Everything You Need To Know Before Getting Two Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers can be a bit addictive.

You might say they’re the potato chips of dog breeds — you can’t have just one!

Sharing your life with two Golden Retrievers certainly has its appeal, but it’s a big decision that should be taken seriously.

Some people may choose to bring home two puppies at once and raise littermates to fulfill their dream of having two Golden Retrievers.

Others may decide to get one dog and then add a second sometime later.

But whether you’ve got two Goldens already, or you’re itching to go from a one-dog home to a two-dog home, this article will help you make the right decision and prepare you for life with two dogs.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The pros and cons of owning two Golden Retrievers.
  • What to consider when getting two puppies at once
  • What littermate syndrome is and why you need to watch out for it
  • What to consider when adding a new puppy when you already have a dog
  • How old your dog should be before you get a Golden Retriever puppy (and how to introduce them)

But before we get into it, let’s first look at how many people actually get two Golden Retrievers.

two golden retrievers

How Many People Actually Get Two Golden Retrievers

We did a study recently where we asked Golden Retriever owners how many Goldens they currently have.

Here’s what they said:

two golden retriever survey results

(You can see the full Golden Retriever survey results here.)

1 Golden Retriever: 86.4%

2 Golden Retrievers: 10.8%

3 Golden Retrievers: 1.3%

4 Golden Retrievers: 0.8%

5 or more Golden Retrievers: 0.7%

Can you imagine having five Goldens?!

But before you go from one to five, you’ve gotta go from one to two, so let’s look at the pros and cons of having two dogs.

Pros and Cons of Two Golden Retrievers

Sharing life with two Golden Retrievers might seem like heaven on earth.

And while it certainly can be magical, you’ll want to weigh out the pros and cons to assess if having two dogs is right for you at this time.

Pros of Having Two Golden Retrievers

  • The opportunity to bond with two amazing animals
  • Potential for the two dogs to develop a friendship
  • The opportunity for both dogs to engage in social behavior with their own species
  • The joy of watching two dogs play, and the nap time that follows
  • Double the snuggles
  • Double the laughs
  • Double the gratitude that you get to share life with two incredible dogs

Cons of Having Two Golden Retrievers

  • Double the cost of food
  • Double the cost of veterinary care
  • Extra work to ensure both dogs’ needs are met
  • Twice as much shedding to deal with
  • Twice the poop to pick up
  • Twice the time and effort spent training
  • Potential for conflict between the two dogs
  • Added stress of managing two dogs in your home

There are a couple of different scenarios for getting two Golden Retrievers.

First, you might choose to bring home two puppies at once, usually littermates.

Or, you might opt to get one Golden Retriever and then later on add a puppy or another adult Golden.

First, we’ll take a look at bringing home two puppies, then we’ll look at adding a second Golden Retriever if you’ve already got one.

Getting Two Puppies

It’s not uncommon for people to get two littermates, or at least to consider bringing home two puppies.

Perhaps the idea of separating your puppy from their family makes you sad and you think that bringing home two will make it easier for them.

Maybe the breeder suggested that you take two puppies.

Or you think the idea of having two puppies at once seems like double the cuteness and fun, and that you can just get the puppy stage done with both dogs all at once.

There’s also an idea floating around there that if you have two puppies they will keep each other company and tire each other out so it will actually be less work for you than if you only had one puppy.

Are any of these ideas true? We’ll explore them in more detail in a second.

Besides the extra costs of food and veterinary care, there is another major factor to consider if you’re going to get two puppies: littermate syndrome.

If you’re thinking of getting two Golden Retriever puppies you might have heard of littermate syndrome.

Maybe you already brought home a pair of pups and now you’re wondering about littermate syndrome and how you can avoid it.

What is Littermate Syndrome?

Littermate syndrome is when two puppies from the same litter, or two puppies from different litters but similar ages, are raised together and develop problematic behavior issues.

