What Is The Best Age Gap Between Dogs?

two Labrador friends

The best age gap between dogs is between two and six years. Buy a pair of puppies is tempting, but early bonding, training and socialization require a lot of individual focus. If you can’t give your new puppy your full attention, they can become more attached to their canine friend than their human family.

Likewise, your adult dog needs to be comfortable with puppies, and not so elderly they have extra care needs.

Should I get two dogs close together in age?

Recently I received a question from the owner of a four month old puppy. The lady in question was thrilled with her dog and considering a new puppy as a friend.

She had heard that a close age gap can cause some top dog issues. And wanted to hear my thoughts on the subject.

The best age gap for you?

Every family is unique. Dynamics and the dogs are all different. I cannot tell you that you’ll have an easy ride, or that the new additions to your family will be a disaster. I can only tell you about probabilities.

And point out that there are certain problems that commonly arise when two puppies are the same age, or quite close in age.

Should I get two puppies from the same litter?

Some people think it is a great idea to get two puppies at once.  After all, they will be company for one another. You will struggle with this unless you are an experienced dog trainer,  or very lucky. 

Not especially at the beginning, when two puppies are company for one another, but later, as they need training and guidance.

What about staggered puppies?

You can stagger puppies, so one arrives a few weeks before another from a different litter. So one puppy will be half grown, whilst the other is very small. Frustratingly, the dynamics of this two dog family are potentially even more challenging than with litter brothers.

Size and strength of puppies

Two same age puppies are similar size and weight. They have similar reserves of energy, and like to play in a similar way.

A five or six month old puppy plays in different way from a two month old puppy. Your six month old puppy’s energy reserves and strength are far greater than your eight week old puppy’s.

Size difference alone can be an issue when puppies of the same age but different breeds, play together. But when there is an age gap too, the problems are exacerbated.

Emotional maturity of puppies

Adult dogs are usually tolerant of puppies.  They have an unwritten rule that puppies under four months old can do pretty much what they please.

The older dog will show an awareness of the puppy’s vulnerability and adjust their behavior accordingly. The adult dog will allow the puppy to bite and swing on their ears without retaliating.

A five or six month old puppy does not have the maturity to do this.  They are often accidental bullies with no boundaries. The small puppy will be repeatedly bowled over, and find the older puppy intimidating.

This can effect the smaller puppy’s personality,  and it means that the puppies need to be separated and supervised a lot of the time.

Bonding with two puppies

If the two dogs are the same breed,  the size difference will become less of an issue as the weeks go past, and the younger puppy grows.  Unfortunately, there are other problems that now arise.

In many cases a small puppy will bond fiercely to his bigger, rougher, older brother.   So fiercely that he may have little time for his human friend.   This is always a risk in a two dog household, but is more so when the older dog is still a pup and so willing to engage the younger dog in long bouts of play.

House-training two puppies

If you get a new puppy before your older puppy is six months old,  there is a chance that he will regress in his house training.

Small puppies have accidents, and dogs like to wee where older dogs have wee’d and poo’d.  Your older puppy’s cleanliness in the house has not been very long established,  so problems in this respect are a possibility.

Two puppies will need two crates

Most Labradors have not grown out of the chewing stage until they are well over a year old.

This means that your older puppy will probably need crating(paid link) at night, and when you leave the house.  If you put the new puppy in the older puppy’s large crate, he will probably wee in it.

New puppies need small crates.  This means you will need two crates in your home.  Unless you have plenty of floor space, this could be a problem for you

Obedience training two puppies

Early training has to be done in a one-to-one situation until the youngest puppy is able to begin coping with distractions.

You cannot train a six month old puppy with a two month old hanging onto his ears and biting his tail.  You cannot train important behaviors like walking nicely on a leash, with two dogs at once.

If you have a great deal of spare time and are happy to spend much of it on separate dog training sessions, then this may not be an issue for you. But in some families, it can mean that neither dog gets properly trained.

What is the best age gap between dogs?

The right age gap between dogs is two to six years.

At over two years old your adult dog should be pretty well trained. A two year gap also gives the older dog a chance to reach maturity, and develop patience and tolerance for young puppies.

Watching an adult dog gently play with and become fond of, a new puppy is a real pleasure. And one that is worth waiting for.

