Training one puppy can be time consuming and exhausting. Raising two puppies is a big decision for your family and means more than double everything. It requires more than twice the cost, training, and time. On top of the increased effort, raising two puppies at once may cause behavioral issues. Here are some challenges owners face and tips to overcome them.
One of the most common issues owners see while raising two puppies is extreme codependence. For example, if two puppies are trained to sit together, they learn the command, but they also learn it in each other’s company. This means they think in order to follow training commands, they must have the other puppy with them. This is especially common when one puppy is more dominant. The less dominant puppy will become extremely reliant on the more dominant one and may refuse to follow any commands when they are alone.
This codependence may lead to separation anxiety and trouble socializing. When the puppies do everything together, they may become anxious and even aggressive when they are apart. Everyday activities like eating, walking, or going in the car may now become extra work for their owners if the dogs insist on being together all of the time. When socializing, the codependent puppies may only play with each other. If they don't get used to socializing with other dogs and people, this may cause more behavioral issues down the road.
You should try to keep certain activities separate, especially while the puppies are still maturing. These activities include:
- Crate training
- House training
You may not want to let the puppies outnumber you, so have additional family members help train them. Training individually is important because puppies will develop at their own pace. While they are learning simple commands, teach them one at a time or have a family member train one in a separate room while you work with the other. Many owners walk two dogs at once, but every once in a while, it may be good to take them one at a time to learn independence. When puppies eat together, one may get aggressive about food and try to eat the other’s meal. Keeping them separate while eating will help avoid this.
Keeping the two puppies completely separate from each other for their entire lives is unnecessary and unfair. The bond between two puppies can lead to a healthy friendship that keeps them entertained and active. While this is important, is it also imperative that you let each dog develop their own individual personality.