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So I might be bringing home a second dog sometime next week. MIGHT, but I want to keep myself ready. As to why "might", please see here: http://www.dogforums.com/general-dog-forum/98766-would-you-ever-buy.html

Anyway, I've never ever had two dogs in my life, and I'm trying to cover all my bases here but I'm sure I've missed something. Here it goes...

1) Food - Always feed separately, right? Right now I leave Cadence's food out all day and he eats whenever he feels like it (measured amounts and not free-fed of course) because he's a very picky eater and never finishes his food in one sitting. I guess this will have to stop?

2) Treats - For chew treats or kongs/treat balls, do I always have to keep an eye/supervise to make sure nobody fights over these? Or is it OK to throw them treats/chews/kongs/treat balls and then walk away and do my laundry or something?

3) Walks - I use a flexi with Cadence because I don't mind him stopping or walking away from me to sniff something interesting. He does know how to heel, but I find that he uses more energy when he's allowed to explore his surroundings more. I hardly ever have off-leash time with him anymore because there are just NO dog friendly trails or parks here. Cadence NEVER pulls on his leash and listens when I tell him "let's go"! or "come"!. He never charges at other people/dogs either. Do I use a coupler for 2 dogs, or buy a separate leash? Is it crazy to try to walk 2 dogs with 2 flexis? Should I just switch to regular leashes?

4) Toys - Cadence couldn't care less about his toys, but if for some reason disagreements break out because of them, do I take the toys away?

5) Training - Should I train them both together (although Cadence already knows all these commands)? And give both treats?

6) Should the dogs ever be left alone together, uncrated? I've read horror stories about dogs getting into fights while the owners are not home, but yet other dogs get along just fine together at home alone, uncrated. I will be keeping the puppy in an x-pen for now, because she will need somewhere to eliminate (I am gone 11-12 hours a day and my neighbour comes over to let the dogs out in the afternoon, for about 15-20 minutes). I don't think a 13-week old puppy will be able to hold it for 6 hours so I'm planning to put pee pads down (yes yes I know it's bad, but it's better than having the puppy pee on the floor) on one end with bedding, water, etc. on the other end.

7) Is it absolutely necessary for the puppy to learn how to be left alone? Cadence is a champ at being left alone because it's just me and him now and I'm gone most of the day. He's been trained to be left alone since he was a little puppy. But with this new addition, she'll pretty much have company all the time (either Cadence or me). So should I still make it a point to get her used to being completely alone? Or is placing her in a crate next to Cadence in his crate good enough?

Ummm... that's all I can think of right now.. if you have any extra pointers PLEASE do share! I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with planning everything, lol. I know, so silly, right? Seeing as most of you have 3, 4, 5 dogs! Please do share your secrets!
 

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You'll be getting a puppy? If so, you'll want to supervise until the puppy is older, as it will occasionally annoy the heck out of your other dog. I've mentioned numerous times my love for tie-downs with puppies. Using one also helps to 'protect' the older dog from being 'mauled' :) Your other dog could come into the puppies area if he wants to and get away when he's had enough, which will help him feel much better about the situation.
I feed seperately ,with the puppy on tie-down.
High value treats are also given seperately.
I train seperately, because I find it easier.
I think you'll know, after awhile, wether or not they can be left alone together. It's not usually a problem.
All in all, I find having multiple dogs easier. They entertain each other. I cant imagine ever only having one :)
 

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I wouldn't use a flexi leash when you have 2 dogs. I don't like couplers, as I find it easier to walk one on each side, but it depends on what you are comfortable with.
I would feed separately, supervise treats.
 

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I train my two separate. So, I would train them at different times.

You will need to stop leaving food down all the time and closely supervise treats/toys/etc.

I feed mine at the same time, and within 2 feet of each other, but we didn't start out that way. Gracie used to get fed in one room and Gizmo in another. She was so interested in what he was doing she wouldn't eat. When I started feeding them in the same room, she was fine. Silly.

I owuld feed in different rooms or even at different times. Try feeding the pup in her crate, maybe.

Good luck! She is a cutie.
 