But elderly dogs can become irritable with young puppies, so it is best not to wait too long. The ideal age gap between dogs strikes a balance.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)

Enjoying your time with one puppy

Enjoy your first puppy for at least the first twelve months, and don’t be in too much of a rush to bring another dog into the family. Your dog won’t be lonely or find it hard to make friends later. Dogs adapt to living with humans and cross the communication barrier between us. This is easier to achieve when your dog is an only dog for a while.

Your dog doesn’t need a playmate, he needs your attention and to form a deep and unshakeable bond.

Short periods of play with tolerant friendly older dogs from time to time, will ensure that he grows up knowing how to be a dog. When he is older, and trained, he will be a much better mentor and friend for you next pup.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. Hi Pippa! I am really having a hard time deciding if my 8 year old male black lab could handle a new little female yellow lab. Mick my dog is really spoiled. He still thinks he’s a pup sometimes. He has so many excellent qualities. I want a pup to possibly learn a thing or two from him. I planned on getting a female just cause of territorial issues and companionship. No breeding!! My 2 daughter’s are in high school now and just don’t play as much with him. So a friend may be nice. We live out in the country and have lots of room to play. My older daughter thinks I will ruin Mick. This new pup will change him and he won’t be the same. Help me please!!!

  2. We have cracker he is 11 and just got 9 week old dexter bought him home and racket is very grumpy he has growled and gone for him very quickly , pup ran away very frightened made its of noise. The pup doesn’t have to do any thing other than get too close . We have made a fuss off both got a cage so they are separated . Next morning said hello to both let cracker out first . Then pup , then took cracker out for a run . Seemed better they said hello both laid sleeping and mooching about . Then cracker went over to sniffed his bum then barked at pup . We have put pup in the cage again , think this is slow progress . I’m quite nervous for the pup I really didn’t expect cracker to be like this any help would be appreciated

  3. Sorry forgot to say that dewfinitely will advice to have a older dog before getting a puppy as it is so much easier to train them separately and the older is such an important for the younger one!

  4. Rufio is now 6 and half and Nala is 3 and 3 months. Rufio for the firsat year of his life has been the most beautiful, happy and playful dog you could wish for! Then he became aggressive for fear after various attacks and since then has been playing only with very few well known dogs. We happened to be offered a puppy as a present from a good friend of my husband who also was at the time an experienced registered american breeder. We thought a lot about it and decided to gho ahead after consultation with our trainer to make sure that for Rufio would have been fine(by that time he was hardly playing with any dog as we moved house) as long as we made the approach well. We got Nala unfortunately a bit too late but she was coming from abroad, so she was already 4 and half months when she arrived…with all the precautions and maybe a bit too much crating for her during the day mostly as we were worried Rufio will hurt her things went from good to wonderful and immediately by the time she was 6/7 months it was clear they were going to have a great time! She was a very bully monster puppy but Rufio was incredibly patient and caring and only once growled very badly at her without touching her(she screamed as he was killing her!)just because she decided to try forcibly to remove the raw hid from his mouth! She immediately looked at him as his older friend and went to sleep closer and closer to him and eventually he remained still enjoying her company and they started to sleep together on the same bed!Cutest image!!Now he long for her company, and when she goes and lick his ears/eyes he absolutely loves it! they have always been playing together like mad since when she was 6/7 months and still do today. Nala is definitely the boss but always look up to him as guidance when out…We would love a 3rd and who knows?! Go for it!

  5. Our black lab Lily was 2 when we bought home poppy our golden lab. At first Lily didn’t want anything to do with poppy and gave her a wide berth, after a couple of days Lily accepted her and they have been inseparable since. We found poppy so easy to train as she followed Lily who seemed to show her what was acceptable behaviour and what was not. They get on so well. Lily is three and a half now and poppy is eighteen months they play lovely together both in the house and on the field with their ball. They both respect each other’s space when they need that time on their own. They sleep together (they have a bed each but prefer to be together). We love and adore them both and would not hesitate to do it all again.

  6. Our female black lab Remi was 4 when we got her 8 week old brother black lab Reilly (same father). She was patient with him and playful but also likes her space so he learned quick when he pushed his luck. Sometimes they snuggle up together but Remi is an independent kind a gal so she’s quick to move if he’s invading her space.

