Original Post: March 29th, 2011
Edited: March 6h, 2017
Since 1996; I have had a 4 sets of litter-mate puppies; (2 Golden Retriever Rescues- full brothers, different litters, 7 months apart – and 3 pairs of same litter Great Danes puppies – one being brother/sister(2004) and two being brother/brother(2006 & 2014) – of which my present Dane pair – Ice & Zero are brothers and are now almost 3. They will turn 3 in June.
At the time that I did add these boyz to my heart/home in 2014, I did have older Great Danes too(My oldest Dane is now almost 10 – Multi CH Bronson tuns 10 in June 2017 and my GSx tuns 13 in July 2017).
Additionally, I added a new show puppy to my home when my 2 littermate brothers, of Dyce and Soul were both only 14 months of age and Bronson was almost 4 years old. When Bronson was 16 months, I added my third show puppy; TAIN who has long since crossed over. In September of 2010; I added another Great Dane – Sir Maestro; my last show prospect who is now turning 7 in July 2017 and in November of 2010; I then added another Special Needs – Bleach(Blind/Deaf) who has also now sadly crossed over. We have been a multi dog home since 1996.
I have not found it all that much harder in the housebreaking, training, socialisation etc. in having two pups/dogs over one. BUT one has to be committed, dedicated, do proper integration, training, socialisation etc. and is not wearing blinders or lazy; and only then; would I say that having two at the same time is perfectly fine for the right person/people in the right home.
I am also aware that I am also not the ‘typical’ dog owner home with what I do professionally. 😉
I have also not found that they have necessarily bonded more to each other than to myself (though they are close) and when I do their training/socialisation; I do it in groups, just them and also as individuals. In regards to Vet bills, one must be prepared IMHO to ensure that they can afford the bills for vetting, altering, microchipping(important in my opinion), emergencies etc. for the additions including the higher food bills costs.
It is definitely not something for everyone and not something I would recommend that everyone out there rush out to do and I stand by that ONLY in the right home with the right personality pups; two can be wonderfully busy.
If the whole family is not on board with the idea of having two, that is a big ‘red’ flag to me that it is best to wait at this time. It can be hard to be patient BUT it will be so worth it in the end if things are done the ‘right’ way and people are not setting themselves, their current Dane(s) and any possible new addition up for failure. My general recommendation for most homes is to wait until their current addition is at least 12-18 months.
Time, patience, consistency, obedience, love and structure are your best tools/aids along with a properly qualified Training Professional of which sadly, is one of the least regulated professions in Canada.
Just my two cent’s worth as always.