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Same litter sisters. (Whippets)

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Kamanchi, Feb 19, 2019.


  1. Kamanchi

    Kamanchi PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there I'm hoping someone can help me, I bought 2 Whippet puppies (Sisters) from a "Breeder". It was only since taking them in did I start seeing things about same litter dogs and litter syndrome. And I'm concerned to say the least, we've had them since Friday evening and they're fine, a few squabbles they play together sleep on top of each other some of the time which is cute if they're not doing that they're cuddling up with us. We keep them in a cage at night and they whine a bit then sleep.

    All this I guess is pretty normal for dogs (9 weeks) that have just been taken away from their mother, they seem a little withdrawn to us humans sometimes but I'm putting that down to the breed and new surroundings, they do play with us, not like puppies I've encountered before who are nuts.

    They have bursts of energy and this morning when they were having a run around they really went for each other, I separated them and then they were fine.

    I'm not an experienced dog owner so need advice, is this normal? Or is this the start of something bad? the last thing I want to do is re-home one, they kids would NEVER forgive me.

    Thanks in advance

    P.
     
  2. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    I’ll leave the breed of your dogs to those that are experienced with sighthounds and whippets in particular as they do have their own way of playing which is quite different and what you have seen may just be play.

    Litter syndrome can be a big problem but if you take steps now then hopefully you will alleviate most of them.
    As you may have read, the dogs will bond more closely with each other then with humans and consequently may not listen to you and be difficult to train. Make time each day to train them separately, all the usually things like sit, stay, lie down etc and take them on walks singularly as well as some together walks. Don’t separate them completely, but make a big effort to separate them enough so that they start to respond to you.
    The big thing with whippets is instilling a good recall as they are hard wired to chase small furries and will vanish from sight very quickly, make recall your biggest thing to do with them and keep practicing it. Recall lessons need to be done separately as well as together.

    You say you are not dog experienced, but have you had dogs at all before? If not then it was very wrong of the breeder to sell you siblings. I guess you were told they would be company for one another. Unfortunately it can happen that female dogs will suddenly take a dislike to one another and will never make up again. I doubt this is what you saw when they were in the garden as this tends to happen when the dogs are adult.

    Really make a big effort with walking and training them separately, all the work you put in now will really pay off in the future.
     
  3. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    Yes, it's a shame that some breeders still home two puppies together - or at least don't give an adequate explanation of Littermate Syndrome first. I wouldn't panic though - I have siblings and they are amazing and I know I am not the only one on the board who has siblings so I am sure we can give you lots of advice.

    Two puppies of the same age growing up together does mean more than twice the work though - they can get very silly together and play roughly (which you will have to manage) and you will need to spend time on each one, training, playing and being with them separately. As well as together. So I would think long and hard as they are not too young to return to the breeder if this is a concern to you.

    However, if you decide you want both puppies then you will need to start some separate training. Littermate Syndrome is where the two puppies become psychologically over bonded to each other which prevents them thinking and developing as confident individuals. They also grow up bonded with each other rather than their humans. To prevent this happening we treat them as individuals from day one and take time to walk, train and play with them without the other puppy present. Start from now. Mine always slept together at night and they played well together - if it gets too rough you just stop it and give them time out. But I would walk mine separately and play with one in one room whilst the family played with the other pup in another room so that both are confident in themselves. It can be done.

    J
     
  4. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    My son and partner got two cockapoos (brother and sister) from the same litter and they are fantastic; saying which, they have spent an awful lot of time (and, I guess, money) on their care and training, plus they are very amenable and good-natured dogs to start with, totally adorable. I cannot speak for whippets who are possibly very different characters - plus you've only had them since Friday which is very early days.
     
  5. Kamanchi

    Kamanchi PetForums Newbie

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    Nope never had dogs before, it was more a case of seeing loads of photos of Whippets snuggled up together that made me think this was an ok thing to do. I just wish I'd heard about litter syndrome before. We will take them training when they're old enough and see where we are after a while.

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  6. Kamanchi

    Kamanchi PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, if he'd have told us then we wouldn't have done it. I doubt he will take one back he obviously isn't concerned about the dogs welfare. Got some serious thinking to do.
     
  7. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    100% agree with all of the above, you need to do a lot separately with littermates to make sure they bond to you.

    I would especially do a lot with recall training separately, whippets can have a high prey drive (though this normally doesnt show until a few months/a year old) so it’s good to get that recall spot on from the start.

    Whippet play can be very rough and sound quite aggressive. They can be quite vocal so what you are seeing may not be aggression it could just be play. A lot of people who aren’t used to sighthounds can be shocked at how vocal they are. If you manage to grab a video of them we could possibly tell you whether it is play or something more. I’m pretty sure it will just be over enthusiastic play at their age but I wouldn’t like to say for definite as I can’t see it in action.
    I’ll try find a vid of our two going at it and hopefully you can compare.
    It is important though that if the play does become a bit too much that you let them both have settle time, especially if one is more confident than the other as one whippet may not be enjoying it!

    Also a breeder should take their pups back if anything happens and you can’t look after them. I feel as though you and your family are attached to your pups but there is the option of returning one to make your life easier.
     
