Author Topic: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?  (Read 8725 times)

Offline SaintMommy

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One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« on: December 21, 2008, 04:41:09 am »
Happy Holidays to All Big Paws Family! ;)

Well, Here we are finally two years after losing our Beloved Saint, Cassie, we only had her for two years,and lost her to a bizarre paralysis of her back legs. By the way I am happy to share anything that could be helpful to anyone facing the same or similar.
(You can read the agonizing blogs, but don't do so without tissues)

But onward we go... We are currently looking at a beautiful liter, here in Denver.  We were set on knowing we wanted a female, but my husband and I individually picked out the same male.  We are now considering bringing TWO into our life.  A male and female, brother and sister.

Our questions are for those of you who have two of these amazing dogs,(family members);

Do they bond more to each other rather than us?

How do two (especially brother and sister) get along?

Is training harder with two?

Is it better and do they feel more secure having a constant companion with each other.

My husband and I have no children and are both professionals, it happens that at this moment in time I am currently looking for another job and could spend a tremendous amount of time with them as puppies and his schedule in sales allows for some flexibility.  Any thoughts and advise would be welcome. Please feel free to post or give us a call 303-720-5102.  Renee & Mark.
Thanks much,
Renee & Mark

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 06:52:06 am »
Hello and congrats on the possibility of getting 2 st puppies!!  I hope you plan on posting lots and lots of pix.

I don't know about saints, but I did get 2 puppies at the same time (possible siblings, still trying to figure that out).  Initially they were very bonded to each other, as we got them at 6 mo old.  But as time went on, they bonded with me and my husband.  The male more to me, and the female more to my husband.  Of course I also have 2 other dogs which helps to distribute the bonding as well.

they get along great.  They used to play alot more but I guess since they are 3 now they've settled down a bit.  Posey will still try and take out Nigel, despite being only 2/3 his size.

Training was harder with 2 of them.  I think it is easier in the beginning training them separately just to get the basics down.  once they have that, training together will be easier.

As for feeling more secure, there are good and downsides to that.  Yes, dogs are pack animals and they def. feel more secure having the others around.  however, this also means that if you don't get them used to going out by themselves as well.......... ..........that they will totally freak out if the other is not along.  I found this out the hard way.  Not with Nigel and Posey but when I had to take Gunther away from Keiko by himself.

Being that you will be able to stay at home for extended periods with the puppies will help tremendously.  I don't think I could bring a puppy into the home otherwise, it's just too hard........lo l.  that will also help with the bonding and training as well.

good luck to you and remember to post pix!!


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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 08:18:36 am »
I have 5 month old brother and sister sibs and it's just the perfect way to go IMO (my family almost always opts for two pups when we get pups instead of adopting an older dog). As long as you put in the time to bond with each of them (and working on their training separately is a GREAT way to do this; in fact it's the only way to really train them, LOL!) you shouldn't have any problem with them being more dog bonded than people bonded.

My two adore each other, but they're also fine with their sister and other dogs coming over to the house, as well as going to visit other households with dogs. I'm VERY careful to make sure they don't "rat pack" on dogs at the park though. I don't want them to become that kind of bonded, sometimes aggressive, pack.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!!!

Offline Ursa

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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 08:38:31 am »
I'm raising three puppies right now and there are days that I love it and days that I can't imagine what I was thinking when the third one came along!

The upsides: 

They have each other for company and to play with (so they tire each other out)

Both you and your husband will have a leash to handle!

Twice the puppy love!

The downsides:

It's a LOT more work to raise more than one puppy.  I spend the better part of 2 hours every night working on training.

There's more puppy laundry!  More puppies = more mess. 

More puppies = more $$ as well.

Ruthanna - the Triplets' mom

Ursa, CGC -  11 month old Great Pyrenees
Fargo, CGC - 9 month old Newfoundland
Sadie, CGC - 8 month old Newfoundland

What Now!? -

Offline SaintMommy

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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 09:32:44 am »
Well, it looks like my husband and I have officially lost our minds!  We put deposits today on TWO Saints...broth er and siter. We listed the pros & cons...and away we go...We are so excited.. The little girl is very white, with some splash coat and very outgoing, feisty, and playful.  The male has the more typical markings, but with the cutest star right on top of his head, he is mellow, a lover, and sweeeeet. Please continue to reply to our post, we love to hear others opinions, thoughts and ideas.  We have two weeks to prepare and having been previous St. Parents we have some idea of what we are getting ourselves into ;)
Thanks much,
Renee & Mark

Offline ruffian

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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2008, 09:42:23 am »
Personally I will not have to dogs close in age again if I can help it, dealing with 2 aging dogs at the same time is agonizing, heartbreaking and possibly expensive.  From now on I will try to have a 5 year gap in ages for my dogs.


