I get this question a lot for multiple dogs in the home: “I want to allow Fido on the couch, but not the other 4 dogs, can I do that? The answer is yes, but do they deserve it?”
House Rules for One or Multiple Dogs
Houses need to have boundaries, rules, discipline, structure, and a merit system. So if Fido deserves to be on the couch. And you are willing to take away said privilege if necessary, by all means, yes, do it.
Homes need an equal distribution of love, rules, and structure. Especially, when you have multiple dogs.
To get respect, you must be able to give respect.
Earn your relationship with your dog. Allow them to earn yours.
Advocate for Your Dog
Advocate for your dog and stay on guard. You are not obligated to allow people to pet your dog, you are not obligated to allow people’s dogs to greet yours. Bringing your dog in public should not be this hard.
Just recently I was contacted about a dog (that was with a rescue) that a lady with multiple dogs wanted to adopt, but the problem was that this dog had bitten and broken skin several times. This was a 10 lb ball of fur full of attitude. Long story short, we got the dog home and the first thing I showed the new owner to do was to advocate for this dog. Back the other 2 dogs in the home off, give the new dog some space, and this practice set the dog up for success. She created trust right off the bat. This is what it is all about. This 10 lb ball of fur is doing fantastic!
I have no problem with people that want to give their dog privileges, you just need to be able to take them away as fast as you gave them. Balance is extremely necessary for canine and human relationships.
If you foster, this also applies to your multiple-dog-crew.