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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

As some of you may know, my wife and I got 2 littermate GSDs at 8 weeks old. They are now 13 weeks and are very sweet.

We currently only have a couple of issues with them, but I do feel that it is part of the same problem. I have done a lot of reading since getting them (should have really done it before, but didn't realise) about raising 2 littermates and the difficulties of it.

The first issue is, when they are out together, they fight (play-fight) ALL the time. They are crated separately, fed separately and are only together for potty breaks and playtime, but when they are, it's like watching a UFC match the whole time. My wife and I continuously separate them, but it can get very frustrating. If they are out together, we have no chance of them listening to commands. They focus almost exclusively on each other.

The second issue is when walking them together. Off-leash, they are absolutely PERFECT, and were since the first time we let them off. They walk slightly behind us, with no problems. On-leash, they are only happy if we are walking in a line... for example,

Atlas (Dog#1)---Wife Kronos (Dog#2)---Me

They obviously walk on a leash to the left of us, and when we are in this position they do not pull on the leash and seem very happy. However, if we come to a narrow path, and one of us has to fall behind, the dog behind pulls like crazy to be back in line with the other again. They are not pulling to be ahead, when they reach us, they slow down instantly and walk right alongside, but they do not like to be walking one behind the other at all!

My wife and I plan to separate them some more, and do some more things with them, but I am wondering if anyone here has any advice on how to handle our issues.

Thanks.
 

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Hello Dannay,

1st congrats on your two puppies. I think you will end up enjoying having two pups at the same time.
Concerning your issues, I go the feeling that you already figured out that the issues could be related, and I agree. I beleive the play fighting is happening between the pups so they can decide on pack order. ie.. which one is the dominant pup. The walking in order is related by the same token, the alfa goes first. It seems the pups have accepted your's and your wifes place but still have to work out just where each pup fits into the pack order. I would not be concerned by this, since they will work it out sooner or later. I do fell that I would allow them more play time together - instead of seperating the more. I think it causes less problems if the pups can work this pack order out as puppies instead of when they get older and the play fighting could get more serious.

I hope somoe of this helps.

Pepper.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pepper,

Thank you very much for your insight. I don't know why your suggestion hadn't really crossed my mind before, but I do think you hit the nail on the head.

They are both very dominant pups and I think this is why it is taking so long for them to establish their place. They have already shown our 5 year old Korean Jindo that they are above her in the pack and she is quite happy with that situation.

I only have 2 concerns with what you suggest about letting them have more play time together (though I am not, by any means, discounting it, just looking for more advice). I have been concerned, because one of them is always biting the others ears when playing and I am concerned that he will do permanent damage to them.

The other concern is that we had intended to do Schutzhund with these 2 dogs and everyone suggests not to allow the puppy(s) to be dominated, or else they will not do as well on the field. I am thinking that this won't be a real concern though, as i'm sure one won't be dominating/bullying the other, they will just establish their place in pack and be happy.

Hope to hear some more info, you've been great!
 

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What are the sexes of the pups? If they are same sex pups that can cause some problems. I had 2 female litter mates that had some issues and needed to be seperated. They could not live in the same household.
Also, have you started obedience with them yet? As this may help with them listening to your commands.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They are both male puppies. We couldn't get a male and a female because our Korean Jindo is a female and I know that having another female in the house would be impossible when they grow up.

Yes, we've done some obedience with them, and they are great about it when I get the treats out. To the point that they will follow me around, nudging me and keep sitting down next to me and looking up at me like... "Okay, I SITZED! Where is my treat??"

They really are good puppies, it's just very frustrating to try and walk them because of this.
 

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Do seperate obedience with each of them.

Bond and even take walks one and one with them.

One of the major things when raising two pups is them becoming fully dependent and relying only on the other pup. They need you to rely on. You need to be their best friend, not the other pup.

Enjoy the fun while they are puppies! They'll play fight for awhile and hopefully since they are together, they'll learn bite inhibition much easier with each other rather than your arm!
 
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