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Hello, at the moment I have one dog but would love to have 4-5 once I'm solidified in my career and am stable. I know I would have the money and time for my dogs as I do not and will not have any children and put my dogs to the top of my priority list. I plan on taking them out regularly with frequent walks, park time, restaurant visits and activities such as agility and working with advanced obedience.



I was wondering how others deal with multi-dog households with different breeds and levels of intensity. I like all breeds and see myself hypothetically living with a mix such as a great dane, a giant schnauzer, a couple of small sweet tempered mutts, and maybe a doberman. Do you think it is realistic to be able to regulate this household when advanced obedience is utilized as well as regular exercise? Or do you think this pot would have a high chance of boiling over?


Would love to hear opinions on this.
 

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...Do you think it is realistic to be able to regulate this household when advanced obedience is utilized as well as regular exercise? Or do you think this pot would have a high chance of boiling over?
It can be done. Just don't introduce 5 new dogs to your home all at once. That would have a high chance of boiling over! You can have multiple dogs though, especially if you give them proper obedience training and YOU MAKE SURE YOU'RE THE ALPHA of the pack.
 

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I have had two different 5 dog packs in my life and it is definitely manageable as long as you put in the time and training.

Each of my dogs is a different breed or mix, different energy levels, and varied ages. Right now my oldest is 7 1/2 st, Bernard/lab and my youngest is a 9 month Shepherd/Malinois mix.

Once a routine is established it’s actually really easy to manage 5 dogs.

In my case 3 of my dogs can’t go on walks and also don’t need them due to size and various other issues, so exercise wise I o oh have to worry about running/walking two of the five. Since energy levels are different I don’t have five dogs going crazy playing all at once either.

Also introducing a new dog to a house that already is a dog or two is easier cause they have the established dog to learn from and pick up good habits.

Training is really the most important thing.

Right now my only issue, is my 1 1/2 year old started attacking just my 9 month old. I tried resolving the issue myself but it was beyond me so I had to spend the money to have a professional trainer train those two, even taking one for 6 weeks. While I never in my history of dogs I’d this issue before, when you do have multiple dogs issues like this can arise and it’s ok it happens but be able and willing to spend the money for something like that if the issue arises cause you never know.

My first pack of five never had an issue.

So yes, if your willing to put in the time, effort, and money to have that many dogs, it really is amazing, they are my furry children and I love them all even when they drive me nuts sometimes lol
 

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It can absolutely be done, but as was said in an earlier response: adding all 5 dogs at once is not your best bet.
My advice is to start with a really solid, bombproof dog as your first. If that's your existing dog, socialize the heck out of them with every type of dog imaginable.
Establish a very strong line of communication such that your first dog knows that you are the authority in the pack - a group of dogs that answer to each other and not you is not ideal.
My Jack Russell mix's very best friend is my sister's Great Dane... they're absolutely comical together. Zarya (the JRT mix) is bouncy and annoying and so high energy, Harlow (the Dane) is laid back, fairly low energy, and goofy...yet, they are the perfect (albeit hilarious) pair.
My JRT was, as most are, waaaaaay over the top as a puppy. The most useful tool in curbing this was a crochety, but harmless, old lab mix (perhaps if you know an older mama dog, that's the goal). The lab mix would let Zarya know when she was crossing a boundary, but never hurt her, this taught Zarya how to read body language (she's a rescue and I suspect was taken from her mama too soon - they'd usually learn this from mom and their litter mates).
I'd also suggest that you familiarize yourself with canine body language as much as possible...preventing fights is much easier and safer than having to work through a rift in your pack after a tiff has occurred.
You've just got to be cognizant and careful, but a little misfit crew would be fantastic!
 

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I'd make sure that you can have 5 dogs where you live, first thing.


And you have to have the right kind of dogs. It's not uncommon for people with multiple dogs to have to rehome one because it's just not working. My 2yo female starts fights with my 15yo male, for example, if he goes in the family room (he avoids it now, thankfully, but it's still really annoying, and we had to separate them for weeks until he worked it out). But she loves our 2yo male (who loves everyone, he's super easy).
 

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I had 7 dogs for a few years, 5 of my own and two fosters. Other than the deerhound, they were a mix of street dogs. On the whole they all got on well, but there were 2 females (one mine, one foster) who just didn't like each other, and occasionally they would fight. Luckily I was always close by and could pull them apart, but my opinion is that you can never predict what any dog will do in an unexpected situation. I would never have that many dogs together in a small home again. If you have plenty of land it's a little different, dogs that can run free are less likely to be aggressive (again, just my opinion)

I love the idea of dogs everywhere, all shapes and sizes, but the truth is dogs are just like people, and they like and dislike each other just as people do. There is no magic formula for putting the right dogs together, and if you are not careful you could end up with the wrong mix and you will be in a situation where you have to start re-homing them, and that is heartbreaking, for you and the dog.

Lynsey
 

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I have seven dogs right now. They vary in age from the oldest at 14 years (Shih Tzu x Maltese) and the youngest two almost two years old (Standard Poodle and Poodle cross). My Shih Tzu x Maltese are the 14 year old, 11 years old and a 7 year old. Bonnie, my Golden x Poodle, is 6 years old and my Miniature Poodle is 4years old. They all get along well together. The two oldest are male, all the rest are females. (5)
 
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