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  1. So the dogs can keep each other company: This usually means one of two things: Either the owner knows that they will be away from home most of the time or the owner does not plan to make the dogs part of the family and expects them to be “outside dogs”. It is worth noting that dogs can still develop separation related distress when they have another dog at home!

  2. So the pups can play together and amuse each other:  This usually means that the owner does not have the time or inclination to play with, walk, train or socialize the dogs.

  3. To keep them from harassing the children in the family: The owner is aware that raising children and puppies together is not an easy task and is looking for a way to avoid the issue.

  4. To get things “over with” in one go: The owner does not have much patience when it comes to dealing with puppies and young dogs. For this person the hard work associated with raising a dog outweighs the great joy of having a puppy in the home.

However, even if the owner’s motivation is pure, there are potential problems with acquiring two puppies at the same time which prospective owners must be aware of:

  1. The pups tend to bond more closely with each other than with the owner. Naturally, two puppies are likely to spend most of their time playing with one another. Anyone who has observed socially competent pups meeting will see that it takes only a few seconds for introductions to be over and play to start. Besides eating, playing is probably the most enjoyable activity for puppies. While pups should have opportunities to play with other dogs, it is not necessarily a good idea for them to live with their perfect playmate. Excessive play leads to over-arousal and often rough, inappropriate and even bullying behaviour. Playing with each other can also prevent pups from interacting with other puppies in socialization classes or walks. True socialization with other dogs may not even take place.

  2. They may grow up to have conflict with each other: When a new puppy comes into a home with an adult dog, the adult dog usually sets boundaries by simply not allowing the pup to do certain things like take their food or chews or play too roughly. When two puppies grow up together, they are usually not able to set any boundaries with each other and they get used to interacting in a fairly “invasive” and “rude” manner. This often leads to conflict once they are mature and are less tolerant of having their space invaded and their stuff taken!

  3. Double trouble! While two may be company, two puppies can also be partners in crime! Pups are often a lot “braver” and more adventurous when they have “back-up”. If one curious puppy chases something or begins to dig a hole, it is very unlikely that the second puppy will not join in! It is often hard enough learning how to train and socialize one dog, let alone two who are very good at distracting each other and egging each other on!

  4. The dogs cannot cope without each other. Some puppies who have bonded very closely cannot bear to be apart for even a few moments. For example, if one pup is sick, both have to take a trip to the vet, because the one left at home will scream the house down until the other returns. Puppy class becomes a trial, because no matter where the pups are placed in the class, they cannot think about anything else but each other. In some cases, when after many years one dog dies, the other becomes “depressed” and may even refuse to eat. This sort of dependency can be a source of stress for the dogs and can make life quite difficult for the owners.

  5. One dog’s “personality” may be inhibited by the other’s. In the case of siblings, it sometimes happens that one pup may be so overpowering that the other pup is always conscious of its presence and never feels confident or relaxed in certain situations as a result. Such a puppy may seem quiet, withdrawn and reserved.


If you have already acquired two puppies, here are things you can do before they mature to try and avoid the potential problems listed above:

  1. Train them individually: Unless you are an experienced dog trainer it takes quite a bit of concentration to train a dog or puppy. Trying to reward correct behaviour is very difficult when you have to carefully observe the behaviour of two dogs at the same time! I have only known one owner who managed to successfully concentrate on and train two puppies at once and not many people have her natural skills!

  2. Play with them individually on a regular basis: It is vital that your puppies see you as someone who is fun to be with. If they don’t they will have no desire to be with you and little reason to comply with your requests. The other puppy will always be more attractive!

  3. Walk and socialize them individually on a regular basis: This gives each puppy the opportunity to deal with the outside world without relying on or being influenced by the other pup. Try to alternate walks so that one day you all go out together and the other you go out individually.


If you are considering getting two puppies at once, please think again!

Two Puppies Together


Many dog lovers are not satisfied with sharing their lives with only one dog and usually have multi-dog households. Having more than one dog has many benefits for people and for dogs, but the situation usually works best when the dogs are all acquired at various intervals. This way the owner has chance to focus on the needs of the new arrival and the dogs’ ages are staggered. However, it is not uncommon for people to choose to get two puppies at the same time. In many cases the motivation is good e.g. there may be two pups at a shelter and the person would like to give both of them a home or they may feel that it is less traumatic for two siblings to be homed together, rather than be separated from everything they have previously known. However, there are also some motivations for choosing two puppies at the same time which are far less healthy. Some of these are as follows:

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