    #7 Teddy-dog, Feb 19, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  8. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Some photos of yours would be rather nice!!:Cat
     
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  9. Kamanchi

    Kamanchi PetForums Newbie

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    Here they are, Luna and Willow any idea why the fur on the one looks fluffy? IMG_0550.JPG IMG_0556.JPG IMG_0560.JPG IMG_0563.JPG
     
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  10. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Here's a video of our whippets playing. This is quite tame tbh but I can't find one from when Baz was a pup! (He's all grown up now). But, as you can see, they can be quite growl-y in play and grabby, even when young.
     
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  11. Kamanchi

    Kamanchi PetForums Newbie

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    It was a lot more aggressive than that, no wagging of tails, (not that they do much of that anyway) it was nasty.
     
  12. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Have the squabbles been over toys or food? It would be unusual for a 9 week old pup to show true aggression as they're only babies (though not unheard of). It might be they are getting a bit OTT in play (if they're not guarding food or toys), as they're both the same age they may not have the instinct to know when to stop, or what's appropriate play and what isn't so one, or both, might 'tip over the edge'. Our whippets are five years apart and Bonnie (the eldest one) is very laid back in nature and wasn't one to ever go OTT so Basil took his lead from her and stopped when she did etc. Puppies might not know to do this though!

    Out of interest, did you see the pups mother? What was her temperament like?
     
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  13. Kamanchi

    Kamanchi PetForums Newbie

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    It probably was just a squabble, like you say they're only young. They'd just come belting in from the kitchen at 200mph and started, I may be a bit paranoid after reading about it all. Ive spoke to 2 trainers and another breeder and they've all said they don't recommend 2 sisters and I've been advised to take one back. How on earth do you choose? I mentioned it to my daughters, they got really upset! It's just not fair on them, the breeder who sold us them said he's never heard of it. I'm effin livid with him.
     
    #13 Kamanchi, Feb 19, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  14. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    I really wouldn't expect to be looking at aggression between such young pups. It is most likely just rough play, and pups can get more fractious when over-tired. I have litter sisters (I bred them) and there's never been a cross word between my two, though a fair amount of growly play including a good session today - they're now 4. When they were young, I also had another old dog (to whom one of the pups became quite close) and also their mum, so they had other dogs to relate to and for them to learn the ropes from. And I knew what I was getting into.
    If things do look rather rough, bring them in and let them calm down separately. Look to be getting a second crate for when they need time apart, and for when they become too big to sleep together comfortably. You could then also let them out one at a time for their mad dash, which would avoid the situation between them becoming heated, and it would help build their independence..
     
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  15. Kamanchi

    Kamanchi PetForums Newbie

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    Thats good to hear. Thanks for taking theme to reply everyone.

    P
     
  16. Lulu93

    Lulu93 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi!

    We did exactly the same as you & got littermates (one also called Luna!) and only once we had them did I start researching about littermates and discovered littermate syndrome was a thing! Absolutely terrified me and gave me sleepless nights. However, I’m pleased to say, the puppies are now 7 months old and touch wood, it seems to be going really well and I haven’t seen any signs of litter mate syndrome (not sure if it will still kick in?!). They do have the occasional fight, but they only ever seem to fight over things like a bit of food I’ve dropped on the floor, normal dog stuff!
    I spend a lot of time with them, both separately and together. They’ve always slept in the same cage, it’s the only time they seem to struggle to be apart & theyve slept through the night from the first day so I don’t want to fix what isn’t broken! They’re able to spend time apart otherwise though, i walk them separately and together (mostly together now) & neither seems bothered about being away from the other. They’ve learnt commands, they know their own names and their recall is better than my adult dogs, they’re not scared of other dogs/people and the take themselves away from each other quite happily. One will be playing inside and one outside with no input from me.
    Now, we do have 5 dogs in total, so I don’t know if that has helped us to avoid littermate syndrome as the pups have a lot of playtime with the other dogs, however, I remember reading on the internet that we were really going to struggle with littermates and that they would definitely develop littermate syndrome and it really scared me so I just want to let you know that it hasn’t happened here! I think it’s really important that you spend training/playing/cuddling time both separately and together, every day. When they’re allowed out take them out separately and together too. Take them to separate training classes if you’re doing that (we did alternate ones, one came with me one week, the other the next) and most importantly, don’t believe all the negativity on the internet, it’ll stress you out unnecessarily, all dogs are different! I’ve loved having littermates and I would do it again. It’s so lovely watching them play together (lots of play fighting!) and run round like maniacs & they seem really happy, with completely different personalities. Persevere and it will pay off! Good luck, they’re beautiful!
     
  17. Freyja

    Freyja PetForums VIP

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    Spend time with each pup on their own. I own and have bred whippets and have often kept litter mates as long as you spend time to train and play with each pup separately. Also try to make sure they are used to being apart there may come a time when you need them to be separated for periods of time so if they are already used to being separate it will make things a lot easier for you and less stressful for you.

    Young whippets play rough and are quite vocal so sometimes people who do not know the bred can assume they are being aggressive. We have had our neighbour knock on the door on more than one occasion to tell us the dogs are fighting when we are well aware of what they are doing and they are not being aggressive at all even if they are in the garden I am always watching over them from a door or a window to ensure they are not getting upto to much mischief.
     
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