Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Valuable training articles posted by Victoria and other Positively members.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby emmabeth » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:38 am

Hopefully you are reading this BEFORE buying any puppies at all, and are considering having two puppies at the same time, possibly littermates.

STOP!.... Sit back down.. hold your horses.... wait a second...

Two puppies at once is one of those things, where one or two people... someone you heard of.. maybe a family member did it.. and got lucky.. (we will come back to these people later!).

Believe me for the rest of you... its a slippery slope to a NIGHTMARE and a catastrophe and a wholly unenjoyable puppy/dog owning experience.

First, ask yourself why two puppies seems a better idea than one puppy?

The top answer is because 'two will keep each other company'. Now ask yourself why you need them to keep each other company - would that be because you arent going to be there so much?

If the answer is yes, then honestly... you don't have the time for one puppy. Not without making some other arrangements such as a puppy sitter, a doggy daycare/creche, a family member minding the pup during the day, or being able to take the puppy into work with you.

IF none of the above can be done... then either wait until it can.. or consider an older dog who can cope with being left. Dog ownership is a privilege for those who have the time, money and patience.. not a right for those who plain 'want'.

Next top answers will be 'because they are cute/because the kids wanted one each/because we couldnt split them up/because we couldnt choose between them/ because the breeder offered us a discount if we took two....'

Puppies only LOOK cute because if they didn't we wouldnt put up with the horrible things they do. Puppies are NOT really cute at all.. stop thinking about cute, it baffles your brain and you forget the important things in life. Cute is a survival mechanism, its there to trick you. Ignore it!
Puppies are incontinent, puppies BITE and they bite HARD. Puppies make extremely loud noises and demand and NEED your attention 24 hours a day. Puppies are extremely expensive, tiring and will eat your most expensive stuff, rip up your carpets and sofa, drag your shoes out into hte yard and bury them.... make the neighbours hate you... make you sleep deprived... make you stand in poo... or wee... Puppies... are... not... cute!

What kids want... whilst sometimes important, is NOT important when it comes to 'I want a puppy'. Yes, sure they want a puppy... next week they will want to swap it for a Wii. The week after they want a skateboard - I have nothing against kids, I was one... but what kids want when it comes to cutsey things is NOT a reason to commit to 12+ years of dog ownership.

Splitting puppies up is GOOD for them. Puppies together only practice being puppies, and I will get on to what that really means in a moment. Puppies do NOT learn how to be nice sensible adult dogs from other puppies, like toddlers do not learn how to be quantum physicists from other toddlers. They learn this from adults.

In any given 'wild' situation.. baby animals of sociable species split up as they hit adolescence.. between 'baby animal' stage and 'adolescent' stage... they mix with a WIDE range of other ages of animal of their species.. from similar aged animals to old ones and from nice ones to crabby ones and everything in between. When everyone in their social group is fed up of them, they go on their merry way... to seek their fortunes in the big wide world. Occasionally some buddy up for a while.. through choice, a choice made as adolescents and adults.

In your home there is no choice. They are stuck there, permanently, in a tiny space... those pups who would have grown up, spent time with other adult dogs, aunties and uncles and cousins .. who would have taught them all manner of things... have grown up with only each other. Who is to say at adolescent stage whether they will still love each other and choose to stick together, or whether they will hate one another with a vengeance.. and fight to the death. Certainly not you or I... and do you WANT to live with the possibility that this will happen and you will have to choose between your beloved pets? Or live with the fear that one day someone will leave a door open and Fluffy will rip Precious's head off? Or that King and Prince will fight and your toddler will get in the middle of it and get hurt?

Believe me.. splitting up puppies at 8 weeks is as easy as anything, compared with the horror of discovering one of your dogs wants to kill the other.

If you cant choose, toss a coin, let the breeder choose, go for a walk and think about it for a little while longer.. you will find a way of choosing, you have made harder choices before in your life and you will probably come across harder ones again in the future.

And finally... because the breeder offered you a discount?...

ANY breeder who is happy to sell people two puppies from the same litter, ESPECIALLY same sex littermates... has only one thing on their mind. Your money.

They dont care if the puppies live happily ever after, they dont care if you spend the next 12 years in a living hell, they dont care if you have to take one to the vet to be put down.... they just want your money.

The same goes btw for puppy mills, pet stores and back yard breeders and the breeders of wolf x or made up breeds, all who breed or sell pups without the health tests necessary, without care or consideration towards the parent dogs, without giving you the advice you need to make sure your pup lives a long and happy life. They are in it for the cash and nothing more.


