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How To Train a Puppy or Two

Updated on February 13, 2015
Twin Puppies: Bear and Indie
Twin Puppies: Bear and Indie | Source

Two Puppies?

Double the fun... or double trouble! As with one puppy, training two puppies takes loving consistent direction from its owners. If you are committed to seeing it through, your puppies will be healthy, happy OBEDIENT dogs when they grow up.

It's all about you! Yes, in reality, YOU must be trained. Train yourself to be alert and on top of things --then, train your little bundles of joy.

Raising two puppies is like having twins. They eat twice as much, they drink twice as much, piddle and poop twice as much. Everything is times two! It's an adventure.

Also, like twins, they bond to each other from the start. Reminding them that YOU are in the equation is going to take work. They definitely should spend time together. They can sleep, eat and play together but every day spend some alone-time one on one with each of them establishing yourself as a part of the pack. Yes, they are pack animals and YOU must be in charge.

Crate Training

Crates are a great way to keep your puppies safe from harm and to conduct the housebreaking part of their training as painlessly as possible.

It may seem unkind to crate a dog. Actually, dogs are den-animals by nature and feel safe in closed surroundings. Crates are not jail, though. Your pets should enjoy their time in their crate. It is not a place of punishment. Give your dogs plenty of out-of-crate time as well. When they're older, the door can stay open to roam back and forth at will. Someday, they may not need it at all.

For two dogs, depending on the breed, you will eventually need a second crate. Puppies don't stay small forever. The two pictured above, Bear and Indie, are a mixture of Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler and German Shepherd. They are big dogs just waiting to happen!

Get your puppies used to the crate gradually. Equip the crate with soft bedding, water and puppy-safe chew toys. Put some treats in the crate and allow them to go in and enjoy. Encourage them with soft words of praise. Let them come out, pet them and put another treat for each in the crate.

Gently close the door and give them a brief time inside the crate. They will probably be a bit scared and may whine. Release them quickly, into your arms. Pet them, speak softly to them, and put them in, closing the door -- but this time slip a treat through the wires. This process will take a while. (Remember to get them out to potty intermittently, too. They're nervous and they're eating!)

For more about helping your puppy adjust to the crate: Crate Training a Dog or Puppy

Potty Training Your Puppy

Food, Drink, Potty, Play

A puppy's day is a repetition of his basic needs: eat, drink, potty, play, sleep. They do sleep! You will relish the times your puppy sleeps.

Establish a Routine: Puppies wean from their mothers at about 6-8 weeks old. When they start to eat puppy food it will be 3 to 4 times per day and will drop back to 2 or 3 times per day when they are a little older. Portions depend on the breed. At first, mix their dry food with a little water to make it easier to chew. 3 parts food, 1 part water.

Expect your puppy to evacuate (piddle & poop) almost immediately after he eats. Do not wait for a young pup to let you know. He has no way to hold it and will do what comes naturally...he'll go right where he is!

Watch him as he eats. When he is through with his meal and drinking his water, it will be your move. Tell him "good boy, let's go potty", get his little leash on him FAST and carry him outside to the lawn. Take him to the same location each time so that he gets used to it being where he should go. Affirm him all the way with soft words such as "Good boy, go potty. Go potty."

*See why two puppies is so much work? You'll be doing this for both of them, at the same time!

After a few days of this routine, he may be trustworthy enough to walk with you on the leash to the door but be ready to snatch him up quick if he hasn't quite caught on. Remember, young pups are BABIES and aren't being bad when they do that. It's a work in progress. He'll catch on.

All animals need water throughout the day, and your puppy is no exception. Cut off food and water about 2 hours before bedtime, though. Right before bed, take him potty one more time and put him in his crate for the night.

Dogs 101 Puppy Training

Puppies chew...that's just what they do!
Puppies chew...that's just what they do! | Source

Dogs Chew

All dogs enjoy chewing. Puppies will gnaw more than ever when they are teething. Puppies teethe from about 4 months old to 10 months. So, how do you prevent them from ripping up the house? Again, the training is all about you!

First: do not let your puppy teethe on humans. It may seem cute and harmless at this young age but it will become a problem later in life.

Second: substitute! Anytime your pup starts to chew on something he should not have, remove it (or remove him, if it's too big to move) and give him something he can chew on.

Third (which maybe should be first): have plenty of pup-safe chew toys on hand. Puppies get bored. Save some in a cupboard to bring out later. Switch them up to keep him interested.

Obedience Training For Your Puppies

Obedience is a big part of training puppies. When your puppies are 8-12 weeks old, it is time to start. Teach your pups to sit, stay and behave well on a leash, using praise and positive reinforcement (treats!).

