Pros And Cons Of Raising Littermates

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
The more, the merrier… not always. There are positives and negatives of bringing home littermates.

When you are planning to bring home a puppy, it can be tempting to fall in love with two from the same litter. Because they are from the same litter, the two puppies will automatically get along and it will make them easier to keep and train. Right? Sadly, this is a common misconception among dog owners and the reality is that bringing home two puppies from the same litter may be more trouble than it is worth. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of keeping two puppies from the same litter.

Related: What Is Littermate Syndrome?

Pros of Keeping Littermates:

  • Having two puppies from the same litter means that they will already be used to each other and they are much more likely to get along than two puppies from separate litters.
  • The two puppies will enjoy playing together and it can be quite amusing to watch – it is also a great way for them to exercise that doesn’t place any additional burden on you.
  • The puppies will learn bite inhibition and soft play skills from each other so you are less likely to have to deal with these problems.
  • Two puppies will be able to keep each other company if you are away from home for long hours.

Related: 6 Advantages Of Living In A Multi Dog Household

Cons of Keeping Littermates

  • Keeping two puppies means twice the work in housebreaking – you need to pay close attention to the puppies to prevent them from having an accident in the house and this becomes doubly difficult if you have two puppies to watch.
  • The two puppies may bond closely to each other – so closely that they do not bond with their human caretakers or with other dogs. The puppies will be very difficult to socialize and will likely respond to new situations, people, and pets with anxiety or fear.
  • The puppies will not learn how to be independent – they will require the presence of their sibling at all times. As a result, even a short separation can cause extreme anxiety and be very traumatic for the puppies
  • To prevent littermate syndrome, the puppies must crated, walked, fed, and trained separately – this equates to double the time spent on each activity.
  • Dealing with littermate syndrome can be incredibly time-consuming and difficult – it may even be traumatic for the puppies. In some cases, the only solution is to re-home one of the puppies which can be heartbreaking for the owner.

Summary of Facts

Based on the lists of pros and cons given above, you should now be able to see the challenges that are associated with keeping two puppies from the same litter. While there are some potential advantages and it is not a guarantee that your puppies will develop littermate syndrome, you need to think about whether it is worth it to take the risk. Some breeders and trainers agree that it is never a good idea to keep littermates, so think carefully before you make your decision.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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