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When two or more dogs live together they quickly form a pack structure amongst themselves. This will also include any humans in the home. While most multiple dog families are orderly, there will, at times, be problems.

Owning multiple dogs creates a structural situation very similar to that of rearing children. They must be taught from the onset that the humans (parents) are in charge. Make sure they understand what they are allowed to do and what they are not (right from wrong). Feed them at the same time and frequency each day.

Nature and instinct cause dogs to set a pecking order. This is entirely normal and desirable. Just realize that you have nothing to do with it and be willing to accept the outcome. The dogs determine to whom they are subordinate and over whom they are superior. The settlement process may include an occasional fight or two so be prepared to mediate if the fight gets too intense. The disagreement should be just long enough to allow one dog to establish dominance, not hurt the other dog. Be prepared to intervene so no dog gets hurt in this process. Use anything large or bulky that may be at hand, a chair, sofa cushion, small table, etc. and shove it between the dogs. Absolutely keep your hands out of the fray. You can expect these occasions early on, when the dogs first meet, however, the settlement process should be over within the first couple of days. Once the pecking order is set the dogs will be accepting of their position and will most likely get along without further problems.

Even after the settlement process is over, expect that there will be occasional disagreements between the dogs, just like there are between human siblings. These are usually settled quickly and although there may be a bunch of growling and snarling (and yes, the occasional bite) five minutes after it’s over, they will be friends again. Unlike humans, dogs don’t bear grudges.

It will never hurt to invest some time, effort and possibly money in training the dogs. Trying to train more than one dog at a time, though, is just asking to be frustrated.

Pecking order will shift throughout the dogs’ lives, as they age or become infirm. It is common for younger dogs to bully or pick on the aged dogs (usually those 10+ years or older) in the group. Their instinct is to chase off old or ill dogs to preserve food supplies for the healthy ones. A prolonged illness or absence of one dog may also lead to a change in the order.

If serious fighting becomes frequent then the offending dog may have to be placed where he/she is alone.

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We are in desperate need of Foster homes to help save more Siberians from neglect, abuse, abandonment and illness. We can not save these precious fur balls without your help. If you can open your heart and home to just one fur ball you can make a difference! By becoming a Foster you are not only saving a life, you are helping give a Siberian a chance at a new home...a new life! Can you look into this fur babies eyes and not want to help? Click HERE to find out more!

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