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Two Cairn Puppies?


Molly's mom
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I have never done a forum before and this may not be appropriate. I am looking for advice. We are thinking about getting two puppies, litter mates, 8 weeks old, both female. Our vision was same crate, always together. Outside during day, inside when we were home in the evenings and at night. We have no intention of showing or breeding. We had one Cairn Terrier before, Molly, and she was the best dog ever. The only thing I ever wanted was a playmate for her when we weren't home. What is your opinion.

Molly's mom

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I think getting a playmate is fine, but getting one because you're not home: not so much. My general view is that if you aren't willing to put in at least twice the amount of effort to raise, housebreak, socialize, and train two pups, then you shouldn't. Getting the second pup to take the place of the effort you know you should be spending to give each dog your full and complete attention throughout their development is a cop-out. In my opinion.

Therefore I agree with those who say that, on average, getting littermates is a bad idea. Yep, there are those who do just that, and who have no problems. That doesn't change the fact that on average, it's not a great idea, in my personal opinion.

On a side note: we got our second dog less than a year after our first. It wasn't until later we realized - they would both likely be dying close to each other. That made us realize that we wanted to space out the ages of our dogs, so that the losses wouldn't overwhelm us. Losing one is bad enough.

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Yes, I understand that each puppy will need to be trained and socialized and given plenty of attention. That was not what I am concerned about. Molly became one of us, she did not know she was a dog. So I imagine any other dog we get will feel the same. My concern is that I am reading things like --- with two puppies they will not bond as well with the family because they are bonding to each other instead --- and --- when the dogs mature they will not get along. And I am reading about how they should never be allowed to be together unless we are with them. Crate them seperately let them in the yard at seperate times... stuff like this is not what I was wanting... is it necessary if I am not planning on showing them. I just want them to have each other when we are at work. I don't want to risk the dogs not bonding with our family, and I cannot imagine our old dog Molly not getting along with anybody or any other dog.

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Yes, I understand that each puppy will need to be trained and socialized and given plenty of attention. That was not what I am concerned about. Molly became one of us, she did not know she was a dog. So I imagine any other dog we get will feel the same. My concern is that I am reading things like --- with two puppies they will not bond as well with the family because they are bonding to each other instead --- and --- when the dogs mature they will not get along. And I am reading about how they should never be allowed to be together unless we are with them. Crate them seperately let them in the yard at seperate times... stuff like this is not what I was wanting... is it necessary if I am not planning on showing them. I just want them to have each other when we are at work. I don't want to risk the dogs not bonding with our family, and I cannot imagine our old dog Molly not getting along with anybody or any other dog.

I have not bred dogs ever, but I have done Rescue for a lot of years, and had several litters of rescue puppies at one time. The first thing we did was to separate the puppies from each other. They had formed strong bonds and badly needed training and interaction with people. I found once we got the dogs away from their littermates they became easier to house break and more bonded to the person working with them. Having had multiple dogs for lots of years, I have found that our first dog is most stable and listens to our commands. The second dog always seems more like he belongs to the first dog, listens to the first dog's cues better than ours! Has anyone else found this to be true?

Karen and Angus MacDoggal the Braveheart

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second dog always seems more like he belongs to the first dog, listens to the first dog's cues better than ours!

Wow. That is exactly how Gus is with Crunch. Crunch, the first Cairn, bonded more closely with us. Gus, our second, is more reliant on watching what Crunch does, and then responding. He thinks Crunch is his leader-probably our fault in puppyhood - and we have been working to change that. With all that said, I love having two that are close. They are 9 months apart and I don't think I would have made it with littermates. I was exhausted with one to housetrain. We got our second one just as the hardship of a puppy was starting to fade from memory. There are other people on this forum with littermates who have more stamina and patience than I. :D

Edited by brin145
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I want to add too, that the first dog seemed to teach the second dog the "ropes" as the second dog followed the first so loyally. Dog number 2 was really easy to housetrain!

Karen and Angus MacDoggal the Braveheart

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Two puppies at once...... I get tired just thinking about it. Turns out it isn't 2X's the work.... it's more like 3 or 4X's the work.... because Cairn Puppies on average tend to be a handful and i've heard a breeder say 1 puppy can turn out to be 2X's the work.

