As a rule with Shibas, I tend to agree that they go well in pairs. The exception, however, is puppies. Trust me, from personal experience, avoid the temptation to add a second puppy while puppy the first is still in training pants (<9 months). Yes, they tire each other out which is great, but here is a list of not so great things:
- Similar birth ages = multiple geriatric pets passing away around the same time = compounded grief and end of life medical expenses back to back
- Potty training regression, x2
- Twice the furniture destruction
- 1st year is most expensive, now double it
- For the lazy owners, now you have two bored puppies that can drive you nuts
- Lack of time or money to take both pups to the proper classes or to provide them both with proper training will result in…regression of basic manners
Under 9 months is puppy’s infancy thru adolescent phase where they require a great deal of “mom” time, learning basic skills, and socializing. 9-24 months is an equally important mental maturation phase where a dog/human team would work on refining manners, refining training skills, learning precision in tasks, and a great time to work a dog earnestly in some sort of competitive hobby like Rally, Agility or Flyball to get them addicted to working and learning. Dividing attention among too many young dogs makes these things way harder to accomplish.
In our pack, the older dogs have a set of skills and behaviors that they have learned from even older dogs, which makes them great pack members and house pets. The integration of a new or very young dog into this structure becomes super easy. The new puppy learns from the adults where to pee, how to behave in a group, what’s ok to lay on, how to eat together without stealing or fighting, and how to share toys far quicker and with greater lasting effect than what I could teach them. I can only imagine how it would be without an older, reliable dog to step in and school the pups from time to time. A Lord of the Flies scenario is what comes to mind.