Adopting a puppy or two? Here’s what you need to know.

As adorable as puppies are, they also require ample care and attention, especially within the first six months. While rewarding, it’s a lot of work for puppy parents to help their puppies grow up to be well-adjusted dogs! To set you up for success, we’ve listed some key pointers and watch-outs for adopting puppies, whether it’s one or two furry companions.

The more socialization, the better — The puppy socialization period is between 3-12 weeks of age, but it’s recommended that they receive socialization to other people, animals, different environments, and situations through at least 16-20 weeks of age. This will aid in how they interact with people and other animals in the long run.

Positive obedience training — It’s important that puppies are house trained and given basic obedience training, and we recommend new parents take their puppies to positive reinforcement-based training classes to set the right reinforcement tone.

If you’re thinking of adopting two puppies together at one time, you may want to think again. Below we’ve listed some reasons you may want to consider:

1) Double trouble — It’s not just double the trouble when you adopt two puppies. It quadruples the time and effort needed to housetrain, train, socialize and manage both.

2) Fight or flight — While some puppy duos can get along well, others can break out into fights. Since they’re typically around the same size and going through the same developmental period, fights can get intense enough that they may hurt each other.

3) Attached at the paw — Puppy duos can become dependent on each other, often leading them to become more attached to one another than the pet parents. If one puppy is not present with the other, they can develop separation anxiety, panic attacks, and issues with socialization. Many owners assume that the pair will keep each other company and may not put as much time into interacting and socializing with each dog. But raising two dogs together does not equal socialization to other dogs, nor does it mean they need less human interaction. These puppies may exhibit uncomfortable behavior around other dogs and people if they aren’t given the necessary extra interaction and socialization time.

All in all, we recommend new pet parents put time and effort into raising one puppy first, then adopt their second puppy in about a year or two. This provides the benefit of the older puppy becoming a role model for the new puppy, helping them learn faster as they are attempting to copy the older one’s actions and behaviors.

To learn more about what to expect when adopting a puppy, check out our puppy parent orientation video:

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