Training Two Dogs At Once

Posted by Sunnyday
Dec 9, 2008
Is it advisable to begin training two dogs at the same time? I have just acquired both dogs, one is a male 8 month boxer/lab, the other a female purebred Collie. She is 7 months old and very excitable. I don't think the former owner had much socialization with her. Duke had much socialization, is not excitable and has learned the first command "Sit". The Collie shows food aggression as well and has not learned to "Sit". I am wondering if I should keep them seperate for awhile until she is no longer so excitable. Opinions, anyone?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 12, 2008
Hi Sunnyday,

I think it will be more effective and easier to train each dog separately. Here is a sled we discuss training multiple dogs in the past. Maybe it will give you some ideas.


Good luck!
Posted by Sunnyday
Dec 13, 2008
Your help is much appreciated.
Update: Duke (boxer/lab) will sit as soon as he sees I am getting a treat out of the boxI don't even have to say "sit". Happy (purebred Collie) isn't quite as excitable and has learned not to jump up on me when she sees the treats, but she hasn't learned the "sit" command. Their training was put on hold for a few days because my daughter and family came for a visit and brought their two dogs, a Golden Retriever and a Siberian Husky. The dogs all get along just finethey play chase and keep-away and hide&seek constantly, but the visitors will be leaving tomorrow and I can get back to "homeschooling" my two.
Different subject: I have heard from different people that once a dog has killed a chicken, you cannot break them from it. That is how I got Happy, the Collie--she had killed a chicken and her former owner said she must get rid of her because they raise chickens and can no longer have her around. Can obedience training cure this problem? I don't have any chickens but she might be around where chickens are sometime in the future.
Thanks and Happy Holidays!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 14, 2008
Hi Sunnyday!

Good luck with your training!!

RE: the other issue - training not to kill chickens, I think it is possible. However, it is all depend on the individual - how much strong trait a dog has and how much self-control you can train.

I saw on the TV a sheperd in Scottland saying something like this. He uses Border collies to herd his goats on a cliff.

Border collies are very intelligent. Their natural trait is to "Stare"- "Stalk"- "Chase"- "Hold" - and "Kill" the animal. So, he changes the only last part of the series of behavors to make a perfect herding dog. That is where training comes and it is the beauty of training herding dogs. (Sorry, I don't remember exactly what he said but something like this).

I am sure there are Border collies that didn't make good herding partners. So your Happy might or might not make it either but I think it is worth trying.

The first thing you need to teach her is to "Leave it" for anything you don't want her to get hold of, or even to touch. This is a great way to teach her to control herself desire/behavior.

One of my dogs is so obsessed with squirrels. She just stares squirrels on a tree for one whole hour. One day, when I was walking her off-leash on a bike path, she actually caught a squirrel! I shouted "Leave it, Holly!". She let the squirrel go and it survived. Whenever she tried to chase a squirrel on our walk, I said "Leave it" but sometimes she didn't listen to me since her instinct works faster than her self-control. A minute later she realized she didn't obey my command when I leashed her and started walking back home. The walk ended right there. As I repeated this every time she chased squirrels, she has learned to control herself and stay with me (not 100% yet but I can see her improvement). If you give Happy enough time and patience, you might teach her not to get close to chickens. However, this will probably work when you are around. I have no guarantee when Happy is by herself with chickens.

Good luck and let me know how it goes