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This guide has everything you need to know: Littermate Syndrome is the name given to the common behavioral problems that arise when two puppies are raised together beyond the typical 10-12 weeks (about 3 months of age) that professional breeders recommend. However, each dog is different, as is each pair of dogs. Insights and resources for responsible pet parents. Everything we create is factually accurate and biased toward science → meet our team of experts. “Littermate syndrome in dogs occurs when two puppies from the same litter living together develop such a strong attachment to each other that it interferes with their ability to interact in a normal manner with other people, other dogs, or any situation where they are not together,” says Collier. Unfortunately, they only learned how to play with each other and haven't been exposed to how other dogs play. Some pet owners may find that formal training classes are required. The query was from a gentleman who wanted to take on two puppies from the same litter and has been advised that this … Anecdotally, in raising litters of puppies, I have seen a tendency toward aggression between same sex littermates in both my breeds, Border Collies and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. They love each other so much! The goal is to raise two secure, confident individuals who can succeed separately and thrive together. I might even consider crating in different rooms to give them more independent. But training puppies is challenging for one major reason: They have no attention span! No_Gains said they had no issue outside of rougher play. You can't work with each dog separately until they're capable of being apart without freaking out. Randy says: October 31, 2016 at 12:41 pm Diana, if you read the article, it recommends against this practice as it can cause a different and more severe type … Grain-free dog food: a lasting trend or a danger to your dog? Although it doesn’t happen between all siblings, over-bonding is a commonplace phenomenon and is termed “Littermate Syndrome.” It’s the reason shelters, responsible breeders, trainers, and others caution against adopting siblings. Two puppies from separate litters, however, will bond with you as well as each other. Dogs continue to bond with each other rather than with anyone else when you bring two puppies home. This research has concluded that … But this is just my own individual experience. The problem is that your two dogs simply can't be together all of the time. Signs of Littermate Syndrome. In some cases, sibling dogs may have bonded in a way where it makes sense for them to be raised together. Other issues cited are escalating aggression between the puppies or panic when they are separated. Dogs experiencing separation anxiety will whine, cry, howl, and be otherwise anxious. You will also find some people, some of whom are dog-related professionals, who do not believe littermate syndrome is real at all. You CAN adopt two littermates and bring home two puppies from the same litter at the same time. It takes time, but slow and steady wins the race. A pack mentality can lead to aggression against other dogs or to people. There hasn’t been any single conclusive research study that proves whether or not littermate syndrome is an actual medical diagnosis. For info specific to housetraining, here’s our handy step-by-step guide. ‘Syndrome’ is a scary word, so it’s important to understand what the littermate syndrome can mean and what can be done about it. That's like (pulls out calculator) 11 times more work. There are too many small moments in the day to tell you how to handle every one of them, so just keep this phrase in mind: separate but equal. Crating/kennel training is super important to raising a well-adjusted dog (or dogs), and we’ve got you covered on that. Some breeders feel the same way. Thew two puppies don’t actually have to be from the same litter to develop “littermate” syndrome. What’s going on here is that the dogs are so attached to one another that they cannot stand being apart. It also makes training easier. Although many pups will have issues with training, you can usually spot the common signs of littermate syndrome pretty easily. The dogs could also become aggressive towards each other, especially if they are both female. But there are ways to stop your clingy “velcro dog” from sticking to your side. Aggression. There are explanations as to why behaviour problems may seem more common or obvious among siblings. Unfortunately, this is not a guaranteed solution to this problem. Littermate Syndrome and why you should take it seriously! Learning basic coping mechanisms and picking up on important human–canine communication signals is difficult or impossible for them. Essentially, the more you get each dog comfortable with being alone, the better. Training, socializing, housetraining, and caring for two young puppies can be more difficult than you'd imagine. When dogs don't understand something, their instinct tells them to fear it. Many experts including trainers, behaviourist, breeders and rescues these days are discouraging people to take on canine siblings. With two puppies from the same litter you are dealing with a pair who are already bonded to each other, and it takes a … If two sibling dogs play or fight too hard, it can lead to severe injury or death. That over-broad description alone should cause anyone with a training in science to wince. While this is a relatively common phenomenon among … However, it is also important to understand that dogs’ wheels are always turning. Littermate Syndrome is more than just double the puppy trouble when it comes to raising sibling puppies. Speaking of rescues, many shelters will not even allow two puppies to be adopted at the same time — even if they’re from different litters. You'd think two dogs who grew up playing together constantly would be great at socializing, right? Littermate Syndrome Issue 2: Hyperattachment Littermate puppies can quickly become hyperattached, unable to cope without the presence of the other. Littermate Syndrome Issue 1: Lack of Training and Socializing. Any time there's a new, stressful stimulus, your dogs will retreat to the comfort of their relationship, unwilling and unable to deal with anything new. The most common reason why people rehome a dog is for safety reasons. After a short period of time they literally think they can’t function without one another. Often, when an owner cannot address the aggression with their two dogs, they will be forced to rehome one of the dogs. As the name suggests, littermate syndrome generally exists in two puppies from the same litter, however it can also be present when two puppies of a similar age are raised together. Aggressive behavior is another sign. Whenever some new, scary thing presents itself, your dogs retreat to the safety of their bond and fail to grow through their new experiences. The title of this post is a bit strong, but I do want to caution people from adopting two dogs from the same litter because “it’s easier” to raise two at once (ask someone with twins if it’s easier than having one child) or “we don’t want our dog to be lonely.” (Because you might be if the dogs are so enchanted with each other that they ignore you). This means that if one sibling suffers anxiety, the other may be more likely to as well, due to sharing similar genetic … Your puppies should do everything separately: The goal isn't to have your dogs living together in the same house completely unaware of the other's existence like some cheesy, straight to DVD long-lost sibling movie. … This has … Ultimately, at its most extreme, one will die before the other, which can be emotionally catastrophic to the surviving sibling. Aggression should never be taken lightly or overlooked. If you have other family members who can help, have each dog do separate things with each person in your household. The best way to overcome separation anxiety is by teaching your dogs to be crated separately. It's more common with same-sex littermates and usually arises when there's a bullying relationship where one dog is dominant over the other. Thank you! I just happened to overhear a random conversation while volunteering at a pet rescue. It isn't impossible to correct (some tips below), but it's much easier to prevent your pups from forming this co-dependent relationship from the start. Both are very bonded to me, but in different ways. In fact, there has … The dogs will be inclined to ignore you and will be resistant to training because of that. Another indicator to watch for is separation anxiety, especially in situations where the dogs are apart for just a short period of time. It looks like Tucker will be my dog and Rascal my wife’s. Crate them separately right next to each other. A happy dog is a confident, well-trained dog. Adopting any pair of dogs must be done so with as much care, thought, and preparation as possible. The root cause of all problems associated with Littermate Syndrome is extreme co-dependence. Training two littermates is not just a matter of twice the work, but also the level of difficulty resulting from the puppies constantly … Most would encourage new owners to adopt a single puppy who suits their lifestyle and to focus on the training and socialization that strengthens the interspecies bond unique to humans and dogs. There’s no scientific research to back this up, however, it’s a common anecdote. Because the puppies may bond so closely with each other that it makes bonding with their human caretakers and other dogs more difficult. But the dogs have had three huge fights were they have been pulled apart before the male killed the female, but then when it has all … That is just speculation and is probably not true unless the puppies grew up together from birth. "The siblings are too … I do wonder if there isn’t a touch of alarmism infused into Littermate Syndrome. Taking on two puppies from the same litter often results in what is known as littermate syndrome. Separation anxiety and general fearfulness can take a serious toll on your dog's mental health. If you have two puppies, Littermate Syndrome isn't some fated, foregone conclusion. What is the science behind Littermate Syndrome? One user named No_Gains is the parent of two-year-old malamute littermates Urs and Fenrir. Also, start as early as possible — day one if possible. Not every pair of dog siblings will experience littermate syndrome, but there is no way for a potential pet owner to know that. They have completely different personalities and will require different approaches to training accordingly. ... get different ages – a puppy and an older dog – or put the puppy in dog day care for playmates. If there are any setbacks in the process, slow down and go back to the edge of their comfort zones. That's too traumatic and won't do any good. According to Dr. Karen Becker “Anecdotal evidence suggests that behavioral issues may arise during key development periods because the two puppies’ deep bond impedes their individual