We never planed to have five dogs. However, life throws curve balls sometimes and unexpected things happen. A few years ago, the three of us lived in three different homes with our dogs. Today, we are all in the same house and so are all of our dogs.
- Joey is the oldest of our dogs. He is a Labrador/Great Pyrenees mix and he is 9 years old.
- Ben is our biggest dog. He is a Great Pyrenees and weighs 115 pounds. He is also our youngest dog. Ben is two years old.
- Buddy is a Rottweiler/Beagle mix and he is only two months older than Ben.
- Norton is the smallest of our dogs. He is a Yorke mix and weighs only 14 pounds. Norton is probably around 4 years old.
- Blue is a 3 year old Australian Cattle Dog.
The dogs have their moments and life is far from perfect. However, they are well behaved. We can leave all five dogs in the house alone and trust them to not destroy our stuff.
They also get along well with each other. They respect the boundaries of their “brothers” and disagreements are quickly resolved.
Our balanced pack of dogs didn’t just happen. We put a lot of effort into it and continue to do so each day. There are two essentials that allow us to live peacefully with five dogs.
- Training – Each dog has been to several training classes and they all know the rules. Consequences depend on behavior, praise and treats follow good behavior, and correction for bad behavior often consists of a stern “no.” The dogs want to live in a peaceful house and they want to feel secure in their place. Knowing they broke a rule and their person is displeased is often enough to correct behavior. However, getting them to understand the rules takes a lot of work and training.
- Exercise – We have over an acre of land and much of it is fenced in for the dogs. The dogs have enough space to run and wrestle with their pack mates. They also have plenty of toys to chew and destroy. There are a ton of toys in the house and in the yard. We constantly bring in new toys to replace the old ones. I have heard it said, “A tired dog is a good dog.” Let me tell you, there is a lot of truth in that statement.
Living with multiple dogs isn’t easy. It requires work on our part, but we love each of the dogs and we enjoy watching them play and interact with each other. There are five dogs running around our home and they make each day special.