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Two new pups!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Lulu93, Oct 3, 2018.


Seperate them?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  1. Lulu93

    Lulu93 PetForums Newbie

    Oct 3, 2018
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    We have just adopted two puppies 5 days ago from the same litter. They’re chugs, and they have brought our grand total of dogs to 5! We were only going to get one, but we ended up bringing both home (both female). I have been researching how to raise two together, and ultimately the internet thinks it’s a bad idea. So far, there haven’t been too many issues. They’re quite intelligent, they are learning basic commands quickly and toilet training is going well. They have both slept right through the night since we picked them up. I have been reading into littermate syndrome & I am quite keen to avoid this. There don’t seem to be too many issues with them being apart. Whilst they love playing together, they’re not upset if they are seperate (there is always someone with them thou) one will quite happily be in the garden with me whilst the other is in the lounge with a family member and the other dogs. However, it does become a problem with one of them (she was the runt) if she is still able to see her sister but not be with her. Tonight we tried to crate them separately (they have been in the same crate since we got them as we weren’t expecting both) and one pup laid down and went to sleep whilst the other went berserk. We ignored her, however, we became worried she was going to hurt herself because she was throwing herself at the bars of her crate and pulling on them so her teeth started to bleed. Normally I don’t advocate giving into dogs crying, however, we did make an exception tonight and placed her back with her sister, where she settled down quickly and is now fast asleep.
    My question is: if we work hard on training them separately, playing with them seperately, feeding them separately (we have been doing all of these with no issues so far) then is it worth separating them at night? 2 of our other dogs sleep in the same room as one another (not in crates) whilst one prefers being alone in his crate under the stairs. I don’t want this littermate syndrome to develop and would rather nip it in the bud- so will it be damaging to keep them sleeping in the same crate? If it is adviasabke to seperate We are planning to do it slowly. They will start off being fed seperately in crates next to each other, then naps in crates next to each other, then through the night next to each other, until eventually they can sleep in different rooms.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! All I get from search engines is horror stories!

    Thank you!
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Leave them together while they settle in otherwise you could create lots of anxiety issues.

    Gradually get them used to spending time apart so it’s just not an issue. Maybe walk your dogs in two groups occasionally and give individual walks and training.

    Havingvthe other dogs for company should help.

    I don’t see any harm in letting them sleep together though, especially if they settle better together when you go out.
  3. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    May 8, 2014
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    I own litter mates - there are few of us on the board who do (and someone owns three!) and whilst i do not advocate inexperienced owners taking on two puppies at the same time, it can be done successfully. I also think that having other dogs in the pack helps immencely as it diverts the puppies sole attention away from each other in a natural way. (I have six dogs).

    I never separated my puppies at night. I don't crate so they just bunked up together along with their mum and our other dogs from day one. Gradually as they grew up, I observed that they sometimes slept together but frequently chose not to and instead found another dog to snuggle with or slept on their own. Which is exactly what they do now.

    Littermate Syndrome is about the pups failing to fully develop as individuals, instead becoming too reliant (interconnected) with their sibling. It tends to result in the pups being anxious when the other isn't present (often with one being more anxious than the other) which effects both their learning and social skills.

    It does take more work with two as it is important that we treat them as we would if we had one pup only. So yes, I walked, trained, played with and generally spent time with each one separately. However I also allowed them free access to each other in between and walked them together sometimes. Growing up they would play endlessly together and again this was fine although they also had to learn 'time out' (because it can drive you crazy).

    I don't think forcing separation is the right way so much as guiding them to think for themselves.

    My two are now nearly four years old and happily independent. They show no separation anxiety from each other. Both work and act as individuals. One is a training (obedience) whizz who works alongside my Labs and the other is an Agility whizz so they even have separate interests!

    Hope this helps.

  4. Northpup

    Northpup PetForums Senior

    Apr 22, 2018
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    You don’t need to completely separate them however you do need to do separate walking and training. When you take them out to socialise, take them both separately and together. It’s a lot of work however they must get used to being in busy places like going around towns on their own and not rely on one another. We had crates at night however during the day they slept together and napped etc :)
    They are now lovely but it was hard work for everyone involved.
    Things like recall had to be learnt separately and then altogether (3 of them) however once we had it strong with each it was quite easy to get it all together.
    There were other dogs in the house with the pups and I think that helped with any littermate syndrome issues people suffer however I cannot be sure.
    Just lots of training and experiences together and separately :)
    Here’s the trio as puppies
    And almost 1 now :) cheeky happy dogs

    We are still constantly going over recall and training etc in separate sessions with them to keep it sunk in. The most notable thing is how happy they are together but also how happy they are separate, going to the beach, a country show etc by themselves so whilst it was a big slog it comes off worth it further down the line.
    I’m sure we will have setbacks or the teenage phase with them but for now it’s good :)
    Good luck and enjoy them! Pictures please!!!
  5. Northpup

    Northpup PetForums Senior

    Apr 22, 2018
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    Hi haha!! And agree 100% about the other dogs. With 4 others in the house with the pups it definately helped. I think the varying ages was also a beneficial factor, the others being older I think was helpful for when we took the pups out separately or on walks with one of the older dogs. Gave them confidence but also a example in a way :)
    Jamesgoeswalkies likes this.
  6. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Feb 18, 2009
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    I have 2 litter sisters, their mum and, for the first 3 years of their lives, another older dog. Mine have no problems and are very well behaved, they all get on very well. I did some separate walks and training from the start, though not as much as I'd planned to!
    As an experienced owner with other dogs it can work out fine. Just be aware - as you are - of what can go wrong and take steps to avoid it.
    My 2 slept in the same crate until they outgrew it, then they had one each, one on top of the other. They still share a large crate in the car (mum has her own) and are together at night.
  7. trobson09

    trobson09 PetForums Newbie

    Oct 5, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hi I too have to sibling pups (male, 12 weeks) I too am worried a little about littermate anxiety and also advice I have been given on them fighting as they hit adolescence :/

    I let them play etc together and they do climb in each other's beds in the day but I have encouraged them now they have settled into their own beds for crating at night. I have noticed when together they look for the other as to what they are doing so if one is settled and the other tries to bound into the living room the other will get up and follow,when told to leave if alone they will do so if together they bounce off each other They are still babies and we are calm but firm in put approach. I've just read so much negative about having siblings but I know friends who've had siblings and they have been fine but they weren't crate trained. It's good to be able to share experiences on here thank you.
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