There are several main categories of undesirable behavior that are associated with littermate syndrome: aggression, separation distress, fear of novelty, and lack of human-dog bond.

Aggression

In some cases, you might see that two Golden Retrievers display aggressive behavior towards each other, or toward others, both dog and human.

Often the aggression arises around the time of adolescence or social maturity (6 months to 18 months).

The two dogs might start having more conflict, whereas before they got along without issue.

One dog might start becoming a bully towards the other.

Perhaps intense conflicts break out over toys or bones.

Maybe fights come out of nowhere without any apparent provocation.

You might also see the dogs teaming up against a common “threat” such as another dog or person. 

This can be extremely distressing to witness as an owner, and obviously frightening for the recipient.

Two dogs snarling, barking and lunging at another dog or a person is probably not what you signed up for when you brought home a pair of fluffy Golden puppies.

Separation Distress

Another common result of littermate syndrome is intense separation distress.

This can start much earlier than the aggression discussed above, and even puppies three months or four months old can show distress when separated from their littermate.

Puppies or dogs might start screaming or thrashing around if separated even a short time or distance.

You can imagine how hard this can make life for both you and the dogs.

If one dog needs to go to the vet or have surgery, the other dog will be panicked.

Crating or otherwise confining them separately might be impossible.

Even trying to train them separately could be met with extreme anxiety from your pair of pups.

Fear of Novelty

This one sounds a little odd, but another way littermate syndrome can manifest is through the dogs showing fear of novelty, also known as neophobia.

This can start when the littermates are young, and can worsen as they get older.

They might show strong fear of new people or dogs, as well as new locations, environments or objects.

Neophobia is a tragic issue, and can significantly damage the dogs’ quality of life, as well as the quality of life for you as their owner.

Lack of Human-Dog Bond

Because the two littermates spend so much time together, they may bond more closely with each other than with their human family.

This hyper-attachment with each other can result in two dogs that care way more about each other than you, or what you have to say.

Getting their attention might be a real struggle.

They might blow you off when you call in favor of continuing to wrestle and play.

Littermates may be so preoccupied with each other that they never really develop a social bond with you or your family.

Your two Golden Retrievers may struggle to learn house rules and boundaries, and it can be harder for them to understand how to regulate themselves emotionally.

Training can also be a challenge, as mentally, they are more focused on their sibling.

Having two dogs that don’t care much about you and don’t listen well is pretty disappointing.

After all, isn’t the reason you get a dog so that you can enjoy a loyal companion?

2 golden retriever puppies

Is Littermate Syndrome a Real Thing or a Myth?

It’s important to recognize that littermate syndrome is not a scientifically proven condition.

It’s not a medical diagnosis, which the word “syndrome” might lead one to believe.

There have not been studies that prove it’s a real phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real.

It simply means there haven’t been scientific studies on the topic.

Ask any experienced dog trainer, behavior consultant, or veterinary behaviorist, and they will tell you that littermate syndrome can happen when someone brings two pups home.

And despite this breed being notoriously social, sweet and bonded with their humans, it can happen with Golden Retrievers.

Because there haven’t been any studies done, it’s impossible to say how frequently these issues occur with littermates living in the same home, or within Golden Retrievers.

Bringing home two puppies does not necessarily mean they are doomed to experience littermate syndrome, but it is absolutely something to be mindful of and to proactively avoid it from happening.

What Causes Littermate Syndrome?

Again, there have not been formal studies, but there are some likely factors to which littermate syndrome can be attributed.

Hyper-Attachment

It’s possible for puppy siblings to become extremely attached to each other when they’re being raised in the same home.

You might know two people that have an unhealthy attachment, maybe romantic partners, a parent and child, or friends.

The relationship impedes normal social, emotional, and mental development, and has a negative impact in other areas of their life.

This is exactly what can happen with canine littermates too.

They are missing out on some critical development due to this hyper-attachment.