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1. Food: Dogs eat together in the same room, their own bowls, and you could have a certain area where they will expect their own eating place. The Puppy will obviously make an attempt to leave his/her dish to view the other. This is where you immediately prevent and stop the puppy from getting to the other dog's bowl. Your puppy will now be introduced to the rules of do not interfere with other dogs eating. Plus aware that you are the 'Manager' of this situation - and certainly do not leave the older dog with this responsibility!

2. Treats: No comment

3. Walks: You will need at present to adjust your walks to accommodate shorter walks for a Puppy. However, this means that you can apply a few ideas. Firstly, initially just take out the older dog, while the puppy learns to be alone for a short time. Walk the puppy separately, perhaps when someone else is home with your older dog. Even just around the block, to start teaching to walk to heel, then it will be easier to walk them together later. Also, maybe three shorter walks for the older dog, so that the Puppy is not alone very long. Then eventually the third walk could include the Puppy.

4. Toys: Don't have too many - not necessary - teething toy helps a Puppy. Your older dog may rebuff your Puppy, almost like a "Back off boy, where's your manners"! As long as it is low key, it is acceptable, but no-one oversteps! You will be vigilant to step in and call a halt to any escalation of attitude!

5. Training: You may find this easier to train separately at present. From a comment you made, be careful that you are not merely practicing exercises! You should hopefully be looking to train not just practice what you both already know and do. So aim to improve and progress, otherwise you are just treading water, and that is of little use.

6. Initially, a Puppy might bother an older dog, who is trying to rest during the night for instance. So a Crate, may be useful, and left in the same room, so they are together, but the older dog is not pestered. Depends on the dog too, because one of mine was like a Nanny, the puppy would settle quietly. But if you are not sure, it is best to be safe!

7. It is good for a Puppy, to become accustomed to being alone on occasion, because they will not always necessarily have the company of the other dog. So hence, use the opportunity when you go for a short walk with the older dog.


You will also need to work harder with them, because they will focus on each other, and you need to ensure that your relationship is important with them, and you are not just seen as an additional Lodger!

Belda
 

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You will also need to work harder with them, because they will focus on each other, and you need to ensure that your relationship is important with them, and not just seen as an additional Lodger!
Belda
I've had multiple dogs more often than not, up to 4, and I've never had a problem with them focusing on each other. I know what you mean, I've seen that behaviour in our pet rats, birds, and horses, but dogs love their people too much for it to be a problem, in my experience.

by the way, we're not supposed to use colored fonts here. I'm not trying to be snotty at all, but it's really hard on the eyes and hard to read for those of us that are using their phones.
 

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Just consider how many Owners have problems with Recall. Dog playing with the Owners other dog(s), or any dog, but is that "love" sufficient to stop it focusing on the dog and return immediately?

Some folk have to train with their dogs separately too, in order for the dog to concentrate!

So hopefully the advice to work hard on the relationship will inspire the new Owner.


Belda
 

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Just consider how many Owners have problems with Recall. Dog playing with the Owners other dog, or any dog, but is that "love" sufficient to stop it focusing on the dog and return immediately?

Some folk have to train with their dogs separately too, in order for the dog to concentrate!

So hopefully the advice to work hard on the relationship will inspire the new Owner.


Belda
Maybe I've been lucky, but my dogs see me and my husband as the center of their universe and will come to us regardless of other dogs. They're not overly bonded with each other at all. I do train seperately when the puppies are young, just because anything and everything distracts them at that age. Can you please turn the purple off?
 

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1) Food - I guess it depends on the dogs and the household. I have a 60 pounder and a 20 pounder who are free fed out of the same dish.

2) Treats - Again, my dogs have no food aggression at all, the lick off of the same plate (if they are getting human food, rarely) they trade their chews and lick peanut butter out of the same XL black kong at the same time. We give our dogs chews when we are going to leave them in the house alone so they don't eat the furniture. So it all depends on the dogs.

3) Walks - I would keep at least one dog on a normal leash. I don't like flexi's because they always break on me, then I have a dog that is 20 feet from me and no way to bring him back in without calling him. I find two leashes work best for me, because couplers can get all tangled up if the dogs decide they are going to switch sides (and this will happen if you don't reinforce a strict walk at my side attitude) I am also fine with having my dogs not in heal position all of the time, they will heal if we pass someone, but then I let them back to sniffing and walking ahead.

