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Double Trouble!

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ImageA new puppy!  What could be more adorable?  Two puppies?  Maybe… maybe not.

Yes, I know how it happens… ohh they’re both so sweet… how could we choose… they’ll be lonely without their brother/sister…

Trust me, I have to be not only the trainer, but also give tons of moral support to owners of ONE puppy that has the family on the verge of tears, collapse, or nervous breakdown.  Taking home two young pups at the same time is usually double trouble.  The biggest challenge two puppy households face is the tendency of the pups to bond to each other, rather than forming meaningful bonds with their human family members.  Many times the puppies become co-dependent and are inseparable.  Owners often underestimate the time and commitment needed to properly raise two pups; resulting in untrained and undersocialized dogs.  I would discourage anyone who is considering two pups from taking the plunge, but here are some suggestions for responsibly raising two pups at the same time.

Buy each pup his/her own crate and crate them separately. Housebreaking will fail miserably with the pups sharing a crate.  They will have plenty of together time, they don’t need to sleep together.  Crates are for sleeping and down time.  Pups crated together may like to play rather than sleep, possibly undermining your precious sleep.

Train each puppy separately.  The timing involved with marking and rewarding good behaviors is entirely too difficult to coordinate with two pups.  Try to cue a sit and if they both sit, you have to reward them both immediately to be most effective.  How many hands do you have?  Even if you have two family members training the pups at the same time, each will likely be distracted by the other.  Again, undermining your success and effectiveness.

Give the pups separate play times.  It’s good to create a bond with the humans as well as giving confidence to each pup.

Walk and socialize them separately.  This will allow each puppy to develop confidence and bonds with humans and other dogs at his own pace.

Good luck with housebreaking.  Vigilant supervision in required to properly housebreak a puppy.  I usually suggest a full lock down in the first three weeks.  This includes tethering the dog to the human or using an exercise pen.  The execution of a good housebreaking plan is completely overwhelming for a family with two pups.

And finally, the cost… for the first time puppy owner, the costs of just one pup is a real slap in the wallet.  Get ready for a real punch to the wallet with two.

Trust me, one puppy can fill your heart and your home with enough love for everyone!  Wait until you have ONE confident, well trained, and well socialized DOG before you bring home puppy #2!

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Written by dawnhanna

November 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

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