More Than One Dog?
CAUTION: You must take full responsibility if you attempt any new strategies on your own without proper guidance from a professional. See Disclaimer below.
I cannot give much advice on this issue through the pages of a website alone.
As we all know some dogs are more submissive, some are more dominant, and in your ‘pack’ they will take the role of leader or act as a mediator or ‘referee’. This can be helpful and dogs can assist other dogs to become more social or help them to calm down, but if you have problems within your pack for instance with your dogs ganging up on other dogs, pooping, peeing or marking in the house, too much barking, or fighting amongst each other, the only strategy that works is for YOU to be recognised as pack leader for all of them. In a family, it is imperative that everyone works together for the benefit of your dogs.
Depending on the dog, it can be dangerous to try and take the top position away from a dominant dog too quickly or with the wrong energy. There may be risk of injury to you or to another of your dogs as a result of your dog having to release frustration. You may also be misinterpreting which dog is playing which role.
One of the most common problems that shows up when there are two or more dogs living together is when dogs seem to pick up all the bad habits off each other or when one dog starts to copy the undesirable behaviour of another. If barking is your problem then one of the dogs will be sending the command to the others to bark, so you will probably only have to work with how to give effective corrections to one of the dogs to stop this problem.
When you are established as pack leader harmony can be restored to your pack. Eventually your dogs will thank you for relieving them of their ‘duties’ and helping them to be free of the stressful burden of having to be leader or mediator of the whole pack. Whether you have one dog or five the Back to Basics principles still apply, you still need to have all of them practice The STOP WAIT LISTEN Rule and you need all of your dogs to have the same calm and submissive mindset. And as you learn how to brush up on your leadership skills you can begin to feel stronger and know that you can be listened to by all dogs without ever needing to shout, hit or be forceful with them.
Although rare, there may be a chance that the mix of dogs is simply too much work and too much stress for everyone involved and therefore re-homing one or more of the dogs is the kindest thing that you could do for them especially if there is a possibility that you could end up with a dangerous situation on your hands.