So.. you dont want two puppies to keep each other company cos you reckon you have the time... you arent doing it just because they are cute and you reckon the breeder is a responsible and reputable kinda person..

You still shouldnt get two puppies.

They will take three times the work of one, if not more, everything you do with one puppy.. you must do with the other puppy... seperately AND together.

So thats three x the socialisation. Three x the training, three x the walkies..

Its also a million times harder to potty train two pups... because if you have them outside together they are playing and forget to poop.. put one inside whilst you do the other, the one indoors messes in the house..

Unless there are TWO adults fully committed to doing this work, in the same way as one another, or you have achieved omnipresence.. its going to take way WAY longer.

How many months of wee and poo on your floors are you going to be happy with? Because realistically, ONE puppy takes at least a couple of months to get reliably housetrained. Two... you could easily have half grown dogs still going in the house at six months or more old..

So.. you need two adults to train them together.. and you cant leave them alone together because if you think one puppy can cause some destruction when left alone you havent seen a THING compared to what two puppies can do.. eat your sofa? rip up your carpets.... or put them outside and see them eat through the neighbours fence and howl and play fight all day long...

And that is when they still like one another - wait until they reach sexual maturity and decide that this town aint big enough for the both of them...

As I said at the beginning, theres always going to be someone you know or you heard of who reckons they made it work. Id say for every 1 of those people who is actually telling the truth, 10 more are lying or at least glossing over some details. Ask more detailed questions, ask them where they can and cannot take their dogs.. you'll find out most likely that their dogs never leave the property, or cannot be seperated because one yells the house down if the other leaves the building, or they cant be kept together because one wants to kill the other, or they cant be trusted around guests.. or they wont walk nicely on the lead... or or or..

Question these folk who say its ok, and find out if their lifestyle is actually anything like yours - maybe it did work for them, I'm not saying it never can, but theres a degree of luck there.. and maybe you find out that this person is home all day, has 10 acres of well fenced land and no neighbours for 100 miles in any direction. Maybe they show dogs or work them, there will be some details that mean what works for them may well NOT work out for you.

Most people make mistakes with puppies, we are after all only human and mistakes is something we humans do pretty well - one puppy under socialised is a pain to deal with.. two are a nightmare. By the time you realise that two puppies was a mistake though, very frequently its going to be one of those pups who suffers for your error the most.

If you have already got two puppies you might think I am over reacting or painting a very bleak picture to scare you - believe me I am not writing this to wee on anyones parade here..
We all have dogs because we like them and we have a vision in our heads of what our life with our adult dog is going to be like - its going to be fun and fairly carefree with our dog by our side, obeying our commands and having a ball.

By taking on two puppies at once you drastically reduce the chances of that becoming a reality - you only need to take a look in the rescue centres and shelters around the world to see that MILLIONS of people fail to raise ONE dog every single day.

Why make it any harder than it already is - the world is rapidly becoming less and less dog friendly and dogs are expected to behave impeccably in every situation.
Give yourself the very BEST chance you AND your dog can have, of having a happy life together - get ONE pup at a time, from a reputable shelter or breeder. If you got two pups together and you are struggling with them now... TAKE ONE BACK. Rehome him or her... its a lot easier to do now at a few weeks old than it will be in 6 or 12 months time when its not just a struggle... very few people want to take on half grown out of control pups who have learned bad habits from their sibling.

If you decide to keep two puppies.. we will still offer you all the advice you need and want, this isnt a case of 'do what I say or we wont help' at all... this is about making life as easy, making success as easy as possible.. If you choose to do it the hard way we will still help, and we wont say 'I told you so'.. either.. Positive dog training starts before you even get your puppy, by making the right decisions, no matter HOW hard they might be.

I hope this helps people to decide what to do when they get a pup, or to make a hard decision having already got two pups.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant
User avatar
emmabeth
 
Posts: 8440
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Mattie » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:47 am

Good post Em.

I have copied this from another thread, it is my exerience of have 2 pups with a few weeks age difference, thankfully I only had this for 10 days.

About 2 months after I got Tilly, who was 20 weeks old when she came to me, I fostered a Lurcher pup approximately 16 weeks old, Tess was a Saluki cross, thankfully I was only having her for about 10 days so the owner of the rescue could have a break. She was an emergency take in and with the lady going away for a week, she couldn't leave her husband with this pup, she would probably have had to spend the week in a crate so she came here.

