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Training "Litter Mates" by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer/Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Saturday, 02 June 2012 10:48

With summer approaching, many people & families ask me about getting a puppy.  What could be better than one? Why TWO DOGS of course!  But training Litter Mates is a little more challenging than working with just one.

While there are many positive reasons to own two pups at the same time, there are also a few negatives to be considered.  One thing to remember, is the financial impact.  Everything costs double; crates, leashes, food & of course veterinary fees.  For many, this is a non-issue.  So what about the Training?

You'll need to treat each puppy as an individual - not as a unit (or pack).  Reason being?  Puppies must bond with their humans first.  That's why you'll need two crates.  The crates will allow you to train them as individuals. It's always a good idea, to put one pup in its' crate, while training the other.  You can also feed them in their crates - this allows you to monitor their feeding needs, and discover which pup is learning 'house breaking' or not.

While it's great to let the puppies play together & wear themselves out, more than half that time should be spent one-on-one with their humans.  When walking them, times should be set aside to walk them separately.  If you have a partner for walks, plan to walk in different directions, again so the puppies can bond with their human.

Nurturing them as individuals, will help in the development of their personalities, and form a strong human bond.  Once that's accomplishished, you can let them spend more time with each other. If you allow the puppies to “pack” with each other, they will tend to ignore their humans. (and that's not good!)

These hints do not have to pertain to just litter mates.  They're also excellent reminders, when training 2 different dog breeds, of similar age acquired around the same time - to live with a person or family.  May your dogs always look to you, as their "Pack Leader" smiley Jean



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