Behavior like aggression or separation distress may arise out of that unhealthy attachment.

Lack of Individual Attention

Many people that get two puppies think that it will make raising a puppy easier because they’ll have each other.

The thought is that they can entertain each other and tire each other out, which will make your job as the owner easier.

The cost to this is that they are then spending a lot of time together, rather than getting one-on-one time with their owners, which is so crucial to properly raising a puppy.

This lack of individualized attention may contribute to the dogs not closely bonding with their humans.

Letting two pups spend all day every day together without enough solo time and attention could potentially lead to littermate syndrome.

Lack of Training

Training two Golden Retriever puppies at once is nearly impossible!

It will be hectic, frustrating and confusing for both you and the puppies.

In order to effectively teach anything, you will have to dedicate time to work with each puppy individually, which means double the time spent training.

Some people might not have the time to train each puppy one-on-one, or may just not have the desire to put in double the effort.

Lack of training may result in unruly pups that aren’t learning the necessary skills to live peacefully alongside humans.

Training is also an excellent way to bond with your puppy, and so if training is minimal, you will miss out on a crucial opportunity to bond with each pup.

Lack of Proper Socialization

Socialization is critical to raising a confident, well-behaved dog.

The prime time for socialization is before sixteen weeks of age.

What your puppy learns and experiences during these first sixteen weeks of age can have a permanent effect on their temperament and behavior.

Just like with training, socialization needs to be a one-on-one activity. 

Again, this means double the socialization, which is a huge time and energy investment for you.

Each puppy needs to meet new people and new dogs away from the other puppy.

Each puppy needs to visit new environments and have new experiences without their sibling.

Each puppy will need to be walked individually.

If the pups don’t get individualized socialization opportunities, this may create a pair of dogs that do not know how to function without the other.

They may always need their sibling next to them in order to feel okay about the world.

And if they don’t receive adequate socialization, they might develop a fear of novelty.

Lack of one-on-one socialization also leaves a gap in their relationship with you as their owner.

Socialization teaches the puppy that they can trust you to keep them safe and that you’ve got their back.

Learning about the world with you as their guide creates a strong, positive relationship.

Without that foundation, your puppy may choose to take their cues from their puppy sibling, instead of you, which can be very frustrating as they grow up.

How To Avoid Littermate Syndrome

As mentioned previously, littermate syndrome is not a guaranteed outcome if you do bring home two puppies.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for responsible Golden Retriever breeders to keep a couple of puppies from a litter, yet typically breeders do not experience littermate syndrome.

So, it can be done, but it’s not easy.

Even professional trainers who get two puppies at once will tell you that it is a ton of work, and you should fully understand what you’re getting into before you agree to two puppies.

The idea that bringing home two puppies will make your job as their owner easier could not be more wrong.

Properly training, socializing and raising two puppies at the same time is double the work.

The obvious solution to preventing littermate syndrome is to only bring home one puppy.

Life with a single Golden Retriever puppy is plenty busy and you completely avoid the risks associated with littermate syndrome.

You’ll have much more time to bond with your puppy and teach them all they need to know to enjoy a happy life together.

But if you are set on getting two puppies and fully understand the responsibility and risk associated with this, or you already have two, here are some ways that you can prevent littermate syndrome from happening with your pair of pups.

Spend One-on-One Time With Each Puppy

If you have littermates, or even two puppies of similar ages, you’ll need to spend dedicated solo time with each puppy.

This is absolutely crucial to building a strong relationship with your puppies.

Play with each puppy one-on-one.

Go on walks with each puppy individually.

Romp around the yard with them separately.

It’s not that the two puppies can never spend time together, or that you can’t play with two puppies together. 

But what often happens is that they are magnetized to each other and then they aren’t connecting with you.

So to counteract any potential for hyper-attachment, commit to spending one-on-one time with each puppy.

Work on Separate Confinement Skills

When you have two puppies, it can be very tempting to think that they can always keep each other company and that it will make it easier for them when you’re not home.

