What can be better than having a dog? For some people, the answer is simple. It’s having two dogs! Or three! Or four! While the idea of a house filled with dogs can sound like a dream come true, the practicalities are often far more complex than people realise. It can result in a house of chaos, not least because the dogs are all full of energy, but because YOU need to be too. Having multiple dogs can be very rewarding, but it can also be a little hectic. If that sounds like a bit much, take a look at our guide to keeping things calm in multi-dog household.
Dogs are our most beloved pets. They are loyal companions who offer us friendship and affection, always there for us unwaveringly through the good times and the bad.
However, it’s always worth remembering that dogs are animals, and as such their behaviour can be at odds with what we find acceptable. Aggression is a natural instinct in dogs, but when it becomes problematic and interferes with our lives and our relationships, owners must take steps to address the issue. We’ve listed some of the most common types of dog aggression and discussed strategies for nipping them in the bud. Read on to find out more.
First on our list of types of dog aggression is resource aggression. Also referred to as resource guarding and possession aggression, resource aggression is when a dog displays aggressive behaviour, such as growling, snapping, and biting, over things like food or toys.
Many rescue dog you find in a rescue shelter have been abused or neglected. Others are found abandoned or handed in for a range of reasons. Some dogs end up in homes because of notions that aggressive behaviour is typical of that particular breed. In reality, these dogs make for some of the most loving and dependable pets and a dogs behaviour is in many ways dependant on the behaviour of the owner! When taking home a rescue dog, it is essential to properly prepare for the commitment, patience and training required.
Prepare the Family
Lay down the ground rules for the whole family and ensure they stick to them. Set boundaries and, in particular, ensure your children know that the new dog is not a toy. Make sure they know to respect the dog’s space. Coming into unfamiliar territory will take a few weeks for your rescue dog to adjust.
Give your rescue dog time
Know that when your dog arrives you’ll need to give it time for them to settle in. Especially in the first 3 weeks, use a warm tone when addressing him/her but try not to handle them too much and give them time to relax .Many owners make the mistake of over handling their new dog and introducing him /her to all the family and friends within the first few days. Often this overwhelms the dog and they sometimes nip out of fear. Then what happens?…….they end up back at the shelter!
GIVE THEM SOME SPACE!
Pay little attention to the dog’s advances at this time to establish dog style leadership. Honestly they will relax more if you sometimes ignore their demands for attention …it’s what happens in a dog pack.
Sleeping Arrangements for your rescue dog
Provide a warm, comfortable area for your dog to sleep in. Your dog should also sleep beneath/away from other family members to establish its place in the pack. I recommend getting a crate as this gives your rescue dog a safe and dark area to retreat to while they adjust to a new environment. If your dog is sleeping, make sure family members know not to disturb him/her.
Micro chipping and traditional collars are a good way to ensure you can find your dog if he/she were to become lost. Especially in the beginning, noise or lack of training might trigger your dog to run away. Be prepared for this. Also, if you’re uncertain about how they’ll react to other dogs then consider buying a muzzle to have better control over him/her while you’re out walking.
Secure your Garden
Before your dog’s arrival, make sure you have a secure garden or area you can let him/her explore. Make a habit of scattering some of their dog food and fresh fruit and veg in the garden. This lets the dog feel more secure in its surroundings. It’s also a lot more natural and fun to sniff out their food rather than eat it out of a bowl.
Most all have FUN with your new rescue dog.
Bringing home a baby can be especially daunting when you have a pet. Once the object of your affection, a dog can be deeply unsettled by the arrival of a newborn who steals away your attention!
DO Prepare in advance
Start making changes in your dog’s routine when you’re pregnant, at least 6 months before the baby is due to arrive.
Change your routine – this means everything from the time of walks to feeding times.
Walk your dog erratically and feed your dog inside and outside.
Scatter food in the garden for him/her to find.
Your dog should not see his bowl as the only food source.
This prevents your dog getting defensive if your baby goes near its food bowl.
Stop hand feeding your dog if you’re guilty of this.
Your dog may try to take food from your baby’s hand.
Stop any excessive jumping well before the baby arrives.
Remember … Dogs learn by association and repetition.
DO set boundaries
- Ignore your dog at times and particularly – don’t respond to their attention seeking behaviours.
- They definitely won’t have your attention when you have a baby to look after!
- Praise and make a fuss of your dog when he/she isn’t making a noise or demanding anything.
- Play at your command – if your dog wants to play then don’t indulge him/her.
- Only instigate play when you have the time.
- Set boundaries – places like sofas should be off limits to your dog.
- You probably won’t want them jumping around places where your baby might be.
- Let the whole family know the rules and stick to them.
- Invest in a crate –it provides a comfortable place for your dog to sleep in and retreat to.
- It’s especially useful in the first few months when you will have constant visitors.
- The increase in activity can overwhelm many dogs.
- Secure your garden. Your dog can happily play in the garden when you have to deal with the baby.
The Baby’s Arrival
- Arrival – ideally have someone else carry the baby into the house.
- Remember, to your dog the size of his pack has just increased. To him the baby is like a new puppy arriving.
- The vast majority of dogs accept a new baby easily BUT your dog is not a little human and has canine instincts.
- NEVER bend down and let the dog sniff the baby.
- NEVER leave a baby and dog unattended.
- The shrill cry of a baby can over-excite a dog. Be ready to correct any unwanted behaviour.
- When you sit down with the baby make sure your dog is kept on the ground.
- This is not a time to have your dog up on the sofa with you.
- Introduce the two – proceed with caution and be wary of how your dog might act.