Owning Littermates is really hard

Dog Training Cat Tip of the Day: Bonded relationships between dogs is special, and with littermates or puppies who are close in age growing up together we often see that closeness. It's important to keep in mind that these guys need individual time, too - families often make the mistake of sharing crates, food bowls, and constant sharing of space. The downside to the inseparable bond relationship between dogs is that they tend to be dependent on each other, instead of the relationship with their owners. In addition, these dogs will struggle emotionally in the future if they ever have to be seperated. For instance if one has to leave the house for a vet visit and the other must stay home, or if something unforseen or tragic happens to one of them these bonded pups can really struggle.

Often littermates, if unchecked, can also develop rivarly and even aggressive behavior towards each other. Growing up, these duos often play frequently, and owners struggle to keep the play to appropriate times and at an appropriate level of arousal - over time the constant rough housing and growing intensity can turn into scuffles and/or fights. As well, they eventually start to work out their positioning in the pack, and with the limited believable owner influence due to the fact the dogs bonded more with each other than the owner, it can be hard to represent that leadership role to influence calm and keep things peaceful.

To help prevent troubled waters with littermates, make sure to work on separation, not constantly sharing attention, space, food, toys, and crates, as well as create individual relationships with each dog by doing things without the other. When there is a healthy balance of these things, the relationship between bonded pairs can be so amazing...as you are and important part of their relationship! That said, if you are looking at puppies and considering getting littermates - remember raising one puppy is a ton of work, so raising two AND focusing a ton on the delicate relationship dynamic to prevent problems is even more work! Ask any dog trainer, and they would highly recommend not having litter mates, and staggering puppy ownership by quite a few months (or a year) so you can build a strong relationship with each! - Cenicero, #dogtrainingcat

littermates take the lead