And yes, while they certainly can keep each other company, if they are always together, they won’t learn how to be okay while apart.

They may become very distressed if they are separated, which might include destructive behavior, barking, peeing or pooping, or even self-injury.

For this reason, it’s critical to help your two puppies learn how to be confined separately.

You’ll at least need two crates, and having a couple of exercise pens on hand can also be useful.

Working on separate confinement skills from an early age will help them understand that it’s just a normal part of life, rather than developing separation distress.

When you work on this in addition to spending one-on-one time with each puppy, you set everyone up for success for the times where one dog needs to go to the vet and the other needs to stay home, for example.

adopt golden retriever puppy and adult golden retriever

Train and Socialize Each Pup Individually

While your pair of pups might be two peas in a pod, they are, in fact, two unique individuals, and should be treated as such.

Each Golden Retriever puppy has their own distinct temperament, strengths, and weaknesses.

Treating the puppies as a unit does them a disservice and might create issues as they mature.

Because of this, it’s recommended to work one-on-one with training and socializing your puppies.

Perhaps one puppy can chill in their crate and practice their confinement skills while you work on training the other puppy.

Puppies learn new things best when they’re introduced in low distraction settings, which helps them be more focused on you and the task at hand.

When the skills are more solid and each puppy fully understands what you’re asking of them, then you can practice with both puppies.

You will likely find that each puppy learns things at different paces, and what was easy for one puppy is harder for the other, and vice versa.

Spending training time with them individually will help you learn about their unique personality so you can help them really shine.

Likewise, socialization should also be done one-on-one.

Socialization is a process of exposing your puppy to the world in a way that builds their confidence and teaches them how to feel and act in various environments.

Introducing your Goldens to new people, other dogs, new locations, new experiences, new surfaces, new sounds, etc., is best done with each puppy individually.

This helps you understand each puppy’s individual temperament, whereas if you only ever take them out as a pair, they might only have confidence because their sibling is with them.

For example, you take one puppy with you on an errand to a local dog-friendly gardening store. 

You notice that they are scared when someone else enters the store with a big dog.

Your puppy cowers and bit and hides behind you.

This gives you great information that you can use to help build your puppy’s confidence around other dogs.

Had you brought both puppies together, it’s possible the puppy wouldn’t have cared so much about that big dog because they had their littermate by their side.

Ideally, you want each puppy learning how to confidently move through the world with you as their guide.

You want them to learn that you are trustworthy and to look to you if they are unsure or scared.

One-on-one socialization is also an excellent way to bond with each puppy as you show them that you’re a qualified guide to life in the human world.

Again, just like with training, it’s not that you can never take them out for socialization together, but those outings must be balanced by individual socialization experiences.

Double the Fun, Double the Trouble

Bringing home two Golden Retriever puppies has the potential to be a highly rewarding experience, or a disaster waiting to happen.

The phrase “littermate syndrome” sort of makes it seem like it’s a disease that is out of your control.

Like it’s inevitable, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

And for this reason, it’s a really misleading name, because there is actually so much you can do to prevent it from happening.

If you are dedicated to putting in the effort to help each puppy mature into a happy, confident, well-behaved dog, it can potentially have a positive outcome.

There is no guarantee that two puppies will develop littermate syndrome, and by the same token, even if you put in all the work, it’s still possible that things could get rocky when they reach social maturity.

If you are hoping that the two puppies will occupy each other, so that it won’t be as much work for you, it’s probably best to only get one puppy for now.

You can always add another puppy to the family when they are more mature and well trained.

And if you already have two pups, it’s going to be a lot of work, but absolutely worth it to give your puppies the best chance of a great life together.

Adding a Second Dog to Your Home

Now let’s take a look at the second option: starting with one Golden and then later on adding another to your family.

This is generally a better way to go about it if you want to have two (or more!) Golden Retrievers.

