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This blog post about adopting littermate puppies was originally published in October 2014. It has been updated with new information and republished. Enjoy.

Interested in adopting littermate puppies? Learn what respected, professional dog trainer Patricia McConnell says about raising two puppies together.

I've received emails with links to an article written by Patricia McConnell.  I have to say that I'm exhausted about the topic of littermates simply because I think the answer is obvious.  But then I remind myself that it's easy to be “exhausted” after successfully raising two sets of littermates.

Patricia McConnell of The Other End of the Leash is an amazing dog trainer and if you haven't read any of her books, I highly recommend that you check them out.  When I announced our plans to adopt littermates, people cheered me on and then recommended these books…

I will go a step further and recommend these books…

It's been years since I've read the first two books above.  So I couldn't tell you anything about them except that they prepared me for what lied ahead.  We hired a private dog trainer who became our human-dog translator our first summer with Rodrigo and Sydney. And the last two books I recommend have polished my dog owner skills, which helped make raising littermates easier for us.

Should People Adopt Littermate Puppies?

My answer to this is a disappointment.

Yes and no.

I want people to adopt littermates because there are so many dogs who need a home and whenever I see a litter of puppies or bonded dogs, I want them to stay together.

But if someone isn't prepared for the work, time, and cost that goes into raising a dog, then they're definitely not ready for littermates.

It's not twice the work, it's more – our dogs went in different directions quickly.  While Scout was destroying a roll of toilet paper, Zoey was having an accident next to the potty pad.  It took two of us to keep up with our dogs.

Having two puppies doesn't prevent separation anxiety – Rodrigo destroyed many things (mostly dog beds) out of boredom when we left the house.  Yes, they keep each other company, but they need interaction with their humans too.  And isn't that interaction the reason we have dogs?

Our puppies have different personalities – which is a ton of fun because I love watching those personalities grow, but this also makes training littermates a challenge.  If you struggle with patience, then littermates aren't for you.

Some Succeed with Littermates While Others Fail

When it's all said and done, I think littermates rock!  I know plenty of people who are successfully raising littermates and I know a few people who have had a tough time.  I've wondered why some succeed while others fail and I've come up with three theories:

1) People try and train their puppies themselves.  It's either because they've had dogs all their lives and don't think that they can learn anything new from a dog trainer/behaviorist.  Or it's because they're trying to save money and train via a book, the dog park, or a popular dog training program.

2) People didn't study up on the breed they were adopting.  They weren't prepared for the energy, the personality, or their dogs, and their frustration was shared by their littermates, which didn't end well.

3) People simply weren't prepared to own a dog, let alone 2 dogs.  I've seen many people fall in love while in the middle of a litter of puppies.  I've fallen victim myself.  But cute, sleepy, cuddling puppies don't remain this way.  Dog owners need to be prepared for each step in raising their dogs and not all are prepared.

And I'll add one more reason to the list, people fail to socialize their puppies, mistakenly believing that they'll socialize each other somehow. Yeah, I made this mistake too. Oh, and dog parks and pack walks aren't the solutions either. If you're reading this because you have littermate puppies, speak with your puppies' trainer to get socialization ideas in your area.

Read More About Raising Littermate Puppies

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