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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2008, 10:17:04 am »
We got two Newfie litter mates at 4 months old, and were told all kinds of horror stories from breeders and trainers alike. They will never bond with you, hard to train two, on and on. We were terrified we made a horrible mistake. It even got to the point of thinking we needed to give one up. We have very dear friends who would have made wonderful new parents. When I started visualizing one or the other driving away in the back of their car I cried and cried. Which one could I give up???

Answer of course was neither. None of the warnings came to fruition. The only down side was hubs was gone a lot initially and couldn't help with training.

I worked with them at home and we have the basics.

They are twice the pleasure. Each with own personality but plenty of antics. We can't stop looking at them. Fun, fun, fun (purposely leaving out destructive puppy problems)  ;)

There is a theory part of Newfs came from St.s. I'm guessing you'll have the time of your life.

As my mom always says, "some is good - more is better!" ;D
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 10:21:58 am by El'skids »


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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 03:44:45 pm »
Plus, I have to admit that I love the attention my little pack gets at the park. People are just blown away by two giant puppies, LOL!

Offline AnnaCrew

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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2008, 07:42:38 pm »
Well, there are few things to think about.

Selfish thing :) - I adore puppies, and the special time rising them. They grow so fast, and by having two at the same time you are rushing more, working harder and probably will have not much time just to enjoy puppies growing.

More selfish thing - lifespan of saints are quite short, and when they will get older you will realise that you have two large dogs with very expensive vet bills and if they die short time apart - it means double heartbreaking sorrows.

Training two youngsters at the same time would be quite a disaster as well. Imagine - your husband at office, and you must take both, let's say at 10 months, to vet. Do you have enough strenght to do that? Two happy bouncing pups over 100 lbs each?

What I would reccomend: getting one (that male pup in your case) raise him, train him, and when he is about 3, get another pup.
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Offline Berner_Mom

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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 11:20:12 am »
I have never had two puppies at once, but raising Tucker as sole puppy in the house- I really wish we had rescued a second Berner pup at the same time.  As much fun as Tucker has with us (and even playing with our two cats) I think he would've benefited greater having a sibling his own size, weight and species (!) around the house to grow up with.  I personally think the pros far outweight the cons (possibly passing away at same time/ expensive vet bills etc...) and when we get puppies again, years from now, after Tucker has left us, we will get two.

Please do an update post (or point me in the direction of one!) and let me know how you are doing! I am dying to see more pics of your two new pups, and finally hear what names you decided on.
Mom to daughter, McKenna,
With us for 40 weeks, 1 day
Silently Born Into Eternity
on May 27, 2007

Mom to fur-kids:
Tucker, 16 months, BMD
Echo, 6 years, Siamese
Simba, 2 years, Orange Tabby
Mom to one reptile-teenager,
Trevor, 16 years, red-eared slider turtle

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: One or Two St. Puppies...THAT is the question?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2009, 01:29:33 pm »

Ok...I don't mean to sound like "downer Debbie" but....I want to share some input here:

Many have mentioned the challenges of raising two puppies and all are valid.  There is a lot of guidance out there on how to best raise two at one time, ensuring separate training (my husband takes one out front, and I take the other out back etc.) and the separation training that is so critical.  Socialize them separately and many of the trainers and breeders I know take one puppy and give to a friend or relative for 1 week in the first three weeks - critical time for separation ability and to help you bond to ONE. The do it with the other one.  My point is there is a lot of work here, but all can be done if done well.....

My concern - and those of every good trainer and breeder I know - is taking two littermates.  I just counseled someone getting Berners, and she wanted two puppies, so I helped her get one from two different breeders with their support (neither reputable breeder would have ever given her two of their litter by the way).  Taking two littermates is widely recognized as a bad idea for the dogs, and more often than not, is a problem for their development.  The litter hierarchy is strong and their first lessons in pack behavior - unless you are a seasoned behaviorist good at assessing rank and temperament, you will likely not select the right two in status and end up with a bully and a submissive dog.  The best thing for low ranking puppies is to get away from the litter where they can potentially blossom into friendly outgoing personalities.  I have seen horribly shy, fearful and submissive dogs who never blossom and live in the corner when around their dominant sibling - so many times I can't count.  Even worse, I have seen several cases where the puppy with less status is a classic "B" dog who after getting bullied by the sibling, needs to bully everything else in order to feel better about himself.

I would consider doing more homework and consulting good behaviorist resources such as Patrica McConnell and Jean Donaldson for the challenges and issues in bringing home two littermates.  You could get lucky, play roulette and end up with a balanced pair - but odds are not in your favor (especially if said breeder is letting YOU pick the puppies, and not doing temperament tests and evaluating the whole litter).
SC Trojans
with Gracie and Skylar