You may wish to enlist the help of a dog trainer. That's fine but, no matter what, you still have a big part in this. If you are not committed to using the commands and practicing with your pet, professional dog training will have limited success.

In conclusion, raising a puppy-- or puppies-- is time consuming but this growing-up stage won't last forever. Invest the time now and your family will have wonderful loving dogs for years to come!

More about training a puppy:

Leash Training for Puppies

Puppy Training

The "twins" all grown up!
The "twins" all grown up!



The Author: Sinea Pies is a freelance writer for a popular parenting magazine, professional blogger on her own website Ducks 'n a Row, and true dog-lover!

Photo credit: Cute Brown Puppy clipart of dog with bone courtesy of Animal Clipart.


Submit a Comment
  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Alexadry, you're right. We have to have just the right circumstances to make it work. My daughter works from home and they have a large fenced yard where the pups can run. Now that they are grown dogs, they are the best pets! In fact, I bring them to my house for playdates with my labs and all four get along great. :) Thanks.

  • alexadry profile image

    Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

    6 years ago

    I successfully raised two littermates, and as you mention it was quite an adventure. Many advised me to re-home one as the chances of having two well-adjusted dogs was very slim. I am so glad I didn't! And today I am blessed with 2 wonderful dogs! But yes, took loads of commitment and time, not sure with my busy lifestyle of today I would be able to do the same

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks so much FlourishAnyway. I really appreciate it.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image


    6 years ago from USA

    Adorable dogs and great information on training them. This has so much useful information, and I really loved the photos. Voted up +++ and pinned.

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Just added "grown up" pictures of our twin puppies! They are BIG!

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks so much, rebeccamealey! :)

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Very good information for the new puppy owner. They are almost like babies. Thanks for explaining why crates are not cruel, too. Love your little Hub dividers!

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thank you for your kind words, Hunbbel Meer. I just got a puppy (one only, thank goodness) so I'm now "practicing what I preach". :)

  • Hunbbel Meer profile image

    Syed Hunbbel Meer 

    7 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

    I do not have a dog, neither do I know much about them. But I'm always intrigued by these wonderful species. I intend to buy a German Shepherd, and therefore, I often read articles and watch videos on dog training.

    You explained it really well. I guess, the key here is to understand the system: to reward or not to reward - that is the question! I learned a lot by reading this well-written, entertaining and concise hub. Thank you for sharing :)

  • Margaret Skipper profile image

    Margaret Skipper 

    7 years ago from Baton Rouge, LA

    Aaw i absolutely love this article! I found my dog on the road when he was about 1 or 2. Thankfully he was already potty trained but he sure likes to chew! lol! Thanks for all the info!

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Tammyswallow, you should probably skip the puppy thing and adopt an adult dog that has been "tested driven" first! :) Our lab was rescued by an organization that houses them for a little while to help the dog to adjust and also get to know them. You know, are they good with other dogs? Friendly with people? Children? Some of the surprises are removed when you adopt a dog. Thanks so much for commenting.

  • tammyswallow profile image


    7 years ago from North Carolina

    I was actually broken in.. or down.. by a puppy who turned out to be an uncontrollable dog. I think I am the only person on the planet who didn't know Eskimos are very, very difficult. I was able to teach her how to "whisper" and speak, but she would never, ever walk on a leash without sounding like she was being skinned. That dog's personality was so difficult I don't know if I will ever have another dog. Great training tips!

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks so much for the vote up, etc, Tillsontitan. I prefer to own two dogs at a time...just never raised them from pups. These little guys are so cute and fun but you're right...grand-puppies go home! :)

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    7 years ago from New York

    Great job of outlining what needs to be done. As with all twins, double the pleasure, double the fun, but double the trouble I'm sure. Obedience is a must with two dogs, twins or otherwise.

    How cute these dogs are...grandpuppies? Have fun with least they'll go home ;) I've had two dogs at a time many times over the years and it always worked out and they were good dogs!

    Voted up, useful, and interesting.

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks Frank for stopping by. I am also a dog-lover! :)

  • Sinea Pies profile imageAUTHOR

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks mary615 for the kudos and vote UP, etc. So appreciated. Yes, two at once is more than I would like to tackle. The little cuties in the photo at the top are my grand-puppies. We are dog sitting next weekend for them (thank goodness we have the crate from our lab, Lexi, to use). They are now getting more independent. I'll have to put these strategies to work from the moment they arrive.

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 

    7 years ago from Shelton

    I love dogs and this is the best way to get the owner pet relationship off on the right foot.. great share and useful hub Pies...:) FRank

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    7 years ago from Florida

    Oh, my gosh! Two puppies to train at once?? I don't think I'd have the patience for that.

    Good article on training a puppy (or two). It is not an easy job, I know for a fact.

    I voted this Hub UP, etc.


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