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Puppies are a handful, and raising two of them at the same time can be a joyful yet demanding experience. This is especially true if they are sibling puppies. The question for non-breeders is whether raising two Lab puppies together is something you should set out to do?
Raising two Lab puppies together is generally not a good idea. Multiple puppies tend to not bond with owners as well as single puppies. Having multiple puppies can have a negative impact on training, and create conflict leading to behavioral problems.
There are other challenges related to raising two Lab puppies together that also need to be considered. However, in some circumstances an owner may not have a choice in the matter. For those situations, there are strategies you can use to reduce some of the challenges presented when raising multiple Lab puppies in the same home.
Raising Two Lab Puppies Together
On the surface, raising two Lab puppies together seems like a wonderful idea. For example, they get to play together and keep each other company while you are away. So why is doing so not advisable? Well, there are several reasons why this might not be desirable, so let’s take a look at them now.
It Might Interfere With Your Bonding
Two puppies who are roughly the same age can form a pretty tight bond. This is especially true if they spend a lot of time together. Unfortunately, this deep bond can affect their bond with you. As a result, they may ignore you, which can be detrimental to their training.
A strong bond is necessary for successful training. However, it can only happen if you have the puppy’s undivided attention. Raising two puppies means that their attention gets divided between each other and you.
Your only choice is to keep separating them, which brings us to the next challenge.
They Might Display Littermate Syndrome
Littermate Syndrome describes potential behaviors that could arise when a pair of puppies become overly dependent on each other due to their constant companionship. The puppies, usually drawn from the same litter, might exhibit certain behaviors.
- They are often pretty nervous, aloof, or fearful of people or other dogs.
- They become overly engrossed with each other, expressing little or no interest in other dogs or their human owners.
- They become highly distressed if separated even for a short while, making exercise, training, and vet visits difficult.
This problem is not limited to puppies from the same litter, though. It could also happen to similar-aged puppies or those close in age.
They Are Difficult To Train
Puppy training is essential. This is when they learn basic commands, how to live well with people, use a leash, and how not to nip. However, it’s not easy to house train one puppy while the other one is distracting him or jumping all over him.
Besides, puppies are generally full of mischief and require close supervision, which is an almost impossible feat when you have two.
For effective training, you need to make time to train each puppy separately until such a point when the puppy can join other dogs for training. This could take months, so you need to be sure that you can commit to the time and energy it would take to train both pups.
I highly recommend using an online training program to train your dog yourself, but with the guidance of a professional. This alternative to traditional training is both convenient as well as cost-effective.
They Are Prone to Conflict
Littermates tend to fight a lot. They fight over food or your attention, and this could worsen as they grow older. Same-sex puppies are often more competitive, so they might get into conflict a little more often. Also, one puppy’s bad habits could rub off on the other.
They Need Their Own Space
It’s good for each puppy to have their own space where they spend most of their time, apart from when they have scheduled play-time. Having personal space allows the pups to function independently and develop separate personalities instead of turning into half-dogs who are utterly dependent on each other.
Can You Crate Train Two Puppies Together?
You cannot crate train two puppies together, as each puppy needs to have its own crate. This is especially so if you are not available to keep watch over them throughout the day or during night time when they are asleep. You should also walk, feed, and socialize with each pup on its own.
Crate training helps keep your puppies safe, prevents damage, is handy when traveling, and is necessary for housetraining. You should continue to keep them separate until each puppy learns to pay attention to you, listen, and obey your commands. Once they do, you can gradually allow the puppies to go on walks together.
Establishing a proper foundation through training is crucial as the puppies can get out of hand while outdoors if you fail to do so. You can also get someone to help you walk the pups if you prefer to take them out at the same time but use different routes.
While the puppies don’t have to stay separately throughout and can still spend time together, you ought to give each equal quality time and attention.
Tips on How To Raise Two Lab Puppies Successfully
Bringing up two pups has its advantages, but be warned, this takes time, space, money, and loads of patience. If you don’t have any of these, you might be better off raising one pup till they are about one year old before getting a second pup. By then, both of you will have a strong bond.
But if you are willing and up to the task, here is what you need to do:
- Enroll them separately in puppy training classes and make training consistent.
- If it’s hard to separate the pups initially, consider placing the individual crates next to each other so they can see and smell each other. Then, gradually move the containers further apart.
- To make them used to staying apart, have the puppies engage in individual activities.
- Dogs are social animals, so make time for play, fun, and being together.
If you want to have dogs in your life, it’s best to start with one puppy, unless you are experienced at this and can house a pair of pups separately. Otherwise, it can be a considerable challenge. To raise your pups into complete, confident, and well-trained individual dogs, follow the valuable tips outlined here.