This isn't a good idea. They are all great, all independent from each other, and all well adjusted. Whenever I meet someone who had a bad experience with littermates, I’m always surprised and wonder if they did anything differently than I did with raising and training. I just don’t know if or when it’s right to do it? Since they always sought each other out when taking a nap, we let them sleep in the same crate together until they were both big enough to sleep on beds at night (about 4 months). All of your blog is spot on. It terrified me that I would have to get rid of one since they are now 14 weeks old and very attached to me and my children. Is it kind of strange that I’ve been Googling “Littermate Syndrome” lately and leaving our experience? I have 12 year old litter mates, male and female. If you are having issues with your littermates, please contact a professional dog trainer for guidance. Curly is my husbands dog… We have found that you dont pick the dog the dog picks you. He leads the pack on the jogs. Hi Ellen – be sure to reach out to a local positive-based dog trainer to seek guidance. PS – I still do training for fun. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kimberly? They’ll naturally defer to one another, and ours definitely did (though Bella was a more bold puppy, and Jack was a little more reserved, which is probably why Bella naturally became the leader). It’s fun for them to get out and interact with other dogs and people and in a puppy class, they’re learning new things (and so are you). I wrote on your Facebook page, but I’ll also say a comment here. Adopting a little doesn’t cost a little, infact it is very expensive. We love them and they love us, but I’m completely frazzled from all the work and lack of sleep, and I was starting to worry that I wasn’t up to the myriad challenges that littermates present. We do know a trainer, and we will be talking to her soon Scout is nearly 8 months old and we’re waiting for him to start challenging Rodrigo. About 7 months ago our oldest dog died and the younger two were definitely affected. There have been some growling from Zoey when Scout comes sniffing around her toy or treat, but nothing more. We are going to give it a try tonight. When Terra came into the family at over a year old, she would start fights with Bella and jockey to be the top dog because she was also a bold personality. He is a handful, but he has bonded with me, so that is just a myth. “Littermate Syndrome” can be mild or severe. Also, I disagree with the statement that most reputable breeders wouldn’t sell littermates; I know many reputable breeders who would have no trouble selling 2 puppies to us and I know they’ve done so in the past. My dad doesn’t want to buy kennels because they’re expensive and take up a lot of space. They had their first cycle within days of each other and we had to keep them separated for three weeks; so hence the urgency of spaying them. We have littermate and admittedly are finding some difficulties such as toilet training. It works for us; it doesn't work for everyone. I know that it’s hard for the puppies to be separated. I know it’s several months after, but I just read this article when looking over different ones concerning littermates, I think it is fantastic that you did so well with your own and going over, you had the money, time and care to work with a pair of littermates. I wonder if you could share some of the insight that your trainer gave you about training? I posted pics of my girls on your Facebook page Very strange. I had two cocker spaniel litter mates. We absolutely love them, and they love us, but they have some really big problems. They love to play keep away from each other & tug of war, too. LOL. I would love to talk to you about littermates if you’re ever interested. Working with a trainer made raising littermates easier for us. For the most part, I’d just think having 2 new dogs to train and socialize (esp if puppies!) It works for us. Hiring a professional dog trainer is the best way to get the dogs off on the right start, because a professional will be able to look at the dogs and the humans and figure out what may be causing the issues. But again, thank you for the post, the haters that say it can’t be done are very disheartening.. my boys are my joy, they sleep on my bed, they are my posse.. It gave our dogs comfort to know what was expected of them. Again, thanks for some encouragement! 7 months old. I’m glad that I have researched about it and I am working on separating my two labs more. I thought you adopted all your dogs? Thank you! They’ve never fought. Scout and Zoey have never fought. They were expensive (there was no pet insurance back then) and they did fight occasionally (which was expensive.) They nap now in different rooms. The woman we worked with taught us so much. I don’t have to worry, when I leave home, that they’re neurotically missing me. Any idea how I can break him of these. I totally understand that it can be harder, but that is obvious. So I give my dogs Ewegurt ( about 30-40 minutes before I plan to leave. One dog is super mellow and loves everything but howls when I take the other more timid and fearful one out for his walk. Cooper has ALSO bonded with me. I am a devotee of Turid Rugaas and Tom Dorrance. Congratulations on your GSDs. I truly think that’s what made it possible for us to raise two sets of littermates. Thanks again! I did have all of our dogs spayed and neutered at 6 months. You “dared” to try, and did it – not just talk – you walked the walk! They are fed together and have treats at the same time. First of all I’d like to thank you