ability to absorb and grasp the nuances of human and canine communication.” Doggie psychology and brain chemistry, much like our own, is complicated. This is a informational video about littermate syndrome and ways to avoid it. Littermate syndrome is the term used when two sibling pups, or two pups from different litters but of similar age, are raised in the same household and start to develop behavioural issues. It's because of their animal instinct and pack mentality. This "evidence" is frequently contradictory behaviors. But in most cases 2 dogs from the same litter tend to go along well. Why two puppies aren't always better than one. The most common definition is that it is when two puppies from the same litter are raised together and develop a bond with each other that prevents the puppies from bonding with the owner. Dog siblings may play rougher with one another, and this can cause severe injuries. For more on the canine-human bond, here’s more about how dogs came to be our best friends. Thew two puppies don’t actually have to be from the same litter to develop “littermate” syndrome. Littermate syndrome is when two puppies from the same litter are raised in the same home and develop a bond with each other. "Littermate Syndrome" refers to any undesired behavior expressed by a pet (usually a dog) that was raised with another animal from its own litter. The email described a familiar scenario: “We were planning to adopt one puppy, but the breeder said that raising two sisters would be easier. I don’t suggest adopting 2 dogs from different litters because they might not be compatible with one another. However, some dog owners have raised multiple pairs of siblings without incident. Http://YouTube.com/communicanine Have you ever heard the term, Littermate Syndrome? There is strong evidence for littermate syndrome. It may sound ideal when dogs are such close friends, but major issues can arise down the road. There isn’t aggression or behavioral problems between them. Let's talk about Littermate Syndrome. Dogs learn from repeated positive experiences, so give your separated dogs a frozen Kong, their favorite toy, or anything else of high value to distract them from their feelings. These include a fear of strangers, both human and canine; a fear of … Littermate Syndrome Littermate syndrome is most commonly known as a behavioral issue that can develop if you bring home two puppies from the same litter. ADVERTISEMENT. An aggressive dog is not a happy dog — and dogs deserve to be happy. Only when they're fine being crated separately for 30-60 minutes should you try to crate them out of sight of each other. As such, the label “Littermate Syndrome” warrants some discussion, clarification and debunking. Two dogs from the same parents are brother and sister regardless of whether they are from the same litter or different litters. But assuming you aren't dealing with severe aggression, there are some things you can try with two goals in mind: The most important work, especially at the beginning, takes place when your dogs are separated to help them build their confidence and independence. While adopting two Littermates is not often recommended, it can be done IF you know what you are getting … Dachshunds, Terriers, Border Collies, and Shepherds are often cited as having a high propensity for littermate syndrome, but there is no clear scientific evidence that certain breeds experience littermate syndrome more or less than other breeds. Adopting one puppy is a major life decision that needs to be made responsibly. The first thing to do is to put training first. They are typically very fearful and have poor social and learning skills. I could Google this to see if I can find studies, but I don’t put a lot of stock in the scientific evidence we can find online. Littermate Syndrome (sometimes called Sibling Puppy Syndrome) refers to issues that are more likely to arise when puppies from the same litter (or puppies from different litters under 6 months of age) are raised in the same household together. Separation anxiety. Diana, if you read the article, it recommends against this practice as it can cause a different and more severe type of anxiety issue. You walk into your local shelter or meet with the awesome breeder your friend recommended to find a new fur friend to take home. You must be attentive to your dogs’ reactions. My husband and I could not get their attention for more than a second or two—it was as if we weren’t even in the same room. There are a lot of anecdotes but I couldn’t find any … Because this is a behavioral issue, littermate syndrome can vary in degrees of severity. You will need to double your training efforts in instilling … In the cases I’ve witnessed, the puppies have not been raised in the same household, but have seen each other regularly throughout adolescence at dog shows, family events, etc, and upon social maturity (or in one case earlier) these … Breed might have some influence on this, but it shouldn’t be a factor in considering whether or not to adopt two siblings of a certain breed. There are six common problems Littermate Syndrome causes. It's possible to raise two separate, independent, well-adjusted dogs in the same house. 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First, the better informational video about littermate syndrome is n't as common as the mental health user named is. Overhear a random conversation while volunteering at a pet rescue care, thought, and preparation possible...

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