New puppy question

Our newest family member is Toby, a nine week old standard poodle. It’s his fifth day with us, and so far everything is going perfectly. He’s playful, smart, calm, and affectionate, and he’s only peed in the house once.

One of Toby’s brothers, Cooper, also has a new family, who are friends of ours. DW and I picked up both puppies last week, and they shared a crate for the four hour drive home, during which they played, slept, and generally got along well.

We plan on getting the dogs together occasionally, but don’t know if it’s better to reunite them soon, or to keep them apart for a while before they’re reintroduced to each other.

On one hand, I want to give them time to forget their old canine family and fully bond with their new human families. On the other hand, I want them to retain a brotherly connection.

Any thoughts on how long to keep them apart?

I don’t think it matters that they are literally related. I would treat it like you would introduce any other puppy. I recall that puppies should be socialized with other dogs but we had to wait to do puppy kindergarten until some vaccines were given I think.

I think it’s fine if they visit together and play. They live separately most of the time which should help them bond with their human families. When safe you might want to have your dog socialize with other dogs as well.

You can and should definitely socialize them now. When D was fostering puppies she always fostered in pairs for socialization, plus it helps tremendously when they entertain each other.

I believe the only (slight) danger of raising siblings together is that over a long period of time there’s a risk that they can become only socialized to each other, leading to them become wary/unfriendly to other dogs. That doesn’t seem like a risk at all when they’re living in different homes.

Regarding your concern about human bonding, I think that’s a non-issue. Even if you were raising both pups, they’d still bond to their humans. So long as you play with them and raise them appropriately that’s never a concern.

The only thing I’d be cautious about is making sure the other family is taking recommended precautions until the pups have all their shots. I’ve seen people walking little puppies in public before and I worry about them getting parvo.

Congrats on the new puppy! Our last dog was a standard poodle. So smart!

I was thinking about when D was fostering and realized that almost all the puppies she fostered, usually 2 at a time, were siblings. They were great for entertaining (mutually harassing in most cases) each other while in the pen.

During playtime they were always super happy to play with people, and competed for affection like you’d expect. So no worries with siblings having issues bonding with their humans.

One sibling pair was really close. Unfortunately the sister got adopted out first and her brother was so heartbroken he barely ate for the next couple days. The shelter sent over another puppy to keep him company and that really seemed to help him recover.

Congrats on your new puppy! It’s absolutely fine for them to visit together, as often as you wish.

(longtime owner/handler/trainer of many dogs, 20-year professional writer on dog topics)