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Hi there I am in desperate need of advice from someone who has experience raising multiple puppies at the same time. 3 days ago I brought home Daisy Mae, a beautiful 9 week old border collie I purchased from Craigslist. The following day our local animal shelter called me (I had been going in daily looking for a pup) to let me know they had found a puppy for me, a 7 week old border/heeler mix. I thought oh how fun for Daisy to have a friend and how much more work can it be? The answer- a LOT more. After bringing her home and doing some research I realize now it is not recommended to raise 2 puppies at once and I already see why. My question is, is this doable to successfully raise/train two puppies at the same time or should I return little Rosebud to the shelter? I'm a housewife with no kids and really no life lol, so I can devote all my time to raising these girls, but I'm afraid I'm going to screw it up with my lack of experience. I am taking them out to potty and work on leash training individually so they get 1 on 1 time with me. They are currently sleeping in the same playpen, but I understand I need to get them crate trained separately in the next few weeks. I am interjecting myself into every play session, though admittedly they focus more on each other than me. I would love advice from anyone with experience attempting to raise 2 young puppies at once. Thank you so much for any assistance!!!
 

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Honestly I would return the one dog. Your lack of experience is going to be an issue. Already you have them together. They cannot be together at all. Now. Not in a few weeks. Now.

Training windows open and close when raising a puppy. You can miss those windows very quickly and you will miss them by waiting "a few weeks."
 

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Ok thanks for that info. There is precious little I information on raising puppies together other than just don't do it! The one website I found said if you get 2 litter mates (which they are not, but its all I could find) its ok to keep them together for about 2 weeks and gradually start separating their crates every night, and since Rose hated the crate and is so young I thought letting her be comforted by Daisy was a good thing. As you said inexperience on my part. Can you tell me anything else about keeping two pups together? You say keep them separate, does this include play sessions? How little should I allow them to socialize?
 

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Hi Sarah, I devote my life to my pets as well. I adopted a puppy in January who is now almost 6 months old, I love her but she is a lot more work than I thought I could not imagine having 2. I wonder if you asked the shelter where you got the sending dog from for advice on how you could make this work. Good luck!
 

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I suppose I know in my heart of hearts this is a bad idea, I just hate to give up Rose because I honestly prefer her personality. She's confident, intelligent and oh so trainable. Only one accident in the last 48 hours, already doing great heel/sits on the leash, friendly with everyone she meets. Where as Daisy, the purebred we spent hundreds of dollars buying and drove hours to get, is a bit shy and reserved, hates the leash and has not caught on to potty training at all. Outside she just gets so distracted, she want to put every leaf, twig, rock, or clump of dirt in her mouth. And because there is a Parvo epidemic in my town and she's only had her first vac this really worries me. Any tips to get her to focus on pottying?
 

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I'm sure your decision is really stressful. if you have to give up one I would see who I contacted with more, maybe try bonding with them separately and see who you take to more, The pavo outbreak in your area sounds so scary, where do you live? For potty training I still take my puppy out every 2 hours. Make sure you always go out the same door and give her a treat when she does go outside. YouTube videos are helpful. Wishing you a lot of luck!
 

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Ok thanks for that info. There is precious little I information on raising puppies together other than just don't do it! The one website I found said if you get 2 litter mates (which they are not, but its all I could find) its ok to keep them together for about 2 weeks and gradually start separating their crates every night, and since Rose hated the crate and is so young I thought letting her be comforted by Daisy was a good thing. As you said inexperience on my part. Can you tell me anything else about keeping two pups together? You say keep them separate, does this include play sessions? How little should I allow them to socialize?
I would suggest that you get them sleeping in their individual spaces ASAP. Keep them completely separated (meals, walks, training, play, outings, classes, vet visits, etc...) except for perhaps a couple of daily, scheduled 'play times' of maybe 15 minutes or so. Otherwise - they need to lead separate lives at this point & for about the next entire year or so. At that point, you can probably allow them to have more free interactive time with each other, but continue to schedule individual time with each pup on a daily basis for the foreseeable future. (I am a strong proponent in having one on one time with each dog in a multi dog home daily, regardless of proximity of ages or dog social bonding)

Here is an article with some additional tips:

You will probably hear many stories from people who have raised siblings (or unrelated puppies very close in age) who have jumped through none of these hoops, done basically no special 'separate' training or activities & report absolutely no problems what so ever. But... Those of us who have seen the horror story endings & witnessed dogs that scream the minute they are out of sight of their 'doggy sibling' and can't function in the most basic of ways (eating, sleeping, eliminating) without the other dog present... you simply don't want to risk it. Keeping them separate & developing their own personality as a whole & separate doggy individual will NEVER be a bad thing (even if serious problems would never have happened)

One other point that must be considered, and I realize when you're working with tiny puppies this is the farthest thing from your mind, but --- when the day comes that one of the dogs crosses the rainbow bridge & the other one has never ever had to deal with life on his/her own... it's a heartbreak that you simply don't want to experience. Each dog MUST know how to stand on their own four paws. They must.
 

