Buying Two Puppies Together – Double the Fun, or Double Trouble?
If you are considering buying two puppies together, read our helpful Holidays4Dogs article for hints and tips.
Buying two puppies at the same time might seem fairly logical. Two puppies could keep each other company and entertain each other, for example. Therefore, they should be less demanding for their new owner, right?
People also end up with two puppies from the same litter because people feel sorry for puppies being taken away from their mother. Many new puppy purchasers feel that, taking another sibling at the same time is kinder.
However, taking two puppies on at the same time – while at times a lot of fun – can also be very challenging. It is not uncommon for new owners to run into trouble just a few weeks later. Some feel they must make the difficult decision to re-home one of the puppies.
It is often very difficult to socialise two puppies at the same time. Socialising a puppy takes a great deal of time and planning. Furthermore, two puppies will instinctively bond with each other. This means that the bonds created with their human owner can potentially be weaker. Two pups will tend to ‘listen’ to each other, rather than fully engage with their owner.
In severe cases, the pups become so bonded to each other, attempts to separate them result in acute separation anxiety. For example, where one dog needs stay overnight at the vet, the other dog may become quite distressed. Even taking one pup for a walk and leaving the other behind can create problems.
It would also be a mistake to assume that two siblings raised together will never fight. In reality, this can and does happen frequently. At around twelve to eighteen months, siblings brought up together can start to show signs of conflict and even aggression.
It is not impossible to successfully raise two puppies together, but this very much depends on the owner’s abilities and the temperament of the dogs in question.
It is crucial that if two puppies are brought into a household at the same time, they have plenty of opportunity to develop their own personalities. This involves working with each pup individually.
Managing and training multiple dogs can sometimes feel like herding cats!
Most responsible breeders would not entertain selling two puppies at the same time. It is wise to be wary of anyone who tries to persuade you otherwise. Likewise, rescue centres will never re-home more than one dog at the same time, (unless they have always been together).
I have frequently met owners who have taken on two puppies coming to my training classes – many of them at their wits end.
In some circumstances, the only real option is to re-home one of the puppies. This is, naturally, an incredibly difficult decision for owners to come to terms with. The older the puppies are, the harder it is. In addition, the longer puppies go on without appropriate direction, the harder it may become to train them. Sadly, many owners end up crating the puppies, or turning them out into the garden for long periods just to have some peace from the mayhem.
The only other option is to proceed with training the two pups separately as much as possible. However, since the reason for the pups being purchased as pair might have been that they would entertain themselves, (due to lack of owner time), this is usually an unrealistic option.
Puppies need to create bonds with their human owners and they do this readily when they leave their litter mates at eight weeks. Keeping litter mates together can make the human-canine bond more difficult to achieve. It is far better to raise and train one dog for several months, before adding another to the family.
Join a good dog training club but do not take the pups together on the same night and not to the same class. A good dog training club will never recommend you attempt to handle and train two pups simultaneously.
Of course, many people own multiple dogs and with careful and timely introductions this usually works out very well for everyone, including the dogs.
If you do want to add a second dog, or subsequent dog to your household, it is better to wait until the first dog is around a year old. This way, so you have time to form that all important bond with your pet, while he has time to develop his own confidence and character.