Two Cavalier King Charles ... home alone?

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Ian P:
Hello all,I am new to this group and thought that maybe someone here might be able to help me with some advice. I am thinking of getting two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies in a few weeks, but wondered if this is a good idea when I work every day and will therefore need to leave them alone. They will obviously have each other's company, and I can set up the house so that they have easy access to both indoors and outside, where there is a good-szed yard - but will they be company enough for each other, with me gone most of the working day? If I get them, I plan to have a few weeks' leave from work so that I can settle them in and, hopefully, train them to be accustomed to me leaving them for a a stretch of time each day.
Any insights or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Ian (Australia).
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Handsome Jack Morrison:
[nq:1]Hello all, I am new to this group and thought that maybe someone here might be able to help me with some advice. I am thinking of getting two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies in a few weeks,[/nq]
Why two?
[nq:1]but wondered if this is a good idea when I work every day and will therefore need to leave them alone.[/nq]
I don't think it's a good idea. Getting two pups at a time is seldom a good idea. Getting littermates is seldom a good idea. And leaving pups alone all day is seldom a good idea. I bet they're probably the same sex, too, eh?
How 'bout some more info?
Have you ever had a dog before? What kind? Were you able to successfully socialize and train the dog(s)? Do you have any help? Why did you choose the CKCS? From whom are you getting the dogs? From a pet store? Breeder? Have you done any research on the breed? On the breeder? Etc.

Handsome Jack Morrison
Finding Wisdom in the Wreckage.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/11/finding wisdom in the wreckage.html

Be careful what you wish for.
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Ian P:
[nq:2]Hello all, I am new to this group and thought ... two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies in a few weeks,[/nq]
[nq:1]Why two?[/nq]
because I thought that they would be good company for each other, and have less separation problems
[nq:2]but wondered if this is a good idea when I work every day and will therefore need to leave them alone.[/nq]
[nq:1]I don't think it's a good idea. Getting two pups at a time is seldom a good idea. Getting littermates is seldom a good idea. And leaving pups alone all day is seldom a good idea. I bet they're probably the same sex, too, eh?[/nq]
No - a boy and a girl was what I was planning. I was hoping to have at least a month, and possibly more, time off work when I first get them, so they would be about three or four months old before I'd be leaving them through the day.
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Handsome Jack Morrison:
()
[nq:2]Why two?[/nq]
[nq:1]because I thought that they would be good company for each other, and have less separation problems[/nq]
There are pluses and minuses. For most folks, I think the minuses generally outweigh the pluses. For example, the danger that they'll bond to each other too strongly, and not enough to you. Ideally, you'd like to raise one pup first, making certain that it gets all the UNDIVIDUAL attention that puppies thrive on. Then, down the road a bit (say 1-2 years), if you still want to get a second dog, your first puppy will already be properly socialized, well-trained, and fully bonded to you. That will insure that you're able to give the new puppy a good amount of INDIVIDUAL attention, too. Or you might even want to consider rescuing an adult dog instead, sparing you the job of raising another puppy altogether.
[nq:2]I don't think it's a good idea. Getting two pups ... idea. I bet they're probably the same sex, too, eh?[/nq]
[nq:1]No - a boy and a girl was what I was planning. I was hoping to have at least a ... get them, so they would be about three or four months old before I'd be leaving them through the day.[/nq]
Have you ever raised a puppy before? Just raising one puppy can make some people lose all their hair. Two puppies at a time?

It's a lot of work. Having a month off will help some, of course, but puppies aren't raised in just one month.
[nq:2]How 'bout some more info? Have you ever had a ... done any research on the breed? On the breeder? Etc.[/nq]
[nq:1]Yes, I've had several dogs before - my most recent was a toy poodle many years ago and I managed to train and socialise him well.[/nq]
Did you raise him as a puppy? Did you have "separation" problems with him? You can mitigate such problems by carefully managing your own behavior around the dog.
[nq:1]I chose CKCS because of what I have learned and seen about their nature - gentle and placid and loving, ... am meeting her and her dogs today to try to get a better picture before I make any final decisions.[/nq]
Yup, they're fine little dogs.
But raising two puppies at a time can be an ordeal.

Just make sure that you're up to it.
Raising a puppy should be FUN, not an ordeal, right?

Anyway, good luck with your decision!

Handsome Jack Morrison
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Paula:
[nq:1]Hello all, I am new to this group and thought that maybe someone here might be able to help me ... them for a a stretch of time each day. Any insights or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Ian (Australia).[/nq]You will end up with two dogs who are really bonded to each other but not to you. They will egg each other on and get into more than twice the trouble that they would get into on their own. If you want two dogs so that they can keep each other company, get one adult dog from rescue that is already housetrained and either house reliable or close to it. Polish off that dog's ability to be in the house while you are gone and work with it on obedience so you establish a good bond and relationship with it.

