~*~ ~*~ One Puppy, or Two? ~*~ ~*~
(Be sure to see more about this subject [described with photos)] on the Body Language Page "Example of Body Language".)
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There are a couple myths that are being spread by alarmists (I call them "Warning junkies") which I thought important to address.
Myth #1: "Never take your puppy out until he/she has had the full series of vaccinations - or the puppy will die of Parvo."
Myth #2: "Never adopt 2 puppies at a time (especially littermates) because they will become bonded to each other instead of humans."
Definition of "Warning Junkies" = those who delight in spreading warnings and doom-and-gloom emails without 1) having the intelligence to first research the information, or 2) using their common sense.
Myth #1 will be detailed explicitly in future "Special Instruction Sheets" which will be given to new puppy owners.
Myth #2, I felt, needed a webpage devoted to it because I have asked for input from several puppy owners, to detail their thoughts on the subject, and their first-hand experiences.
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2 puppies to feed, 2 puppies to train - but also double the love, double the kisses, and double the fun. :-)
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Same with a family dog, particularly one who has not been around puppies before. Instead of a single puppy pestering the family dog to play, the puppies will focus on each other and their human family. And their play will be intriguing to the family dog, who will feel confident about joining in on HIS terms.
Think of the drawbacks of having one child - AND not allowing him/her to play with other children. That child will not develop emotionally to his full potential, and will likely always have difficulty socializing with other children. Two puppies raised together and socialized together, are ALWAYS friendlier and happier, because there is the competition to see "who gets the most love and kisses" :-)
We always encourage new puppy owners to adopt another puppy as a playmate - especially if the puppy will be frequently left alone for hours at a time.
And the other puppy doesn't have to be a Dachshund, there are many little homeless waifs in Shelters and Rescues all across the US who are in need of a loving home. If you do decide to offer an unwanted little puppy a home, try to get a small puppy (and you can generally tell by the size of their feet whether they will grow to be large or small dogs) about the same size (hopefully) as your Dachshund puppy.
Dachshund puppies are highly intelligent, inquisitive and active - and if left alone for hours at a time, they become bored. Dachshund puppies also bond HEAVILY with their new owners and can become stressed if separated from them for hours at a time AND having no playmate/companion.
IF you plan on doing a lot of traveling (especially overseas) with your puppy, it might be easier having only one puppy - if you felt that having two would be too much to handle.
Some of our puppy owners are retired and love to travel with their puppy. Being home almost all the time and traveling, a single puppy works well for them.
On the other hand, several of our puppy owners travel a lot AND have 2 or more dogs that they enjoy taking with them - it all depends on what is convenient for the owner.
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And just because you have 2 puppies/dogs (or multiple) that doesn't mean that you can't spend precious one-on-one moments with each of them.
One owner of "twins" wakes up with her twins every morning and gives tummy rubs and kisses to one puppy while the other is still sleeping. Later, when the second puppy awakens, that puppy insists on being held and cuddled by the Mom.
Another owner of "twins" has a wonderful routine where the Mom takes one twin to work, while the Dad takes the other twin to his work; and all day each twin gets special one-on-one attention from the parent. Then the next day they switch puppies.
Another owner of puppies (3 months apart in age) sings and dances with her precious babies. They get so happy when she sings in the house and jump up on her. She takes a puppy's little paws in her hands and sings and dances, using the puppy's name in the song - and the puppy is delighted! Then she does it with the other puppy.
My husband and I have always had multiple dogs, sometimes (especially when we fostered rescues) quite a few. People used to ask me, "How do you divide your time among so many dogs?" My answer would be, "We don't 'divide' our time - we multiply it!"
We always made time for each and every dog individually. Even today, 30 years later, each dog is greeting with hugs and kisses first thing in the morning. Each dog is praised and petted while given his/her morning yogurt and milkbone.
During the day we treasure the one-on-one times we spend with each one. And at nighttime, the very LAST thing I do, is go around to each dog, give him/her a BIG hug and kiss and tell him/her how much I love them.
Our kids are extremely loving, and there is never any squabbling or jealousy, because each one knows that they are "special" and will get lots of individual attention.
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Several owners have brought up an EXCELLENT point. GOOD owners - those who really bond with their dog/dogs are going to do super with either one puppy or two. If they have one puppy, they are careful to give him/her a LOT of attention and are mindful of how much time the puppy is being left alone. If they have two (or more) puppies, they give each puppy a lot of individual attention.
BAD/NEGLECTFUL owners - those who do NOT bond with their dog/dogs are not going to do well simply because they treat their dogs badly and do not give them enough attention. Naturally, if the bad/neglectful owners crate their puppies, are gone for hours and hours each day, and don't spend enough time with them - of COURSE the puppies are going to seek an attentive and playful companion elsewhere.
