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I have a 9 month old female German Shepherd named Tess and 3 month old Cairn Terrier named Maisie. I've had Tess since she was 7 weeks old and adopted Maisie about 3 weeks ago. They get along very well, always playing and play fighting with each other, and Tess appears to know when/where to draw the line and not play too rough with Maisie.

My problem is training them. Tess goes out for the day on wilderness adventures twice a week and that seems to be the only time I can work with Maisie, however, she really needs a lot more work. Whenever I try to train one of them, the other one is always right there in the way, wanting treats. I try separating them or putting one in their crate while I train the other but I can't focus due to the barking or whining. Should I ignore this behavior, although the pup I'm training probably can't focus either. If anyone has any advice on how they might have worked on this, please, I would love to hear about it. I know that Maisie is still little but she learns quickly. I clicker trained her yesterday to go to her bed and she picked it up in a very short time. The thing is being consistent with this training, which is so very hard to do with Tess around.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or ideas you can throw my way.
 

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They sound cute together:))

I would crate one, and do my training with the other outside or off property..If your doing it in the house,,I can just imagine the other having a hissy because of the attention 'that' one is getting.
 

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Just tie up one dog at a time and swap over every 5-10 minutes. Then the dogs see you working the other dog and doesn't interfere.

Over time you'll find the dogs have different skills so you can work them together. The GSD will probably run far to get a ball so toss it a long throw then throw something for the cairn to get the other direction. I will manipulate the game so the weaker dogs gets it's fair share and can't be bullied by the more dominant dog. It's a good lesson for both.

You can also put one dog into a sit/down/stand and force it/train it(verbally/body language) to wait until it is released while working the other one.

It can be a hard task to ask a dog to sit/wait patiently until you release it but i feel it is a worth while exercise and is a real test of your control over the dog.
 

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It's definitely hard to train two at once-- but very rewarding!,
My girl just turned one and my boy is 7 months. Got both of them at 8 weeks old from different breeders. Both are GSD.. My girl was soo easy because she had all of my attention. The most difficult for me was the potty training especially because we got the little guy in December which was tough living in New England with lots if Cold and snow.
Luckily that's over !!!
When I'm training I make the other stay in a "down stay". I just figure they are both here to stay so they are learning together. Occasionally I take one alone for a walk to give a bit of special time.
They live each other, play, run etc...but they pick up each others good and bad habits.
Have fun!


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Just jumping in to ask for pics of Tess with the Cairn.
I love Cairns. :wub: Had two in my lifetime, both at the bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all, this is great advice your all giving me. I like the idea of training one outside while the other is crated, they still pull hissy fits but it's more tolerable. I live in Massachusetts and we've been stuck in this nasty weather pattern for quite a few days now, so it's very hard to take them outside to work, too much mud in our yard right now. I do take them for walks, one at a time. I live in a small ranch which makes it pretty hard to work with the two of them in the house, but I do try and will keep working on it.

I'm having a very hard time house training Maisie. I take her out religiously but the little devil will smell around outside for the longest time and I think that she doesn't have to go, so I bring her back in the house and low and behold....she goes..:eek: I thought about training her to the bell but decided against it, I don't want them both ringing the bell just to go out in the yard and play, and I'm pretty sure that's what they'll do. Funny, Maisie has never gone the bathroom at all in her crate. When Tess was little, she peed in her crate a number of times but she has excellent house manner now....thankfully!

Some asked for a photo of the two of them together, hopefully I remember the right link to post and they come out okay.

Here's one a few days after Maisie came to live with us, she's giving Tess a dental exam.


Here's one of Tess giving Maisie enough room to stretch out. Notice how Tess is cramped in the corner. Maisie refuses to believe that she's a little dog.
 

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Those pictures look very familiar :) Jonas has a toy Yorkie as a little buddy.
 

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I am constantly training two or more at a time.

I drive them to a location, leave one in the car and work with the other. Usually a parking lot late at night. If you drive your dog someone, and leave the other at home, it will not bother you when it is barking.

And it won't be blowing a gasket trying to get to you through the windows.

Take them to classes separately.

If you do train after the sun goes down, you can close them in the car without any issues.
 

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I'm having a very hard time house training Maisie. I take her out religiously but the little devil will smell around outside for the longest time and I think that she doesn't have to go, so I bring her back in the house and low and behold....she goes.

Funny, Maisie has never gone the bathroom at all in her crate.
Easiest fix in the world, since she doesn't soil in her crate. Take her out to potty, without your other dog. If she doesn't potty, bring her in, crate her for 10 minutes and try again. Same deal. Outside, without other dog. If she potties throw the biggest praise party in the history of the world and then give her some freedom in the house (at that age, I would keep her confined to whatever room you happen to be in). If she doesn't potty, repeat the crating and try again in another 10 minutes. Keep at it until she does potty.
Sheilah
 

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I would crate one, and do my training with the other outside or off property..If your doing it in the house,,I can just imagine the other having a hissy because of the attention 'that' one is getting.
Yep. :)

Your puppies are both puppies, so training one of them to Stay while you work the other is a project in itself. At this point, it is likely easiest to just physically separate them when you're working the other dog.

Over time you can introduce group Stays, where each dog is in a Stay and the other is released to do a quick individual behavior -- so, for example, Tess is in a Down-Stay, you ask Maisie for a Sit, reward Maisie for Sitting and reward Tess for Staying. Then switch off.

I usually teach this in conjunction with a "go to mat" cue, so each dog has its own mat and stays there while I'm working with the other. Over time, I can phase out the mat, but it's a helpful foundational behavior to have for other stuff too (like distance work and send-aways) so it's worth teaching as an introductory step.

Eventually you should be able to just work one dog while the other is in a Stay wherever you feel like putting it. This is how I usually teach new behaviors to my crew -- one practices, the other Stays out of the way:


...but it took a few months before we got to that point, and my guys are a bit older than yours. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I suggest getting this book: "Feeling Outnumbered?"
You had mentioned this in an earlier post of mine and I looked into downloading it to my Kindle but a friend of mine already has it and told me that she would let me borrow it. I believe she told me that it's a pamphlet rather than a book. I look forward to checking it out, thank you!

Merciel....I am very impressed with your training, great video. Love how you asked your pup to fetch the Tequila ;) I'd love to teach Tess to fetch me a Martini...:D

Thanks again everyone, there is great advice here, I love this forum.
 

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I don't know if they make vermouth in bottles small enough for a dog to carry, but gin's certainly doable. I have Crookytail (slowly... very slowly...) learning to do gin and tonics right now. ;)

I posted this in another thread, but, at the risk of spammage, here's a breakdown of how to teach the full margarita trick: Merciel's Dog Blog: Dog Mob: Assistant Bartenders

Just replace lime/tequila/salt/sugar with gin/vermouth/olive/lemon peel and you're set!

Also, "Feeling Outnumbered" is a great resource, so I'll definitely second that recommendatin. :)
 
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