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Double Trouble?

March 10th, 2010, 09:11 PM
I have have had the experience of having two dogs born a year apart and I feel that having the two of them was of tremendous value to them and our family. I have lost them both and am considering getting two pups ( I am dealing with a smaller breed so its less physically demanding when training them separately) though they will both require the time.

There are many different opinions, however is it always inadvisable to get 2 pups at the same time? There is more than one litter so they needn't be littermates (which is supposed to be avoided) and there are 4 people in the house to share responsibilities though I will be the alpha leader.

Don't the pups both learn that the human is the leader but they also have one another to play with? Have I anthropomorphised this situation completely or is there not some truth to it?

Is there anyone out there who has done this successfully? I see it as being viable and really relish the thought of having two pups in a year that can keep one another company as our comittments outside the house increase.

March 10th, 2010, 09:37 PM
Our Ember and Cole are about 9 weeks apart in age. We added Cole to the mix at 16 wks of age when Ember was about 24-25 wks of age. I won't lie--it was a lot of work! Yes, they played with each other and kept each other company, but when we moved, we had to totally relandscape the backyard. :D The DVDs I made of their adventures are so energetic that they nearly pop themselves out of the DVD player. :laughing:

The reason I mention this is your mention of increasing commitments outside the home. I was home full time with the little darlings. I don't want to think about what the little munchkins would have managed if left unattended :eek: So the more time there's someone there, working with them and supervising them, the better. :D

But if you have a lot of time to work with them, both together and singly, and realize how much work you're getting into, it can be a wonderful arrangement! And yes, they can learn to look up to humans even if they have a pup close in age to play with. Just make sure that you do a lot of one-on-one training with each of them so that they learn to look up to you. :thumbs up

March 10th, 2010, 11:04 PM
Don't get two litter mates really means don't get two pups of the same age at the same time, they don't literally have to be litter mates.

It can be done, but it does take a lot of work. You also should separate the pups a lot which I think would kinda defeat your reasoning for having them together. The reason is that the two pups will always bond together much stronger then with any human, it's just instincts. You will find it harder to compete for their attention as they get older.

If you insist and want to do it right, the best way would be to assign a pup to a member of the house hold, and have that person be in charge of all training and play time and socializing of that pup while you keep them separated from each other for most part of the day. The pups should be walked seperately so you can give them the adequate attention for training, leash manners, socializing. Otherwise the two pups will only feed off of each other's attention, affection, social cues... Depending on their personalities you could easily end up with dogs incapable of existing when separated from each other which will always happen (ie. one dog has to go to the vet), they could become a terror tag team.. what if one dog proves to be fearful and aggressive when it hits 6 months and the second dog while completely fine will simply mimic the other dogs' behaviour because heck he's barking so there's gotta be a reason for it. A lot of times one of the dogs gets unfairly labelled as the bad dog and end up being rehomed. And it all could have been prevented if only enough time and attention was given to that dog, and all this why, so that the kids get to play with two puppies and not just one?

I think there is far too much that could go wrong and far too much work to be done to be worth it, and for what gain? Enjoy the pups individually and give the first guy some time (a few months at least) before adding the second dog.

March 10th, 2010, 11:12 PM
I see it as being viable and really relish the thought of having two pups in a year that can keep one another company as our comittments outside the house increase.

A puppy is not a baby sitter for a puppy. Why do so many people think that just by having two it makes things easier to leave them alone? It doesn't always work out that way. Again, if one pup turns out to be a barker, destructive, the second pup could just as easily and it will just mean twice the mess to clean up, and twice the noise in your home/apartment while you are out.

March 11th, 2010, 05:32 AM
I see your point.

But as for your last point really think my dogs benefitted by having each other when we went out. Not a babysitter, but definitely great company and a built in playdate!

I am getting a smaller breed so we have more options of taking them with us as opposed to leaving them at home. From this point of view of size perspective having two is somewhat easier than with larger breeds. Will eventually get another. What do you think is the optimal time between pups- is a year long enough?