It boils down to how the owners treat and relate to their puppy/puppies. It doesn't matter whether they have one, two or multiple puppies/dogs.
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(The below does NOT pertain to 2 intact male puppies 6 months or older in age. As with intact males of any species (except humans, I guess) they will fight simply because of their testosterone level. Do NOT keep two intact males together - or you are asking for trouble.)
ALL kids squabble - I don't care if they are puppies, baby birds, or human kids. It's part and parcel of growing up - of learning to get along with siblings and others, of learning how to share.
Squabbling is just that - "squabbling" - it's not a "knock down, drag out fight." But it's up to the owner to determine if one puppy (or both) are getting out of line. Usually they will decide among each other which will give in, and it never becomes a real problem. However, sometimes you will have a more dominant puppy who might need to be taught how to share "nicely."
I'm not talking about toys or food or treats. If the puppies do not eat nicely together (and you should NEVER correct them for not doing so), simply separate them when they are fed. Make sure that toys and treats are handed out fairly and say each puppy's name before giving it out.
The times when squabbling might be a concern to owners is:
1) During times of extreme excitement, when an owner comes home and there is wild, joyous excitement on the part of both puppies to greet the owner and claim love and kisses
2) When one puppy is in your lap or next to you in bed, and the other puppy climbs up
In those cases - squabbling should never be tolerated - and should be corrected immediately. Do not simply punish the dominant puppy and push him aside. That will create frustration and the potential for increased jealousy.
Instead, speak sharply to the errant puppy, and then cuddle them BOTH immediately. Praise them both and especially the puppy who was corrected. It's important to temper the correction (negative enforcement) with immediate praise (positive reinforcement) in order to show the puppy that 1) squabbling will be disciplined and 2) NOT squabbling will be praised.
If necessary, lay a hand firmly on the puppy (not spanking) but just enough to get the puppy's attention so that he looks closely into your eyes to read your displeasure, and speak very sharply to him. Make the correction immediately - as fast as you can; then cuddle both and praise immediately.
There are other corrections, but this type of squabbling rarely escalates if it is handled promptly in the correct manner.
Also, puppies (just like human kids) are going to squabble a heck of a lot less when they are tired/napping. If you feel that the squabbling is building, play more with them and tire them out. A tired puppy is less likely to be bratty and selfish.
But just as squabbling is part of growing up - so is being taught NOT to squabble. It is up to the owner to be the parent and disciplinarian, and to appropriately correct squabbling.
(Each new puppy owner also receives an Information Email "Preventing Aggression Among Family Dogs" - which describes exactly what to do to prevent squabbling, and what to do if it happens.)
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by Dobby & Toki's Mom
(Dobby & Toki's parents are Amber and Evan Harvey. (see additional pictures of the family on both Dobby's & Toki's pages linked from the "Past Puppies" page.)
Whatever the day,
Whatever the weather,
Family does everything together.
After growing up with one Dachshund, I knew that the next time I decided to expand my family it would be by two.
Many people will say that having two dogs, especially two Dachshund puppies, is double the trouble and double the fun--and while this is absolutely true, I wanted to focus on a different facet--bonds.
If you do a quick search, most people would advise against purchasing litter-mates. The general consensus is that litter-mates are more likely to bond to each other than their human counterparts (using the term "owner" feels weird); essentially, the masses believe that the dog-dog bond takes precedence over the dog-human bond (and thus discourages any litter-mate forever-home).
As the mom of two beautiful Dachshund brothers, I can assure you that they are absolutely bonded to each other AND they are absolutely bonded to both myself and Evan. The dynamics in and amongst us are similar to a normal, fully human family--we each have special bonds with each other individually, and together, as a family unit. Also, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with dogs bonding to each other--that is supposed to happen!
To be completely honest, I never truly considered the importance of the bond that Toki and Dobby have with each other until this week. Don't get me wrong--Toki and Dobby have always sought to share the same toys and chew on the same snozzle--they have been together since birth afterall, but this time was different. On Monday, Dobby developed tummy troubles, and it was very apparent he wasn't feeling well at all. I tried to comfort him as much as a human mother could--gave him medicine, boiled chicken and rice, cuddled as much as possible--but I wasn't Toki.
Toki was by Dobby's side the entire time. When Dobby took a nap, Toki was right there next to him (mind you, they normally nap in slightly separate places)--with arms wrapped around in comfort. Toki encouraged Dobby to play and not let his temporary sickness get him down. Watching this all unfold certainly tugged at my heartstrings, but it also made me glad that I not only chose to get two beautiful Dachshund puppies, but brothers, who will be together no matter what.
