As if housetraining a single puppy wasn't difficult enough, housetraining two puppies at the same time may seem like double the trouble, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. You can cut some corners by coordinating the process and using the same effective strategies used for housetraining one puppy but this time, times two.
Step 1: Use a Feeding Schedule
Coordinate a feeding schedule so your puppies are fed at the same time each day. When puppies ingest food at the same time each day, they're more likely to eliminate in a predictable manner. Predictability gives you an advantage so you'll know around what time the puppies should be taken out. In general, puppies less than 14 to 18 weeks of age are fed three meals a day with the first meal in the morning, the second meal around noon and the third no later than 5 p.m. so the puppies have plenty of time to digest their food and eliminate one last time before going to bed. Once the puppies have reached 14 to 18 weeks of age, they can then be fed twice daily.
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Other than feeding your puppies at predictable times, you may find it helpful maintaining a written potty schedule.
Step 2: Invest in Two Crates
Getting one crate to store two puppies can save you some money, but it's a bad investment in the potty training department. Sure, letting your two puppies go "night night" together may seem like an optimal solution to prevent loneliness, but after a playful bout of wrestling, it often leads to a dirty crate containing two poo-covered pups. On top of that, you need to encourage independence in your two puppies to prevent them from overbonding and depending on each other. This entails training them separately, socializing them separately and letting them sleep separately, to give your two pups the opportunity to bloom into two fully developed, well-adjusted dogs with their own personalities.
When kept in separated crates, it's important that someone hears the puppies should they wake at night and need to be taken out. This often entails, taking both out since they'll likely be waking each other.
Step 3: Reward Successful Elimination
After a night's sleep or when you return home from an outing, the puppies will be taken out of their crates and sent outdoors to potty. This can be challenging though as the pups likely will want to play with each other while you need to multitask on monitoring them for eliminating, praising and rewarding them and sending them back inside. Life can be made easier by having somebody take one puppy to one area while you take another to a separate area so they won't get distracted. It's important each puppy receives timely positive feedback for successful elimination through praise and rewards under the form of tasty treats.
Step 4: Monitor Closely
Once the puppies have emptied their bladders and bowels, they may get to spend some time together in the home with you. This is when you'll need to put on your eagle eyes and monitor carefully. Finding a puddle and not knowing who did it will leave you wondering which of the two needs more careful supervision. This may put a dent in the whole process. You may find it helpful to have a helper watch one puppy while you watch the other. Should a puppy have an accident, make sure to clean up messes with a good, enzyme-based cleaner.
It's a good idea to get acquainted with early prepotty signals so you can take your puppies outside at their first signs. Watch for a puppy who stops playing and starts sniffing, circling , heading towards a corner or under something. As your puppy, matures, he may eventually start moving towards the door, and possibly, even whine.