Who’s on first in the puppies world?

The other day I googled to get information on raising two puppies together.

The information that I found, however, was not what I was looking for.

It seems to be a well-established belief that one should never raise two puppies together.

And if one should be so foolish as to disregard this advice, then never, ever raise two puppies from the same litter.

And if you have no choice whatsoever in the matter, and you absolutely have to raise two puppies from the same litter…..

Make certain that they are not both female.

You can see why I was not best pleased with this information.

Extensive reasons were given, of course, but, since our two female puppies from the same litter are now seven months old, the reasons are somewhat irrelevant.

We just have to figure out how to make it work.

Towards that goal I have started taking them outside the fenced-in area separately.

Initially I left one in the house.

The one in the house cried a bit, barked a bit, then settled down.

Soi I started leaving the one not working outside, but inside the fence.

That didn't work so well…. Guapa ripped a big hole in the fence when she was left; Bonnie jumped over when she was left.

I also have been taking them out, separately, for play time (note the balls in their mouths). 

They play with me…. But they are much happier when I let them out together.

One of them is being spayed next week…. that means they will be apart. 

I was hoping that we would have made a bit more progress relieving the separation anxiety before then.

Any suggestions?  Advice?

And while I'm at it…. How can I tell which one is dominant? (I'm top dog…. but one of them will be dominant over the other)

This is what I see:

If I throw a ball and Guapa chases it, Bonnie just sits and watches.  If Bonnie runs after the ball first, then Guapa goes for it, Bonnie backs off and lets her have it.

That would tell me Guapa is dominant.

Bonnie won't eat until after Guapa is through eating – regardless of where I put their dishes. 

That would tell me Guapa is dominant.

When Guapa is done with her food and heads toward Bonnie's dish, Bonnie comes running, growling, and Guapa immediately backs off.  Then Bonnie eats while Guapa sits and watches.

That would tell me Bonnie is dominant.

If I give them both chewies, Bonnie will steal Guapa's – sometimes burying it, before going back to her own.

That would tell me Bonnie is dominant.

Any advice on that one?  Thoughts?

And which one should I have spayed first? 

The other human thinks we should have them draw chewies to see who goes first….

5 thoughts on “Who’s on first in the puppies world?”

  1. Some recent work with dogs has indicated that dominance and “pack order” is not as cut-and-dried as it was once thought (good old Konrad Lorenz), especially in dogs. They were once wolves (where that theory came from) but we’ve been selecting them for non-wolfness for millennia, so they are no longer quite like wolves. You might look at some of that research (I’d Google again).
    You’ve had dogs for a long time – I’d say, use your common sense with them and go with what works. You have as much experience as most people who write about rearing dogs and you know what your aim is as far as what kind of dogs you want to end up with, so go with your gut and trust your instincts.

  2. I always have had 2 dogs – good company for each other and I often don’t really know who is dominant unless age is a factor. I also always have females. I do know that you are meant to do exactly as you are doing re the seperate playtime as they should be socialized as a singleton.

  3. Zoomie, thanks for the info. They are good girls – and maybe they’ll grow out of their total dependency. They are still puppies, after all.
    manningroad, we have had 2 sets of 2 female dogs, and never a problem, but they were acquired at different times, not together as puppies. This dynamic seems different – but maybe only because they are still puppies. I just want them to grow up and behave ;-))

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