One Dog Or Two Dogs?
I was asked recently if having two puppies (littermates) are too much at once since I happen to have two lhasa apsos who happen to be siblings. My answer came from my direct experience of starting out with only one dog back in 1979 and then add a second one to my ‘pack’ six years later. Although the first one was success, I found that dog litter training was even faster with the new puppy since he just watched what the older one was doing. It turns out that many things are better with dogs in numbers.
One thing to remember is that dogs are pack animals naturally. They are not solitary animals like cats. Dogs always do better in numbers since they are social creatures. When my first dog Pepper was a puppy, he grew up in a large house with people around most of the time. That was the pack.
When I moved out on my own with him, he was suddenly all alone all day when I worked and he didn’t take this well. So I decided to get him a friend which was a little puppy named Max. At first, Pepper was actually scared of Max since he had never been around dogs before but by the third week, they were buddies.
Pepper was no longer destructive or noisy when I left for work. He had a friend at home. This was direct proof to me that dogs always do better in numbers.
Two Puppies Going Through Dog Litter Training
My current dogs are indeed brother and sister. I had planned all along that I wanted at least two dogs at home at all times because of the pack advantage. Even though Chester and Roxie were being litter trained at the same time, they did observe each other and got to see when and how each other were rewarded when one did something right. This really speeded up litter training as well as general dog obedience training for both of them.
Even to this day at year five, when one of them gets a reward, the other one will come and do what the other one did to get a reward as well. Dog litter training them and obedience training was no more time consuming than training just one of them.
The only drawback for me in having more than one dog at a time is the effort which I have to do in grooming them. Lhasa apsos are long haired dogs and careful maintenance must be done to prevent tangles and matting. But even this has been made much easier since getting electric shears. The advantages of having more than one dog at home far outweighs this grooming time required. They keep each other quiet all night as well as when I’m not at home – except when they both bark at squirrels and birds outside.
If you talk to any dog owner who has more than one dog at a time, you will always hear that dogs are happier in numbers. So for my home, we will always have a nice pack.
For information on how to potty train one or more dogs, see my Dog Litter Training page. To see how I go through general dog obedience training with both of my dogs at the same time, see the sidebar of this blog or Training tab at my Life With Dogs Facebook page.