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Hi i'm new and might have made a big mistake - 2 pups!

Jesse D

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Hi all, it's great to discover this forum as a new dog owner and know that help is out there!

We might have made a big mistake and need to ask for wisdom from those of you who know what's best.

We recently bought two beautiful border collie pups. Toby is 4 months old and the George is 9 weeks.

Toby is already house trained and is a very good boy - learning manners fast. George is a very cute but pretty naughty pup, slowly picking up the house training, but he always, always playfighting with Toby. He will not leave him alone. Apart from the odd very sweet moment when they fall asleep together, it is war.

Having two of them together makes it hard to train Toby to come back or to walk to heel because George is literally hanging off his tail the whole time!

We've heard from people we've talked to and google searches that training two puppies at once is impossible and have quickly come to think we made a big mistake and should only have got the one.

We were motivated to get two by the thought that they would be friends growing up and wouldn't get lonely. But the big question we are facing is, should we give one of our boys back?

I must admit that the noise of 2 puppies constantly playfighting is quite stressful. They also wind each other up and so there is a fair amount of barking and whining. Our main worry is that we wont be able to train them together. We live in the countryside and 2 out of control border collies is not a pleasant thought! On the other hand we do love them both very much already...

What should we do?!?
I can only comment on the training, Yes its virtually impossible to train two together, all training should be done one at a time. Obviously this takes a lot more time but its the only way. When both are well behaved on their own you can then start to train them to say walk properly together but its essential that you have both responding to you first.
Part of me thinks oo, two puppies lucky you! They do say it's gonna be hard but here's a sort of decision tree:

Can I stand to give up the youngest? If yes, you could take him back to the breeder for rehome with no harm done.

If no, what can I do with two puppies? Well you can get help. Get a friend or relative involved, take them to puppy classes, split them up and do a separate training session and then walk when they can go out. I know a husband and wife team locally with two GSDs- hard work but turning into great dogs now at 18months.

Can I stand their playing all the time? If no- back to i. and consider rehome. If yes, learn to enjoy it. I had a one year old crossbreed to stay with my 12 week old spaniel puppy for a month. Didn't do housework just watched them, joined in to make it educational, videoed them for OH who was missing out. Do you have a garden? Take one in garden for playtime while one stays in- it'll cry a bit but no harm done. Play till puppy is tired, Bring in. Repeat.

There are lots of ways to make it work. If you don't feel up to them, keep one to enjoy. They are young and adaptable. They are lovely baby collies with fine minds and a great life ahead. If it's with you, enjoy and good luck. If not get the best new home for one of them. :thumbsup:
Such helpful replies, thank you both!

We have decided that we can't really bear to give up the youngest. Our daughter would be truly heartbroken! So we are now separating them for walks and, like you said Deegee, having one outside and one in most of the time - swapping them over. There is definitely some whining and barking but wagging tails at the same time so they can't be suffering too badly.
We will take Biker John's advice on the training and just do it separately. I took them for individual walks on the lead today and it worked well.

Thanks for your advice!
I know an obedience trainer who, when she gets a new Border Collie pup, never lets it mingle with the rest of her adult dogs until it is fully trained and has strong bond with her. The pup is crated when she cannot supervise it. She trains, walks it, feeds it separately. You are in for a lot of hard work. Do remember that it will all get ten times worse when they hit adolescence! So many dogs end up in rescue at this time in their life.

Carol Price has written a very good book called "Understanding the Border Collie". Well worth a read of you can find it.

The bit I remember most is her belief that they should be taught to settle quietly rather than be constantly on the go. They get over stimulated very easily and this can cause problems.

Do take your pups to Puppy Socialisation Classes run by a member of the APDT. The last thing you want is puppies that are fearful of other dogs and people.

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