    Getting Reilly when we did seems to have been perfect timing so I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

  7. I have a 5 year old yellow Labrador we would consider getting another one but at the moment it’s not viable and if we did get a young one the one thing that would never happen is putting it in a cage the one thing that should be caged is criminals

  8. I have 2 (Lab) boys. They are from the same parents. They are exactly 11 months apart.
    AND, they are from the 1st and 3rd litter! I know, I know! I do not need to be lectured.
    I do not condone nor support this type of breeding!
    I had no idea the person I got them from was using their dog as a cash cow!
    I do not have any further contact with them because of this fact.
    This was a rare opportunity to have brothers.
    Luckily, both boys seem to be healthy and happy 3 & 4 year old 90 pounds babies.
    They are inseperable and best buds. The older one seemed to help train the other by example.
    I don’t think the younger one messed in the house but once and wasn’t very destructive as
    he had his older brother to play with. If I had to do it over again, I certainly would! Love my Labs!

  9. My black lab mix was 7 when we brought home our 8 week old pure bred lab. At first we separated the two by a gate so they could get to know each other before full exposure. Slowly we integrated the puppy and my older dog. She appropriately corrected him when he went out of line. He is 6 months now and those corrections are few and far between. He follows her everywhere and mimics her actions. I wish my older dog was 6 when we got the puppy. She is beginning to have arthritis in her back. She is still playful with the pup but we pick up the slack when she is resting. He respects her. But he is now trying to be more independent. He tries to push his way in for attention. We are monitoring that. He will learn we love them both. But since day 1 We have always greeted her first, treated her first, etc. So she knows she is loved. The one big thing I agree about the age difference is the larger bills that come as the dog ages. Caring for 2 elderly dogs at once is beyond my pocket. Also losing two dogs close together would kill me.

  10. You also have to consider what happens when two pups the same age get older. If you lose two dogs really close together it’s really hard. I thought it was interesting that the article didn’t touch on this.

    My family has always had labs spaced about 4 to 5 years apart and have never had any trouble with training or competing for attention!

  11. I have a six year old girl and want a eight week old girl pup Bella is well trained and pray she will adapt to a sister Bella is dosile and has no interest in other dogs will I have a problem

  12. When our last dog, a Cairn Terrier, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge we were not going to get another dog. That lasted about a month – never been without a dog! We decided to find a yellow Lab — found a breeder and when looking at the website decided to get 2. They are amazing — first thing our vet remarked to us was “What were you thinking!” Max and Lucy are great dogs, we have never had issues with either one. Of course there was the initial chewing stage when anything was fair game to them, including the wooden posts on our deck or any shoes left in their area, oh, and a couple of pairs of sunglasses carelessly left where they could be reach. Lesson learned! They were easy to house break (relatively speaking) – since both of us are at home all the time housebreaking was no problem. Took them to puppy pre-K which helped a lot. Both are crate trained and love going into their crates when we leave the house or at night – never, have used the crates as punishment. We made sure to socialize them with other dogs and people — they are favorites at the local dog park that we go to and people are amazed at how well they behave — they are now 30 months old. From comments we get from people we realize that we are lucky with these two. We did read after we brought them home that getting two was not a good idea. too late, we had fallen in love with both. They are not perfect – Lucy is a constant “counter surfer” – but for the most part they are the best dogs we’ve ever had. So smart and learn easily — luckily both love treats so most of our training is rewards based (rewarding for behaviours that we want to reinforce). Squirt bottle is used to stop any bad behaviours. We LOVE our labs!!

  13. Our black lab, Lofton, was 7 when we brought 2 month old Rufus home – another black lab. Lofton had trouble with his joints and hips, making him a little unsteady on his feet. The puppy was a little overwhelming at times. After about a year, I could not walk them together safely. Rufus, who has always been physical – leaning and pushing affectionately, would “playfully” (almost spitefully) run into Lofton’s back end, easily bowling him over. Gradually, Lofton got less and less attention; Whenever Lofton got attention, Rufus pushed his way in to be noticed.

    Lofton became withdrawn, staying in his kennel most of the time. By the 2nd year, Lofton was not the same dog, and I thought we had made a big mistake. He developed huge fatty deposits on his chest that impeded walking, and large skin tags. One was removed surgically, the other became inflamed and open. All he wanted to do was lay around. We actually took him to the vet to put him down at one point because he seemed so miserable, but we just couldn’t do it.

