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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I are new parents of two beautiful Pomeranian puppy brothers, now 3 months old. We have heard conflicting advice about whether to keep them apart for about a year or allow them to be together. They have separate crates but seem to want to play together a lot. We want them to get their play time but worry that they may not bond with us (and only with each other) as a result. Does anyone have any firsthand experience and advice?
 

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My two white Schnauzer/Poodles are Brothers and littermates. I got them when they were 12 weeks old.

I kept them in separate crates until they were 6 months old. They slept side by side in the kitchen in their crates until then. Then I moved them to separate rooms at night. Leeo was in my room in his crate ... as he was my dog. Blu Boy was in his crate in my late Mothers room ... as he was her dog.

I potty trained them together. I had them eat side by side to avoid food aggression. They had play time and walks together.

I gave them separate human time also. Their training was sometimes separate. But I always trained them side by side when it came to sharing food and toys.

It IMO is super important that they realize that being together brings good things. Mine only ever had one squabble in their lifetime together.

After they were one year old and trustworthy they began to stay together alone in a puppy proofed house when we went away. They still slept in separate bedrooms at night. :)

Remember that raising two pups together can be frustrating at times and more than double the work! ... Not to mention double the food and vet bills. But ... I love challenge ... so raising the two of them was great fun for me! I also was retired and could do all of this 24/7.

I was lucky (or just did it all correctly) and I ended up with two wonderful dogs who did not have littermate syndrome. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I really appreciate the feedback. The puppies play a lot together -- and are a hoot to watch. And they seem to communicate to one another when their play gets too rough. We feel they're safe so far. Even their food behaviors (they eat side by side now) are improving. But I think that the separateness you mention is very good advice, especially when it comes to their human time. Thank you again for taking the time to offer some insight!
 

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You are welcome. It was my first attempt of ever raising littermates ... though I have had many dogs over the years ... including rescues that I re-homed. Be sure to post if you have any issues as they are making their way to adulthood. :)
 

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One thing to watch for is one of the puppies becoming pushy and obnoxious while the other becomes withdrawn. My family raised litter mates when I was younger and it's very easy to end up with one pushy dog and one overly submissive dog rather than two well adjusted dogs. I would recommend doing a lot of solo activities with each, especially outside of the house (meeting new people, going for walks, playing with other dogs, etc). I think separate socializing is going to more important than whether or not you let them play together all the time while you're home. Definitely make sure they are independently good with other dogs! It's so easy to assume they're socialized as they get along with each other, but that doesn't mean they are comfortable with other dogs.
 
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