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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

Myself, my partner and our kitty cat are soon going to see an addition to our family - the addition of two West Highland pups. We're so excited, and already know many of the things we will need to do.

I've scouted out a training and obedience club, we're buying a baby gate for the stairs to stop them going up and to give Kitty some space if she needs it. The pups are a family litter, the breeder has two cats so they should be used to cats when they come to us.

Before I pose my *vague* question - I'll try to set the scene. I've had/trained lots of dogs, from old ones to rescue ones, to aggressive ones, to placid ones, to terriers and collies, but I've never trained two pups at the same time :crazy:! I feel quite confident but I'm aware it's a new one for me.
:blink:
My partner has never trained a dog but is really eager to learn.:)

Really, I'm looking for people who've trained two pups at the same time and whether there's any hints and tips to doing it! Any common bumps in the road I will come across different from training just one pup?

Thanks!
 

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You will likely need to work with them separately, I havent had two pups together but I have brought pups into a multi dog household and know people who have had two pups. If you leave them together all the time especially being litter mates then they can be so engrossed in each other and if you leave them constantly playing together it can be hard to get them to focus on you and train them. I would also do some separate walks too when they can go out.

Are they same sexes too? Sometimes things can also change as they mature as well, and they can start challenging and squabbling. Bitches can be as bad if not worse then dogs, especially when they come into season. It may not happen especially if they have complemeting personalities, but it has been know foe things to change later down the line.

A lot of breeders wont sell 2 siblings to be homed together because of these reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your feedback Sled Dog :)

I think I'd already decided that we'd walk them together in the morning, then during their evening walk take them out separately - and when one is being walked, the other is being trained and vis versa. We're also going to ensure we swap that role so both myself and partner share equal responsibility with each pup.

I can understand concerns about siblings growing up together, but equally so I've heard many stories of it being a lovely set up that works quite harmoniously. I think many situations have things to be considered and rivalry is something I will be aware of as they grow up, but not overly concerned about as it's not inevitable.

And yep, two girls! I've already considered advice to select the two most placid pups in the litter. Though my family of dog lovers has a trait for being attracted to the more boisterous, often more challenging dogs! I may have to buck the trend!
 

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Double Extra Effort! ;)

The two pups will be talking dog (and understanding) each other, and therefore concentrating eagerly and strongly on each other. You therefore need to work hard to gain their attention, interest and co-operation with you and your hubby.

Two Tips: .....

The eyes in the back of your head may need some adjusting ... :crazy:

Plus a pair of Skates to wear indoors, would be helpful. So that when you scoop up one puppy who is about to relieve herself on the carpet, quickly taken outdoors for house-training, by the time you come back in, the second pup will probably be about to relieve herself too! :blink:

tailtickle x
 

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The OH has two litter sisters and they hate each other, they don't draw blood but they are constantly vying for the top spot between each other. That said, he's got over 20 working dogs, and you will be able to devote a lot more time to your pups, however, I don't know a *good* breeder who would sell two pups together from the same litter. The OH once sold two pups that were going to the same home, but one was owned by someone else, it's just that the person who took them was training a pup up for the other person, somewhere over in Europe.

If your'e happy with the breeder of these pups, and are forearmed with the knowledge of what you're taking on, I take my hat off to you, I wouldn't do it. There are definitely success stories of taking on two pups from one litter, there are members on here who have a great relationship with their dogs, but there are lots who end up rehoming one of the pups. BUT hopefully, you know all this and are prepared for the hard work from the sounds of it. I own four bitches, two half sisters, a daughter from one of those and a completely unrelated bitch of a different breed, and despite reading frequently that bitches don't get on, it's a very harmonious household, no spats whatsoever, although I am very careful about stamping out any food swapping activities that might cause problems. And I do train the youngsters separately when I can.

Good luck with your pups, I hope you'll post and let people know how it's all going. :)
 

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Two of my Mal pups went to the same home but they went three months apart so one was already established before the other arrived. Brother and sister and they are now inseparable after four years together. Mals can be very difficult dogs too, even with different sexes but these two just love each other. It can work out well although personally I would have gone with a male and female or two males. I know of some bitches who can't stand each other and my bitch Kali is the worst dog in my house. I'm sure there are folk on here who have two bitches that live in harmony but I'd feel more confident with males!

Hope it works out well for you and must see pics please. :)
 
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Our two youngest are 6 months apart. Now 3 and a half and 4. Different breeds, different genders, and obviously not the same age.

My husband and I are more experienced than most, and are very fortunate to have an incredible support team at our fingertips. But even so, and even with the 6 month difference, it still hits home how hard it is to have two youngsters at the same time. It has been a LOT of work, and frankly, its still a work in progress.

The biggest, biggest issue is to make sure they learn that YOU are the most important thing in the world.
Look at all the owners who lose control of their dog in the presence of another dog, now imagine that “other” dog is the littermate who is with you, part of the equation 24/7.
This is what ends up happening over and over with littermates - they bond more strongly to each other than the humans in the household and the humans become superfluous. Not a good scenario.

Conversely, you may end up with two dogs who reach sexual and mental maturity and decide there is only room in the household for one of them. Now you have two dogs who can never be in the same room together - not very much enjoyment from your pet that way. Do you rehome? Which one do you rehome? Horrible choices....