    After that, we took more time with him every day, making sure to divide the affection equally and let Lofton know that he was still a loved, important member of the family. We took charge and stopped letting Rufus bully his way between Lofton and us. Now we have them trained to sit side by side and “get their lovies” every morning before breakfast, and they have learned that we love them both. Rufus is realizing he doesn’t need to compete, and Lofton no longer acts like he doesn’t belong. He has become more frisky, lost about 15 lbs, and seems to have a new lease on life. Last time we had to board them, they shared a large kennel, and got along very well. They are always together now. We learned that it is very important to care for each of them. Now, it just wouldn’t seem right to have only one

  14. My 2 dogs are different breeds but, I think your age gap assessment is spot on. I had a 3.5 y.o. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when we got our Lab puppy who is now almost 18 mos old. They get along famously. My Cavy immediately took to the Lab like a mother hen. To this day if my Lab is kenneled and the Cavy is free to roam she just lays down next to the kennel. Sweet babies. I’m sure the maturity of my Cavy helped a lot when we went from a one to a two dog family.

  15. Our labs are almost 12 and 4 1/2. I think we waited too long to get the 2nd. Our older guy is a real gentleman but the younger female is crazy but she loves our boy to death! We also have to watch them when they are outside as the young one will sometimes have these fits of running when she sees the pups behind us and will run right into our older guy if I’m not protecting him. Also, they are both really into fetching the ball but I don’t want the older guy running so much anymore so I really need to take them out separately for ball time. Our older guy is in great physical shape, just don’t want him tearing his acl or breaking a hip. I don’t know what we will do when he is gone as she is so attached to him! But we’re getting older and don’t know if I want another dog. Have had 4 labs over 30 years, loved them all but I’m Already retired and my husband has 3 years left to work.

  16. Great advice ! I had a golden (9) and added a black lab. The golden did a fair amount of growling and when the lab didn’t get the message I intervened. Fast forward a a few years and the golden passed because of cancer. The lab became an excellent foster dad to pups and dogs of all ages. When a yellow mix came through I could see that they were meant to be together. Now they both foster together and recently became big brothers to a Great Dane pup. They are 6 and 4 and have been very patient with her.

  17. I had a female year old black lab border collie mix when my kids were little and then I got a female choc lab 8 wks old when the black one was 5 1/2. They were best friends. A year ago last January we lost the black lab at 11 1/2. It was very hard for us including the other dog. I had always loved Labs but always wanted a lap dog especially a yorkie. So 5 months after she passed an opportunity to get a free Male 3/4 yorkie 1/4 chihuahua mix pup from my nephews gf that I just couldn’t say no to. I wasn’t quite positive my heart was ready and if the small dog was a good fit for my huge lab of a dog lol but we went for it. Turns out we got the pup on our 22nd anniv. and it ended up being the day my grandmother passed away. He was and is a great cuddler. He just turned a year in April and is 8 lbs. and my choc is 6 1/2 years and 85 lbs. My yorkie can be a bit active with her sometimes but she takes it well. I don’t know what my yorkie (Buddy or Buddington) would do one day without my Lab (Chloe). ?❤️?

  18. I think you are spot on in your article above. There needs to be a gap between the dogs of a few years. I have 4 labs, age 9,8,7 and 2. The eight year old took over as alpha when the last alpha passed away, the 9 year old is timid, and now the 7 year old is bucking for the alpha spot. However, they are all accepting of the younger dog. They let her know when it is ok to play, but when they want to sleep, they let her know that too. Having three dogs one year apart can create issues both when they are pups and as they get older. I didn’t do a good job of staggering. It just worked out that way, as one went to heaven a new one shows up at my house. I let God do the timing. I won’t have that issue in the future. I don’t think my wife will let me have 4 labs ever again. That is a lot of dog! Think of trying to take all 4 to the vet at the same time by yourself. That is an adventure!!!! Anyway, back to the subject matter at hand. A couple of dogs is always better than one in my opinion. They are pack animals by nature. BUT, sometimes they don’t get along, especially if you mix breeds of the same age dog. I found this out the hard way. We had a lab that didn’t like a basset hound. It wasn’t pretty. They were the same age. The lab was not forgiving at all.

  19. Our labs are 7.5 years apart. We brought our new puppy home in January. Our older lab has tolerated the new puppy very well and seems to have more energy than he did before, and has actually lost a few pounds! They really enjoy playing together! It has been a very easy transition from a one dog to a two dog household. Both of our labs are male and we haven’t had an any issues, as our older lab is very tolerant and adapts very well to new surroundings and changes.

