Can I Potty-Train Two Puppies in One Crate?by Kimberly Caines
"We each have our own crate and like it that way."
Getting two puppies at once means constant companionship. That can be a good thing. But two instead of one is twice as expensive -- and twice the trouble, at least until they're older. Housebreaking two puppies simultaneously can be a challenge. Your pair of pooches may be inseparable, but confining both animals to one crate is asking for trouble: It complicates the housebreaking task. You'll be more successful if you have separate crates for your pet companions so they each have the space they need while they learn the house rules and develop their individual personalities.
If you're adamant about getting two puppies, avoid crating them together. If one pup soils the crate, the other is stuck in the mess -- and the scent might make him soil the crate also. Additionally, the pups might get into fights and they might become overly dependent on each other to the point where they can't function on their own. Keep the pups in separate crates, out of each other's sight, so they're not distracted by one another. Your goal is for each pup to feel safe on its own. Rather than focusing on bonding the pups, focus on bonding each pup with you, because you're the leader of the pack.
A crate becomes your pup's den where he lounges or sleeps or whiles away the hours. Because dogs dislike soiling areas where they sleep, a crate is an ideal tool to use during the housebreaking process. It also keeps your pet companion safe and your furniture free of damage when you can't supervise. Purchase a crate for each puppy and make sure it's large enough so each can stand up and turn around in his. Ideally, use crates with partitions that you can adjust as your pups gets bigger.
One of the challenges of raising two puppies is finding one-on-one time to spend with each one every day. Each puppy should get trained and socialized individually. Once both respond well to the training, work with them together so they learn to listen to you without the influence of the other. Understand that your pups have individual personalities; one might learn faster than the other. One might have potty accidents well after the other is fully housebroken.
Aside from using crates to keep your puppies from soiling the house when you can't watch them, tether them to you so it's easier to observe them when you're at home. Look for signs, such as circling, pacing and whining, which might indicate that your puppy has to go potty. Then take him to the designated potty area and tell him "go potty." Once he does, lavishly praise and reward him to motivate him to repeat the behavior.
If you're intent on having two dogs, your best bet may be to get one puppy first so you can fully focus on training one without having to worry about training the other at the same time. Once your puppy has learned good manners and is fully housebroken and socialized, get another puppy and focus on socializing and housebreaking him. In addition to learning from your training, the new puppy will learn from the trained dog. Your first dog will help train and raise your second dog.
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