It allows you time to fully bond with your first dog and focus on their training and socialization before you get a second.

Typically, things will go more smoothly by getting the two dogs with some time in between, but there are certainly considerations to keep in mind to set everyone up for success from the start.

How Old Should My First Dog Be Before Getting a Second Dog?

Usually it’s best to wait until your first Golden is at least two years old before you bring home another one.

By two years old, your dog has reached social maturity and if you’ve been diligent, you’ve established good routines and habits through training.

Keep in mind that whatever undesirable habits your current dog has, it’s likely that the new pup will pick them up too.

Now, no dog is perfect and they all have their little quirks, but if your current Golden loves to bark out the windows at every passerby, just imagine two Goldens engaging in that behavior.

Dogs are social learners and they do learn from each other.

You should feel overall comfortable with what your current dog might teach the newcomer.

Additionally, you’ll have less time to work with your first dog, so any existing unwanted behavior will likely persist or worsen with more of your time focused on the puppy.

That terrible counter-surfing behavior might get way worse now that your attention is split between your dog and the new pup.

And you’ll have less time to spend resolving the issue.

You want to feel happy with where things are at with the current dog.

So it’s less about a specific age and more about being in a place with your dog where you feel confident in bringing in a new pup to the mix.

However, it is generally a good idea to wait until two years old so that you have really formed a positive relationship with your first dog and have good habits in place.

Is it possible to bring home another Golden Retriever when your first one is, say, one year old?

Yes, but it might be more work for you.

While two years old might be an approximate minimum age, it’s also important to consider a maximum age.

If you have an older Golden Retriever, you’ll want to think about how they will cope with a new addition.

How will they feel about a spunky puppy nipping at their paws and bouncing all around them while they’re just trying to relax?

Every dog is different and some older dogs genuinely love interacting with puppies, while others find them to be utterly annoying.

This isn’t to say that you can’t get a new puppy if you have an elderly dog, but it may require more management on your part to keep everyone safe and happy.

golden retriever puppy and adult golden retriever

How to Introduce Two Dogs to Each Other

It’s important to have a strategy for how you will introduce your current dog to your new one, whether it’s a puppy or an adult Golden Retriever.

Simply winging it and seeing what happens can sometimes work out, but it’s best to make a plan so that both dogs feel safe and comfortable.

How Does My Dog Feel About Other Dogs?

It’s good to have an idea of how your dog acts around other dogs (or puppies if you are bringing home a puppy).

Some dogs just adore puppies while others find them repulsive.

If you know your dog can be snarky with other dogs, then you’ll need a more conservative approach with the introduction and integration process.

If your dog is scared of other dogs or puppies and tries to hide, you’ll also need a conservative approach so that you don’t flood your first dog with fear, which will not give them a good first impression.

If your dog loves other dogs, but tends to be wild and exuberant around new friends, then you’ll likely also need a bit of a slower process so that the new addition isn’t overwhelmed by your dog’s energy.

If your dog has positive, but more lowkey feelings about other dogs, then your process might move along at a quicker pace.

Pick a Location

First, decide on where the two dogs will meet for the first time.

This is where knowing your dog is so important because they’re all unique individuals.

If your dog regularly has playdates at your house and is okay with sharing their space with other dogs, then setting up the first meeting at home might be an option.

If your dog isn’t so much a fan of sharing their space with other dogs, or they never have had a chance to do so, it might be a good idea to have them meet on neutral territory.

That way by the time the newcomer is in the house, your older dog is at least aware that they exist and knows their smell.

You’ll want to make sure that your home spaces are cleared of anything that your adult dog might try to guard like toys or bones.

Pick a Time

Sometimes picking up your puppy from the breeder is an adventure in itself with road trips and flights involved.

And that can mean your puppy might get home at a really odd time.

Midnight may not be the ideal time to have your adult dog meet the new baby.