If you are considering getting two pups, especially litter-mates, I promise you that you will experience and bear witness to a love that cannot be described (as well as endure double the trouble and enjoy double the fun) :)
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(Alabama & Stitch's parents are James and Shannon McNally, and more pictures of the family can be seen on Alabama's page and Stitch's page linked from "Past Puppies")
(This was written when Alabama is 2 years old and his half-brother Stitch is 8 weeks old)
As I type, they are cuddling on the couch. Inseparable is absolutely a word I would use to describe them.
Stitch has adjusted quite well to his new home. It was important for James and myself to let Bama (Alabama) know that having another puppy at home, in no way changed how we felt about him. At first Bama seemed a tad hesitant when he realized Stitch was sticking around; however, Bama adjusted faster than we expected.
The first night they slept nose-to-nose lololol. When one dog runs by the other is most likely not far behind him.
In the middle of the night last night, Bama woke us up to go outside. This isn't like him b/c by now he sleeps through the night. However, even after telling him to come to bed...he refused (gasp)! He walked over to the puppy and sniffed him, then walked to the door. We asked Bama if he wanted to go outside and he signaled he did. Bama didn't even need to pee....but guess who did?! That's right! Stitch did! lololol
Bama is now psychic and he and Stitch are two peas in a pod. Bama is potty training Stitch, not us. Bama is teaching Stitch right from wrong...we just assist along the way. Getting a brother for Bama is the best decision we've ever made. Thanks for everything!
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(Magic & Cookies parents are Joe & Charmaine Kuchler. (see additional pictures of the family on both Magics & Cookies page on the "Past Puppies" page.)
People who say that puppies will bond to each other and not to their human family are probably the same type of people that CAGE their puppies! I call them cages because that is EXACTLY what they are - they have bars on them. When you FORCE them to sit in a tiny space all day long and they probably do the SAME thing all NIGHT long what do you expect???? They cling to each other for security they are so scared.
Definition: "CAGE an enclosure or wire etc.for birds and beasts. To confine in a cage."
I don't consider our puppies BEASTS!!!!
This alone disgusts me just looking up the definition. :(
Magic and Cookies eyes are sooooooooooooooooo beautiful. I think I have the MOST beautiful little girls. I call Magic our Beauty Queen since she is exactly 3 months older than Cookie and Cookie is the Love Sponge or the Love Ball! When she is curled in a ball nose touching tail I call her the Love Ball otherwise she's a Love Sponge! She just can't soak up enough love. And those eyes! I always say "Who is as sweet as a cookie?" I say to Magic, "Who's my Magic maker?" "Who's Magical?" "We all live in Magicland!"
I love these two little girls so much and no owner should ever worry about puppies bonding with their human family. Magic & Cookie LOVE Joe to pieces but they CLING to me, I think because I give them the most attention, I mean 190% of the attention comes from me, 90% from Joe - if there are such odds, LOL. Joe falls all over them but NOT like I do, they can be sleeping and he doesn't disturb them. I'll walk in that room and go give them a kiss even just because I can't resist them. I mean TO ME they ARE my children, my REAL LIFE babies. No one can tell me they are "dogs", lol because to me they aren't.
I had a Celine Dion cd on the other day and I can't sing for anything and this one part had "Baby Baby Baby" in it so I sang it to them, I was cutting strawberries in the kitchen. They were right by me (as usual), their eyes lit up and Magic jumped on my legs. So I held her little legs and sang more - and then it was Cookies turn. We were dancing and I was singing in the kitchen, LOL it was so cute.
I NEVER had 2 dogs in my life ever and was a little bit afraid of it and I remember saying to Jan & Mel "Magic won't like me as much" or "love me as much" - something like that. And Jan told me "Don't you even worry about that - you'll always be her Mom." I remember Jan emailing me that. There isn't enough love to go around for either one of them, they still will soak up every single bit of attention you give them; my life revolves around them and I don't enter the room without addressing them. I NEVER ignore them, even if I'm on the phone I will pet them and let them know I see them.
Also, Jan was right about Magic eating better since we brought Cookie home. Cookie is an eater! LOL. I remember when I asked Jan if it was ok for her to have baby carrots and she laughed and said Cookie was eating pizza the night before! Magic used to take FOREVER to eat before, but I swear she watches Cookie eat first because she just CAN'T understand HOW Cookie can eat so fast! Magic eats her food now.
