teaching 2 dogs at once


New Member
HI, Im new here today. I have always dogsat my daughter's Australian shepherd, but she took the dog back! I decided to get a pup of my own and now I have a year old German shep mix. I still often watch the other dog while my daughter travels, so I have 2 young shepherds neither of whom have manners. Both are smart, and trainable, but I am overwhelmed.

I now have both dogs for a week and my house is in trouble!!! They are both house trained and that's all I can say for them. :) I love the dogs but I need help, and I dont even know where to start...my shepherd chews the heck out of everything, the Aussie doesnt chew anything but her toys. Both girls are constantly competing for everything it seems.:dogohmy:

When I put down the food both of them want the same food dish no matter which dish it is. This is the Aussie's home since she has always been here, but according to the new pupper, it's her home since there was no other dog here when she arrived. Helllpppp!


New Member
Are you kennel training your pup? Kennel training can help a lot of problems, especially when dealing with multiple dogs. And feeding the dogs in the kennel can help you make sure they're eating their own food and not extra and prefent any food related scuffles.

Does the Shepherd have free rein over the house? If you're having problems with her chewing when unsuppervised i reccommend either kenneling her when you can't have your 100% full attention on her, or tethering her to you with a leash on a belt loop. Being 100% vigalent is the best way to solve inappropriate chewing, and it's EASY:

Always have treats on you, and a chew toy. When the pup picks up something inappropriate to chew on, grab a treat, get her attention tell her to "drop it" and show her the treat. Chances are she'll drop it to get the more appealing treat. Then, give her the toy to chew on instead. It's a simple bait and switch, and the dog is learning two things at once: approprate chew toys AND drop it!

Do your dogs get enough physical/mental exercise? It's very important in high-energy dogs, which Shepherds are. (I have border collies, I KNOW!!) Enrolling in obedience or sport classes can help tremendiously, expecially if she is chewing out of bordom.

Group training is easiest with basic commands - sit, down, stay. More detailed tricks are easiest to teach seaperatly.

Competition is to be expected since both dogs are used to having you to themselves. Make sure you're giving them individual time where they don't have to compete for your attention. Make sure you reward them for calm interactions together, remember you can never praise too much!!

If you have any other specific questions, please send me a message. I have 3 dogs of my own and am often visited by my sister's dog who has all sorts of behavioral issues. I'll help however i can.

Sorry if this post is a bit scattered, my brain is scattered most days :)


Experienced Member
This is the Aussie's home since she has always been here, but according to the new pupper, it's her home since there was no other dog here when she arrived.
When the reality is that it's YOUR home. :)

I home-board a variety of dogs almost all the time these days and I have one of my own, so I can understand where you are coming from on this issue. You say that you have two young shepherds, but you don't mention just how young they are.

Personally, barring outright aggression, I have best results from allowing the dogs to find their own levels. We can't dictate which dog has more rights than the other - they have to do that themselves. Sometimes, my own dog will happily give up her bed for another dog, while other times, she won't let another dog near it.

If the feeding is a major issue, then I would just feed them seperately for now. I'd be interested to know how old the two dogs are as then things would become clearer.