Depending on what time you’ll actually be bringing the puppy home, you might consider having a friend watch your dog for that first night so that you can focus on getting the puppy settled in without worrying about your dog.

Make Sure Your Dogs’ Needs are Met

Set everyone up for success by doing your best to ensure their needs are met.

If either one is “hangry” or bouncing off the walls because they need exercise, it’s best to meet those needs before you introduce them.

This especially applies to your adult dog if you’re bringing home a puppy.

Giving them a nice walk before they meet their new sibling can help your dog feel content and more relaxed when the meeting happens.

First Impressions

Because every dog is so unique, it’s impossible to give exact advice for the actual introduction.

You really need to know your dog and proactively set them up for the most possible success.

A typical progression of interaction goes like this:

  1. Dogs meet and sniff briefly
  2. Walk the dogs parallel to each other
  3. Allow them to interact off-leash (or with leashes dragging)

If you’re at all concerned about either your older dog or the puppy, you can use an exercise pen to offer a layer of security.

You can put the puppy in the exercise pen and let them sniff and say hi through the pen at first, which can give you an idea of how both parties are feeling.

It can help to keep leashes on both dogs, even if you aren’t necessarily holding the leashes, so that you can quickly wrangle them if needed.

It is critical to be observing each dog’s body language to understand how they are feeling and if and when to intervene.

If you’re unsure about how to interpret dog body language, enlist help from a certified professional trainer or a certified dog behavior consultant.

Loose, wiggly, waggy body language is a positive indication.

Signs that a dog is unsure or fearful include tucked tail, cowering, stiff body, hard stare, freezing in place, and growling or snapping.

If the puppy is looking scared because your older dog is throwing out huge play bows, you can calmly pick up your dog’s leash and call your dog away gently to give the puppy some more space.

Or if the puppy is coming on too strong to your more reserved dog, you can use the puppy’s leash to guide them away to help your dog feel more comfortable.

If you are really concerned that your adult dog might react poorly to the puppy, it’s best to put a basket muzzle on them.

While this might seem sad, it can go a long way to keep everyone safe, and is a completely humane precaution to take.

A basket muzzle allows dogs to pant, eat and drink, but prevents teeth from making any contact.

It’s best to take some time to positively train your dog to wear the muzzle, so that they are familiar and comfortable with it when it’s time for the initial meeting.

If you feel a muzzle is necessary, you should also hire a professional trainer to help you facilitate the meeting process.

This is an important moment and it’s not worth jeopardizing the safety and wellbeing of your dog or your new puppy.

Plus, getting professional help is never a bad idea.

2 golden retrievers

How to Integrate a New Dog with Your Dog

Beyond the initial meet and greet, there is the whole process of integrating the new puppy into daily life with your current dog.

Again, this requires some planning and strategy to ensure everyone is safe and happy.

Management Tools

It can help to let them drag light leashes around the house, at least for the first few days, so that you can easily redirect them if needed.

This prevents you from having to manhandle your dog or puppy, which can sometimes make them uncomfortable and stressed.

It is unrealistic to expect your dog and puppy to spend all day everyday together without issues.

Your puppy will get overexcited.

They might decide your dog’s ears are their new favorite chew toy.

Your dog might be too exuberant and you will worry they will squish the baby.

Your adult dog may be annoyed by the puppy’s antics.

Use management strategies like crates, gates, leashes, and pens to give them separate spaces.

Meal Times and Toys

You’ll want to feed them separately so that neither feels the need to get defensive toward the other about food.

Your adult Golden might not be too keen on this new punk puppy trying to lick up kibble crumbs while they are still eating dinner, so have a plan for keeping them separate during meal times to prevent any resource guarding issues.

Similarly, things like toys and bones can become points of contention, depending on the dog.

Some puppies are pretty clueless and will waltz up and try to take a delicious bully stick right out of an adult dog’s mouth.

Or maybe they want to just sniff the toy your older dog is playing with.

