Nope, you don’t have to be ‘fair’ by having the same rules for everyone. In truth, it can be unfair to have the same rules for all of the dogs in your home.
Each of our dogs is an individual and has their own set of needs and wants. Of course, if you have two dogs of the same breed and similar age, they will likely have similar needs. It is easy to get caught up in trying to treat our dogs the same. Rather than thinking about being fair, think about meeting needs.
Anxious dogs, old dogs, young dogs, lower/higher energy dogs – they all have different needs.
- A livestock guardian will likely need to sit outside to watch over their domain. Leaving a 3lb yorkie outside alone might scare them and put the dog at risk.
- Anxious dogs and puppies often struggle to rest and nap properly in a multi-dog home. These dogs might need extra crate time or time locked in the bedroom to nap.
- A young puppy will need many things to chew on, likely eating their meals in frozen Toppls or other food puzzles. A very old dog might find this same routine exhausting and frustrating.
- A dog who is anxious about being bumped might be allowed on furniture to feel safe, while the other dogs are not allowed up.
- A young or energetic dog will need more walks than an old, anxious, or lower energy dog.
Consider your routines and rules for each individual in your home to be sure that they are each having their needs met. Respecting who they are and what they need in life is one of the kindest things we can do for them.