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If you're a regular reader, then you know that we're raising 2 sets of littermates – Rodrigo, Sydney (5 years old), Scout and Zoey (1.5 years old).

If you're new to Keep the Tail Wagging – WELCOME!  You probably just brought home 2 puppies and now you're freaking out, because you Googled “raising littermates” and learned about “littermate syndrome” and you think you're about to ruin 2 puppies with your decision.

22 Reasons Why Raising Littermates Has Rocked
DepositPhoto/JJLB

How You Can Ruin Your Littermate Puppies

The only way you'll ruin your puppies is if (1) you don't take them to training, (2) you have a small budget and have made the mistake of thinking “2 dogs is twice the budget,” – believe me, it's a lot more – and (3) you're not able to manage the veterinarian bill over the first year (vaccinations, spay and neuter surgeries, follow up appointments – all multiplied by two).

Here's the Bad News About Considering Littermate Puppies

Before I lament on how happy our littermates have made us, I want to share something that may not be popular or make people happy.  If you cannot afford to hire a dog trainer, then you cannot afford to raise two or more puppies at the same time.  In fact, I'd recommend holding off on bringing a dog home until you CAN afford to hire a dog trainer.

Not only is it difficult to keep track of two puppies (they may be small, but they move fast and have sharp teeth and a full bladder), but when they hit adolescence, you'll be in tears.  Thank heavens for our mellow, well behaved Sydney, because Rodrigo was a handful.

Kimberly Gauthier and her 4 dogs (2 sets of littermates)
Keisha Lynn Photography

Here's the Amazing News About Raising Littermate Puppies

After more than five years of raising littermates, I can easily tell you why I love bringing home puppies in pairs.

  1. Twice the fun, twice the puppy breath, twice the cuteness.
  2. They are the best of friends and love each other.
  3. It's fun watching them grow into their personalities.
  4. I can't get enough of hearing “who's walking whom??”
  5. Each dog has a unique bark and I love that I know which dog is barking.
  6. When trouble comes, I have a pack that surrounds and protects me.
  7. It's cool watching them interact with each other.
  8. As long as I'm a confident leader, our dogs never fight.
  9. I can ask one dog “go find Zoey” and they do.
  10. They give me endless inspiration for Keep the Tail Wagging.
  11. It's funny that they can take over the sectional.
  12. It makes me laugh when I get attacked by 2 or more happy dogs.
  13. They learn from each other (good habits and bad).
  14. They make up games to play with each other.
  15. I love being an expert in each of our dogs.
  16. It's fun having a pet communicator speak with our dogs; a great test of their authenticity.
  17. It's cool that all of them understand the same vocabulary.
  18. It was crazy easy to train our second set of littermates because the first set helped.
  19. My favorite out of the pack changes every day (every hour).
  20. It's funny that people think I'm a dog walker.
  21. They are a conversation piece; everyone wants to know why we have so many dogs.
  22. My heart grows each day that I have with our dogs.

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