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