I apologize in advance: this post is going to be whiny and woe-is-me and venty. I don't usually do downer posts, but you know what? This is my blog, and this is what my life has been like. And if you all have good advice or can just commiserate... well, that'd be even better.
So I have four dogs now. I love my four dogs; they are each such just really cool individuals, and I honestly wouldn't give up any of them. But dear god, it's hard to have four dogs. Especially because I have two resource guarders and another who won't hesitate to fight. And bite. And even though I know you don't break up a dog fight by reaching between them to break them up... well, I'm a slow learner, I guess. On the plus side, I have matching bite-scars on both forearms.
This is a total blow to my pride. I'm a certified trainer, after all! Surely I should be able to handle this better! Plus, one of my good friends has eight dogs living in her house (six of her own, one foster, and one that belongs to her roommate), and she doesn't seem to have even half as many problems as I do! (She tells me that she's been doing this longer and has carefully chosen each dog to fit in with the rest, but mostly I just think she's smarter than me.)
I keep telling myself it will get better. Only Maisy has really had any training, but we're working on the others. As the rest learn more, it should be easier. Cesar and I are getting better at predicting what will and will not cause fights, and therefore are getting better at management. And soon we will all live in the same house, which will be bigger and have a crate for each dog. This should make management easier, and will provide more consistent routines. I hope.
I don't mean to give you the wrong impression. In all honesty, we probably only have one fight a month, it's just that the fights tend to be much bigger than I'm okay with. And really, for the most part, all four dogs get along fairly well. They will all play together, though we limit that because of noise/shared housing concerns, so most of the time, it's Pyg and Napi playing. In the quieter, nap-type times, though, they've paired off in an unexpected way. Where Maisy is, Napi is, and Pyg and Lola tend to like each other's company.
But some days are just so hard. Please tell me I'm not alone? And maybe tell me what's worked for you?