Looking after more than one pet dog at a time has some unique challenges. With many households in Australia being home to more than one pooch, you are bound to run into a situation where you need to care for two fur babies. This article will cover some tips and tricks to help you look after a multiple pet dog home.

How many families have pets in Australia?

To understand how many families have pets in Australia, you need to consider some facts about pet ownership. There are many reasons people like to have pets, but the main one is a for companionship. Attitudes toward pet ownership have changed, with most people considering a pet part of their family. People used to consider a dog as something to entertain the kids, or as an accessory. But today, thankfully, they are known as a part of the family and treated with love and respect.

In Australia, there are close to 30 million pets, which is one of the world’s highest rates of pet ownership. Over 60% of homes have at least one pet, dogs are the most common pet at about 40% of homes having at least one. Many people choose to own more than one dog as they’ll keep each other company and are less likely to have stress-related issues.

The majority of dog owners are female, at around 60%, with 65% of pet owners in households having an annual income of over $50,000. Younger people are more likely to have a pet, with about 70% in the 18-24 age group owning at least one. The next highest ownership rate is 40-54-year-olds, with a rate of around 65% owning one pet. More than 75% of families with children over 6 years old have a pet.

The most popular pet in Australia

While knowing how many families have pets is suitable for baseline data, it leads to the question of what is the most popular pet? Currently, about 40% of Australians have a pet dog, which makes them the most popular pet, and on average, there are 1.3 dogs per household. You can see by that data that about one in three dog homes will have two dogs in residence. With Australia having approximately 10 million homes, 4 million of those will have at least one dog, and about 1.5 million homes have two pet dogs in residence. That’s a lot of dogs!

If you’re planning on dog or pet sitting in Australia, then knowing skills such as how to get multiple dogs to stop barking or can you train multiple pet dogs at once will make you better equipped to handle these situations. This article will focus on training multiple dogs, and it covers topics like dog leads for multiple dogs and how to cope with excessive barking.

Walking multiple dogs at the same time

walking multiple dogs

Knowing the best methods to walk multiple dogs is ideal with how many families have pets in Australia. Pet owners, on the whole, consider the dogs and cats as a part of their family. Gone are the days when people had pets just because they thought they should. Today, pet ownership is seen as building on your family unit, and dogs and cats are treated similarly to children. While discipline and training are still ideal for the most well-rounded pets, today’s techniques are very different from those of the past years.

Are dog leads for multiple dogs a good idea?

Using dog leads for multiple dogs is often the best choice when you’re out walking your dogs. The way your dogs tend to walk will let you know the best leads to choose. Some dogs walk next to each other, with one sticking to the left and the other on the right. Dogs like this have usually received a lot of training, and you can use single leads as they won’t cause any problems or get tangled. If you prefer holding less than two dog leads for multiple dogs, then a dog lead coupler is an excellent choice.

With some dogs, you may find a dominant dog that prefers to walk in front of the other. This can pose a challenge with some dog couplers. Most dog couplers can be adjusted to accommodate dogs walking at different distances, but they may not be adjustable enough, especially with larger dogs. While walking dogs that walk at different distances, it may be best to use two leads of varying lengths. You can use a short lead for one and a long lead for the other. This will still give you a good amount of control over both dogs.

Walking two dogs

Using retractable leads with multiple pet dogs

While you’re walking two dogs, it is not advisable to use a retractable lead. You may find the combined weight of both your dogs is too much for the lead, and it can break the cord or stop the mechanism from working correctly. It may be possible to use a dog lead belt, but only if the dogs are well trained and respond to commands.

Walking with multiple dogs will take time, and if you have not done it before, it can be challenging to get started. On your first few outings, try to keep to short walks. Later you can build up the distance as your confidence increases. While walking, it may be a good idea to know how to get multiple dogs to stop barking, as this can be a problem. You’ll often find that dogs are more excited while walking together. You can find a dog park in your local area and allow the dogs some free time.

Can you train multiple dogs at once?

Training two dogs

Training multiple dogs at the same time is incredibly challenging, even for professional trainers. All dogs are at different levels of skill and intelligence. When given a command, the moment that one dog does the correct thing, they need to be rewarded, and with two (or more) dogs, this can pose a problem. If you’re watching two different dogs, then getting the timing right is hard, and the dog that did not complete the command may think they’re getting the treat. This type of confusion makes the experience hard for the dogs and the trainer. However, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.

So, can you train multiple dogs at once? The answer is yes, but you’ll need a few additional steps to ensure it is a success. When training two dogs, you can give two distinct markers so each dog understands if they successfully completed the command. Some trainers may use a combination of a clicker and a verbal command. This is ideal as it means you can do both together if required.

What is the best way to train two pet dogs?

Training multiple dogs

A better method for training two dogs at the same time is to have one waiting in a crate or being occupied with a toy while you work on the other. Training sessions generally only last about 15 minutes, so having one dog wait while you train the other is not going to be excessive. If the dogs are overexcited, you’ll need to learn how to get multiple dogs to stop barking as a part of your skillset.

If you’d prefer to train two dogs together, then it may work to hire the services of a professional trainer to give you a hand. You can take one dog and run them through the training session while the trainer can work with the other. Using the services of a qualified and experienced trainer will also give you plenty of tips and secrets to get the best results out of your pets.

How to get multiple dogs to stop barking

Stop dogs barking

When dogs are barking, it is often because of something. Dogs will rarely bark for no reason unless they are bored. Nuisance barking can be challenging to combat, especially when you’re not at home. If your dogs are barking because they are bored, the best method to get them to stop is to tire them out. Taking your dogs for an extensive walk before you leave home can be a brilliant method for tiring them out and getting them to sleep while you’re not at home.

Another excellent method to keep your dogs entertained is to use puzzle toys. These toys will keep your dog’s mind active, and they will often use a food reward system when your dog figures it out. Dogs are reasonably intelligent creatures, and they need to be kept stimulated; otherwise, they can display unwanted behaviour, such as barking.

What to do if training doesn’t work for barking dogs?

If you’ve tried training the barking out of your dogs, going for extended walks does not work. Try to identify what is making your dogs bark and remove the item. Many dogs will bark at people walking past the front window or gate of your home. If you block the dog’s vision by installing a barrier on the window or gates, they will no longer be distracted by that.

If you can’t identify the issue, then you may need the assistance of an anti-barking dog collar. The best anti-barking collars are not harmful to the dog and will only deliver a correction to teach your dog not to bark inappropriately. The correction in an anti-bark collar is often in the form of vibration, ultrasonics, citronella spray, or a static shock. It is best to get appropriate advice before using any anti-barking dog collar. If you are looking after someone else’s dogs, it is not advisable to use an anti-barking collar without the owners’ permission.

How to feed multiple pet dogs at the same time

Feeding two dogs

When you’re feeding two or more dogs, it is not advisable to use the same bowl. Dogs can be very eager when they are fed, and occasionally the dominant one will end up with additional food. Not only is this bad behaviour, but it can mean one dog is getting too much food and they can get fat quite easily.

If you’re looking after dogs, the owners should leave good notes about feeding the dogs. Each dog should have their own bowl, and often these will need to be placed apart. If one dog is an overeater, you may even need to feed them in separate rooms. Feed the eager dog first and then allow them to go outside while the other one finishes their food. Even though dogs may seem like best buddies, it is every puppy for themselves when food is on the table!