Two is always better than one, right? Wrong. If you’ve ever walked into a shelter and saw several puppies of the same litter, it can be a challenge to just pick one adorable ball of cuteness. Many people believe that adopting littermates will benefit both pups; they can keep each other company, they will have a constant playmate, what could possibly go wrong you think to yourself… However, you should think twice about adopting littermates due to littermate syndrome.
Littermate syndrome is caused when puppies are adopted together versus separately. Behavioral issues are likely to arise because the puppies deep bond with each other makes it difficult for them to then respond to and learn from their human owners. The puppies are likely to grow up as a unit, rather than individuals- this can in turn make training quite difficult.
The pups strong bond can also lead to anxiety, depression, and even aggression in extreme cases. Furthermore, the dogs extreme bond can have dire consequences should one fall ill or suddenly pass away.
If you’re reading this too late and have already adopted littermates, don’t worry; there are several steps you can take to avoid negative repercussions. 1. Crate the pups separately. 2. Make sure that each dog has individual training and scheduled walk times (in order to learn on their own and bond with their humans separately). 3. Have the puppies work for treats! Have them sit before a meal, ask them to give paw for a treat, etc. This is to ensure that you are in control and they will be more inclined to look to you for guidance, rather than each other.
We hope that you will adopt responsibly and follow these helpful tips should you choose to adopt littermates! Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat (username: wagsandwalks). Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter, and check our website for available dogs. Who doesn’t love cute animal updates?