so much for your wonderful entry. It can be overwhelming at times, but it’s going to be fun too. Thank you for your very helpful information! AND, REMEMBER YOU ARE THE PACK LEADER. Best of luck. They are not home with us yet, but I be been reading and I completely freaked out, doubting our decision to bring two home. Rodrigo and Sydney slept in the same kennel until they were four months old and were too big to be in it together (it was super big). I have two twin 5 month old Doberman puppies that I got from a breeder when they were 1w weeks old. So not only do you need food and the traditional supplies – but you have to account for replacing destroyed things. My advice to anyone getting litter mates as family’s pets is too have them all spayed and neutered together. They have each other as best friends. Any ideas how I should go about finding a reputable trainer? I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing them a disservice by raising them together – they seem pretty tightly bonded together and haven’t warmed up to other dogs yet. Up to now that they sound pretty happy and revel in any time that they invest jointly and with me personally however they perform acquire lost within their very own entire world when they perform and make use of not bothered ability to hear. Well these breeds are already known for their anxiety. Now I would know to do the things you did and I’m sure i would have missed many of the problems. At what time can we stop worrying about aggression issues? I feel almost like a leper with the comments that so called experts make for having siblings. LOL I have had SO many people tell me that the breeder should not have sold them both to us etc etc. Like most behaviors, there are many ways that you can prevent or lessen the effects of littermate syndrome. The younger female was diagnosed with renal failure and we treated her for seven months. I appreciate all the positive feedback here because there is no way I could pick one over the other. I think people who have difficulty with littermates simply bit off more than they could chew. Please come back and give me an update on how the girls are doing being separated. I didn’t separate my dogs; that was just a personal choice – so I may not be the best person to ask. Not to sound like an echo, but I am so grateful to find your blog and positive suggestions for dealing with littermates. Pet stores allow dogs and in our town, Home Depot allows dogs too. I really appreciate your insights and we’re starting training with them next week so we’ll be sure to take a person for each puppy. Many well-intentioned dog guardians have terrible tales to tell about the harm caused to one sibling by the other. They are now 4 1/2 months old and have clearly bonded to us as much as they have to each other. Just separate crates, or separate parts of the house? We live in the same city, so the pups will definitely have play dates again in the future. Littermate syndrome is not going to happen to every single pair of puppies that are raised together. I was considering picking up littermates before I picked up my first dog, Linus from the animal shelter. It seems not all litter mates succumb to this syndrome but when they do it can get quite ugly. I’ve read all about raising littermates and even though it’s advised against, we did it anyways. We went through dog beds, dog toys, and did you know that herding dogs love to dig holes – especially when they hear a mole underground? If by the time that you read this you’re having big issues it will just take time …. Thanks again for a good article and finger crossed it will work out for my two new baby girls. Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger and Raw Feeder in Marysville, Washington,,,,, Why December is the Best Time to Buy Essential Oils. It means a lot. Thanks for sharing this, Bethany That’s so sweet. We love them so much and are a joy! Anyone who takes the time to be respectful of these dogs, and understand them better, will find that promoting pack life – which is the natural way for dogs to live – is really the best way. Thanks for letting me share my feedback. Thanks. I would like to be prepared in case anything happens . (I’m behind and trying to at least catch up a little on my backlog of reading.). We are not sure if that’ s a playful fight or a serious scuffle. Keep the Tail Wagging® seems to be the one blog that shares positive experiences. His original family didn’t want him. Yes!! I can point you to some trails. Two puppies being raised together were fighting. This always baffles me. Oops, didn’t mean to put a question mark after that first sentence. Littermate Syndrome is the term used to describe the downside of adopting littermates. Nope. Will they grow out of this? Maybe we just have a way with dogs that helped us succeed with our pack. They were fine all 3 together for a few months and then the two started fighting. Thank you for the tips and the positive attitude about the whole situation because as others have said there is a stigma about adopting littermates. I have successfully raised two sets of littermates and have not witnessed or experienced littermate syndrome. LOL. And I’m starting to realize I’m going to have to tackle potty training separately if I’m going to make any sort of progress with one of them. