Tag Archives: dogs

dog walking, puppies, mumof2

Should you get 2 puppies at the same time?

Girls, dogs, puppies, mumof2Is it a good idea to get 2 puppies at the same time I hear you ask?


Yes, 2 puppies at the same time? This is the question I didn’t really ask myself when we had decided that we wanted dogs to join our family. Yes, I say family and not just get some dogs in the house.

The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind that there was a question about getting 1 or 2 puppies. It just seemed logical that they had company and 2 was the only number that came up.

The question I did ask (a lot of people) was whether getting two girl puppies and then later they grow into 2 girl dogs was a good idea. A few people had told me horror stories about fighting and being litter sisters made it worse. So, I called our local vet and had a chat with her. She was lovely about it and said that she personally didn’t see a problem with it but it would be a good idea to get them spayed at around 6 months old or thereabouts so that their hormones would’t get out of hand. The main answer was, she didn’t see a problem with it and she was one of those vets who called a spade a spade.

So, pfew! That was that then.

dog walking, puppies, mumof2

Our 2 puppies came home when they were ready and were full of cuteness and it was at this time that people told us we were crazy getting 2 puppies at the same time and it would be a lot of work.

The answer in short was that we weren’t crazy. Yes, we had double toilet training and double puppy school but if you were to think about it, if you were already training 1 puppy you may as well just train the other.

What is so lovely about having them together is that they keep each other company and play really well with each other. One is more dominant than the other and her sister’s nature is to allow that to happen. They are now 3 years old and all the dog classes were so worth the effort.

So, the answer for us at least is, yes…we were right to get 2 puppies at the same time but if you were thinking about it, I would :

  • Give you local vet a call and ask them their thoughts. Tell them the breed you are interested in and whether you have children etc
  • Put the effort into puppy classes – they really are worth every minute in the long run

Where does the responsibility lie?

Dogs, Mumof2, responsible ownerThe other day, I was either reading an article (or listening to the news somewhere…I can’t remember which)  about a case where a dog had attacked a child inside the owner’s property (in the UK – I thought I best clarify as rules are different in other countries).

A few thoughts came to mind that I expected to be included in the details whilst I was  processing the story :

Firstly, the dog would have been destroyed as it had attacked someone. Secondly, the owner of the dog would have been dealt some type of punishment due to the nature of the incident. Thirdly, this is a rare incident in the UK as there is no real reason to have guard dogs due to the low crime rate compared to other countries.

To my surprise, neither the dog was put down nor was the owner punished as the dog was not on the banned dogs list AND the incident was on private property and therefore the owner was not punished as there is no law against that.

It’s something I am really struggling to figure out. I wouldn’t want that to happen to our dogs and make sure when people – especially children – are around that the dogs are behind a child proof gate in our kitchen.

I grew up in South Africa where, for majority of the time, dogs are working dogs first in that they help to guard you and your house and then they are your friend second. However, in the UK, dogs are generally seen as companions first and if they are working dogs (ie gun dogs, blind dogs etc) then they are still not trained to protect in the same way as guard dogs.

I guess it’s these 2 different ways of owning dogs that I am battling with in the news story. It seemed to suggest that the child walked into the garden through a gate to greet a friend when the incident happened.

Does that mean the owner is at fault in that the dog was left unattended when children were around? Or that the dog was doing it’s job by protecting the property to a person (in this case a child) that was unknown to it?

I don’t have the answers and whilst it doesn’t sit easy with me, I can’t quite figure out what my position is on the matter.

Litter sisters


mumof2_mirror_dogs, litter sisters, mumof2You would think that these 2 gals who are twins (aka litter sisters) would have the same temperament and builds etc etc. Well – they don’t.

I remember when we were originally looking for 2 dogs to join our family that we wanted a boy and a girl. It turns out that this litter of 5 Schnoodles only had 1 boy and he was already taken.  So, we thought 2 girls it would have to be. We paid the deposit and life was dandy until we spoke to a few people about getting litter sisters and this was the feedback they gave :

  • You should never ever buy 2 females from the same litter
  • They are going to fight like mad and will probably end up killing each other
  • Getting 2 puppies at the same time is just crazy

So, my heart sank and I thought about it. You can’t just dismiss advice like that and I had only paid the deposit which I would rather lose than cause chaos and catastrophe for the dogs and our family.

