Having a new family member come home is an exciting time in someone’s life. You might be thinking – I don’t want my dog to be alone. Maybe I should bring his brother or sister home to keep him company. There are several things to think about before bringing two brother pups home to take.
From your own experience, a single dog is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Puppies require a lot of time, effort, love and attention that will be a significant part of your life when they return with you. Two puppies are twice as much time, effort, love and attention, and twice the responsibility. Do your best to ensure that you have the desire and the resources to offer to two new family members that are.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when two dogs are brought together, they are a lot more tied to their sibling than to their human companion. Often times, this affects their capacity to be trained, as they are less likely to please their human handlers than if they had time to come close and exclusively to their masters. If a dog has his brother or sister to be near to, they may very well grow too close and pay more attention to their brother than to you.
Dogs are pack animals and two dogs together make up a pack. Remember that packs are powerful things that work away from human influence and inside it and can be difficult if not impossible to control. When a pack form, a pack order has to be established and this can mean problems for the brother-sister team. Fighting can begin when the two are fighting for the alpha role. This means that either one or both could be injured and could easily develop aggression issues, which are very difficult to deal with as a human handling technique.
If you are considering bringing back two puppies from the same litter because of the influence of your breeder, be prudent. Remember that this is the business of the breeder and they could be just trying to get an easy sale with you. Whenever your breeder adamantly encourages two puppies at once without discussing the difficulties that come with siblings, steer clear and seek out a different breeder.
One benefactor could be that a brother-sister duo can keep each other company and be able to play with one another. This can be obtained by raising one puppy into adulthood and adopting another after training the first dog. This solution is much less difficult than to raise puppies at once for siblings.
Remember that dogs do not have the same emotional bonds with their families as humans and that a dog can be relaxed far from any of his littermates perfectly. The concept of “I don’t want to separate them!” comes from inaccurate assumptions about a dog’s family attachments and can lead to a very challenging situation.