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Rodrigo and Sydney started sleeping apart on their own at 4-5 months and Scout and Zoey were independent earlier, around 3 months. Working on that, Bones, toys treat and food I do separate them. They had a blast and they have never had a fight. Yes, there can be aggression issus but that can happen with any dogs. After losing my senior doberman, I decided to add 2 female doberman sisters to my family. We adopted littermates with no idea of the problems associated with doing so. As for them not having anything to do with their humans; I can’t go anywhere without the two of them at my heels. She has not been y herself in12 years, we both work and taking her to work is not possible. He was fostered in a home with two other big dogs. i would like to enroll them in a class and live in oregon and certainly want to find a trainer who won’t be judgmental. The new puppies adapted quickly to our family. As I mentioned we noticed it after the first 4-5 days that we were going to have a problem so they have been created separately during the day, we create them separately at night, they eat separately,, they are walked separately and I have to tell you with in just about a solid month of doing that it made all the difference in the world. I have always had 2 dogs, the first pair died aged 14 and 16 and the second pair aged 14 and 15. "Littermate Syndrome" refers to any undesired behavior expressed by a pet (usually a dog) that was raised with another animal from its own litter. We purchased two female Minature English Bulldog littermates when they were just four months old following the death of my husband. Otherwise, they were allowed to be together. My wife and I went thru a very difficult time with the loss of our “kids”. So I asked dog lovers and heard the same thing. They seem to be fine so far, and we are trying to do things with them separately , so they get used to being apart. Now that your two are two years old can you give me some advice or encouragement? That’s totally the case. I keep reading that they need to sleep separately. I’m envious about your 20 miles a day. I raise chows, and you cannot ever get a perfectly sweet chow. I am curious as to when we can stop worrying about whether or not this will become an issue? We put a deposit on both of them and waited until they were old enough to be brought home with us. Our dogs are bonded to each other and to us. We had Scout and Zoey in training immediately. I think the only tough stop that I have is if I’m not feeling 100% (like when I had the flu) the dogs can easily get out of control if I’m down too long. Thank you again and God bless you and your family. They don’t look related. An owner should know that preventing littermate syndrome doesn't just double their workload, but rather triples it. We don’t regret getting liter mates. Anyway, thank you again for this site. The best thing to do is enroll your dogs into puppy class and then dog class. I did a lot of research ahead of time and have been putting in the work — separate crates, separate walks, independent play time, separate training sessions — but the articles have me pretty paranoid. SOME NEED LOTS OF TRAINING; SOME PICK IT UP QUICKER…SO THEY CAN GET THEIR PLAYTIME REWARD. I feel guilty even talking about this because my boy is still with us and could be for months, even maybe a year, we just don’t know yet. We met with the trainer on Monday, and got some advice, so hopefully it will go ok. I’m so excited for you two. I am not a dog trainer. She will overcome her nerves, but it will take her a bit longer. But even though they loved each other, they were very bonded to the family and had no issues with eventually living apart: one sister was my mother’s the other was my brothers and he took his with him to college as soon as he were able. I spent the entire time we had outside (we’re doing 20 minute play sessions because of the heat) rounding them up. Our dogs get along great. Rihanna tends to hang out with me; she is a bit stand offish but she socializes with the other dogs very well. Zoey and Sydney are more timid than Scout and Rodrigo. I just had to give Rodrigo and Sydney loads of love so they didn’t feel ignored. When I read about the problems of having littermates can cause, I believe my experience with having unexpected twins has well-prepared me for this new adventure! Our boy, Scout, was twice the size we expected and if I had known he was going to grow so much, I would have left him intact for 6 months longer. We are going to slowly transition their crates further apart until their dog can stay in their room, and mine in my room. Littermate syndrome is serious, unless your invested to learning about dog behavior for God’s sakes do not get dogs from the same litter……. They are very good socially with other dogs. Toby died of cancer last year and that was rough on Prince. I have found that are girls are harder to train than the boys. And we haven't taken a vacation away – together – from our dogs since we brought them home several years ago because it's hard to find a pet sitter who can handle so many dogs and we don't trust kennels. They play and the older two have slimmed down. by Tena Parker | Dec 22, 2016 | Dog Behavior, Fearful Dog, Positive Training, Puppy Fun, Reactivity, Socialization, Training | 0 comments, Oswin and her littermate playing at 9 weeks old. We’re lucky, because we worked as a team and we’re both committed to raising responsible dogs. You did exactly the right thing. Although they enjoy each other's company (we are a family), they are independent within their family too. As mentioned, we aren’t crating them, and when we leave the house- they are gated in the kitchen together- lots of people tell us this is a terrible idea, but we don’t have any other options without getting them to like their crates which is still a major work in progress. 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