multiple puppies

Am I crazy to want two puppies??

In February 21, 2013
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Many people ask me what I think about getting two puppies at once, or adding a second Labrador (or dog).  Well, here is my opinion…

Big dog little dog- Endless Mt. Labradors

Getting TWO puppies at once!

I actually do advocate getting 2 puppies…afterall…dogs are PACK animals, so they are happiest with their own kind. It also solves the question of “guilt” when you are away and can’t be with your dog.  It also is less stress on the pups (no lonely crying pup in the middle of the night…), and is less stress on you. You do the training once for both…easier than getting a pup now, then another later… I’d say I have a pair of labs go out in almost every litter, as this trend has actually become more popular. I also find it is a false assumption that the pups will bond to each other and not you…I’ve had so many labs over 21 years, and I have never found this to be true. They include you IN their pack. they love you as much as they do their canine counterpart. Labs are sooooo adaptable.

 

Adding a Second Labrador…

Some people ask if they should add the same sex or opposite sex for a second labrador…I can tell you from experience, same sex will only work about 50% of the time, but opposite sex pairings work 100% of the time. To me, its not worth the risk of two same sex dogs having one emerge as the “alpha” and you have to make the difficult decision to place or sell one of your dogs. That is only my opinion. I must at least state it, as I do not want to see any of you experience this heartache. Sometimes the second lab of the same sex can feel “threatened” or in “competition with” the other lab. It’s just not worth it, if you ask me…although it is ultimately your choice, I DO NOT recommend 2 labs (dogs) of the same sex in the same household.

***Something to remember when you bring home your new pup…

Remember when you brought that brand new baby home and you had a little child (toddler) at home who got REAL jealous? This happens when they learn “hey, this little thing is getting more attention than ME, ME, ME!” We always make this fatal mistake…so instead, give the “toddler” attention WHEN the baby comes out…he’ll learn, “Oh, cool, this baby gets me attention when it shows up….I like this!!!” Same thing with dogs. Think of your present dog as the ‘toddler”…the rest is going to work itself out over a TWO week period as the “pecking order” is established. Please be patient, and let them do this.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. When you say that you do not recommend same sex pairings in a household, do you mean when they are of different ages (having one and then adding a puppy later on)? Or is getting two same sex puppies from the same litter a whole different situation?

    I only ask because our family is considering the two puppy option in the future and we’ve always had male dogs. Should we instead consider the opposite sex pairing over two male puppies?

    1. Hi Kristy! We strongly recommend opposite sex pairing when you are introducing a new pup to a dog at home. As far as getting two puppies, I would probably still suggest opposite sex pairing, but I have had many people get two of the same and have it work out just fine. This is most likely because they are being raised from pups together at the same level, so there is less of a threat for dominance. 🙂

    2. I have a yellow and a chocolate Lab. The Yellow lab is one year older than the chocolate lab. At first the yellow lab thought the Chocolate as a new toy. I set him straight,right away. and soon they bonded as brothers. As a matter of fact the Yellow one helped the new Chocolate with house training. He did just what his brother did. Amazing!!! The Chocolate,younger, looks up to the Yellow, for support and play. The only thing I think is very important; as with human children, give them both the same amount love. Because the chocolate lab does try to take all the love from the Yellow lab. But I do not let that happen. Lab need Love and Give Love!!!!
      Amazing Dogs… Not Dogs… CHILDREN, Lovable Children. And in the long run you will save money because you don’t have to put them through college.

      1. Haha you’re right about the college part Anthony! Good noting there! You sound like you have great lab family. 🙂

  2. Hi Donna,

    Thank you for the information on two puppies at once as well as opposite sex pairing. I was told by another breeder that it was a mistake to have two pups together as they would bond to each other and not me. I had two labs, a male and a female, and they were so wonderful together, and always showed me the same love, respect and adoration. They were not, however, litter mates. I did find that it did take about two weeks for them to establish their roles in the household. Interestingly, though, I think they took turns on who was the Alpha. It was a wonderful thing to watch. I really miss our girl as she passed on 4/16/13 but look forward to one or two more pups in my future!

    1. I’ve heard many people get that advice! It’s nonsense… It’s funny that you say the two week time period for adjustment as well, that’s what we always tell people!

  3. Hi Donna,
    We have an almost 6 year old female lab and we Are thinking of getting another, do you think she is to old to interduce a new lab to the family?

  4. The “alpha” theory of dog behaviour is outdated and has been proved to be inadequate at best. Sometimes same sex dogs can be a problem but a lot of the time it’s because they were not socialised in the first place. If you raise dogs together they usually sort out any issues as they grow up and they will be fine. Dogs are actually happier WITH HUMANS by and large – NOT with “their own kind” – they are not wolves and have never been “wild dogs” and do not work as a pack if they go feral. Dogs prefer to hang out with people. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding of dogs results in a lot of sad dogs never leading the lives they want to lead protecting and being loved by their human companions. They do love to have other dogs around but they do NOT prefer to be shut outside or in a run with other dogs and not part of the human family. I’ve had 3 or 4 dogs in my family at a time for years and only ever had problems with one dog – but I rescued him when he was 10 years old from someone who thought dogs prefer to be in a pack and had let their other dog bully him his whole life. The two dogs lived entirely in an outside run and no-one supervised their interactions. As a result he was skeletal, (his eyes were sunken in so far his eyelashes were ingrown) & wary of all other dogs & would resource guard & misinterpret non-verbal cues. He was initially afraid of humans too and it took two years to build his confidence in himself and people. All this because his previous owners thought it was “funny” to see him beat up by the “alpha” dog. It was not an “alpha dog” it was an untrained unsocialised dog who did not know how to behave appropriately with another dog. Despite that he lived with 3 other dogs with only a few scuffles with 1 of them. That “alpha” vocabulary and approach to dogs needs to be removed from the world of dog ownership.

  5. Respectfully disagree with your opinion on adding a same sex Labrador puppy to an existing pet’s life. We’ve always had male Labradors, and when we expanded our 4 legged “kids”, we had NO problems in adding the sane sex pup. We did rescue a female lab yrs ago, and that was a little tricky since she had been in a home where she was mistreated., Within a month it was like the dogs were littermates. Also, I’ve never heard any qualified responsible breeder or veterinarian opine any benefit to the addition of the opposite sex pup. Labradors in particular are a very loving & gentle breed, They adjust so quickly to the addition of a new pup. Before long, the labradors become inseparable, regardless of the sex. Hope this helps anyone looking to add a pup to an existing pet’s life.

  6. I have the same sex Labradors, one 11 weeks old & one 9 years old both yellow female. My 9 year old
    Lab don’t like the baby playing with her toys or playing in General, they sleep together lovely but it’s the playing and the little one keeps nipping at her mouth and the older one don’t like it.. what can I do please?

    Thank you

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