Raising sibling puppies is a challenge that is certainly not for the faint of heart! Puppies need a lot of time, attention, and training, but raising sibling puppies successfully can be done.
Not only is training puppies difficult, but when they’re sibling puppies, even more challenges present themselves. The puppies feed off each other’s energy and remain loyal to one another, which gets them into all kinds of trouble.
If you want to bring two new puppies into the family, here are seven tips for raising sibling puppies successfully.
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Utilize Crate Training
Crate training is a method for training your dog to accept confinement in a separate space. This strategy also gives your dog a safe space to go to when they’re feeling tired or overwhelmed.
The benefits of crate training are immense and work for:
- Housebreaking your dog
- Behavior training
Coincidentally, crate training helps with raising sibling puppies as well. When you place each puppy in their own space, they learn how to be away from one another and start to understand boundaries.
However, it’s important to note that crate training should not be done from day one; the puppies are used to sleeping with each other and will feel extremely anxious and uncomfortable if they are separated straight away.
Instead, I recommend starting by slowly moving their beds away from each other little by little until, eventually, they can sleep in their own crate alone without any issues. I’ve found that after two weeks, the puppies should sleep in their crates without needing each other’s company.
Spend Time with Each Puppy Separately
It’s essential that you spend time alone with each puppy at certain times of the day. When the puppies are always together, it is much harder for them to focus on their training. It is also more challenging for them to grow their relationship with you as their owner.
Training each puppy separately is critical in allowing them to gain confidence and independence. For example, take one puppy to the yard for outdoor training while the other is crated or resting inside, and then swap.
Also, allow each puppy to have individual playtime. Playtime is vital because it gets the puppies’ energy out while giving them free time to express themselves, which helps with training.
Training the puppies separately also means they must have their own stuff. For example, each puppy has their own leash, toys, food bowl, and blankets or bedding.
This requirement is a considerable time and money investment, which is why it is crucial you are prepared to handle something this time-consuming and challenging before committing.
Consistently Call Them By Their Names
After you name each pup, be sure to use their names often. When you call for each puppy individually, you must use their names. Try to avoid saying things like “pup,” “doggy,” or “bud,” which could potentially be used for both dogs and cause confusion.
Consistently call the puppies by their names and be vigilant in maintaining the same name for each puppy from day one.
Finding the perfect name for your new little furry friend can be tricky, but be sure to choose a name as soon as possible and stick with it. This strategy will make training easier and less confusing for the puppy.
When you call each puppy by its name, you are establishing a solid foundation for each puppy to have individuality. Individuality is how the puppies will learn to train on their own and develop a strong personality.
Encourage Social Encounters with Mature Dogs
Just as a child learns from their mother, puppies learn from watching and interacting with older dogs. So take your puppies on walks or outings to socialize with other dogs regularly. Older dogs, in particular, will help give your puppies an expectation of how they should act in public.
Mimicking the behavior of older dogs will come naturally to the puppies, but they need to be exposed to it to gain this benefit during training. If you know someone with a well-trained mature dog, have them bring the dog around your puppies.
Raising sibling puppies successfully might be easier if you already own an older dog and can show them how a trained dog should act daily. Puppies love playing with and being around other dogs, so this is a fun and easy way to help your puppies learn.
But socialization doesn’t just begin and end with other dogs. Introducing your puppies to new people and other pets is vital for a well-rounded dog. By exposing them to new people and environments, they’re less likely to develop aggression towards strangers or anxious behaviors when placed in unfamiliar situations.
Beware of Dominating Behavior
When raising sibling puppies successfully, it’s crucial to monitor both puppies’ behaviors regularly. In addition, since there are two personalities here, it’s essential to ensure that one is not bullying or trying to dominate the other.
Dominance is when one dog forms any type of aggression or force on another dog to gain submission. Suppose you start to see dominating behavior in one of the puppies towards the other. In that case, you need to take control of that situation right away.
The earlier you catch this behavior, the easier it will be to break it.
If one puppy starts to show dominance over the other, this will severely affect the training of both dogs and prevent them from reaching their true potential. The dominating dog will start to defy you and try to bully you as well. In contrast, the submissive dog will be scared and less likely to feel confident in its training success.
Some tips to break dominant behaviors in a puppy include:
- Setting clear boundaries.
- Don’t force affection.
- Give your dog a task that they understand.
- Always remain calm.
- Use a deep and firm voice with the puppy.
Contact a Professional Dog Trainer
If training two puppies at once proves too difficult for you, be sure to reach out to a professional trainer instead. Professional dog trainers know how to manage two puppies at once and will be able to train each puppy separately and with good intentions.
The puppies will respond differently to the trainer than they do to you, which is good because it allows them to stay focused on their training while also building a relationship with you as their owner.
Professional dog trainers can come to your home, or you can take the puppies to them at a set location and time each week. It’s crucial to try and stick to a consistent training schedule with your trainer and not miss any weeks of training, as this could offset their puppies’ progression.
Puppy training classes are also a fantastic form of socialization, as there will likely be many different dogs and people participating.
Allow Plenty of Chew Time and Play Time
Puppies are just like a toddler in that they’re full of energy! Training a puppy that does not have adequate time to express themselves and play will be much more challenging than training one that does.
Allow ample time for each puppy to play daily and give them toys to encourage mental stimulation.
Chewing is something that most puppies want to do as well, so provide each puppy with a chew toy so that they don’t resort to damaging your belongings. Chew toys will also help them while teething since their gums will be sore, and they will want something to help relieve the pain.
Final Thoughts: Tips for Raising Sibling Puppies Successfully
Try the above seven tips for raising sibling puppies successfully and see how your puppies transform into loving, loyal, and obedient dogs. Allow them to have their own separate spaces, build separate relationships with each other, and be sure to give them plenty of time to play!