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2 Puppies = 2 Times the Mess?

Lots of people are always surprised when they realise that Niko is also just a puppy. I get the usual ‘Oh, I thought he was x years old!’, or ‘I didn’t realise he was so young!’ when we tell them that between Niko and Milo, there are only 3 months. 

Let’s start with the why, why we chose to raise two together even though everything you read on the internet warns against it because of the risks of ‘litter mate syndrome’ (when the puppies bond so closely with each other that they disregard the humans in the house/ignore them almost entirely which makes training them difficult and bonding to them near impossible)  

Please remember these are purely OUR reasons why, and I don’t expect everyone to agree or understand them. These are just some of the ideas that came to mind when Tim and I sat down to discuss if we wanted another puppy so soon. 

  1. Crate training, toilet training, is hard. And if we were going to lose sleep again when we were going to get another puppy (the goal was always to have three dogs total because that’s our council limit here), we may as well do it as quickly together as possible. I didn’t want to wait two or three years, and have to go through the sleepless nights and accidents all over again! 
  2. We were sure that Niko had already bonded to us. He had three solid months of attention and love from us that we were confident he wasn’t going to ‘betray’ us for another dog. I will be doing another blog about maybe some of the different things I would do to prevent MILO from relying on NIKO as much though. 
  3. I couldn’t resist when I saw Milo. We had both fallen in love with alaskan malamutes, but they are so hard to come by in NZ. When I saw Milo with such a beautiful and unique combination of a Long Haired GSD and an Alaskan Malamute, my heart was his, then and there. 
  4. We want our dogs to all be calm, gentle souls (we hope anyway) by the time we add a human baby to our household. This meant the pups definitely needed that head start! 

Next, to the how? How did we raise the two together? 

Again, this is how WE chose to do it in our household. Some of these worked too because I work from home every day, and Tim works from home some days. I’m not saying these will work for everyone who brings home another puppy because everyone will have an action plan that suits their lifestyle. 

  1. We did all the same things for Milo that we did with Niko when he first came home with us. Niko was toilet trained by this stage. We only use the crate as a training tool when they are growing up, but as soon as they can show us that they know when and where they need to go. The crate door stays ‘open’ and becomes more of a hangout spot to them, rather than a place to be secured in. It’s just our personal preference but Niko sleeps where he pleases at night - his favourite place being the base of our bed. This meant that when Milo came along, Niko handed down his crate to his younger sibling. Those of us with siblings can relate to this right? (and right now, the crate has been further passed on to Cleo, our cat!)
  2. Niko got lots more walks by himself. This was so he would still feel special and loved, and know that just because there was a puppy in the house, didn’t mean he was going to be forgotten! Also because Milo’s activity levels would be no match for Niko for a while. 
  3. They ate together. Milo did show early signs of resource guarding around Theo and Niko - but we have since gotten onto this quickly, and he isn’t growling as often/at all anymore. 
  4. They got lots of play time together - monitored always though just because of the initial size difference. They also got separate one on one times with us, so that they weren’t spending ALL their time together. On hindsight, we probably could have kept them apart MORE. But, no harm no foul. 
MLXLS
  1. Next, to the how? How did we raise the two together? 

    Again, this is how WE chose to do it in our household. Some of these worked too because I work from home every day, and Tim works from home some days. I’m not saying these will work for everyone who brings home another puppy because everyone will have an action plan that suits their lifestyle. 

    e along the way, things have a way of working out! Don’t forget during the time we brought Niko and Milo home, we also introduced Coco and Cleo (our rescue cats!). We have a full on household but I wouldn't have it any other way. Next blog post will be more in detail about what life is like with 3 dogs, 2 cats and 1 husband. 

Meanwhile, let me know in the comments if you have any questions for me to answer in the next post about our day to day lives. Or maybe you have also raised two pups together? Would you have done anything differently?


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