Once that dog who is past the puppy stages and bratty rebellious adolescent stages is good, you can get a puppy. The older dog will help keep the pup in line rather than being yet another untrained, unsocialized to humans and their ways, bad influence.

By the way, CKCS dogs are prone to very serious heart problems. It is a huge problem in the breed. If you do not choose your breeder very carefully and demand proof of testing for generations back for heart defects in the mom and dad of the pup, you are asking for a ton of heartache and vet bills as you fight heart problems followed by an early death for your dog. There are a lot of breeders out there who don't do the health testing and don't follow through even if they offer guarantees of various kinds. I'd hate to see you get caught up in any of that, so be sure to research your breeder and the pups s/he has for sale very carefully.

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
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FurPaw:
[nq:1]Hello all, I am new to this group and thought that maybe someone here might be able to help me ... them for a a stretch of time each day. Any insights or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Ian (Australia).[/nq]
Despite all advice to the contrary, two at once can be done. My intuition is that the larger the breed, the more difficult it is to train and manage them.
We raised 2 chihuahua pups, litter mates, M and F. Gordo and Chile were bonded to each other, but they also bonded well to us. We made sure that each of us handled and trained each one of them, separately, so that they were not together 100% of the time and each had alone time with each of us. We also worked, and they were home together all day. For the first year, one of us came home at noon everyday to let them out. They had free run of the house once they were potty-trained and stopped showing any inclination to chew on shoes, furniture, or power cords.

It was double the trouble, but also double the fun. They were delightful together. They played a lot, right up through middle age, and as they got older they snuggled together (when not on a lap), regularly groomed and washed each other's face and ears, and rushed in tandem to the fence to scare off any passers-by.

We were concerned when Gordo died this year that Chile would mourn excessively, but she adapted quickly (she is by far the more independent of the two). At 15.5, she's still going strong.

So I don't know if it's the best idea, but it worked well for us.

FurPaw

Better dead than Red.
To reply, unleash the dog.
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Paula:
[nq:1]So I don't know if it's the best idea, but it worked well for us.[/nq]
I think the key here is how you handle it and how much you are willing to put into it. If you are willing and able to do all the one on one work and the putting up with the trouble that you did, it can work out, but it will still be harder than one at a time. I personally have a hard time with even one puppy at a time and so do most other people judging by the people who come here for advice and the real world puppy owners I know.
I still say the best way to get the best of both worlds is to adopt an adult who is already started, if not finished, on training and then get a puppy if you want two dogs who can entertain each other while you are out. I do agree that if you are not home all day, it is nice for most dogs to have a companion. OTOH, I have had at least one dog who would have much preferred to be an only dog and just lie around while I was gone in exchange for not having to share me or put up with other dogs when I was home.

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
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Ian P:
[nq:2]So I don't know if it's the best idea, but it worked well for us.[/nq]
[nq:1]I think the key here is how you handle it and how much you are willing to put into it. ... the trouble that you did, it can work out, but it will still be harder than one at a time.[/nq]
Many thanks for your collective advice on this. I have certainly been warned by others of the risks of bringing up two puppies at the same time. I'm just trying to balance those risks with the benefits for the puppies - less separation anxiety, in particular. I think I'm ready for the risks. I've raised a number of dogs in the past, at one stage bringing up three together, all of whom had had troubled pasts and behaviour problems as a result. That was certainly a handful, but I ultimately, I think, managed to get them more or less into some sort of order.

I'm by no means an expert, but I feel reasonably confident about meeting the challenges, and am certainly aware of how much work and time will be needed. But, not having had CKCS before, my main concern was whether or not they would be okay with each other's company through the day, or if that breed in particular needs human company in addition to canine company.

Anyway, thanks again for your insights and comments.

regards,
Ian
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Julia Altshuler:
I'm just
[nq:1]trying to balance those risks with the benefits for the puppies - less separation anxiety, in particular.[/nq]
While separation anxiety is certainly a problem for some dogs, I wouldn't make the leap that that it is a risk for every puppy you bring home. I have limited experience, but I got my first puppy when she was
10 weeks and started leaving her alone from the moment I got her home.She did a certain amount of puppy chewing, grew out of it, and never had a problem when she got older. The dog I have now has never been destructive in the house. We leave her alone whenever we need to go out, and she shows no evidence of doing anything more than sleeping on the couch while we're gone, no neurotic barking, nothing.
I guess I'm trying to say that while there are solutions to behavior problems like separation anxiety, and while getting 2 dogs at once is a solution to separation anxiety, it doesn't make sense to assume that every dog will have every behavior problem from the get go.
Lia
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