You may have high hopes that your two dogs will provide companionship for each other, but it doesn't always work out that way. Personalities can clash, just as with people, and you may find yourself spending more time refereeing fights than enjoying combined games of fetch. If your dogs aren't getting along as well as you had hoped, there are some things you can do to encourage them to bond. With patience and supervision, it is possible for most dogs to learn to get along.
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Tip #1 - Provide plenty of resources to avoid fights. One reason for conflict in dog relationships is competition over limited resources. You should always have more water bowls, dog beds and toys than you have dogs. You may also want to feed the dogs in separate rooms so they can eat in peace.
Tip #2 - Give each dog attention, every day. Feeling that there is competition for your affection will create an uneasy relationship between your dogs. Spend one on one time with each dog, every day. Even a 10-minute play session will strengthen the bond between you and your dog, which will improve the relationship between your dogs.
Tip #3 - Play with the dogs together. As important as it is to have one-on-one time with each of your dogs, it is also important that they learn to play together. Joint walks are a great bonding exercise, as long as you can control both on the leash at the same time. Even sitting on the couch and petting both at the same time encourages bonding.
Tip #4 - Provide separate areas for the dogs to hang out. No matter how well your dogs get along, they probably will want some alone time occasionally, particularly if they have vastly different energy levels or one of the dogs is still young. Crate train each dog so they have a dedicated spot where they know they can rest, and avoid closing them both into small areas, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Tip #5 - Spay or neuter your pets. The most important thing you can do to help your dogs get along with each other is to have each one spayed or neutered.
About the Author
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.