Q2. I went to buy a puppy and when I got there the breeder said there was the brother to one I was picking up also needing a new home so I relented and got both. I am now not sure if this was the right decision as they are causing chaos. What should I have done and what can I do to get them to listen to me when training?
I sympathise with your dilemma but rest assured that one puppy can cause just as much chaos as two! The secret is to keep them occupied, and make sure their energy is channelled into ways that you find appropriate. Training certainly has an important role to play, and as a part of the training it is important that each puppy learns to spend time on their own. Ideally, I would find an area where a single puppy can be safely confined and start getting them used to spending short amounts of time in there on their own. It is important that you leave them fun things to do during their isolation, so they don’t start to see it as a punishment. Robust chew toys stuffed with tasty treats will be a good start! Then, try and find a place out of sight and hearing of the puppy you are leaving to do some training with other puppy. To start with, just 5 minutes will probably be enough. Then, swap the puppies over and do some work with the other one. This doesn’t have to be straight away, but when you next have time. I am also an advocate of attending well run classes with a suitable trainer. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) should be able to help you with this. I would not suggest taking both dogs to the same class, unless someone is available to help you. Instead it may be necessary to take one puppy one week, and the other the next – and to work on what you learn at home in the mean time. Over time it should be possible for you to get both dogs to listen to you at the same time, but first they have to have a good understanding of what it is you are asking, and why it is more rewarding to listen to you than play with their littermate!