  20. I have 4 dogs in total. And of the 2 labs they are mom and daughter. 5 years difference in age. It’s gone very well but the baby, who is 1 is best friend’s with my 14 year old schnauzer. The other is 1 & 1/2 years younger than the mama lab and they are best buddies. It really depends on the dogs disposition.

  21. Ours are 7.5 years apart. They’ve been good companions since I brought the youngest home 6 years ago. We also brought a 12 year old into the mix 2 years ago when a family member passed and the harmony continues to exist. Socialization and training are key.

  22. Hi, very good article. I work as a volunteer in an animal welfare organization, not full time but only when there is an emergency or when they need an extra hand. My question is can I adapt a 3 year old Labrador?? Well I do love dogs but I’m lil hesitating because the owner let the male lab because they couldn’t watch the dog properly but after leaving at our place another person adapted this lab with other doberman and small lab dog but returned this 3 year old lab dog.. Because he says it actually scratched on his hands. Now I’m in dilemma can I adapt?? Will that aggressive behavior be gone if trained now??

    Any suggestion would be appreciated!

    Thank you

  23. Hi, I have been very interested to read all comments about have two Labradors. Our beautiful boy, Marley, will be 4 in February. His mum has just had another litter and we have decided to get another male and have called him Dexter. He will be 8 weeks in February when we should be able to bring him home. My husband and I are both in our sixties and are very excited about having two dogs in the family. I have read different opinions about keeping same-sex dogs but hope that Marley and Dexter will have a long and happy life together. Marley is very well behaved and gets on great with other dogs at home and when we go out for walks. He is very laid back and hopefully will be a well-loved ‘big brother’.

  24. There is three and a half years between our girls. Different personalities means the younger one is top dog, but she also really loves the older one, often wanting to sleep with her instead of her own bed. They virtually never argue, and it’s really apparent that they are ‘sisters’ when they are running free together and just love to play together. If there are other dogs around they’ll play with them too but you can tell they are from the same family. The younger one isn’t quite so obedient as the older one, maybe because she didn’t have so much one on one training.

  25. Hi…very interesting…I have Rufio who is choc lab entire and 5 and and 2 months old, a reactive dog for fear as he has been attacked few times in his first year of life, and a black girl not spayed now 1 year and 10 months, so nearly 3 years apart. We took Nala when she was 4 month but form a very good breeder and were told she was very good nature. It took at the beginning some time to get them used to each other and with careful guidance from Rufio beahviourist things have gone pretty smoothly and Nala has proved to be a very good asset for Rufio behaviour and has given him the chance to play happily/crazily with another dog! he has been amazingly patient and never never once bit her even though she was and still is a very crazy puppy, he hardly growls at ther and whatever he has she will take and he always give in…she goes always closer to him and after the first year he now never goes away when she approches. We rarely have the scene of them sleeping on top of each other apart from inside the car, but they sleep always on the same sofa together so they are close enough.The gap was perfect and found that whatever you said about the maturity of an adult dog was really true even if Rufio was not very socialised because of his problems, he has an incredible sensitive good nature with people and everyone, animal or not, who is in pain or any form of disability or suffering, so maybe this has helped as well. We are thinking of getting maybe a 3rd one when Nala will be around 3 so Rufio will be 6 or just a bit over.

  26. We left it 2 years between our first chocolate Labrador and our 2nd a Black lab, there have been no issues and all is well. Merlin our Chocolate Lab was well established and confident in his position and Toby loves having an older friend to play with and take him on adventures.

    The gap is right and they are great company for each other.

  27. This is a really great post – thank you. My puppy is 4 months and I had had those exact thoughts re a playmate and lonely and have been considering another dog. I’m now going to wait until he is 2! Thanks again

  28. we have a 14 week old female boxer and a 16 week old male lab. other than their boisterous fighting/playing…we have had no issues. the boxer is more of the instigator in play then the lab. they do get a bit antsy if one leaves without the other, but i think it is important to not have them do everything together. the boxer is much better at potty training. has maybe had 2 accidents in the house..the lab…just not getting the potty training at all.