Even though things have worked out for us, and we love Mett & Bratt dearly......I would never do it again..... Do yourself a favor, get one puppy... raise it and two years down the road get the 2nd dog.

Advice from the experienced.....

Edited by Mysticsol8
Tracy, Brattwrust & Mettwurst a.k.a The Gremlins
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I agree that two puppies would be way too much work for one person! Not to mention, you said you wanted two females. Two females are never recomended because they will compete for alpha dog status. A male/female combo is best and then two neutered males. I wouldn't get two females no matter how far apart in age they are (I know people on here have two or even three females, so it can work, but I think the odds are not in your favor).

Also in your post you mentioned you wanted them to be "outside during the day", I don't think a Cairn is an "outside" breed. There are just too many things the dogs can get into to hurt themselves or they could dig out of the yard (Cairns love to dig) due to bordom and being unattended.

I wish you the best in whatever you decide!

Jack's Mom
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Have you considred getting slightly older cairns? I purposely looked for an older dog - Duncan was almost 11 months old - from a breeder because they are mostly beyond the chewing behavior and some other puppy issues. Also, I needed to know what his temperment would be like because my son was three at the time. Duncan was raised around his breeder's grandchildren. There are breeders that have older dogs that din't sell as a puppy - I have found a couple of wonderful dogs this way. That being said - would I take a puppy from another litter but Duncan's dam and sire? You bet! He has one of the best temperments of any dog I have had. Of course, there is no guarantee that it would be exactly like Duncan, but I would hope..........maybe a little girl?

Edited by Duncan's Mom
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OK, this is something I know about!!! :) We got Dori and Ellie from the same litter, and when i proudly told my trainer about it, she bluntly told me how stupid that was....did she piss me off or hurt my feelings? Both!!! Well, guess what? She was right. And Traci is right, it's 4x the work. As much as I love these girls and who wouldnt, I'd never get two cairn puppies at the same time. I do worry about the dying at the same time like Brad mentioned. And dont crate them togther, they neede their own space. I do crate them together while we travel, only cause they're in the backseat of the truck. You would be able to appreciate one pup so much more while they're little and enjoy those days. And whatever you decide to do.....get them in a training class as soon as you get them home! Dont wait 6 months like i did cause my poor little feelings were hurt!!!!! I was an idiot!

Terry, mom of Dori and Ellie Mae

th_IMG_0641-1.jpgth_prettypuppies.jpgth_IMG_0068.jpg

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I'm also part of the got two at once group....

Granted Hollie and Brystal are not from the same liter, they are one week apart in age but we brought them home at the same time. The breeders were neighbors and happened to each have a liter one week apart. We really wanted two because we thought they'd have each other for life. However Brad has a significant point. The idea of loosing two around the same time in life is a hard thing to think about. Raising two at the same time is very difficult and I'm not going to even sugar coat it. It's literally double the trouble, double the effort, it's hard. It continues to be hard. We do have to let them out separately at times for them to get serious about going to the potty - if they are out together they rough house out there - Brystal usually gets rolled and tumbles on the concrete and comes in with a concrete burn.... they play hard together. There are two of us so we're able to make sure that neither one is feeling left out, although we have our concerns about Brystal because she's very shy and often hides from us, we try to incorporate her into our lives as much as possible so she doesn't feel that Hollie is favored. Hollie just has a strong personality that always demands that she is first. We take Brystal to do separate things like get the newspaper with us, or take the milk bottles out, separate walks just for her.

Potty training two at the same time - oh gosh that's a trip in itself. I don't recommend crating them together. We did the puppy pen and had them both together until they were about 6 months old - and they just went crazy in there together. Then we crated separately and things went much smoother. They each have their own crate and each one doesn't appreciate it when the other is in their crate. They crowd each other out to get the one that doesn't belong out of their home. If you had to ask me if I'd do it all over again and bring two home at the same time, I'd tell you yes because I adore them, and love them with all my heart. But you have to be prepared for lots of effort, tons of work, some tears due to stress... and as puppies I would never leave them outside during the day without supervision. Mine are 11 months old and don't have the priviledge of unsupervised yard time yet. They want to eat bees, bark - whatever they can get their hands on - they are highly mischevious and find trouble fast. And the weather can turn so quickly and for a small dog it's hard to be left outside in any unexpected elements while you're away. I'm not sure if that's the kind of set up you were thinking about or not. If you're up for the challenge then I say that two is an okay idea. But it's a lot of work and so much time. We devote huge amounts of time to both of them - we've made them come even before our needs.