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I suppose I know in my heart of hearts this is a bad idea, I just hate to give up Rose because I honestly prefer her personality. She's confident, intelligent and oh so trainable. Only one accident in the last 48 hours, already doing great heel/sits on the leash, friendly with everyone she meets. Where as Daisy, the purebred we spent hundreds of dollars buying and drove hours to get, is a bit shy and reserved, hates the leash and has not caught on to potty training at all.
In that case, it sounds like it'd make more sense to return Daisy and keep Rose. If she's from a reputable breeder they should be willing to take her back, and will find her a good home.
 

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Just to keep in mind for the future - a puppy purchased from a Craigslist ad for "hundreds" is not likely to be well bred or raised with the care good breeders put into puppies. These days with Covid raising prices, everything I've seen is more like thousands, and I'm looking. So Daisy may actually have had a lesser start in life than Rose; her parents may have been less outgoing and confident. Next time you go into this, do some research on how to find a good breeder.

As to other problems, whether to keep one or both is very much a personal decision. What anyone in this forum would do is irrelevant. I'm in a household similar to yours and wouldn't do it, but I have a friend who always gets 2 puppies from the same litter. She doesn't train beyond house breaking, is perfectly happy with what she ends up with, and has done it several times since I've known her. The breeder of one of my current dogs kept 2 from the same litter. Those 2 have done more, have been shown a bit and have some training. They wouldn't strike anyone as difficult in any way. I doubt she ever separated them much. I always heard stories from her about them playing together with her other dogs.

As to house training - you've only had Daisy 3 days and are judging her on her potty training? Yoo hoo, give her a break. After three days how either is doing is pretty much on you and your vigilance, not the puppy. It's hard, but if you keep them both, try to be like a good parent and don't compare them, appreciate each for her strengths.
 

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As others have said, completely separate. No playing together. They need to bond to you and that is much harder if they spend any time together.
 

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In that case, it sounds like it'd make more sense to return Daisy and keep Rose. If she's from a reputable breeder they should be willing to take her back, and will find her a good home.
The original post indicates Daisy is mixed breed and was bought off Craigslist. No reputable breeders in sight here.
 

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Oh don't worry I'm not judging Daisy too harshly. I expect accidents with puppies. I am trying to get her to get the concept. I take her out after every nap/meal/play session, every 1-2 hours. She's piddled for me a few times and I make a fuss telling her how good she is and give her a piece of kibble, which is what I'm using as a treat. The problem really is that she's much more interested in trying to eat things in the grass, which just freaks me out. I'm so afraid she'll hurt herself or get sick. So then I give up before she actually potties because I'm worried about the foraging. Do you have any advice?

We live in a rural area and out here Border Collies aren't show dogs, they're work dogs. She comes from good working stock. I met her parents and grandparents all of whom are insanely well trained. The "breeder" is a grisled old no-nonsense cowpoke type. Her shyness is most likely because she was raised to work, so she came not only crate trained, but well trained not to lick or jump or nip. She is eerily calm for a pup her age. And there are wonderful things about her. In three short days shes learned her name and comes instantly when called. When she's tired she takes herself straight to her playpen to nap. She already sits on command and is a sweet cuddle bug. I wasn't trying to disparage Daisy Mae's good name :) But if forced to get rid of one, its impossible not to compare/contrast the two. It is good to hear there are other schools of thought when it comes to raising 2 pups at once. These little ladies aren't show dogs, they're just members of the family and I'm hoping once they're old enough good Frisbee/agility dogs.
 

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The original post indicates Daisy is mixed breed and was bought off Craigslist. No reputable breeders in sight here.
I think you misinterpreted the original post. Although Daisy was from an ad on Craigslist, the post also said she is a border collie they drove a long way to pick up. In a subsequent post the OP said:

Where as Daisy, the purebred we spent hundreds of dollars buying and drove hours to get, is a bit shy and reserved, hates the leash and has not caught on to potty training at all. [ Bold added by me.]
However, I agree - no reputable breeder in sight here, which was one point of my post.
 

