It is pointless us telling you at this stage not to get two pups at the same time, as you will already have done so!
First we are going to tell you below why this is not a good idea and what can occur - then we will give you some exercises to do to help the pups grow to their full potential.
A Reputable, responsible breeder will not let you take two pups. There are various reasons for this and why it is never recommended:-
- The pups will tend to bond more with one another than with their new family and behaviours such as ignoring the owner when called, ignoring commands etc are much more likely to occur.
- The attachment could become so intense that if the pups are separated you start to have behaviour problems such as barking, howling, not coping if the one dog is even out of sight. If one dog has to go to the vet and the other is at home, extreme stress could ensue and in the case of one dog being in hospital or even the death of one of the dogs, extreme depression can occur.
- When you have two pups together, one will tend to be boisterous and the other more reserved. This can lead to the more reserved pup never growing to its full potential and gradually becoming more and more reserved - often resulting in fear behaviours.
- Two pups of the same breed are more likely to fight especially if bitches– the same things are important to the dogs. This will not always occur until the pups reach approximately 8 months of age, the adolescent age. What often occurs at this stage is that as the play for hierarchy starts, the pup that is more timid will become even more so as the other dog establishes it's rank - this dog can become somewhat of a bully, resulting in even more stress for the quieter dog. If you have two dogs where the rank is equally important to both, the chances of very severe fighting is even more likely.
- Behaviour problems such as resource guarding (often with reactive behaviour) tends to happen more with two pups of the same age.
- Although the owner/s should always be seen by the dogs as the highest ranking in the combined human/canine social structure, with two pups it is even more important, especially if the pups are from the fighting breeds. In a case like this it is essential that the owner shows the dogs from day 1 what will and will not be accepted, and stops any reactive behaviour the second it looks like happening.
- Two dogs are double work and are much harder to train than one dog.
- If any behaviour problems are exhibited by one of the dogs, the end result will be two dogs with the problem as dogs are natural mimics and will copy one another's behaviour.
What to do
These pups have to be treated as two individuals and time given to each of them separately to help them grow to their full potential. This involves exercises and situations as below:-
- Right from the pups coming home, they are taught to be apart from one another and the time period is gradually increased until the pups show absolutely no stress when apart.. You can teach this to the pups in a positive manner by giving the pups a lovely bone or chew toys and putting them in separate areas of the garden/home. These toys/bones/chew toys are only given when the pups are apart from one another - not at any other time - this special treat helps the pups to look at the separation as a positive experience rather than a stressful one. . You gradually build up the time they are apart.
- Once the above is in place, the pups to be walked separately at least 3 times a week to keep the confidence of being alone in place. Ideally at puppy school and with futher training, the pups should either attend separate classes or on alternative weeks to increase their confidence by being alone with different dogs and people.
- Games with balls etc to be done with each dog separately to build the dogs confidence. What tends to occur is that one dog will be the more dominant when it comes to toys, balls etc - this often results in the other dog being fearful anxious of playing due to the reactions previously experienced by the more dominant dog where toys, chews etc are concerned.
- As you need to bring in Alone Time training with pups in regards to humans, you now have to do not only with the pups being able to be apart from one another, but also learning to be apart from their human family as well.