How to Raise Two Dogsby Stephanie Dube Dwilson
Raising two dogs together is more challenging than you may realize.
While the idea of raising two cuddly puppies together may make you feel warm and cuddly, the reality is, raising two dogs together is more than twice as challenging than raising one. While you may hope your pups will keep each other company and grow to be the best of friends, they may actually become overly reliant on each other, not bond properly with the human household members or grow to dislike each other. If you have already made the decision to raise two dogs together, there are some things you can do to increase your odds of raising them into healthy, happy adults.
Select one dog of each sex. Same sex pairs often dislike each other once they reach adulthood, regardless of how well they got along as puppies. Females, in particular, tend to fight when they are mature. Spaying or neutering your pet, while an important part of being a pet owner, will not solve this problem.
Provide separate crates for each dog. While it may be cute to see your dogs piled into a crate together, sleeping peacefully, confining two dogs into an enclosed area together is asking for trouble. They may aggravate each other, and the more dominant may bully the weaker-willed pup. The flip side of the coin is that your two dogs can become so closely bonded that they cannot stand to be apart. For everyone's sake, it is best to crate train your dogs so they learn to stay in their own crate, by themselves.
Train and socialize your dogs separately. Each puppy needs one-on-one attention from you, so they will bond with you and learn to pay attention to you. Short, daily sessions where you work with them one at a time will provide much better results, both in socialization benefits and behavior, than taking them both out together for a 30-minute session.
Clean up house-training messes thoroughly. No matter how watchful you are with your pups, there are sure to be accidents. It is important to clean these up immediately, using an enzyme-based cleaner to remove any traces of odor. If not, your second dog will come along and be tempted to mark the same spot, no matter how reliable he has been about going outside.
Feed your dogs in separate spots. They may not seem to mind eating out of the same dish, but from a young age they will start having proprietary feelings about food. If your dog grows up thinking he has to gobble his food quickly before the other dog gets it, he may develop bad habits such as food guarding, which can extend to people.
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- Two crates
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