It was a nightmare with Tilly and Tess being pups, Tilly was nearly house trained but Tess didn't have a clue, I found it impossible to watch 2 pups so had lots of accidents. All I did was watch the pups, feed and exercise, hardly had time to have a shower. The only way I could get to the supermarket was to crate both pups.

Tess was a beautiful pup and would grow into a stunning dog, she had a lovely temperament and if the circumstances were different I may have adopted her, never again will I have 2 pups together and these weren't even the same age. I dread to think what the teenage hooligan time would have been with these 2 pups and was so pleased for Tess to go back to the rescue. She did have a home to go to but as she came in as an emergency, they had to wait for her.

I was very upset that Tess had to go back, but for all of us it was best, having 2 pups was a nightmare even though that would end eventually, I still had to get through this time.
Image
User avatar
Mattie
 
Posts: 5881
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:21 am

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Noobs » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:29 am

My sister bought two Japanese Chins from a breeder, brothers...because she wanted her two daughters to each have one dog.

I visited them when they were three years old - I think they're 6 now. They were outdoor dogs - Japanese Chins! - because they chewed up the house when they were pups and the family didn't bother with training because "it took too much time." So they put the dogs outside and gave them access to the laundry room with a doggy door for feeding times. Needless to say, my nieces had no bond whatsoever with the dogs, and neither did my sister and her husband.

When I visited I tried to show them how to teach the dogs to "sit", which at 3 years old they didn't know how to do. If I tried to separate the dogs so I could teach them one at a time they both screamed bloody murder.

No one ever walked the dogs because they "had a big back yard" so thought that was enough exercise. Thankfully they weren't tough to walk on leash, even together, so I took them on 20-minute walks while I was visiting. I had my sister let them hang out with us inside the house after walkies and they lay around competely content like the lapdogs they were meant to be. I'm sure after I left they went back to the old ways and I wonder now if the dogs are all right.

Ems this is a great post and will be a good reference as this comes up every few months on this board it seems. But it should be called "Triple Trouble"!
User avatar
Noobs
 
Posts: 2522
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 3:43 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby dodolah » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:23 am

Thank you. I actually almost want to get 2 puppies.. After reading your post, I decided to just have one.
dodolah
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:14 am

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby emmabeth » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Excellent!... resist the cuteness.. get one puppy at a time. You can always add in another when the first one is 18 months to 2 years old AND well trained. If you do that.. then theres actually a good chance the adult dog WILL help raise the puppy! :D
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant
User avatar
emmabeth
 
Posts: 8440
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby wvvdiup1 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:24 pm

I have to applaud your article, Emmabeth! Very well said!

When I was a child, every time one of our one female dog had a littler and we kept two of the puppies. My parents thought it was time for my two brothers and I to learn how to train dogs. Fortunately, both of my parents agreed on the method of training, which happens to be what we call positive-reinforcement training today. You have to understand, this was back in the 1970s, when dominance training was the method at that time. My parents didn't agree! Part of the reason I know my father used positive reinforcement training was that it was beneficial in many ways, and my father being part American Indian, trained his dogs in the most beneficial ways. To clarify the American Indian part, you have to understand they respect and understand animals before mastering animals, therefore, they saw dominance training as cruel. Needless to say, when people trained their dogs by the dominance method, they had a lot of problems.

As you've said, training one puppy is difficult and a lot of hard work. I couldn't disagree with you on this because you're right. Training puppies has to begin with training them separately, and then later, when each pup does well, together. When one training the two together, it was like we were starting over, however, we managed to train them to be wonderful dogs. It was definitely a lot of hard work but well worth it, even though we had to give up being around our friends after school or during the summer while we trained our puppies! My parents made sure we trained our puppies, because they told us "You wanted them, you got them, and now you have to put the work in to keep them!" It was well worth a lot of time, because the time and the experiences we had with our puppies allowed us not only spend quality and positive time with our puppies, but it taught my brothers and I a lot! In short, if you don't have the time, you can't take care of a dog!

I totally agree with what you've said about the MILLIONS of dogs in animals shelters around the world that EACH of their owners couldn't take care of them! And we can't forget the uncountable numbers of dogs and other pets euthanized because no homes were found for them! One must remember that not all these dogs and other animals were adults when they were euthanized! So, get your pets spayed and neutered!