Also would you get male and a female?
If so, which one would you get first if waiting a year inbetween?

March 11th, 2010, 08:36 AM
I prefer two dogs to one, but not at the same age. I have found two years between or more is best--the older dog is trained, knows how the family works, and is a great role model for the new dog.
They do not have to be same breed or even same size for that to work--for instance my 7 yr old Rhodesian Ridgeback is helping me raise my 10 mth old long haired mini dachshund--90 lbs to 11 lbs in size difference. Made training a breeze--little Lyric just copies what Caesar does, and when I have something extra to do with Lyric, Caesar just waits patiently and doesn't interfere. They have found ways to play--Caesar mostly stays lying down in the house while they wrestle, then they play tag outside. They go to the dog park together and are social with any size dogs.

When Caesar was a pup, my then 4 yr old spayed female helped me. When she was a pup my cat helped. Ok, maybe I am just weird...:) True though. I just remembered an incident from when that female was young.

The day after Dharma was spayed, she was laying in the sun feeling sorry for herself. She was 7 mths old and about 50 lbs then. My cat Smudge caught a mole and gave it to Dharma--he actually herded the rodent for the last 10 feet to between her paws--and she ate it. How is that for a cat who takes responsibility seriously? I still remember the look of satisfaction on his face--like 'this should cheer you up'. It did.

March 11th, 2010, 09:19 AM
:laughing: That's a great memory, DoubleRR! That is one great cat! :highfive:

March 11th, 2010, 09:57 AM
He is! Smartest cat I ever had. He is 13 now, and still helps raise whatever comes along--my younger cat, Lyric, every dog since we've had him. He chose us to live with--was a feral kitten who looked up from following his mother and litter mates at the edge of our yard and broke rank to run across and purr at us. Ignored his family and stayed.

He is the cat that has moved with us four times--each time jumps into the car, rides fine, gets out on leash for breaks. Doesn't get into the car on his own unless we are moving-having learned that spending the day waiting for someone to get off work is not fun. You do not need to confine him when you get there--he stays close at all times, always has. You can medicate him, groom him, clip his claws or dress him up--if it is us. Strangers are ignored or avoided.

March 11th, 2010, 01:46 PM
I have never raised two dogs from puppyhood together, but have raised two dogs that were approx. 2 years apart successfully.

Sassy was about 2 when I got Furby and it was a breeze - she was a great role model for him and was especially helpful teaching him where it was appropriate to do his business! :D

I think it is possible to raise two puppies together, but as hazel said alot of work! Raising one puppy is never easy, so two will defaintly create new challenges and double the work! But if you have the time, energy, and patience, I don't see why it can't be done. :shrug:

Good luck!

My Lodi Girl
March 11th, 2010, 05:32 PM
Laci and Lodi were littermates. Yes, it was a lot of work and yes, they were/are worth it. We also had another dog (Corky) at the time who was about 1-1/2 years old when we got the "twins". L & L were very easy to train (reward based training) but I did have to separate them for some of the training. I always made sure I said their names a lot when I was talking to them so they could figure out who they were. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It can be done. I feel I need to say that I am not a dog trainer nor know nearly as much about dogs as the majority of the people on this board - L & L were exceptional students! Plus, I had already taken Corky to an obedience class so I knew the basics.

March 11th, 2010, 05:57 PM
I think the most important part is to not see them as each others' company while you are out. Crate them separately. Train them separately. Do shared 'pack walks'. Have them around together when it's business as usual at home. Use umbellical training while you're house training them, and to reinforce your alpha status, so that they BOTH have to follow you whenever you up and go, and they can't just goof off when you're doing something else.

The most problems I have seen with pups roughly the same age/ both in training is when they are kenneled together (larger outdoor kennel) and trained together, etc. The ones that had the easiest time of it had separate crates and separate training, so that they could build identities within the pack that didn't include the other dog, when their identity and experiences are reliant on the humans in the pack.

That said - if it were me, I wouldn't have two pups simultaneously. I'd wait until the first dog is 2, then get a second one.