Adopting two dogs at the same time: Double the effect?

As you probably know, since I’ve talked about almost nothing else in months, I’ve been fostering puppies since November. My shelter has a hard time keeping a large group of puppies clean, warm, dry, and healthy, especially in the winter. I imagine this is true for many, if not most, shelters. So I kept fostering litter after litter, starting with my first failed foster puppy, Woody, one of nine puppies. Then there was a litter of six Chihuahua/Terrier mixes, all boys; another litter of nine Cattle Dog/Pit mixes, all with adorable freckles; and mine was a litter of seven German Shepherds/Hounds/Who Know what a mutt is by the tail (no pun intended). Playing with and caring for pups is fun, challenging, messy, expensive and fun!But here’s something I’ve been obsessed with lately: People who come in to adopt puppies – end up walking out, or at least trying to, with two.

This happens every time I take a puppy to the shelter. When a litter of pups was judged big enough, healthy enough, and socialized enough to be adopted, I brought them (in tears) to the shelter where a group of potential adopters came to greet and greet them. No one walks in and says, “I want to adopt two puppies!” – but almost everyone, at some puppy-full moment, says, “Oh, honey, should we get two?”

To some, it’s a joke—someone is teasing his or her partner. For some, it’s a fleeting impulse that’s quickly quashed by the reality of the scale (and cost!) of the commitment. But some people jump in with both feet! They hadn’t considered this before, but boy, they had good reason to do so now.

My shelter does not have a policy against this kind of thing, although I wish they did. Maybe shelters in less economically disadvantaged parts of the country are more selective in what puppies they get out of their homes; here, they’d happily place two at the same time. . . Even though I was standing on the sidelines, wringing my hands.

My desperation and dire predictions dissuaded adopters every time, until the last litter. I’m not here to gleefully let owners know all the problems that can arise when adopting two, guess what? The shelter put me in touch with a young couple with a five-year-old son who adopted two puppies.Of course, they yes Having trouble managing two puppies. I gave them lots of advice and encouragement, and implored them to be open to the idea of ​​returning their pups, while they were still young and relatively unharmed by time, and to break away from the behaviors that lead many people to return their pups. Teenagers: Lack of house training, barking at new things, chasing, jumping, and biting babies.

Why do I and so many trainers object to this practice? The biggest reason is that puppies tend to have closer bonds with each other than new human family members, making training and management more difficult. Properly training two puppies takes more than twice as long as one puppy (and few people spend enough time training one puppy!). Many dogs who grow up with siblings also experience extreme separation distress when they eventually have to be separated.

What do you think? Do you have any siblings who don’t have problems? Or did you experience all the bad things your trainer later told you would happen?