Cookie mouths on my finger while playing and she is so darn gentle. She can get a little rough at times but all I have to do is say something. NOTHING like Magic used to be, LOL and Magic never ever does that anymore. That was really amazing how quickly Magic stopped mouthing too hard almost immediately after getting Cookie. That was another huge advantage of having 2 puppies.
I am thrilled we have both our girls!!! I have to brag about last nite. We were soooooooooo amazed we gained ANGELS overnite! We had to be gone quite a long time yesterday. We left at about 3:15 pm got home after 1:45 am the girls didn't make one mess :) - almost 11 hrs later and they were perfect! omg we were shocked!! I am so happy that they have each other when we have to leave them alone. They both thrive on our love and attention and love each other so much. But nothing beats their mommy and daddy. I would never consider having just one ever again. They are so much fun to watch - we just adore it.
I have a hard time just NOT paying attention to them. The only time I ignore them is when I leave the house, I don't want them to feel bad that I am leaving so I make no big deal out of the fact that I am going away, and it kills me to do that; but I know that is for THEIR best interest (not mine). When I come home they fall all over me so I have no choice but to make a big deal out of them, LOL.
Together they are the most adorable double bundle of love. I can't imagine our life without those girls. I think Magic will act like a puppy forever, I don't know, I suppose she will grow out of it, she has grown out of a lot but she's so funny. I put her in bed after she was all settled down night before last around 2 a.m. and she just POUNCED on Joe, LOL, he was so tired (it was a long day, he was exhausted and his back was killing him) and he just cracked up. I mean how can you NOT love them. They are just our joy :)
When they hear Joe coming home they race to the garage door by the baby gate and Joe says: "Hello girls! I love you and I missed you so much!" He just LOVES their happy greeting, it's the highlight of his coming home, lol. Those 2 little faces reaching as high as they can to greet you. Neither one is EVER lacking TLC around here, lol. They are just the best.
At night Cookie used to snuggle in my arm by my neck, now she usually lays facing the foot of the bed. But they still both snuggle with me, lol. They want their mommy at night!
(Stanley's parents are Katrina & Tony Bailey. More pictures of the family can be see on Stanley's Page on the "Past Puppies" page.)
I read the same thing you did about not getting two puppies at once because they would bond with each other. I think that's just crazy. I wonder if they think that about human twins, too!
My parents summed it up once for me - both of my brothers have multiple dogs, but my parents both said that our dogs have more "human" personalities than my brothers dogs do. They think it's because we talk to them a lot, hold them, and treat them like one of our kids...Sometimes better! Dad laughs because when I hold Stanley, he curls up in my arms like a baby. I think my boys all think that they're humans.
I think getting two puppies at the same time wouldn't be any different than one...I would think it's all how the parent treats them, and I think they'd bond with their parent just as much as if you got one.
I totally agree with you about the valuable lessons that they learn off each other. My boys have learned not to nip, and the other boys have learned from Stanley that they too should be afraid of balloons! ;) I do think that they learn a lot off of each other.
Also, I can't imagine them not having each other. In the mornings, they get all excited to see each other...Like they've been away from each other, and actually they've all been curled up in the same bed all night.
I hope people don't listen to that nonsense...Getting two puppies and see them grow up together would be such a joy for any dog lover.
by Tinkerbelle & Angeletta's Mom
(Tinkerbelle and Angeletta are littersisters and live with their Mom, Lee Heizer and her mother Rita. For more pictures of the family, see Tinkerbelle & Angeletta's page on the "Past Puppies" page.)
You may wonder what I am talking about and I am going to tell you. If you have ever had a dachshund, you know the joy and fun that this breed can bring into the home and family. On December 13, 2008, I lost my beloved Brandi.She was 7 years old and she was my heart.
I did not find a breeder that met my standards until March, when I came upon Jan and Mel Harris’ web site. To my joy the Harris’ had everything I was looking for and most of all they had Heart. What does heart mean for me, and what does it mean in a breeder? It means that they care about their dachshunds as if they are a part of their family, and if one of the family is missing, or has left, a little piece of their heart goes with them.
But, this experience is not about the Harris’ or about finding a dachshund to love again, it is about twins. Are you wondering what twins have to do with this story? Well I will tell you, but, we have to go back to Brandi my little dachshund that died, and left that big hole in my heart first.
One day I was having lunch with my Mother and Sister at a restaurant in the little town we live. My sister told me about a woman she had met, that had brought her sister’s dachshund puppies to our city to sell. You see this woman’s sister was giving them away for work. An example is that she gave one to the garbage driver to haul away some refuge that he wouldn’t regularly haul. When the woman that I bought Brandi from, heard about this, she decided to go get the puppies and find proper homes for them. She told her sister that she could get at least 250.00 per puppy, for her. There were eight originally, when I got to the house there were four little balls of energy left.
