training or not, you, as a dog parent, should be able to identify when your dogs are actually duking it out with each other or just play-fighting.
Here are signs to look out for.
- If one of your dogs look like they are struggling to move far from the brawl, you might be in the midst of an actual fight. You can be certain of a fight if you notice another dog from your pack pinning down the aforementioned pup that’s trying to escape the fray. This is where your stop or sit commands from obedience training will come in handy.
- Playtime between dogs is normally manifested in specific body language. For instance, there’s the “play bow” where your dogs lower their heads while maintaining the bottom parts of their torso raised above ground. There’s also the “play slaps” where dogs playfully slap their friendly opponents’ front paw and then run away so they could be chased by their mock-enemy. Other play language include the “play-bites” and the “play-growls” which are pretty self-explanatory.
Yes, these body language can sometimes get confusing. Sometimes they tend to look similar from each other. Sometimes there’s no telling them apart. This is why it is crucial that you know your dogs intimately. You should have already devoted ample time observing their specific behaviors. From those they exhibit when they are alone and those they manifest within their pack.
Knowing your dogs’ individual characteristics is the first step in turning your pack in a friendly group of dogs as opposed to an inwardly hostile one.