Goldens are a special loving breed I believe. The hardest part was they both died within a month of each other from cancer at age We have two Border Collie brothers and it has been a hoot! They are inseparable!
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They play soccer, and when that wears them out they lay down and face bite each other until one falls asleep! They know they are brothers! Here is a youtube of all of the Border Collies playing soccer. I have not owned litter-mates before but I have puppy students who are litter-mates or came home together at a young age. The common issues are the aggression between puppies and how co-dependent they are with each other.
It makes training the puppies separately really difficult and the puppy parent have to be very careful with resources including food, toys and attention because the puppies fight over those constantly. One of the case was really bad and the aggression with each other was never fully resolved, the fights were really bad resulting in vet visits. Historically, working dogs were generally kept as littermates, with some trading to prevent too much inbreeding. Even today, sled dogs and working farm dogs often include adult littermates.
As well as multigenerational relatives. These dogs are bred for function, not looks, and cooperative work with dogs and humans is one of the traits most valued. My experiences have been mixed. When I was a teen we got two male Doberman pups that were littermates. They were both lovely dogs as individuals but they could not work out their dominance issues with each other and as they got older we were dealing with frequent, horrendous fights that were getting harder and harder to break up.
It became evident that neither dog was going to concede and we placed one with a police K-9 training program. I now have livestock guardian dogs and have occasional litters. I have a policy against placing littermates in the same home because of problems that other breeders have had, from aggression between the littermates to the pups bonding with each other instead of the livestock and roaming constantly away from the farm. On the other hand, I kept several pups from my first litter for purposes of evaluation and it went fine, for the most part.
It did require greater attention to training and I separated them to give individual attention and training and moved them into different groupings to try to avoid really strong bonds between any two individuals. Eventually all but two went to new homes and all did well. I actually found it easier to train them together, as one seemed to learn from the other, and I always had their attention whenever I commanded it.
My experience adopting 2 puppies from the same litter was nothing but positive, and I would definitely encourage others to do the same.
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My experience with litter mates has been really good, but there is a reason for that. We had sled dogs, Alaskan Malamutes. When I first got into sledding with malamutes I heard horror stories of how much they like to fight, with each other and other teams. For my dogs I discovered 2 is company, 3 is a nightmare. I had several sets of males, some I left intact, others were neutered, depending on their breeding potential, but not because of aggression.
They were kenneled in pairs, they lived together, ate together, slept together, played together and worked together, without issue. I did some dogs shows with a few, some agility with a few others, and obedience. They were wonderful dogs. The problem comes when they get old at the same time.
Some people are equipped to handle two puppies, some people should not have any dogs. Some dogs are just easier. Low energy people will get frustrated with one high energy dog. Lots of factors to consider in this issue. I am currently training two small adolescents from the same litter. One more thought: in the working dog situations I mentioned, the household almost always has multiple adult dogs as well.
My own feeling is that for a pet dog in a typical suburban household where the people are gone a lot, any dogs, related or not, should ideally be 2 to 5 years apart in age. Nor do I believe they will be less attentive to the humans than unrelated dogs of the same age. So if the dog is intended as a pet in a situation where the people are gone a lot, I would agree with the advice to most people to introduce no more than one new puppy per year. But to me it has to do with social development, not genetic relation.
I live with multiple dogs in my home, six of whom are 3 yrs old but each from different litters. The youngest of our pack are sisters from the same litter who are a year and a half old. We also have their mother and their father. In the very beginning 1st couple months , yes the two puppies wrestled more with each other than with the other dogs. All of my dogs are way more bonded to me than they are to each other. There had been three females in the litter that we had. The third sister does not live with us, but we remain in contact and the girls do get to see each other from time to time.
The sisters all get along wonderfully when they see each other. In my experience I do not agree that having litter mates negatively affects the bond they can form with their their humans.
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I think that with any dog as with human children , the time you spend with them and put into building the relationship, has a significantly larger effect. On a little side note, the two sisters that we have are so much better trained than any of my other dogs, and they listen and respond beautifully. This is in great due to the fact that I myself had a better understanding of how to properly teach them what I wanted and I worked hard with each of them individually. While I have worked hard at building the relationship and communication skills with all of my dogs, we as humans are limited by our own experiences, so each new fur child that enters our lives, benefits by what we have learned from those who we shared our lives with before them.
I have known pit bull rescues to advise against littermates, especially same sex. The explanation I heard was that the dogs generally reach maturity at the same age and all of a sudden from a human perspective vicious fights can break out as they try to work out their adult relationship. Perhaps these same puppies would have had similar experiences if adopted into multi dog households….
I personally think that its a great advantage to have an adult dog in the house to guide and teach the puppy what is appropriate. I try to stagger the ages of my dogs and keep them a couple years apart in age.
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I personally know of 3 separate people who adopted littermates and returned one of the two puppies within the first 6 months. In all cases it was just more work than they anticipated and too overwhelming. They play good and wear each other out!! We work with them separately. I always assumed that was one of the reasons we had none of the issues mentioned as far as training and bonding were concerned. BUT, I still attributed that to one being in the house first, and the second being both a bit more submissive and so thankful to be in a good home after a not so ideal placement in his first home that he rolled with whatever situation came up.
One thing to think about though…It was absolutely devastating to lose them both within 13 months of each other…. We got two male german shepherd pups at the same time. They were sired by the same father but two different mothers-only 2 months apart in age. They seemed to bond with us well but we had many aggression issues as they matured.
That improved somewhat after they were neutered but still was an issue at times. They were also dog aggressive toward other dogs…most of which, I believe, was our fault for not socializing them well enough while they were young. I exercised them separately most of the time unless my husband and I both could go but they traveled with us, were smart and lived to be 12 and They were great dogs and we learned a lot with them.
I would not get 2 pups again at the same time…especially 2 males. We were told to keep them completely separate or rehome one. It was tough to do, but I think we did the best thing for both dogs. Along the way we gained a love of training and how smart our pups are. My experience with Irish Wolfhounds has been similar to the first poster, Marijane with her Afghans.
I have had no problems at all with attachment or training. These puppies also had their mother, often grandmother and aunts and uncles to grow up with too. I felt they benefitted in their physical development by playing with each other in ways no human could duplicate. But, would I sell someone two puppies from a litter?templagedlarg.cf
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Probably not to the typical pet owner. To another breeder? Possibly, it would depend upon the circumstances. Will there be other dogs, or just the two together in the house with no other dogs around. I wonder a lot if that has an influence.
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