4) Toys - I would let the disagreements work themselves out. Roonie never liked his rubber toys (like kongs or holey rollers) until he saw Kodi play with them, but they worked it out. I do see jealousy often with toys, if Kodi has it, Roonie wants it. But I let them work it out, Kodi always wins because he is bigger and stronger, but Roonie still gets a good play in until he gives up.

5) Training - I too train separately, its just easier. Once I get where both dogs know the command down pat, I love doing both dogs at once just for practice, but when it comes to learning something, I would rather just do one at a time.

6) Should the dogs ever be left alone together, uncrated? Our dogs are, but they have never shown an ounce of aggression towards each other. When Roonie gets annoyed with Kodi, he jumps up to the top of the couch where Kodi isn't allowed. Often times, when they are alone together they just sleep.

7) Is it absolutely necessary for the puppy to learn how to be left alone? I don't know why it would be. I'm not an expert on seperation anxiety because I have never dealt with it. Nor have we ever trained a dog to be left alone.


Again, all dogs and dog pairs are different. Some people say it is better to be safe than sorry, but for me, laziness trumps because I have never had a problem nor seen a hint that there would be a problem. If I saw that there were some problems, then I would change it. Its one of those things where you can learn as you go, and see what works for your dogs, but don't be afraid to try things that would make life easier.
 

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1) 7) Is it absolutely necessary for the puppy to learn how to be left alone? I don't know why it would be. I'm not an expert on seperation anxiety because I have never dealt with it. Nor have we ever trained a dog to be left alone.
YES YES YES. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the pup can survive on her own. I have a dog with SA, I know. The more she can do it now, the better off she will be later. If the pup gets too used to a human being around all the time, the first time she is left alone, all heck could break loose.

It isn't about training them. It is about conditioning them to be okay alone in a crate, in a room, something.

SA is not something you want to mess with/tempt.
 

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1) Food - I never recommend free feeding (though i know you are portioning, which is good) for a variety of reasons but it is your own choice. Some families get along fine with a bowl left out, but since you will need to continue to portion I do not think it is feasible to teach each of the dogs to never eat from the others dish. Especially with a puppy. I take it you will be confining the puppy somehow (crate, xpen, etc) so you can put the bowl down during those times. I would try to switch to a timed feeding schedule (giving them 20 minutes to eat) though.

2) Treats - Since your getting a puppy, you can condition them to not resource guard. I started feeding my two together and giving them treats together from the first day and I have never had a problem. They respect each other and it is always fair as to minimize jealousy.

3) Walks - Flexi's are okay for somethings but I think you will find that they become unmanageable with two dogs. When walking them together I would use two 6 foot (or shorter) leashes. My suggestion is along with walking together, take each dog for a walk separately a couple times a week. I did not do this as often as I should have and am now in a training nightmare.

4) Toys - Again, it depends on the dogs. If you work everyday on preventing resource guarding you shouldn't have a problem. i have seen more problems over toys than I have with food or anything else. In the beginning you will want to supervise all interaction as puppies can be rather pesky sometimes and you do not want puppy eating any toy bits he isn't suppose to.

5) Training - I train separately mostly but will integrate both dogs into the session once the behavior is learned. I would recommend working with your puppy separately at first as their attention span is nil. But, use your other dog as a distraction for attention commands. Basically though, if you want both your dogs to listen to you when they are together, you are going to need to train them together. If one dog isn't behaving with the other dog around, take a step back and work on the behaviors alone.

6) Home - You are going to want to keep your puppy confined until it is mature enough to handle the independence. Once they were old enough I have always left my dogs uncrated together in the house. Mostly they just sleep I think. Just make sure that your puppy isn't going to be harassing your older dog if they are alone. If she is then give your older dog a place to get away where puppy isn't allowed.

7) Seperation - I would definitely work on leaving each alone without you and the other. My insecure dog is very much dependent on his brother and clearly does not like being without him. However, I made a point to take them places separately so that one would be left alone. Ozzie will whine for a few minutes after Tyler and I leave but then he settles down, sulks and sleeps.