I participate on a dane forum and in the past 3 years, of every single littermate pair, not a ONE has made it. Either one gets rehomed or PTS for behavior reasons. Granted, two danes fighting is not two westies fighting, but still.

One last thought. IME no reputable breeder will sell littermates to a pet home. Are you confident that you are supporting responsible breeding practices by supporting this breeder?
 

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It can work and when it does it's wonderful......



but when it doesn't there can be fireworks. At least the girls will be small and easily separated for training purposes. Best to take them to puppy classes individually so as they get one to one attention and learn better!

The biggest worry with me would be same sex siblings even more so than opposites. ;)

ETA - You will need the complete support of your breeder with your girls and you will need the reassurance that if things don't work out he/she will be on hand to take one back, even in years to come. A poster on here recently has been through hell with two litter mates for around three years, which included vicious fights, some of which have required stitches so like I say if it doesn't work out it can be horrendous. That poster is still having problems and is thinking of re homing which should really mean back to the breeder but he doesn't have that kind of support - unfortunately!
 

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Hi. I have raised two pups from 12 weeks old to present. A dog and a bitch from same litter. I had no problems training both of them. The were taught to sit at 13 weeks. Maybe iam just lucky though. They both have different characters. I have had two dogs in the past but never litter mates and i read all the pros and cons of doing this some articles would put you right off. I trained mine together and walk them together with no problems. When the dog went to be neutered the bitch wasnt that bothered he wasnt there. Good luck to you. Iam sure with the hard work you will put in and youve done your homework everything will be fine. Some might not agree and some will. Read all advice, this is a brilliant site for that.
 

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I think you just have to see how it pans out. The owners who had my pups had had a Mal before, so knew the breeb. They are early retired and have no challenges between Amber and Kane, not one scrap even over food. If your girls are of good temperament you hopefully will have no problems.

Some see raising pups together as being very difficult while others find them a joy, hoping your experience is the latter. :)
 
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RhubarbCrumble is free to do whatever he/she wants to do and I’m sure will find support no matter what the ultimate decision.

I just feel its important for anyone else reading/lurking to point out that there is a reason why so many trainers, vets, breeders and other dogs professionals recommend against getting littermates. Of course it can be done, but it also very often goes wrong. And when it does go wrong it tends to go disastrously wrong.

Why take the risk when you could simply get one dog, wait until said dog is mature and behaviorally where you want him, then add another. Not to mention how much easier it is to raise a puppy with a mature, settled dog to kind of show the pup the ropes.
 

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In my lifetime, my parents have had two lots of two littermates, and all four were fine with each other and the other dogs we had. On the other hand, my grandparents did the same, and had to keep the dogs apart from the time they were about 18 months until they died. All collies and collie crosses, so perhaps the difference is nurture rather than nature? Either way... Good luck, and let us know how it goes! :)
 

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Two terrier bitches - litter sisters....:eek::blink:

Never in ten million years would I ever entertain two terrier bitches - ever again. Put me off bitches for life. :eek:
I'm not keen on bitches even on their own, far too temperamental for my liking. Give me dogs any day, much more social and affectionate. Of course that's just my experience, I know some people prefer the girls, my sister would never have a dog but then she's never had one so doesn't know what she's missing! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow, I was surprised but happy to come tonight and see this thread so buzzing with input.

With regards to some of the articles posted - I fear many of them are the extreme, and not the 'norm' and I tend to judge from the norm while considering all the extremities. Thank you for posting them, I'm grateful I have a good research head and can find balance to such terrifying arguments!

I've heard many stories of people who have done it with success, and other's who have had problems. Thanks to all who have lended support to our query, whether in a cautionary manner or in a more sunnier manner ;)

For those of you concerned about our breeder, this is her first litter, and she admits it is a learning curve for her too. She has two Westie pets, a boy and girl who are also embarking on this journey for the first time . I've spoken to her about littermate syndrome and I'm happy with her as our breeder.

Thank you for the pic Malmum! What a lovely pair!

After much research and debate, we've made a decision about our plans to buy two pups, and while I have no doubt in my abilities, we have decided to buy only one for now. While I do think it would've been fine for us, as like the comment made by Megan, I do think it's more about nurture than nature.

We've come to this decision due to my partner's lack of training experience, the financial implications, and the desirability of having two pups at the same time not out weighing even the slightest possibility of littermate syndrome. I couldn't forgive myself if this was to happen.

However, and this is a big however, for anyone else reading this thread and considering the same - do your research to find balance, as generations of dog lovers have had harmonious pups without littermate syndrome and some of the articles can be a bit ....*ahhh! They will eat eachother to death!!* which should be read as a cautionary tale - but don't spend a sleepless night over it like I did!

Thanks again everyone :)
 

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I'm pleased you have come to such a sesnible desicion (sorry if that sounds patronising. I don't mean to be).

ONCE I made the mistake of getting 2 BC pups (not litter mates) at the same time who were 6 weeks and 7 weeks old. It was the worst mistake I have ever made in a life-long relationship with dogs. In the end one was PTS for severe behaviour problems.

I would never do the same agin and would cation against it.

Enjoy your new puppy!! Just think, you'll now have at least double the time to spend with him!!
 
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