Pawsabiliity Dog Behaviour and Training
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Should I get two puppies? What are the pros and cons?

Are you thinking of getting two puppies?

Here's some puppy maths!!

Did you know 1+1 = 3?

twp pups mathsPerhaps you're thinking that it's as easy to look after 2 puppies as it would be to look after one?

Not so. In order to avoid problems arising in the future, each puppy needs your individual time. And, for most situations, that will take up more than even just twice the time. For some ideas as to why that is, please read on.

Before making any such decisions, or being lulled by the cuteness or lured by thinking of two being playmates, or a 2 for 1 deal from the breeder, please do carefully consider this practical advice.

Two puppies are more than twice the trouble!

It has been proven time and time again, that if puppies don’t get to experience life on their own, then we are only storing up problems for the future. They may become overly dependent on each other and be unable to face the world on their own; they may use each other for emotional support and gang up on another unsuspecting puppy. Or, one may constantly bully the other; or learn that fighting over toys and food wins and then carry on that behaviour outside their own home; or they may simply decide that playing with each other is soooo much fun that really, they don’t need to care two hoots about you! 

As they are growing, they will pick up and copy each other’s bad habits. Then adolescence hits with all those additional stressors. And, we end up with dogs that are fearful or aggressive or simply won’t do what you ask.

Thinking practically - for most of us, it’s really a simple choice.

Bringing up a puppy is tremendously hard work. If you’ve had a puppy before, you have probably forgotten how much of your time they occupied - we all do! There’s house training, check up trips to the vet, stopping them jumping up or pulling on the lead, and simply keeping them occupied when they wake up every half hour and need your attentions.

Two is more than twice the trouble!

To avoid and prevent problems arising, they each need your individual attention for playtime, training time, vet visits, feeding, grooming, separate walks and socialisation trips and training. Otherwise it is highly likely that problems will occur.

These issues are all relevant whether we are dealing with puppies from the same litter, or not. And also, many of these problems and more, can occur if you bring another puppy into the home when you are not completely happy with the behaviour of your existing dog (be honest!).

If you have found yourself in this situation then please start immediately to deal with them independently: take them out on walks separately; feed them separately; train them each individually; play with them on their own; and control the amount of play time they have with each other.  (Of course, please don’t create stress – if they are not happy on their own just now then we need to teach them to feel comfortable - little steps at a time).

So, if you are just about to get a puppy, then please think – one is fun, and avoid the troublesome twos!

 

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