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Old 02-01-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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My wife and I have decided to get a new puppy. My wife has never raised a puppy before and is concerned that the puppy will have separation anxiety and wants to consider getting two puppies. While I realize that getting two dogs at the same time will lessen the anxiety that one would have, I'm thinking that trying to train two dogs at the same time will be daunting at the least and possibly very frustrating at best.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I've had three puppies at one time.Unfortunately one passed about 7 months ago.Two pits and a st bernard.Its extremely time consuming and a lot of work but the end result is amazing.They are very close and i strongly believe its because they've been together their whole lives.I still need to work with them with some basic obedience but the worst is over.Just make sure you really think it through.What breed of dog are they?
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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We got our yorkie mix at 4 months old and one month later we got a GSD who was 4 months old.

Of course, the yorkie was, and still thinks she is the dominant one. Very fun to have two dogs with the same energy level. We spent a lot of time training the GSD and only very basic training on the yorkie.

They are extremely close even though obviously one is 10 lbs and one is 100 lbs. It is a lot of fun in watching them develop. Hope you have patience!
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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We got Bear and Angel about the same time. There were times when they took a nap I was SO grateful!!!! I turned the phone off so they would not wake up.

I would do it again. They are just like kids, they played, they fought.
Bear would take Angle's collar off and run around the yard teasing her.

They would "tell" on each other.

Some days Angel will go with her "daddy" and Bear will want to stay with me.

Angel was mine, Bear was hubby's but, they traded us.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:10 PM
 
Location: In a van, down by the river.... LOL
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This is the second time I have gotten two puppies at once. The first time, 12.5 years ago, I got two Corgi mixes. They were brother and sister. The sister passed away last October and her brother, Sandy is lost without another dog around. SO... just yesterday I got two more puppies. This time the breed is Papillon. They are adorable together and if they're anything like the first batch, they will be close and act as the first responder said... loving, playing, fighting, squabbling, teasing, tormenting, snuggling, rattin' the other one out, etc., just like 'real' kids!!!

Having two at once is a LOT of work in the beginning, but the rewards are SO great, it's well worth it imo.

Check the dog forum for a pic of my 'twins'. Good luck! Obedience classes help a LOT too!!!
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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In the January 2010 edition of the 'Whole Dog Journal' (which you can subscribe to online) there's an entire article on this question. Experts recommend AGAINST it. There are no data to suggest that separation anxiety is mitigated by having another puppy around.

On the down side, they cite the following:

They should be crated, trained, played with, walked and socialized separately. That decreases the well-known occurrence of pack-like behavior around another dog. The training is going to be difficult, because you have to really pay attention to each individual dog. Housetraining is also more difficult and, of course, the vet bills and food bills will be double. And they warn specifically, if you go ahead and get two puppies, that two females are MUCH more prone to fight than either a male and a female or two males.

The whole article is GREAT and written by Pat Miller, the author of my favorite training book, 'The Power of Positive Dog Training.'
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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I myself would never get two puppies at once as puppies are ALOT of work. You also then have two old dogs of the same age at the same time which can be quite expensive. I also have heard that often when you get two puppies together they bond to each other much stronger then they bond to you.

With a puppy I wait until it is trained well and can be a dog a new dog or puppy can learn from and not be learning bad behavior from. Jazz was 2 and well trained when I decided to get another dog and instead of a little puppy Dash was 1 yr so yes I was hit with the expense of two old dogs at the same time.

To prevent seperation anxiety don't make a big deal when you go out...do not do like so many people do and run over and spend 10 minutes saying good bye and kissing the dog, instead for about 15 minutes before you leave ignore the dog. I have always given the dogs a stuffed bone or kong when I will be out for a long period so right before I leave they go to their places and wait for the kong I hand it to each one then tell them to gaurd the house in a voice like giving a command and I leave. No big good byes as those cause anxiety. My dogs show no signs of seperation anxiety even if one is left home alone.I think we too often create that anxiety by our own behavior.

I think the only time I would consider adopting two dogs at once would be if I came across two adult dogs that have spent their lives together and now needed a new home.Even adult dogs need that special one on one training time when they come into a new home. Having a well trained dog already in the home can be a huge help there.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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Thanks to all who answered.

dogcrazy--They are Bichons and both female.

Dashdog--I have tried to explain to my wife that dogs are not humans and separation anxiety is mostly a human thing. The problem is that she has never had a puppy before and is worried that it will be bored/restless/destructive while we are gone at work. I've told her that we will crate the dog inside an exercise pen while we are gone, but she still has reservations. I agree with leaving without a fuss, that's how I've always done with my former dogs.

Further, I'm a little concerned that these two are both females, I would have liked one of them to be male. Oh well...I guess we'll make a decision at the moment. I really need to get a firm commitment from her that she'll take an active role in the training, otherwise, it's one dog for sure.

Thanks all!
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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We've brought two dogs home at once many moons ago. They weren't related, weren't the same breed, one was a male of about 12 weeks and one a female of about 7-8 months. They were entering a house with a neutered male of about 18 months and a male pup of about 5 or 6 months.

So it was two waifs entering a house with two existing dogs. The dynamic is very different in that case plus I knew what I was doing.

The fact that your wife is anxious about raising a pup added to the fact that one or both of you (it's not clear from your post) is at work all day, both point to the big red "NO" for getting two at once.

The fact that both are females makes it even more imperative that you do not bite off more than you can comfortably chew. 1) While no mix of gender guarantees anything, the chances of two females going at it hammer and tongs later on in life is just that much greater. 2) While "issues" between two males and/or a male and female can usually be sorted out, the same does NOT hold true for serious issues between two females and very often results in the heartbreak of having to decide to rehome one of them.

You didn't mention, but if they're siblings, the odds of the ugly side of this rearing its head is huge. Any canine behaviourist will tell you the same.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:01 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
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It really depends on the circumstances...the 1st 2 dogs I ever got, (chihuahuas) are sisters from the same litter and they are extremely close...they sleep together, clean each others' faces, play together, eat right next to each other and hate being separated for any length of time. I was only going to take one, (my boyfriend was going to keep the other), but he already had 2 chihuahuas who were close, and his new little dog was feeling left out so I kept taking her to my house to play with her sister, and before I knew it I was begging him to just let me keep her too...which he eventually did. I got these 2 with virtually no dog experience under my belt, but I had a very flexible job as an independent contractor and could therefore make my own hours as well as do the majority of my work at home, so I had oodles of time for them.

In most ways I did find it a blessing to have 2 instead of 1, especially when it came to potty training. When one did a "good potty" outside and got praised, the other would want to do the same to get praise as well, and they have turned into excellent coaches for all the other potty-challenged dogs I've fostered along the way...added bonus!

The key is how much time you and your wife will have to work with them to correct any aggressive/unwanted behavior before it becomes an issue...what you teach them now and the routine you establish will become difficult to change down the road, and if they're left alone all day to fight over toys, poop & pee, etc. the results will not be good! Many people who work all day try crate-training, and I know it's worked for some people...never tried it myself, but I do believe it's preferable to having them together unsupervised until they're trained.

Good luck!
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