My best advice would be to give each down individual attention when you can. Go on special outings with just one of them and then switch. I would definitely recommend doing this with your puppy as it will help to ensure and strengthen your bond together.
 

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Food: I would try to get Cadence to where he can finish his meals in one sitting. You might be able to get around it by always feeding in crates and teaching the dogs to not go in each other's crates. That's not foolproof however, and it will be at your judgement which is easier to accomplish.

Treats: Will depend on the dogs. A rule of thumb is always have more toys than dogs. So if the two dogs are out, there's two stuffed kongs, a bully stick, and a nylabone. Take proactive steps to combat RG. Not leaving toys out could go any number of ways. Some dogs will decide that you are more fun, since you make toys appear and they aren't left to amuse themselves with toys. Some dogs will become so concerned over getting toys because they never have them that they develop RG when toys/high value, long lasting treats are present. Some dogs will never learn to fight over them if they are never there. Some dogs will decide that since toys are out all the time, then the toys belong to them and no one else is allowed to have it. I would say have a plan on how to deal with it if it comes up (my suggestion would be the trade game, which also teaches "drop it") but not to worry incessantly that it will.

As a note, I am mostly concerned with RG from *me.* I do not particularly care if my dogs want to "share" amongst themselves. With the temperaments of my particular dogs, I have a bigger problem with bullying and stealing toys, than defending them.

Walks: Walk them separately for a while, until Pup can walk well on a leash by himself. Then you can increase distraction and add Cadence. I would recommend against two flexies. A coupler might work, perhaps one flexi and a regular leash for the other. It's going to depend on your dogs though. If it's not a problem, don't make it in to one. Do what works for you and your dogs.

Training: Ideally, you need to train both dogs separately and together. There's a couple of things you can do.

Put Cadence on a mat or in a stay (I suggest down, but some dogs won't be comfortable enough to lay down and stay with a strange dog moving erratically in the room and a sit might work better). Run Pup through the paces for a few treats, then toss one to Cadence (this is why I prefer a mat, since my rules for mat are anything goes, as long as four paws stay on the mat). This teaches Pup to function with the low level distraction of another dog existing, teaches Cadence that other dogs working does mean he also doesn't get treats and that other dogs working isn't something he needs to be excessively concerned about. Switch dogs as appropriate.

I like my dogs to have individual commands and collective commands. This is a bit still in training, but it's useful and cool. When addressed as "dogs" or "boys," both need to respond. "Dogs, COME!" means both dogs get your booties here NOW. "Gatsby, come," means I just need the one dog, please.

"This is for MARSH," and Marsh gets a treat, "This is for GATSBY," and Gatsby gets a treat. Alternate for a few. This teaches that a dog has a name, and other dogs also have names that do not indicate the first dog. It also reduces sharking for the other dog's treats.

My dogs have individual release words and a group release word. If I have them in stays, for example, "Gatsby, free!" means Gatsby is released but Marsh is still required to hold his stay. "Marsh, bingo!" is the same. "Okay boys/dogs" releases both.

It's important that both dogs can work in the presence of each other, but individual training time is good bonding time. And use jealousy to your favor! Watching you work with another dog can make the first dog really eager to play the game. Expect behavior to backslide when the puppy is first introduced. It's no different than a little kid acting up when the new baby comes home. It's really just a reaction to stress and confusion, and as the house gets more integrated and this becomes the norm, things should settle into place.

Separation: Very, very important. I like the suggestion of walking Cadence alone so Pup gets some alone time. Good for Cadence too, to get you all to himself and a break from the puppy. Remember that being separated from you is different than being alone. Pup should be comfortable completely by himself, with Cadence, with you and no Cadence, and with all three of you together. There's a lot of resources on alone training. Cesar Milan's puppy book does a pretty good coverage of it. It's very digestable.
 

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"This is for MARSH," and Marsh gets a treat, "This is for GATSBY," and Gatsby gets a treat. Alternate for a few. This teaches that a dog has a name, and other dogs also have names that do not indicate the first dog. It also reduces sharking for the other dog's treats.
This is what I do, too, with the dogs and the cats. If I toss a treat and say, "Lily," then the dogs should not leap for my cat's treat. They're pretty good about it unless they're super excited. None of my animals are food guarders, luckily, although I still feed everyone separately (they don't have to be in separate rooms, just not too close to each other).

