Raising 2 new pups vs 1?
by Connie D
What training differences are there raising 2 pups vs 1?
We have 2 / 12week old German short hair pointers. One female and one male out of the same litter.
Do I use one crate or two to train them?
Should I let play fight or discourage it?
What if one is always being dominant in the future? Do I let that happen naturally or do I make sure they share?
How do I make sure they get along good together but still have confidence apart.
I am sure there are issues I have not thought of yet, so any and all suggestions and ideas are welcome.
This can be a tricky one! Raising two puppies together is definitely challenging and is way more than twice the time and trouble.
First of all, two dogs who spend a lot of time together tend to become very 'doggy', and will rely on and bond closely with each other in the beginning. This interferes with the human/dog bonding and the 'pack structure' that you need to develop.
Later on, two adult dogs (especially if not neutered/spayed) have the potential to become aggressive towards each other and possibly even fight.
There are things that you can do to help limit these problems, but you'll need to start early and be very consistent.
Firstly, yes - you'll definitely need separate crates for crate training, and you'll also need to keep the two pups separated a lot of the time. Don't allow them a lot of free unsupervised interaction. In the beginning, they'll need to spend a lot of time in their crates while you're housebreaking them, so this will help.
You're basically creating a 'pack' within your home, and the best way to ensure a happy and harmonious family is for you to be very clearly in charge (the 'alpha') within the pack.
It's vital that you obedience train both the puppies, and make sure that they both respect and obey you - regardless of distractions, surroundings etc.
As far as the squabbling and dominant behavior that you're bound to see. Definitely discourage it , as 'pack leader' you're responsible for what is allowed or not allowed and what seems harmless arguments in puppyhood will most likely escalate into much more serious disagreements as the pups mature.
Always protect the weaker one, that's your job, and also reprimand and control the stronger, more dominant one. YOU are the pack leader, and you must make that clear to whichever pup develops into the more dominant. If you don't, the chances are as it matures, that dog will think it is in charge, not just of it's sibling, but you, the home, other family members, pets and so on.
Do spend as much individual time with each pup as possible, and always supervise the joint playtimes etc.
If you clearly establish the 'pack hierarchy' in your home and follow the guidelines above, you should be able to raise two pups who will get along as adults. It'll definitely take time, patience, consistency and hard work, but the effort will be worthwhile.
Best of luck with your puppies. If questions or concerns arise later on, feel free to ask and I'll be happy to help if I can.