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The problem really is that she's much more interested in trying to eat things in the grass, which just freaks me out. I'm so afraid she'll hurt herself or get sick. So then I give up before she actually potties because I'm worried about the foraging. Do you have any advice?
What's in the grass that she could eat that would hurt her? If there's really bad stuff there, rake an area clear big enough to walk her around in a bit and use that for a potty area. One of mine was determined to eat driveway gravel when she was little and unfortunately the driveway is within the yard fence. So I ended up carrying that puppy past the driveway every time she went out for months.

As to the 2 puppy thing, if you have ambitions of competing in anything like agility, then yes, you need to keep the puppies separated enough that they don't bond so strongly with each other that you are secondary. For competitive sports, you need a dog that you can take off to train and compete without her friend and that thinks you are the best thing ever.
 

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Ok Rose slept alone last night, not quietly or happily but she did it. I am keeping them separated as much as possible and already life has gotten soooo much easier. Day 1 with both was a nightmare, which is why I was so desperate for advice. But I am figuring out a feed/potty/play/nap schedule that works to keep them apart. This will be a ton of work, but I'm not one to be scared of hard work. Especially if the end result is 2 happy, independent, well trained dogs.

Daisy successfully pottied outside twice already today (I'm such a proud mama lol) and Rose is basically already house broke. She's a potty genius! My last border mix was just like her, had the routine down in two days flat. I could use some advice on one of Daisy's behaviors. She kept dumping her water dish so I got a big 5 gallon auto feeder that was too heavy for her to dump. Only now she digs at the water spraying it everywhere. She obviously loves playing in water so I'm going to get a little kiddie
 

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pool for her to play in to satisfy the urge, unless there is a reason that would be bad. But in the meantime, how do I keep her from "playing" with her water?
 

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What's in the grass that she could eat that would hurt her? If there's really bad stuff there, rake an area clear big enough to walk her around in a bit and use that for a potty area.

Oh what hasn't she put in her mouth. I have fished out leaves, weeds, sticks, 2 rocks, clumps of dirt, even poo which I had intentionally left out hoping it would give her the idea that this is where we potty. Yesterday I stopped her just before she tried to eat a wasp. I know puppies explore the world with their mouths, but it really concerns me. She could seriously hurt herself and I just don't know how to stop her. I'm trying to keep pottying and leash training really positive for her, but I'm saying "Daisy No" so often I'm pretty sure she thinks that's her full name.
 

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You're braver than I am. My late grandfather's last pair of Bostons were classic littermate syndrome dogs. Couldn't be more than a couple feet apart, almost impossible to do any kind of individual training with (well, he didn't exactly try either, but not my dogs). Worse, the male was pushy and more confident and made sure he got most of everything - attention, pets, food, beds, toys... this is another dynamic can happen with this situation, where one pup becomes a bully who steamrolls the other so that the less confident dog winds up withdrawn and disengaged, even if they also can't function when they're separated. It never bothered my grandparents, exactly, but their expectations for their dogs ended pretty much at "housebroken" and "will kind of go to their room when asked, sometimes". It's hard to believe it was best for the dogs themselves, though. I was worried my grandmother would wind up with an anxious mess that she couldn't handle when the male had to be put down (old age problems - they outlived my grandfather), but the female does seem to have adjusted and is enjoying being the only dog for once.

Not sure if that experience is helpful, but I hope it's a little informative at least, especially with the pushy/bully behavior you want to watch out for. I wish you all the luck, you're undertaking no small thing here! And you clearly care and are willing to put the effort in, so that counts for a lot.

For the water, you can try no-spill/no-splash bowls, sometimes marketed for travel (eg something you can use in a moving car with less risk of making a mess). They have a lip around the rim that leaves a hole only big enough for a muzzle, so maybe less tempting. Other tricks are using hanging bowl/bucket attached to a crate so that their water is off the floor (works for some dogs, but others may just find it a challenge), and there's even drip water bottles - the kind you see for rodents and rabbits - that are dog-sized, again for hanging on a crate or pen. I've never used them and I'd want to monitor very closely if you do try one to make sure your pup understands how it works and is actually drinking well from it, since they're less intuitive for dogs than a bowl. There's also silicone/rubber mats meant for catching spills you can put under the water bowl to at least attempt to contain the mess.
 
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