  29. My husband and I have two labs. We got our first lab in 2007 and he was 6 months old. He was part border collie as well and was extremely smart. When he reached a year, we decided to get another 6 month old lab puppy. Not the best idea. They got along ok for the most part other than the first night the puppy was in the house. She went near our other dogs water bowl and he pretty much jumped on her. That was the only incident we ever had with them. We had to move and the dogs had less area for running and playing. The older dog was now 3 years old and becoming more difficult to handle because he needed more exercise then he was getting. Eventually, by the time he was 5 he started attacking our female. He would not let her in the bedroom at night or in the living room if we were in there watching tv. He became down right mean to her but was still very loveable with us. Eventually, we realized he just needed more exercise then we were going to be able to give him. We were fortunate enough to find a great home for him at the beach and he is much happier now and even has a brother that is a yellow lab. When our female lab was about 5 we got a yellow lab, she is black. The puppy was 6 weeks old. She was absolutely wonderful with this puppy. She treated it like it was her puppy. When outside she would play gently with him and you could watch her teaching him things. It was the cutest thing ever. Now the puppy is 2 1/2 and she is 7 1/2. She has some arthritis problems and hip dysplasia. She really can’t do the tackling and rolling anymore. They both still want to play together but we have to watch that it is just running no tackling. She weighs 80 lbs. and is an english lab so she is short and stocky, where our male is 100 lbs. and is 1/2 english and 1/2 american. He is very tall yet stocky. 5 years apart worked great for our two dogs and would be even better if the older one didn’t have the health issues she has.

  30. I adopted 2 Labrador litter mates from an amazing rescue and they are now 4 years old and very healthy, but I worry because the one is so attached and cannot function without his brother within his site. They are both well socialized, happy, friendly labs who love other dogs, but I worry about the one and was thinking about getting another puppy while my two are just 4yr old and still very playful. I have a nice size yard, but work a full day so I won’t be able to spend all day with the puppy like I did with my other 2… The rescue had a liter of 9 puppies that are now 7 weeks old, I have had my eye on one that is the mellow one, a male puppy and my current 2 are both males, both submissive. I really want to adopt the new puppy, just worried about my lack of time

  31. We just said goodbye to our 16 year old lab. Our 3 year old lab is so lonely. Should I get a new puppy or wait?
    Thank you.

  32. I had a four month old lab, Duke, when I had to put down my 11 year old Shepard lab mix Max. My lab became immediately depressed and did nothing but lay around or look for Max. I decided to get another puppy and it just so happened that Dukes mom was expecting. We got a female from this litter when Duke was 9 months old. They are now 4 and 5 and with the exception of the jealousy issue they are great!

  33. We had always been a one dog family until about 1.5 years ago. Already experienced lab owners (first lived to 16, second was 3.5 years at the time) we took in what we believe is a Lab/GSP mix (she was dumped in the woods at about 6 weeks old). My adult lab being 3.5 years old when we brought home the baby has worked out PERFECTLY. Kayla (the older) was already well trained, well manner, settled into routine at our home (we had her since 8 weeks)… she has been VITAL in teaching Ellie (the younger) how dog life works and how life in our home works. Ellie was potty trained in no time (Kayla took awhile lol), was crate-free earlier than Kayla, absorbed Kayla’s actions like a sponge. Kayla was also important in teaching Ellie “how to dog.” As humans, we CAN’T teach them proper behavior between dogs. Kayla had already learned these rules from her older playmates and has successfully taught them to Ellie. Personally, I would want one dog to be at least 3 years old before bringing home a new puppy. In any case, bringing home a second puppy is challenging and the more experience you have with dogs in general, the better you are going to make out.

  34. I’like have to cross fingers and toes. We have a 7 month girl and added a 5mth girl a few weeks ago. The sleep in crates in different rooms and attend different puppy classes. During the day the dleep on the same sofa. They play fight all the time. I hope they’ll grow up ok and I’m worried when the both come into season as I’ve heard they can become aggressive. They will be spayed After first season. 7mth old is really well behaved so is the younger girl. They know I’m in charge and when I shout ‘game over’ if it gets to boisterous (not aggressive). Any bios to keep an even keel?

