Frequently, people will consider getting two puppies at the same time. The thought is they will provide companionship for each other; and if the household wants two dogs, they can get the "puppy stuff" over all at once.
However, this is rarely a good idea. There are several drawbacks to adding two puppies at once:
*The puppies become too bonded to each other and not their human family.
*Most families do not have the time or resources to make sure the puppies are raised as individuals. This means each puppy goes to its own training class and has its own socialization time. It's very important the puppy learn to bond with his or her human owner . Puppies raised together and never separated can become frantic when not together.
*Two puppies are double the trouble. What one doesn't get into, the other will. Combined, they can do amazing destruction.
*Twice the cost: the owner will need two of everything, including crates. With a breed as large as a Dane, the extra cost can be overwhelming. And heaven forbid both should get sick at the same time; the vet bills will be staggering.
A much better option is getting the first puppy and raising it to a level of training you are happy with. The existing trained dog will actually help teach the new addition the household routine. For most families, this is the only way to go. As a breeder, I will not sell two puppies at the same time into the same household. The vast majority of people are simply not prepared for the large amount of work two puppies are--especially giant breed puppies!
Below are a few reading suggestions for the person considering adding two puppies into their household at the same time.
"How To Raise A Puppy You Can Live With", Alpine Publishing, Rutherford and Neil. Available through Amazon Publishing.
"Building Blocks For Performance" by Bobbie Anderson
Legacy Dog Training (general information)
Behavior: Training Two Puppies At Once
Problems Associated With Adopting Two Puppies At The Same Time
Dog Star Daily-Ian Dunbar
Start Puppy Training Now
Raising Two Puppies At The Same Time: Why It's A Bad Idea
No, It's A Bad Idea
Adding A Second Dog To The Family
Two Puppies At One Time
By Lisa M. Lucas, CPDT-KA of Northern Tails Dog Training
One day while working at a local animal shelter, a woman looking for dog training advice approached me. In complete exasperation, fending off tears, she explained, “I don’t know if I can do it. They won’t listen. They are destroying the yard…jumping on the children…attacking us when we go outside. My husband wants me to get rid of them. The children are afraid to go in the back yard…” What was the driving force for such chaos and upheaval? Two 5-month old littermate pups, adopted a few months prior. She went on to say, “I didn’t plan to adopt two puppies, but one of the volunteers talked me into it because they were going to be put down.”
This story has a happy ending; she found a home for one of the pups with a neighbor, which enabled them to enjoy play dates. But, most pups in similar situations find themselves back at the animal shelter.
Raising two puppies at the same time may seem like a good idea, but ask the opinion of any dog training professional and their likely response will be, “Don’t do it.” In fact, every pet owner I’ve met, living with littermate pups, say they will never do it again.
Dogs raised with one or more littermates are at risk for bonding better with dogs than with people. Two pups from the same litter never get a break from one another, so the bond between the two of them is stronger than any other relationship in their lives. They spend 24-hours a day with each other, which is much more time than they spend with the human members of their family.
They don’t have a chance to develop as individuals. If one pup is more outgoing than the other, the pup who tends to be shy will become worse with age, because he will use the more outgoing pup as a “security blanket” and won’t have the chance to acquire confidence and learn how to handle life independently. Separating the pups for any reason through out their lives becomes an unpleasant ordeal. Veterinary visits, simple grooming tasks and individual walks are difficult and stressful.
Puppies too similar in personality tend to get into squabbles. As the dogs age and approach sexual and/or emotional maturity these squabbles can become very bad fights.
How To Do It Successfully
Keep the puppies separate for a portion of each day. (For the first 6 to 12 months). Separate crates, separate exercise pens. Separate them when you are not at home. When you bring the pups out to play, have them respond to a few basic obedience cues before they are allowed to play with each other. Only allow them off-leash to play after they have given you their undivided attention. You must be the gatekeeper for their fun with each other or you will have very little relevance in their lives.
Feed them in separate bowls on a regular schedule and not from one big communal bowl.
Take them for separate walks a few times per week.
Provide individual training time.
Provide socialization outings for each pup completely separate from one another. Each pup should develop doggy relationships independently of the other. Consider enrolling them in doggy daycare a couple days a week on alternating days.
Send at least one pup away for a week to spend time with a friend or family member during the first month the pups are with you.