There are more I could say, however, I think your article/thread says a lot, Emmabeth! Way to go, thumbs up to you! Thanks for posting this article/thread!
Image
Image
"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius." -author unknown
User avatar
wvvdiup1
 
Posts: 3394
Images: 0
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:31 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby sj96skittles » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:23 pm

Thank you so much for this article. But brfore i ever heard of victoria stilwell We got 2 sisters from a breeder. My dad bought them so they would keep eachother company because obviously me And my sister go to school and our parents work!! But when we come home some days we let them inside so they can chill with us in the living room. Also take them on walks. Hey have their own room with a doggie door to go outside. We also will sometimes let them run in the backyard. It's 2 acres. Pretty huge! But we learned this the hard way! All of our flooring and the door is chewed up from when they were puppies. Thy also chewed up some of the wall in their room. But my dad was able to tile the flooring. But the sad thing is when 1 dog is taken out of the room the other one whimpers and barks alot untill they reunite. It happens with both dogs. They both can't live without 1 another. But we can take them on walks and go separate ways.
sj96skittles
 
Posts: 264
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Mattie » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:54 am

Bumping this up.
Image
User avatar
Mattie
 
Posts: 5881
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:21 am

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby sj96skittles » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:53 am

Mattie wrote:Bumping this up.

????
sj96skittles
 
Posts: 264
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Noobs » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:22 am

Can it actually be a sticky article? Tons of articles are getting posted and this is among those that shouldn't get pushed off the front page.
User avatar
Noobs
 
Posts: 2522
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 3:43 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Mattie » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:51 am

I couldn't find one the other day Noobs which is why I have bumped some up to the top again, I will do some more later if I get the time. The problem is they are all good and interesting but some are needed more than others.
Image
User avatar
Mattie
 
Posts: 5881
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:21 am

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby emmabeth » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:26 pm

I do intend to get round to stickying the most commonly referred to ones this weekend and i may do an 'archive' post, stickied, that contains links to the others.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant
User avatar
emmabeth
 
Posts: 8440
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Moobear » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:16 am

Just read this thread though it a little old.

When l had 2 elderly big dogs and l got for my 50th birthday an 8 week yorkie cross pup. I lost one of my dogs and was down to 2 and l got another, a jack russel aged 15 weeks. i had said to the owner of the the yorkie if she ever had a little girl l would be interested - well out of the blue l got the call that her ***** had got caught out and had 4 boys and a girl. So another one joined the pack. That meant l got 3 puppies in 5 months and l can only think that l was desparately in need of something that made me keep taking these babies in. I losty my other GSD and just had the 3 ewo l have to say were a nightare. I nick named them the Terrorists.

Last year we took on another GSD that was a family members dog that had a change of situation and could not find a loving home for her. We took her on and the problems in our house escalated. I now have 3 dogs aged 3 and one aged 6. I can vouch for the difficulty of having multiple dogs. I even mistakenly thought that a family memeber who wants to let her ***** have a litter in about 18 months would allow me to have one of her pups. I would have done it too but the only reason l am not going through with this is because l occasionally have to look after a young pup and it has caused ructions with my boys.

i have a real handful on my hands, l admit to being blatently lazy with the dogs, not consistent. I read and study a lot on many subjects including training but unfortunately never put into practice. I have allowed myself to be become lazy, extremely overweight, on anti depressents. I have had tennis elbow on both arms and my left arm is still giving me a lot of pain. Have back trouble (been told my core muscles are shot due to no exercise and overeating) so you can see that l am npt giving the best help to the dogs. I can walk them separately and they are not too bad but together is impossible anymore mainly due to the GSD who has never had lead training till she came to us.

I have gone right off track but l just want to show people that getting the dogs is the easy thing to do but looking after their mental and physical health is something that you should always think about and think about it some more. I love each and everyone of my dogs and can't give them up which is very selfish of me l know. So basically don't get yourself into my situation and take on more than you can cope with.



Best Wishes xxx Moo and the Mutts :)
Moobear
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:02 am

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Noobs » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:31 pm

I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time, but thanks for sharing your experience. *hugs*
User avatar
Noobs
 
Posts: 2522
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 3:43 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Double Trouble - Two puppies at once?..

Postby Moobear » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:06 am

Thanks Noobs = at the moment they are tearing around like wild things, at least the weather is dryer adn they can play outdoors more :o)



Best Wishes xxx Moo and the Mutts :)
Moobear
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:02 am

Next

Return to Dog Training Articles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest