I have a ~6 year old rescued Border Collie / Terrier mix that has a super relaxed temperament. I've wanted to get her a furry friend for quite a while and have been strongly considering a Husky or two. Long story short, someone abandoned a litter of Huskies in my area recently and the litter went on PetFinder over the weekend. I went to meet them and ended up getting two, a brother (Loki) and a sister (Kali), both between 6 and 8 weeks old. I understand at least some of the potential perils of owning two puppies and I accept the responsibility, however I also completely believe that if I do it properly it can make it a lot easier on myself.
I've had them for almost a week now and it's been quite the learning process. I've been doing a lot of reading on training them and understand there are a lot of potential pitfalls with raising two puppies. For that reason, I wanted to reach out and ensure I'm doing the right thing with them and not making any mistakes that could slow the process of training them.
To my understanding, raising two puppies at the same time is a large multitude more difficult than raising 1 at a time, because they feed off of each other and build a very strong bond that causes them to ignore their human. Huskies could potentially add to that difficulty because they're more emotional and vocal than your average pup. For that reason, it's essential to train them individually and not when they're together, which is twice as time consuming.My situation
: I live alone and own a house with a fenced in yard. I own a business and generally work from home, however for the next few weeks I'm going to be on a client site during the week, with an hour to go home for lunch and care for the puppies. I've been waking up 90 minutes earlier than normal to make sure I clean their crates, give them baths if necessary, let them outside to potty and burn some energy, feed them, etc. I do the same at lunch and after work, however I only bathe them as necessary (if they make a mess).Crate Training
: I'm in the process of crate training both puppies. I have both crates in my bedroom upstairs, at the foot of my bed. I use the puppy training mats (pee pads), and I have metal crates which have the plastic trays underneath. I've found that if I pull the tray out, then wrap the pee pad around it tightly before placing it back into the crate, the pups don't tear the pads apart and thus, I don't have to clean the trays because their messes are contained on the pads. I feed both puppies exclusively in their crates and am trying to do my best to make their crates a happy place for them. The first few nights, I made the mistake of feeding them before bedtime and had the pleasant surprise of getting woken up multiple times to howling babies with messes in their beds. Now, I feed them their last meal a few hours before bed and am doing my best to ensure that they eliminate before I crate them at night. Last night was the first evening that I've actually slept, however they both pooped in the crate overnight, regardless that I let them outside to eliminate right after dinner at 8:30PM, then played with them outside for 2 hours, then brought them inside for 30min before taking them out again for a potty break before bed.Question
: Should I keep their crates in my bedroom?Question
: Every day, my plan is to move their crates apart by a foot or so, eventually placing their crates on both sides of the bed, or possibly in separate rooms if the bedroom is a bad place for them.Potty Training
: Presently, I'm taking each pup outside by itself and letting it down in the grass to go potty. When I see them start to eliminate, I immediately verbally praise them, saying "Good potty!", while simultaneously placing a treat in front of their mouth, often times while they're still eliminating. I feed them a couple treats and keep praising them until they're done, then I take them back inside and grab the other pup and repeat the process.Question
: Should I be leashing the pups, standing in the same location and waiting until either they defecate (go #2
) or it's been 10-15 minutes before returning them inside? Presently, I've been plopping them down in the grass and saying "Potty time!" and there's a pretty strong chance that they just immediately eliminate right then and there. After that, I let them run around in the grass for a few and see if they want to go #2
, and if they don't within a few minutes, I've been returning them inside.Feeding
: I'm feeding them a puppy blend from Redford Naturals and giving them 1/2 a cup 3x a day (1.5 cups/day). As I've said, I only feed them in their crate, and I'm trying to do my best to take them out individually between 10-30 minutes after eating unless if they look like they really have to go immediately.Puppy Schedule
: I'm open to constructive criticism. If you think I'm doing something wrong, please tell me
6:30 - 7:00AM - Wake up and take puppies outside individually, clean crates and bathe if necessary.
7:00 - 7:30AM - Feed pups in crates then take them out individually to eliminate. Bring them back into crates for 5-10 minutes (in between).
7:30 - 8:30AM - Take pups out to play and burn some energy for an hour before I leave.
1:15 - 1:25PM - Take pups out individually to eliminate.
1:25 - 1:45PM - Feed pups lunch then take them out to burn some energy before I go finish the day.
6:30PM - Take pups out individually, then feed them dinner in their crates.
7:00PM - Take pups out individually again.
8:00PM+ - Play with pups together, tire them the hell out, etc.
Between 10 and 11PM - Put puppies to bed for the night, then go to bed myself.
Question: Is it OK for me to primarily focus on potty and crate training for now and obedience training after?
The first few days have been insane thus far and I'm imagining that it gets easier, however my hands are pretty full with them, to the point where I haven't been able to separate them to individually train them. Once the pups become more comfortable at home, I'm imagining that it's going to free up more time to train them.
A friend of mine also suggested leaving a rawhide chew in their crates while I'm away so they can have something to gnaw on.Mature Dog + Puppy Relationship
: My older dog seems to be slowly warming up to the pups, however the puppies continually instigate with her and cause her to snap at them. She acts like a grumpy old lady at times. I've been incorporating all 3 dogs in games of fetch and tug of war and such, as well as gathering them around and feeding them treats while saying each of their names.
Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time and have a great day!