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Raising Siblings - Should you raise two dogs from the same litter?

Al's Dog Training Tips

Raising Siblings – Should You Raise Two Dogs From the Same Litter?

I’ve seen over the years that people sometimes will get two puppies, generally a male and female, from the same litter.  So, the question is, should you raise two dogs from the same litter?  I’m generally going to say no, although that doesn’t mean that’s the right answer.  I think there are some great situations where you can raise two dogs at the same time from the same litter, but it can be a challenge.  Here are some pointers I want to share that may make this a little easier.  

First, don’t allow them to spend every waking hour together.  Actually, I think you should push in the other direction and allow them to spend less and less time with each other.  If it were me, I may let them spend the first 10 weeks of their life together, and then from week 10 to maybe about 8 months old, I would give them limited playtime together.  Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t be hanging out together, I’d like them to be coexisting in the same place.  What I wouldn’t want them doing is interacting, full tilt, all the time.  I say this because I’m trying to avoid some problems, but other than that, what is it we want from dogs? 

When you get these dogs, I think you should really focus to see how you can have the best relationship possible with your dog.  I encourage you, if you’re in this situation, to rally your family and begin to treat the dogs separately but include them in each aspect of your life.  It may be useful if each dog could have its own special handler, but that’s not always practical.  However, if you can do that, I’d really suggest it.  

What I also want you to do is teach them individually.  If you’re going to teach them how to stay, or come when called, etc, then take the 15 minutes 3-4 times a day and teach that one dog while separated from the other.  Then, once they’re getting the hang of those skills, it’s time to bring the other dog out.  One of my favorite exercises to do with a pair of dogs is where one dog does some loose leash walking with me up and down the driveway, while the other dog is tied off to their place bed while I ask them to stay there.  I’ll be doing this when I get my new puppy this year, it’s a great exercise for any 2 dogs.  I just think it’s important to show them “yes you have to stay while I’m interacting with the other dog” and vice versa.

If you’re’ doing that and you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions.  I have a tip line just for this reason.  Sometimes it can take me a bit to respond, but I really love helping you guys.  The number is (832)734-5189

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