Your dog might move away from, growl, snap, bark or even bite your puppy in an effort to communicate that they don’t appreciate this rude behavior.

Keeping an eye out for these situations, and running interference when needed, can go a long way to get your two-dog household off to a good start.

Play Times

Always monitor play times to ensure that each dog is safe and having fun.

Giving frequent breaks, especially at first, can help promote a healthy play style that doesn’t tip over into play that is too rough or intense.

You can call them over periodically for some treats and then give them a little down time before allowing them to go back to playing.

Alone Time

Any time you cannot be actively supervising the two dogs, confine them separately.

If you’ll be leaving to run errands, or even just take a quick shower, do not leave the two dogs loose together in the house.

Again, use like crates, gates, and pens to give to securely confine each dog so that no mishaps can occur while you’re not watching.

Separate Spaces

Provide them both with their own comfy places to relax.

They may eventually enjoy snuggling together in the same bed, but don’t expect that to happen right away.

You might find that your puppy struggles to settle with your other dog around, or vice versa.

Giving them each their own space, using a gate, crate or pen, can help them learn how to coexist peacefully without constantly erupting into play.

Expect Some Bumps in the Road

This can be a rocky process sometimes, and just know that is normal.

You might find that your existing dog picks up a new bad habit when the puppy comes home.

You may find yourself in tears wondering if you’ve made a big mistake adding another dog to your family.

Remember that you have plenty of time to integrate the new pup into your home with your current dog.

Do not rush the process!

Instead, focus on meeting each dog’s needs and observing their body language so you can understand how they are feeling.

It’s a massive adjustment for your current dog, the puppy, and you, so be patient.

There is always the disappointing possibility that your current dog just cannot cope with another dog in the home.

Some dogs truly do best being the only dog in the family.

Getting help from a certified dog behavior consultant can help you evaluate your situation and process making a hard decision if necessary.

Training and Socializing with a Two-Dog Household

Just as was discussed in the littermate syndrome section, you’ll want to spend dedicated time with the new pup for training and socialization.

Your older dog might want to involve themselves in the puppy’s training, so you may need to use a gate or crate so that you and the puppy can focus without distractions.

Work on teaching the puppy new skills without your other dog, and then you can add them in as a distraction while you continue to strengthen their skills.

It’s okay to bring along your older dog for some fun socialization outings, but you want your puppy to build their confidence with just you at their side as well.

It’s important for your puppy to learn how to be confident and well-behaved in public with or without your other dog present.

Balance all this new attention on the puppy with some quality one-on-one time with your adult Golden Retriever. 

They used to be the solo light of your life, and now they are sharing you with a new puppy.

While the puppy naps, perhaps you go for a walk at the park or hit up a favorite trail for a fun hike.

This can be a hard adjustment, so you’ll want to give them plenty of special time with you doing things you both enjoy.

Twice as Nice

should you get 2 golden retrievers

There is a lot to love about life with two Golden Retrievers.

If you already have one and you’re thinking about getting another, it really is double the love and joy that you’ve experienced with your first.

It’s also double the headaches, stress and late night emergency vet trips.

It can really help to have realistic expectations before you become a two-Golden family.

Have a plan, and a plan B.

Remember that it’s not always going to be rainbows and sunshine, there may be some tough moments, and that doesn’t mean you have bad dogs, or that you’re a bad owner.

It’s just the reality of adjusting to life with two dogs.

The key is to be consistent with proactively avoiding negative interactions and unwanted behavior, while fostering positive interactions and behavior.

Do you have two Golden Retrievers? Would you recommend it?

Let us know down in the comments!

And if you liked this article, check out the ultimate guide to raising a Golden Retriever puppy.

P.S. Getting a Golden Retriever puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook.

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Alisa Healy is a professional dog trainer in the Chicago suburbs, with a wide range of training experience from shelters to in-home training to dog sports. She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and is passionate about helping people and dogs live fulfilling, harmonious lives together.

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