I am new to the forum and have posted my introduction. I am the proud owner of 2 labradors age 11 1/2 months. They are brother and sister although we bought the 1st one, Elsa, and then 6 weeks later Jed. Elsa is golden and Jed black. They are lovely, but as I have read on so many websites we are having a hard time raising them. They are complete opposites - Elsa is outgoing, lively and mad at times but loves attention and cuddling. Jed is more independant and quieter, easy going and more calm. Elsa I think is the Alpha but more and more so Jed is becoming very dominant. They do play fight but nothing serious. They are not crated as here in Spain it is not often done. We have a good size garden and they are outside playing together and inside with us in the house during the evening. I am however, having big problems training them. Jed is excellent on the lead but Elsa pulls a lot. We walk them together but if they see other dogs just get so excited to go over them and I have difficulty controlling them. I am quite an anxious person and am worrying that we have just taken on too much. Some people have said I can´t take them to classes together etc etc. Does anyone have any experience with raising 2 puppies together. As I said we established a bond with Elsa first but Jed has fitted in well. I am just scared as they grow Jed is going to become very dominant and aggressive. I love them both dearly and couldn´t bear to part them but want them both to have the best life and be happy. Please any advice would be so much appreciated.
A very anxious but massive labrador lover!
You need to train them seperately ! It sounds as though they may have more of an attachment with each other than they have with you.
Have you taken them to obedience lessons ? Just because other people don't crate their pups doesn't mean that you can't crate them if it's a problem.
Your first mistake - and a lot of people make this mistake is getting two pups of the same age, as training will always be a problem unless they are taken seperately to obedience lessons.
Please don't take offence as there are ways of improving their behaviour as long as you listen and are prepared to follow the advice which will no doubt come following your post.
completely agree with the above - take them, separately, to obedience classes. ASAP. If you can do two classes week so both start training right away all the better, but otherwise sign up for a class now with one and then once it is finished start again with the other.
walk the girl alone and TRAIN her to walk on lead. once she improves you can walk them together (though there will initially be some re-train to get them walking properly together).
They are two dogs who will need your time (one on one) to train them. it really DOES take twice as much time to train two dogs as you have to do everything twice - and separate them when you are training.
Even if Jed DOES become "dominant" over the girl - the fact is YOU THE HUMANS should be the first dominant, the leader, the head of the house. and they should each look at your for guidance. but this takes time - and is accomplished thru training both dogs (separately).
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Yes I have raised littermates, and you have to make sure they get plenty of alone time with the humans. That might be a trip with you while the other stays home with the family. That might be a walk with one and then come home and switch dogs and go again with the other. It's taking one to obedience class for several weeks, and then working with the other dog at home at night.
But no matter what, you are the human and you run the show. You must be clear and consistent in your commands and your corrections.
I used to think it would be so lovely having 2 pups until I tried to do basic training with 2.
The only way I can figure it out is go to a trainer, or train one at a time. I learned that is very hard work. The crate is my best friend when I can't give them 24 hour attention.
When Erns was 7 I took on a part time border collie who hadn't walked on the lead. Erns is usually fine, but Gems had him going and I spent a lot of time in bushes.Walks were not nice. I took her first to use up some of her energy easier to handle one at a time. We eventually walked together.
Then I resuced 5 yr Tessa who hadn't been trained at all. Every time I start to along come Mr Erns looking for the treat he knows Tessa will be getting. So clever me taught her hand signals the same as I did with Erns and he wouldn't hear the commands. Erns is too clever for me. That dog still knows training is in progress and appears out of nowhere. The love of food has no bounds.
She needs one on one. I crate him...he barks his flipping head off and I can't concentrate so how can Tessa. I lock him outside and he pounds on the door. I feel bad she isn't getting enough and she isn't the brightest flower in the garden, or is she and playing dumb for treats.
Kassa was enough for me. Not judging you by any means. Many people do it very successfully, but think it takes a lot of patience and hard work.
Good luck and look forward to seeing pics of your gorgeous Labs.
ETA. I am sorry I didn't mean to make this about me. Thought sharing my story you can see no matter how old the dogs are, training one while you have another isn't easy.
Last edited by kassabella; 10-12-2011 at 04:47 PM.
Excellent advice you got. Also make sure that they are both spayed / neutered to avoid an "oops" litter - although you might have already done that.
It sounds like you care about your labs a lot! I love it how every dog has a different personality!
Thank you to ALL for your advice and help. I think you all confirmed by suspicions that it was a bit much to take on 2 at once. Although we firstly only got Elsa we just couldn´t resist Jed when we went back to speak to the breeders. Anyway, we are planning at the end of October to get them into training as my husband works nights until 25th and is home, but after 25th will be living a ´normal´ life and put everything into training my babies. I didn´t know whether they could go together or alone so that has helped - thank you. They are so beautiful and I really had began to think to re-home one but I would never be able to decide which one and think it would be cruel to re-home one at 1 year old. We are getting Jed neutered also on 30th October so then they will both be ´done´. I am like someone said on here that when they are split up it is really difficult one can hear the other. I think they are very attached to each other, although I can´t give them a bed at the moment as they won´t seem to share and if I give them one each they end up eating them up!! Is this normal at nearly 1 year??? Well please keep on sending advice as Spain is not very good for that!! I will get some pictures posted on here of them both.