Tandem training in multiple dog homes is very important. In obedience school, a dog learns to work when other dogs are also working, and they learn to wait patiently while classmates perform tasks. In a multiple dog home, it is important to train your dogs together as well. It’s much easier to ignore a stranger’s dog, than one of your siblings!
Last week, we had a crime take place in our very own backyard. My sisters, together of course, killed their first wabbit. The two had just returned from their morning walk, and were turned loose to romp in the yard before coming inside. This is when the incident took place. If you follow me on Facebook, you probably heard about it the day it happened.
I was responsible for securing the crime scene once the perps had been hauled away. Can you see all the fur on the snow? Thankfully not a drop of blood was shed. The victim was not the brightest bulb that dark morning. He attempted to jump through the fence, but got stuck at the hips. At the point of the crime scene photos, the body had been extricated from the fence, and taken to a final resting spot. There are no photos of the deceased out of respect for the wabbit and its family.
Sure, this may be a bit humorous, but it was a good reminder to my mom about how important it is to train my sisters together. Some situations require dogs to work together or some independently, no matter what the circumstances. Bailie and Madison are like Siamese Twins. To get one to do something while the other watches is tough.
When you have multiple dogs who love to do everything together, it is important for them to learn to act separately, even when they are together. Getting multiple dogs to sit together, come together, or other tasks is pretty easy. Try adding in Bailie, stay, Madison, come, and the monkey see, monkey do behavior surfaces. No one wants to miss out.
Bailie is in obedience class again because Mom wants to do some Rally with her. In the evenings, Bailie and Madison work on the class homework together. It is very hard for either of them to stay put while the other one gets a command, followed by a reward. With time and practice, they are learning each one gets a reward, even the one who is staying put. Why would this be important?
Incidents happen in a split second, and depending on the danger, one dog may need to do a sit/stay while the other dog is taken away, or asked to come. With the wabbit incident, my sisters needed to both sit and stay so Mom could help the wabbit. When it was determined the wabbit was past any help, one dog needed to stay, while the other got a leash on. Any time my sisters were not “staying”, they were at the wabbit, and Mom was worried they may tear it in pieces trying to get it out of the fence.
Much more work is needed to get my sisters to the point they need to be at. The wabbit test was extreme because of the hunt/prey drive. It took many tries, but Mom did manage to get Bailie and Madison back on leash, and into the house. This tandem training would be so important if one dog was in a fight, injured in the middle of the street, or many other situations. Try it out with your own dogs. Do they obey commands separately? Madison doesn’t like it, and is not afraid to express her opinion, but she will have to learn how to be more patient.