My dogs will squabble over toys occasionally, but it rarely escalates; usually one dog will quickly "win" the toy and the other leaves them alone. On the rare occasions it does escalate to snarling, I take the toy in question (usually an antler or their high-value Nylabone) away for a while. I don't feel the need to watch my dogs like a hawk around toys, but I'm always within earshot so I can intervene if necessary. And as others have said, I always have more toys on the floor than I do dogs.

For walks... I don't like couplers. It's easier to walk one dog on each side. Even if you walk both on the same side, it's nice to have separate leashes so you can easily get control if one dog lunges at something. I would not use flexis with two dogs; I'm sure they'd get tangled (mine get tangled sometimes on regular leashes).

I crate my dogs when I'm not home. They get along almost all of the time, but occasionally Casper will really annoy Crystal, she'll correct him, he'll take offense and they'll start sounding like they might fight. They stop when I tell them to, but who knows what could happen if I wasn't there -- it's better to be safe than sorry.
 

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Thank you everyone for your insight and suggestions! Definitely an eye-opener. I think I'll definitely train them separately; maybe give Cadence a chew to get him off my back and then work with the puppy. And I think I'll stick with a regular 6ft leash for the pup and the flexi for Cadence. Actually, I'm not even sure that I'll be taking the puppy for walks at all--she's only had one set of shots.

Will definitely have to go to the petstore to buy MORE toys too. The puppy will be crate trained (as is Cadence), so I think I will feed them both together in the morning (8am), and then leave out food in the crate for the puppy (she can't go 11 hours without food), and feed them both in the evening when I get home from work at 7ish.

How does this potty schedule look like to you? (Sorry, need some insight because Cadence was pee-pad trained as a young puppy--I lived in a highrise apartment then)
- 8am morning walk
- 1pm neighbour comes by to let the dogs out for 15-20 mins
- 6.30-7pm I come home, evening walk
- 10.30-11pm before bed walk/potty session

The puppy will be left in her x-pen with pee pads lined on one end for her to eliminate--I don't think she can hold it for 6 hours just yet.
 

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Will definitely have to go to the petstore to buy MORE toys too.
This is the best part about getting a new dog. Even if the old dog destroys them all immediately because he's a jealous little snit who doesn't like anyone else having fun. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...
 

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LOL! Cadence has TONNES of toys that he never plays with. He just likes to carry them around and scatter them all over the house so nobody can find them -__-

You know, I actually dont remember you talkin about buying a new puppy! I mustve been gone a while... Any photo threads of Marsh? What kind of dog is he?
 

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1. I feed mine together, as none of them show any aggression over food. When I got Obi as a puppy I had the bowl in my lap and he would eat out of it there, and I also touched him all over and stood over him etc while he was eating, to prevent resource guarding. But whether or not to feed separately depends on the dogs.

2. I give them treats together and can walk away and do something else. There are some high value treats that Pixie gets a bit snarky over, but all she does is give Obi a really nasty look, and she might jump towards him, but then stop herself. She has never made contact, and I now leash her to my desk whenever I give those particular treats. For kongs and bones they are fine eating together. Again, depends on the dogs.

3. I would walk puppy separately to begin with. It will teach her some independence and let you teach her to how to walk nicely on leash. I don't like couplers, but that's because Obi would drag Pixie around. I'm sure they work well for some dogs. I don't like flexis either, but that's just personal preference. I use a long leash instead.

4. If they fight over toys, then yes, toys can't be left out while they are unsupervised. I have never had an issue with it though.

5. I have both in the same room when I train mine, but I have one of them lie on a mat in the corner of the room while I train the other. I throw the dog on the mat a treat occasionally. I taught the 'go to mat' as a separate thing and reinforced heavily. If the dog on the mat gets up, I said 'no, back on your mat', and if they don't, they get put out of the room. I swap between them every few minutes.

I have sometimes trained one of them while the other dog wasn't around, and that works well too, but whatever you prefer I guess. I wouldn't train both of them at the same time. The only time I do that is when I do stays and have them both in sit/stays or do some position changes. I wouldn't teach new behaviours that way.