About this time, in this story, I bet you are thinking what does this have to do with anything. Well it does, the important point of this story is that, I sat down in the middle of the puppies, and one, just one little one came and sat down beside me. She climbed in my lap, she went off and played with the other puppies and she always came back to me. You see I had my eye on another feisty little girl, that was a lighter red and a romper, but, Brandi picked me and I decided to go with her choice. For seven wonderful years, I knew it was the best choice, and we were both heart to heart with each other.
Having a puppy pick you doesn’t happen very often, in fact Brandi was the first for me. Until, I went to pick up Tinkerbelle, Grace of my Heart and then a wonderful thing happened. But I am getting ahead of myself again; I need to go back in time to the day Tinkerbelle was born.
That wonderful sunny, perfect, day, July, 9th, 2009, Tinkerbelle and all her brothers and sisters were born. It felt like I had waited for her forever, finally she was here.
Each day I checked the website, and I carried her puppy pictures with me all the time. Her first bottle feeding is still on my laptop and at last the pain was easing. Again, I would have a dachshund running amuck in my house. The seven weeks that I waited to claim my little heart passed slowly even though I spent 12 days in Italy.
Then the day came to pick up my little bundle of joy. My mother who loved Brandi as much as I did, told me to pick the puppy that picked me. I told her that Tinkerbelle was the puppy, that sometimes there are so many people that want the puppies that you choose them early. I had already decided on Tinkerbelle, before she was born, and even told Jan she was in Silly’s tummy, so, there was no turning back. But, what I didn’t know was that one of those little bundles would choose me, just like Brandi.
When I got to Jan and Mel’s house, just like all the other’s, I went in the puppy play pen and had little dachshunds running amuck around me, over me, and under me. Tinkerbelle was the bundle that I had prayed for, and attacked me with puppy kisses. For the first few minutes I was fixated on her, and then she went to play with her brothers and sisters.
There in my lap sat Angel, quiet, soft and my heart tugged. She sat just like Brandi and I thought, “oh no, I have picked the wrong puppy!” I knew I hadn’t, but, on the ride home I kept thinking of Angel and within two weeks, we made another trip to Jan’s, and Angel came home to her little sister Tinkerbelle, and her big sister Babette.
I can not tell you how much joy we have experienced with our twins. To add to the equation of having two new puppies, my mother had been diagnosed with a serious heart condition and was undergoing a heart cath two days after Angel came home. What we didn’t know at the time, was how they would affect her heart. There was no added stress in the house, only the lowering of blood pressure that is associated with pets. These two little girls are perfect, they love each other and they love their big sister Babette. Most of all they love us with free abandonment.
One morning I walked by my mother’s bedroom. She was sitting on the side of her bed and leaning over with her face in Angel’s neck. The serenity on her face was like looking into a Kodak moment. It was a quiet, sweet moment, which I will keep pictured in my head forever.
Another day, while she was on the sofa watching television, the puppies were positioned on each side of my mother sleeping. Many times I would say, “Do you want me to take them?” And she would say no! I grew up in the country, with a house full of animals; my mother took in anything that needed a home.
But there was something different about these two puppies, and their relationship with my mother. One time I said to her, “I have never seen you act as you have, with these two girls, and she said, “We have never had twins before!”
I don’t know why people say not to get two puppies. The only thing I can think of is that, if I had put them in a cage, or made them sleep in a cage, then possible they would overly bond with each other. But, for us, the puppies now almost a year old, are perfect and the best experience my mother and I have ever had with a new addition to the family.
We got two blessings, and both are precious, loving, and have totally different personalities. Our twins play with each other and their big sister, and have plenty of love to share with us. We would take twins again in a millisecond, and feel like we were the ones that received the blessing, when these girls came into our lives.
by Webber's Mom
You asked about the benefits or advantages of having one dog. I think there are many.
First, it is less work training one dog, less expensive, etc. Those are the practical things.
Beyond that, I think the dog relates differently to people when there is only one and has a different personality. Mozy seemed much less anxious before we got Nadee and then seemed to be himself once again after she died. He was happier, I think, being the center of attention and not having to deal with another dog's moods and habits.
I am not sure that Webber would be very happy with another dog here--he loves being the center of attention. And I can give Webber much more attention than I could if there were two dogs.
Also, I don't have the same energy that I had 20 years ago when I had two dogs, Mozy and Nadee, and my work life is more demanding now in terms of the hours and the travel--it would be rough on all of us if there were 2 dogs.