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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Hey there~

It has been a while since I have posted here (I definately need to update Shaylee's picture there, she has grown up, lol). We have two female pups that are 9 months and 7 months, respectively. The 9 month old is our Cairn and the 7 month old is a lab mix. We had not planned totally on the second pup, but she needed a good home, so we took her in. We got each 2.5 months apart.

I have to say that in general it has worked out well for us. Our pups are tightly bonded, but they are bonded to us as well. When Kyla (the lab mix) entered our lives, we were at our wits end with house training Shaylee (the cairn). Kyla understood potty outside from what seemed like the get go and Shaylee started going outside out of spite, lol. She did not want to be "shown up" by the new pup and would race outside to go potty to get the praise first (we used to lavish verbal praise on both at potty time). They now use a doggie door (we are in South Florida, large privacy fenced yard) at their leisure and we have had no accidents in the house in months and months.

Because the both of us work from home, we have had that advantage of being with them most of the day, and we no longer crate them either at night (the sleep on doggie beds on our bedroom floor) or when we go out for a couple of hours. Everything has gone splendidly for us, but then again, both have been incredible to chew only on parent approved items.

I do credit the sucess of our girls to the fact that they are two totally different breeds. One would think that the Cairn would be the alpha, but interestingly enough, it seems that they are on even ground. I know one probably miust be, but Shaylee defers to Kyla when they are served meals. She eats after Kyla, even though they are served at the same time. But then again, Shaylee steals Kyla bully sticks, and Kyla lets her. They share the toys equally and play together (and with us) all of the time.

Ours seems like a good match, I guess we got lucky again I previously had two female pups, one I lost at 4 years to sever hip dysplasia and the other to a heart problem at 7. They were tightly bonded and I never had a problem with them either. Sometimes, even when they are close in age, you can loose a pup much earlier than expected, but Brad does make a very valid point.

Good luck in your decision:)

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A lot of people get littlermates and have great success. Important things to remember about having littermates.

Keep them separate or they will bond very strongly to eachother and not to you. (This can be a bigger problem with training than most people think it will be)

Make sure you are up to housetraining and keeping up with two babies. It is obviously a lot of work!

Good luck!!!

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I prefer to house train one puppy at a time. Our first Cairn, Kiara was a dream, she had two great Labs who taught her well to go outdoors and I never had a problem w/ her having any accidents. Kiara was 2 1/2 before Abbey came along. Abbey took longer to train due to the fact that I first started out w/ those wee-wee pads and had to train her all over again to go outdoors, big mistake. Our 3rd Cairn, Hannah came into our home when Abbey was only 6 mths. I can't imagine not having Hannah in my life, but I would not have two pups this close together in age again. Hannah actually house trained super fast, but Abbey regressed once Hannah came home. :mad: I think Abbey wanted to be the baby a little longer. I have had an easy way to house train my Cairns. I'm fortunate to have a small fenced area outside my side garage door, which connects to the garage and kitchen door. My Cairns have learned to jump at the kitchen door when they have to "potty". We also have a huge fenced yard that they run everyday, but when they have to "go", they beg at the kitchen door.

Mine all have their own crate so that they all have their own place for comfort. It's their piece of security w/ their own special blankets and toys and they all know they have their own special comfort zone.

You mentioned leaving yours outside during the day, that's something I'd never do. Cairns can dig and escape. I've been on this forum long enough to read of some tragic accidents that happened due to their Cairn digging out of their yard. I never leave mine unattended when their outdoors.

<img src=&quot;http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/maiwag/terriersiggy.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

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I have two males six months apart. They are great buddies and I feel Jeter, my oldest was bonded to me enough to bring Bernie in. I think two puppies going through potty training and all that together could be overwhelming.

I would not leave your dogs out during the day unattended under any circumstances.

Jetersmom(and Bernie's)

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