View Full Version : Advice Please

Heritage Cavaliers
2nd June 2006, 05:46 PM
I have someone who is considering keeping two litter mates in one home. Both puppies are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels – aged 7 months. They were both held back as show prospects – but neither can be shown due to an underbite. The puppies are well socialized to being with other dogs and within a home environment.

The couple adopted the male puppy first and he showed some signs of “depression” at first but has since started to adjust to his new routine and is doing well. The couple is now considering bring the female into the house as a second dog and companion.

The couple was told by a trainer that the dogs would have to be kept separated for EVERYTHING – walks, training classes, going to the vet, etc. This to me sounds way too extreme - I can understand seperate eating and sleeping areas.

It is the intention that both dogs will be altered.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Bruce H
2nd June 2006, 06:22 PM
To put it bluntly, that's nonsense in my opinion. If they are both altered, there should be no problems. (Although you may want to consider altering the girl to be sure they don't have a change of heart and want to breed.) Did the trainer give a reason for this? We don't separate our dogs unless they are in season, for feeding, and for sleeping (except the ones that sleep with us. Is he concerned about any two dogs or littermates?
This just makes no sense to me.

Heritage Cavaliers
2nd June 2006, 06:34 PM
thanks Bruce - this is what the trainer stated

She said they would bond with each other, could have aggression towards other dogs, would need to be walked separately, eat separately, go to the vet separately, etc. ,so as to not encourage the “pack” mentality.

in my opinion this could happen with ANY two dogs.

2nd June 2006, 09:21 PM
I cannot really imagine that with cavaliers. I think it takes a lot of extra work and each dog will needs its own time every day, own training time and own walks, but not every single time and not constantly! :shock:

Jo C
2nd June 2006, 09:23 PM
I've got 3 unaltered females - 2 are litter mates. The only problems I have had was with my first dog (the littermates came later, at 18 months, although they are all exactly the same age) and the slightly larger of the littermates. They sorted out who was "top dog" for a good few weeks and every now and again still do it. This is usually over "you are eating my food" or "you're sitting too close to my human mummy"!!

Surely the idea is that dogs should bond with each other if they are to live within the same household but be aware that it is the humans who are the pack leader?

There would be uproar if someone were to suggest children were to do everything separately from their siblings. And I KNOW these are dogs and not humans ... but still ...

2nd June 2006, 09:36 PM
There can be quite serious behaviour problems when two puppies are brought up together -- they don;t need to be siblings, any two puppies are going to bond and often bond to the semi-exclusion of thehumans which then causes training and behaviour problems. So I do think it is a very real issue -- every trainer I know has seen the problems, some very serious indeed, that can result from a two-puppies-at-the-same-time situation -- and anyone taking two pups does need to be aware of how to go about avoiding problems.

Cavaliers however are so closely connected to their human family that I can't see this as being quite the problem it would be with two GSDs or terriers for example. Cavaliers just do not have the same level of independence to begin with.

I've posted this below on getting two pups -- I think the advice I've quoted at the end is very good advice. Especially if the two dogs are already older I can't see there being a really big issue anyway -- but I do think the rule of giving each dog its own separate interaction and training time daily is important.


2nd June 2006, 10:07 PM
what would be the reason for not allowing two puppies in the same family to sleep together?

Heritage Cavaliers
3rd June 2006, 04:20 PM
Allowing to young puppies to sleep together can sometimes cause more playtime than sleep time - and can work against crate training.

Just like little children - they love to fuss and play :lol: :lol: :lol:

3rd June 2006, 04:47 PM
I can't see the point of having two dogs as companions for each other if they were never allowed to play togeteher. :shock:

I think making sure there is individual time for each dog is important so they do bond to the humans as well as each otherr. But there is no reason to be so extreme about it as far as I know. How many of us here have more than 1 dog?? Obviously without any major problems!! My two dogs love each other, but they also adore me, too! (if not more!)

I would suggest this family get a 2nd opinion from another trainer.

5th June 2006, 06:18 PM

I can't imagine keeping them apart like that. All I had to do at bedtime was take the toys away. They went to sleep immediately.
I just got Reggie a companion 7 month old Blenhiem female. I had/have no issues in that regard.
Honey has been a challenge but I believe it is the difference in personality types Not bonding with each other rather then me.
Actually Reggie (my Tri ) has been very helpful in housebreaking Honey.

Good luck

5th June 2006, 08:32 PM
This is a good thread since our two are coming home soon....I like reading what everyone has to say. We're planning on crating them the first night and then in side by side crates just until they become housetrained. They'll each have their own snugglepuppy.

Is that being mean? They'll still be right next to each other.....

Jo C
6th June 2006, 11:31 AM
When I bought my new 2 home (as I said above, they were nearly 18 months at the time) I did everything I was supposed to, i.e. feed separately, sleep separately etc.. However they will not eat separately. They eat from separate bowls but at the same time and although they have separate beds they almost always get in the same one. Often getting in the smallest bed and practically sleeping on top of each other. I walk all 3 together as they like playing together. I have no problems with the smaller of the 2 or my original dog. The larger one does bark at every dog or human we see and so IS going to need separate training and walks.

However I think this should be treated as an individual issue, rather than saying all puppies should do things separately. Obviously my larger dog, Sunset, needs the separate attention and will benefit from it as she will be a happier dog. The other two are well behaved and well adjusted as they are.

My only issue then is that the other 2 will feel left out because of the separate attention Sunset will be getting. I am wary that I don't want to reinforce her behaviour but neither do I want to cause the other two issues of their own.

Bruce H
6th June 2006, 12:01 PM
This is a good thread since our two are coming home soon....I like reading what everyone has to say. We're planning on crating them the first night and then in side by side crates just until they become housetrained. They'll each have their own snugglepuppy.

Is that being mean? They'll still be right next to each other.....

I don't think that's mean at all. In fact, we start crating our litters about a week or two before they are to leave for their forever homes so they are used to being in a crate by themselves. They sleep and eat in their own crate. What we do is "Circle the Wagons"; we place the crates in a circle with the fronts facing each other so they can see each other. Works very well and I think it helps them being able to see each other. Very seldom do we have a puppy that cries beyond the first night.

6th June 2006, 01:01 PM
Thanks Bruce! Their crates are wire ones so they'll be able to see and smell each other. I just think it's important for them to be used to their own crate in case one gets sick and they need to be separated and also for when they get spayed and neutered (I want them to rest, not play).

Heritage Cavaliers
6th June 2006, 06:37 PM
Just an update: both puppies are now together in their new home. So far there have not been any problems and everyone seems to be adjusting well. They are with a wonderful couple who is very attentive.

I believe today they were off to the vet to be altered - so they get to share this experience together as well :yikes

Thank you to everyone for the advice, while I had not problems with the puppies being together - I wanted to give the couple the best advice that I could.

To me it always seems the more the merrier and nothing can beat a Cavalier huddle!!!

6th June 2006, 08:50 PM
I can think of only one ......