At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we always get the question, “I have two dogs, can we train both of them together?”
Anytime I get this question, I have always told people no that we do not train that way, and explained that the dogs would have to be trained separately. In this blog, I will attempt to explain “why” we have this training mentality.
First, I would highly recommend you reading my blog, “Why Are Private Classes Better Than Group Classes,” this will help give you a good foundation of our training and mentality.
Why We Do Not Do Multiple Dogs At Once:
-While doing our dog obedience lessons at our facility in Northern Virginia, we tell everyone to practice about 30-40 minutes per day in the week between lessons. This is done to ensure that the dog (and owner) have the commands down really well before coming back to their next session. If you do two dogs at once, know your doubled your practice time per day, now, you are committing yourself to approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes per day of training. A lot of experience working with 65 dogs/owners per week, show me that owners almost ALWAYS fail at this commitment. Therefore, both of their dogs are being neglected in the training program and not accelerating as fast as they should be.
-Everyone who has gone through our training program, can vouch for the fact that our training style takes some practice, coordination, time, and consistency. Generally, it takes new owners about 1-2 weeks to get pretty good at our system with ONE dog; therefore, it would almost be impossible to try to master our with trying to learn with two dogs at once.
-If doing two dogs at once, it’s generally the same as a group class. As anyone knows, we are very anti-group classes, you can read about this in our blog on group training.
Solution: We do the first dog and once they complete their lessons, then we do the second dog.
When using this training method, you and your dogs get the most of out of the training. The first dog is going through the first four (or eight) lessons, and on a daily basis they are getting your undivided attention. Additionally, you are getting better and better with our training system as the weeks go on.
So, at the end of your first dog’s training, YOU are good with our training system and your first dog is great in obedience. Now you do not have to work with that first dog on a daily basis anymore (you just maintain it by using it on a daily basis throughout the day) and you can focus that 30-40 minutes per day on your second dog. Once the second dog finishes, you are great in our training system and your dogs are both great in obedience.
Once this happens, now you can start working the two dogs together, which is NOW much easier because you are very fluent in our training system and the dogs are great on their own.
Below are two Pit Bulls that we trained separate of each other, this video is about 10 minutes into us working them together for the first time:
This is a much more simplistic transition to make than trying to get the dogs good together while you are trying to learn the system, too.