My two puppies are brothers. They play with each other, but I can feel how it turns "serious" sometimes.
They are little now, but I'm afraid that this can become a dangerous situation when they become teens or adults. Any tips or suggestions on how to control this behavior early on in their lives?
Hi Yes, two puppies of the same sex can become combative as they mature, some breeds more so than others.
The first thing I would recommend is to make sure that they are both neutered before 6 months of age. This should help some.
Also, there will likely be a natural 'pecking order' between them, one is likely to be more dominant than the other. It's best to allow these two to figure that out for themselves, and then you need to respect it.
The natural human reaction is to protect the 'underdog' but that can make the situation worse. Obviously if one dog is physically hurting the other, you do need to intervene. But in general day-to-day interactions, try to reinforce the ranking the pups have determined for themselves.
This means feeding, greeting, petting etc., the more dominant pup first. They will both understand this, and it will help to head off any jealousy issues or rivalry.
I would also suggest feeding them separately, and making sure they both have plenty of toys and treats to share. Many incidents of fighting start over limited 'resources'.
Lots of exercise for both of them, plenty of one-on-one time for each one with you and the rest of the family, and enrolling them in obedience classes as soon as they are fully vaccinated should all help.