But all my friends do it!

Owners of two or more dogs will tell you that dogs are just as guilty of peer pressure like any group of teenagers.

Herd mentality, crowd rule, collective behavior, herd, swarm intelligence or team spirit – whatever the terminology, Dogs (and people) in packs act differently than they do alone.

Chance and Joey are two three-year-old Havanese. They are from the same litter and have been together their entire lives. They are rarely, if ever, separated. When they are, a lot of whining and anxiety ensues. Once reunited, they greet each other as if they had been imprisoned and then finally released into the arms of a loved one.

In their house, if the doorbell rings, they run side by side down the hallway, yapping and sliding on the tiles into the hall. Their owners have to grab their collars and pull them away to open the door.

Joey barks at the TV, the refrigerator’s ice maker, and the vacuum cleaner. Chance thinks Joey must be onto something, so he barks at those things too.

When Chance gets into puppy form and walks around the living room, he jumps on every piece of furniture. Joey, not to be outdone, the following through the armchair, the sofa and the coffee table. Even when used, for example, for coffee.

In the garden, Joey has been diligently digging a hole at the bottom of the fence. Joey has already escaped from the yard once and of course Chance will make a break for it too.

At walk time, the dogs are so excited that they run in circles while their owner tries to control them while they put on their leash. If one dog settles down enough to hold the leash, the other continues to dance and twirl.

I just hear the arguments and explanations these dogs give to their owners:

Ok, let’s establish that you have rules in your home for your dogs.

ALL dogs must respect the rules.

The best way to teach the rules: one dog at a time.

Separate your dogs, as heartbreaking as it may be for the dogs. Work with each dog individually. Then remind the dogs that the rules still apply even if they are together.


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