  35. could do with a bit of advice actually regarding my daughters two labs one is 12 and the other 3. The older lab is slowing down pretty quick and is getting very wobbly on his legs he has coped well with a boisterous puppy and has always been top dog. However the 3 year old seems to have cottoned on to his failing health and has taken to fighting with him we think for top dog status and things have got quite nasty… Both are entire males. We were advised that maybe castration would help the younger dog but another vet has said we have left this too late now and it will not cure his aggression – do you think this is the case – do you have any advice we are at the end of our tether and having to separate them. Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Jenny, if your vet is not confident that castration will help, it is now possible to carry out a temporary ‘chemical’ castration to see if that improves things. I suggest you ask your vet about this.

  36. Our border terrier Lexii was 4 when we bought our lab Ruby & I believe this was ideally the tight time. Previous to that she was far too boisterous (although trained I don’t think she was ready for another dog in the house) & leaving it to get more mature years really helped to train Ruby too!! Lexii was a great role model id totally agree in my experience to look at getting the second pooch after the first one is 2 years plus 😉

  37. Just got our new Puppy Lab 5 weeks ago and our older lab is 6 in January. The decibel level has increased but our older dog is very playful and tolerant with the newbie ! Our older dog is the perfect lab and is also a calming influence. Really lovely walking the two of them x

  38. Whoops…..Pippa. If you can fix the typo in my comment???? Woofy is our male. Willow is our SECOND female. Sorry. I’d like to say (since I have this chance!) that we find your web-site absolutely helpful and relevant. Thank you for your extensive efforts!

  39. I have a beautiful five year old named Sadie Sue. She was joined by Woofy Wags when she was 2 1/2. We are picking up our third female, Willow Rose tomorrow. The 2 1/2 year age gap has been absolutely perfect. Each had their own special time as a pup with us and matured enough to be tolerant of the new addition. My husband and I are aspiring breeders and have been very careful to educate ourselves as much as possible so that our labs would be happy and secure. ;0)

  40. Hallo Pippa!

    We have a 10 month old female lab that suffers from seperation anxiety and gets over excited when seeing or are around other dogs. We are taking her to obedience training, but she gets very distracted by the other dogs.

    We are now considering getting a new puppy (also a lab) as a companion, but are not sure if when choosing a new puppy if we should pick a high energy or meduim energy puppy seeing our puppy is a very high energy puppy. Please advise.

  41. We have two labs that we got at the same time. They are sisters. The oldest one and the youngest one of the litter. They are best friends and my greatest joy! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  42. I got my 2nd pup when my oldest Lab was 2 and a half. It was difficult for the first few months and l did start to regret it. As time went on, the became the best of buddies and were never without each other. I lost my old girl in December and the wee one is missing her so much. Thought about getting a play mate for Kaga but she’s 7 with bad hips and a bit grumpy with over excited dogs. We’ll spoil her and give her all the attention she wants… xx

  43. I have done it both ways. My eldest two was 2 when I got my second, then they were 8 and 6 when I got my next one. He is now 2 and I have just got my 4th. So, I now have a 10 year old, 8 year old, 2 year old and a 14 week old.

    It has been a pleasure both ways, 2 years or 6 year. They all get on amazingly and are all mummy’s boys. I wouldn’t have it any other way than with my 4 gorgeous and incredible boys. 🙂

    • We rescued our lab when he was four years old, he is now six. We are thinking of adding another lab to the family. We want to rescue another adult lab but still confused as to what the age difference should be. Our lab is an extremely mellow couch potato.

  44. I have had two dogs and at least three different times of my life. When I had to go into work, I felt it was very important that a single dog not be left alone for eight hours in the time out in the yard.
    The gap between my dogs has always been between three and five years, and it’s worked perfectly.
    Two Labs is no issue at all. When I got my first lab, I had an Alaskan malamute. He took a couple of days to adjust to the puppy.

  45. Interesting article, thank you. We adopted a Lab cross in December who was about 4 months. So when she got to 6 months, we decided to adopt again, this time a 14 month full Lab male. No regrets! They play together, sleep together in our room, yet still like hanging out with us. The only problem is trying to introduce the new boy to our 4 cats, who are all hiding in the basement. He doesn’t know cats at all. It’s only been a week and the cats are starting to make appearances. Hopefully he doesn’t kill any of them. But the two dogs are a joy together. Good luck to others adopting a playmate.

  46. Personally , i have done the litter mates and are now experiencing the age gap scenario. Barney is ten and Paddy 11 months. I think that if the owner is dedicated , patient and understands a dogs needs then all will be fine.