1 February 2018

Dogs Teaching Dogs

Having more than one dog in a home can be a lot of fun. It can also pose some interesting challenges. Dogs are pack animals who quickly establish a hierarchy amongst themselves in order to feel comfortable in the pack. This means that often younger or ‘lower’ dogs emulate behaviours exhibited by their older, higher peers. Here’s what you need to know about how dogs can actually teach other dogs how to behave and how you can fix problems that arise from this.

Learned behaviours

Your older dogs can be great teachers for certain behaviours you want to establish or prevent in other dogs that you bring into your home. Often, it’s easier to train second and subsequent dogs if your first dog is well-trained. For example, if you teach your older dog to never jump on furniture, your newer dog is less likely to jump on the furniture because he won’t see your older dog doing so.

Unfortunately, the opposite can also be true. If your older dog exhibits a problematic behaviour, such as jumping up at you when you come in the door, your newer dog is likely to learn to do the same thing. Knowing this, you can use your older, more knowledgeable dogs to help train your younger dogs how to behave the way you want them to.

Solving training problems

What do you do if your older dogs are teaching your newer dogs ‘bad tricks’? If the entire pack is engaging in problematic behaviours, address the top dog in the pack. Since the other dogs will follow the top dog’s lead, you need to ensure that dog is behaving appropriately.

Spend time training your top dog to improve upon or eliminate behaviours (depending upon what it is you want from your dog) and then you should see an improvement with all of the dogs in the pack. You may have to address each dog individually if they don’t all respond to the change in the top dog’s behaviour, but you should see results eventually.

For more tips on training your dogs, visit Bark Buster’s today.

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