Quite a few people have the idea to get two puppies at the same time. Who doesn’t love puppies? And so two means double the love, right?
Reasons people consider:
All of these reasons are actually reasons not to get a second puppy!
The time and effort it takes to raise two puppies at the same time is at least three times the amount to raise one. You need to train each puppy individually, and train them together. If you just got one pup you can just train once! If you get litter mates you add even more work in for yourself too.
If you’re tempted by a discount for a pup then you really are buying for the wrong reasons. Think about all the extra costs this second dog will incur over their lifetime: food, insurance, vet bills, training, holiday cover. Now does that £100 discount sound like a great deal?
As for having a friend or companion for your dog, that’s what you’re there for! Many dogs are much happier and have their needs met much more effectively living as a solo dog. But more than one dog can be fun for everyone, especially the dogs, if managed right. And this includes managing their emotional arousal. Two young dogs together are likely to play really rough and over the top, when really they need to relax and sleep. Would you expect two toddlers to spend all day together in your home and leave it spotless and to have taken any naps they needed?
If you are worried your new puppy would be bored all day at home alone then maybe you need to consider some enrichment for your dog, change to work schedules so you can spend more time with them, or employing a force-free dog Walker. If none of these are an option for you and you expect your puppy to spend long stretches of time alone then maybe you’re not in the right place to have a dog just now, let alone getting two.
Being tempted, especially by litter mates, is a really common experience. Puppies are cute!! But two puppies should really be avoided in all situations, and especially litter mates. This situation rarely works out well, with one or both of the dogs often being rehomed.
Two puppies from the same litter usually cause even more issues than two separate puppies. This is because they are so closely related they are really similar to each other. This means their drive and value of resources closely mirror each other and this increases the risk of fighting. They also haven’t had any time at all being separated from each other, which sounds lovely and so comforting in some ways, but often fosters an unhealthy reliance from one pup to the other which prevents confidence from developing and you will usually have one very dependent anxious dog who will find most things in life a challenge.
If you want to have more than one dog in your life we always recommend waiting until your dog is physically and emotionally developed. You should work through any problem behaviours before adding a second dog so that you then have time to focus on your new addition and your first dog is completely confident and settled.