“And when we arrived at the breeders, there they were…snuggled up together in their pen. They were so sweet, we simply couldn’t imagine tearing them apart…”
“Honey, they will be great company for each other while we are away at work all day…”
“They are pack animals, Mom. They want to be together!”
And so it goes… all the reasons why we end up bringing home TWO new additions to our family! So, before you leap into that romantic decision, allow me to share some of the reasons why you may be biting off more than you can chew…
Firstly, these guys are the same species and we are a totally other species. We do not speak dog or act like dogs (hopefully) or have the same manner of playing or like the same kind of music…HENCE it will be much easier for your two new “kids” to talk to each other than listen to the mumbling human trying to get a word in edgewise.
Next; Yes, they are so cute playing together, wrestling, chewing, growling, barking and generally having a grand “Dog Time” but the formative time to teach puppies how to live successfully in a human world is in the early months and if a lot of their time is spent trying to survive their Brother, less time will be devoted to learning what their Humans like.
When we have a puppy or new dog, we focus on them pretty intently for the first few weeks, teaching them skills that will be essential in their future lives. When we bring home two puppies, it is much more tempting to allow them to amuse one another and their antics provide us with great entertainment besides!
So much easier to feel less guilty about leaving them with each other for company and they can even share the same sleeping and eating spaces!! Of course they will want to do that, wouldn’t you want to have a permanent sleepover with your best friend? And remember, they are in a new place so they will provide reassurance for each other and want to stick together.
So suddenly they are a five month old wrecking crew and where exactly do you fit in?
I am not talking about potty-training or sleeping through the night but forging a relationship with your dog. After all, that is why we bring them home, right? The early months are when you need to begin this “conversation”, so connecting with your puppy is going to be MUCH more difficult if he spends most of his time with his littermate. Connecting with your new Shelter Adoptee is going to take MUCH longer if he brings along the sidekick he has spent the last part of his life with. And training your new dog to understand and comply with the rules of your home can only be done, one dog at a time so they will have to be separated for this to happen successfully.
The rambunctious 8 month old puppy can be tolerated while TWO 8 month old Adolescent Labradors can create some serious chaos in your kitchen!
It is usually at this point that I answer the phone to an extremely frustrated owner of two littermates who have turned life into a rugby match and are no longer welcome in the house!!! I really think that the Mothers of Twins have a special place in Heaven!
I want to now add that I do know several clients who have successfully managed to pull this feat off BUT they are all, some or most of the following…
• Home a LOT
• VERY patient
• Willing to do TWO sets of training twice a day
• Organized and clear
• Do not have small children in the home
And remember the TWO sets of medical bills, bags of food, leashes, training supplies, boarding places, spaces in the car and on the couch!
SO before you cave in to the desire to have a “matched set” of Xmas Puppies, think about, perhaps getting ONE puppy, raising it to be a calm, well behaved, much loved member of the family and then maybe NEXT Xmas r even the one after that, consider bringing him home a friend that he can help you raise by setting a good example!
Merry Xmas all and see you at Puppy Class in January!!
– Janine Lazarus. HashtagWV #120. December 2019. Follow Janine at Goodladd.net and @goodladdogtraining on facebook.
HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv