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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have 2 four month old female yellow labs, siblings, along with a 14 year old female Austrialian Shepherd. It's been extremely interesting around here. I haven't been able to find much information on raising 2 dogs at the same time. I separate Holly and Sugar for training sessions, but aside from that they are together all the time. I'm beginning to think I need to separate them more to ease in the training process. They sleep in separate crates but still in the same room, eat together, go outside together, play together, you get the idea.
Additionally, while Holly will ring a bell to go outside and bark to come back in, Sugar, nothing, she'ld just as soon potty in the house, and to get back in, she'll slam herself against my sliding glass door. Any ideas or suggestions, would be appreciated.
I've been reading alot of books and watching videos and DVD's on training tips, but they're all for single dogs. Sure could use some help as it appears a lot of training techiniques have changed since the last dog I trained.
 

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Hi there

I am in a similar situation as you - two lab puppies, siblings. I have two male dogs and they are inseparable. They are however completely different to each other -personality wise. One barks when the door bell goes, cries to go in and out. The other is quiet and waits patiently. He happens to be the less dominant one as well so I guess that makes a difference.

We took them to training classes together and they were fine together and at home I separated them to train them. However I made the mistake of not separating them when walking. They now will not leave the house with each other. Quite a mission when taking one to the vet, the other has to come along too otherwise he literally screams the house down!! We cannot even entice them to walk seperately in the same park! The distractions and other dogs pose no interest when it comes to separating them!

So I'd suggest if you ever think you'll need to leave the house with one of them only. Practise taking them for walks for 5 min at a time individually and then one long one together. At least then they'll figure out they aren't missing out on much.

The only problem I've encounted with having two siblings is the difference in dominance, quite literally the less dominant becomes a pushover and lets his food be eaten without fuss. Better than fighting I suppose, which fortunately they have never done.

Let me know if you have any queries. I'd never change having two at the same time for anything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback!

Nice to know there's someone else as crazy as I. I get frustrated with them sometimes to the point I think it would be best to find a new home for one of them then they get the idea I'm trying to teach and all is well in the world again. Holly is the "alpha" dog and Sugar the more docile. I have been taking them outside for walks separately as I also will pop one in the van for short drives when I need to pick up one of the kids. I usually alternate them just by who is closest to the door at the time. They are both so sweet although they tend to play rough on occassion. They both tend to annoy my 14 year old Roxy who, I guess, was just to old to introduce puppies to. We have to keep them separate, although Roxy has finally learned to snap as needed at them. There don't appear to be any local training classes in my area that don't involve some distance traveling. I'm looking into personal dog trainers but wonder again if I can't just do it myself. Its amazing how little support there appears to be regarding raising multiple dogs as people just shake their heads and tell me I'm crazy and good luck, which makes me all the more determined to make it work! Hope to talk with you more on this topic...
 

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I know exactly what you mean! 'The crazy' comments. I assure you its all worth while. Even just seeing the companionship and love between the two of mine is enough to make me realise its all worth while.

My honest opinion is if you can master the separation thing without causing jealousy you'll be fine. I took them to puppy training classes and learnt how to sit, down and things like that, most of the cute things they do and necessary things I did teach at home. Clicker training is amazing. I do try and train them together but trust me dont. Unless they are identicle in their reactions you're going be teaching on the right way and one the wrong way. The only thing I haven't mastered yet is walking. Its more of a gentle run!

I think your 14yr old is right on track with gentle warnings. Obviously they are really boistrous for her and well she is just letting them know who is boss.

I'd give it a try training them at home, if you want maybe get a professional in once or twice if you have any issues or need further advice. But as I said I'm happy to answer things from my experience and this site is very useful for information!
 
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