6. I don't see why not, if they are roughly the same size and get along quite well. I usually don't, but that's because I don't really trust Obi loose in the house. He's crated when we're out, and Pixie is loose in the house. If I'm just popping out to the supermarket for 20 minutes then I will usually leave them both loose in the house, and they have been fine.

7. It would probably be handy to teach, because sometimes things happen and you don't want her freaking out if she's ever left home alone. Almost right from the start I crated Obi in our bedroom, covered it with a blanket and closed the bedroom door. And then Pixie would be in my office with me. So he's rarely been completely alone in the house (if ever), but he's regularly crated away from everyone.
 

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You probably won't always have to feed separately. Mine will each go to their dishes, about 4 feet apart, and sit and wait for me to dish out their food. They are very good about not stealing the other dog's. Rarely, Rusty will start to go over to Snicker's dish, and when I tell him "That's not yourssss", he goes back to his own dish.
 

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We just introduced a rough collie puppy into our home a little while ago (she's 14 weeks now) and we also have a 2 year old sheltie. It's gone fairly smoothly with our sheltie clearly showing some concerns.

1) Food - Do not free feed, there's just no reason to. Slow eaters must learn to eat their food or it gets taken away. Our food goes down in separate rooms and they are monitored. The dishes are picked up in 15 minutes.
2) Treats - Haven't had too much of a problem. We try to make sure they each have something of their own. Definitely needs to be watched though.
3) Walks - I dislike anything but a standard 6 foot leash. Each dog needs it's own for a couple reasons. Individual leash skills need to be learned and reinforced which is hard to do on a coupler. Also I don't want them walking into each others poop.
4) Toys - If they fight we take the toy away. Same goes for chews. If it appears a fight is about to break out and we catch it, we give them each a toy.
5) Training - I sometimes train together and sometimes separate. Depends on what we're doing.
6) Dogs should not be left alone uncrated. If both dogs are mature and submissive to you then perhaps. As a puppy, definitely not.
7) Yes train her to be alone sometimes. You never know when she'll need to be alone.
 

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1. Both my dogs are free fed from the same bowl. We used to have 2, but the little one was never used so we put it away. We fed seperately when SiSi was a small puppy (in her pen) but when she was done with the pen there were two bowls on separate corners of the kitchen. I only had one incident, the first time SiSi approached Neeka's bowl when she was eating, and Neeka got snarly and in-her-face. After that, SiSi kept her distance and we never had another issue. They got used to each other and now, two years later, they will lick the same dinner plate peacefully.

2. It depends on the dogs. I can give Neeka and SiSi anything (as long as there's two) and walk away and there are no problems. Sometimes they'll switch because they want what the other dog has, but I've never had any issues. It's definitely important to watch out at first and to watch when you give particularly high value items, but if they seem consistently fine I don't see why you can't leave the room. With really high-value stuff I try to stay at least within hearing distance just on the off-chance that the first scuffle happens so I can run in and intervene if needed.

3. I've walked 2 dogs on 2 flexis in park-areas that aren't legally off-leash but might as well be. This is only after both dogs know leash manners, though. I wouldn't put a new, unleash-trained puppy on a flexi.

4. I'd say that's right. If they're fine, there's no reason for them not to have toys available, but if it becomes a problem it's probably a good idea for them to be put away when you aren't supervising or to keep the dogs separate when toys are around. I've never had any problems, though.

5. I use a mat, like other posters have said. At first, mat-dog gets the same amount of treats as the dog preforming, and I slowly reduce the amount until they wait for a full training session to be done without any fuss.

6. My dogs are home alone, but I think it's really up your discretion. I separated them until I was sure they would be fine, but both of my dogs are easygoing and pretty low-key and they just sleep when I'm not home. I see no reason to bother separating them for naps :p

7. YES. At some point, puppy will required to be alone, and you don't want it to be the end of the world. Every once in a while I try SiSi completely alone just to see how she is, and she's fine, so I don't put too much stress on training her to be alone. If you find that puppy gets anxious alone you should probably deal with it, though. If Cadence (god forbid) gets sick and needs to be at the vet for a couple days, for example, you don't want your puppy to fall apart because there's no one around.
 
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