I then decided to call the vet and get an opinion from someone who knew the kinds of things I was going to get our family into. She was great. She didn’t call me crazy and she also did say that she wasn’t going to tell me what to do. What she did ask was about the type of dog and then said she didn’t see any problem as long as they were spade at 6 months or before their first season. She said what that would do was stop them from maturing sexually and then we wouldn’t have any problems with dominance etc.

Armed with this – we decided to go ahead with allowing the girls into our family and we have had a fantastic time over the past 2.5 years. One is naturally dominant and the other submissive which helps a lot and we have also done a lot of dog training. Touch wood – there haven’t been any problems with fighting each other and in fact if the one is left by herself she misses her sister like crazy (something else we are now working on.) Their little characters shine and their mischief, whilst not immediately always appreciated, provides another dynamic to our family.

What’s also great is that the boys, who used to be afraid of dogs, have grown with our dogs and have a much better understanding and confidence. Not too confident as I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing but more than they had before ie. they don’t scream the village down when they spot a dog from 300ft away.

The only mistake we made is calling them names that sound similar and start with the same letter or sound. We are in a more advanced stage of training where the one dog has to stay whilst we call the other one. Because they are quite clever (words the trainer used – they come on the initial sound instead of waiting for the whole word. I’ll update you when we have got that far.


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Personal space & non-verbal signs when out dog walking

To chip or not to chip?

Mumof2.com - dogs, chip, micro chip, mum of 2


The latest debate that is going on in the dog world is that by 2016 all dog owners in England must have their dog micro-chipped apparently to help cut stray dogs. A micro chip is inserted just beneath a dog’s skin and contains a unique number which is on a database that records the owner’s details. Before I carry on my thought process, I should add that both our girls are micro-chipped and have been since the first week or two that we brought them home.

So, the pro’s for micro-chipping :

  1. You can immediately tell from the chip who owns the dog.
  2. If a dog goes missing or is stolen and is subsequently picked up by a dog warden or vet, they scan the dog and it can then be re-united with it’s owner. I personally know a story of this happening where a dog that had been stolen from its owner’s garden and after a year the owner received a call from a vet. The vet had been asked to micro-chip this dog by it’s new owners who had answered a newspaper advert and as part of standard practice, dogs are scanned to check they aren’t already chipped. The database raised a flag that the dog was stolen and it’s original owner was so relieved to get their beloved pet back.
  3. Should an incident happen with a dog , be it a dog bite/attack or anything of the sort, and the owner makes a run and leaves the scene but the dog is secured, then it should in theory be easier to locate the owner and the police could deal with the incident.

The cons of micro-chipping are:

  1. Most responsible dog owners already micro-chip their dogs and so the ones that should be are not.
  2. If someone has not updated their contact details relating to the micro-chip, be it they sold the dog or moved house or the owner is deceased etc, this is not going to necessarily help in relation to dog incidents.
  3. It will not stop puppy farms
  4. It will not stop people from treating their animals badly
  5. This only relates to dogs…what about unsociable cats, snakes etc etc
  6. There is currently (to the best of my knowledge) nothing the police can do if a dog attacks another dog whilst on a walk.

So the questions that I now have are :

  • Will the UK government make it compulsory for people to micro-chip their cats (there are loads of stray cats about) along with any other pet?
  • Will they use the information they gather from the micro-chip to stop dog foul littering the pavements?
  • How will they ensure that every dog has been micro-chipped and stop puppy farms?
  • How will a micro-chip ensure that dogs are treated with care and not abused?

I have many more and those a just the start. My point is, I do believe in micro-chipping mainly because I worry with the number of dogs currently being stolen, that it will hopefully be one way of being re-united with our beloved pets. I don’t however believe, that it will be a way of cutting down the number of strays (especially in the current economic climate where pets are considered a luxury) and making it compulsory. If the government was to say that all dogs would get micro-chipped for free – then possibly – but that will start another debate on whether the government is spending it’s pennies on the right priorities.