Raising Littermates

I am currently raising 2 sets of littermates.

Rodrigo and Sydney were born in March 2010; Scout and Zoey were born on Halloween, October 31, 2013.

  • Rodrigo is Border Collie, Blue Heeler; he might also be Australian Shepherd
  • Sydney is Labrador, Blue Heeler; she might also be Australian Shepherd and a Bully Breed
  • Scout is Australian Shepherd, Catahoula, and Blue Heeler (his Catahoula is dominant)
  • Zoey is Australian Shepherd, Catahoula, and Blue Heeler (her Aussie and Blue Heeler are dominant)

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Rodrigo and Sydney at 8 weeks old.

Kimberly Gauthier and her littermate puppies Rodrigo and Sydney at 8 weeks old

Scout and Zoey at 8 weeks old.

Littermate puppies Scout and Zoey at 8 weeks old

Why You Shouldn’t Adopt Littermates

  • They may bond to each other instead of to the humans in the home.
  • They’re difficult to train, because they get distracted by each other.
  • It’s difficult to give them both what they need in the same moment.
  • Many dog owners aren’t prepared for the work and cost of 1 puppy, let alone 2 puppies.
  • 2 puppies isn’t double the cost, try quadruple (or more) the cost.
  • Littermates may fight and if you don’t understand dog behavior, then this can end badly.

How We Avoided Littermate Syndrome Twice

  • We hired a reputable dog trainer and behaviorist RIGHT AWAY!
  • We allowed our puppies to set the pace of when they were separated at night (Rodrigo and Sydney slept together until they were 4 or 5 months old; Scout and Zoey slept together until they were 3 months old).
  • We separated our littermates periodically to give them quiet time and one on one time with each of us.
  • Each of our dogs has an eating area that’s at least 5 feet away from their sibling.
Chew Treats to Occupy Your Littermates
Tough Dog Toys Our Littermates Love
Transition Your Littermates to Raw Feeding Easily
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Positive Perspective on Training Littermates
Patricia McConnell Says Don't Adopt Littermates and I Agree
Tough Dog Toys for Strong Chewers and Littermate Puppies
Advice on Raising Littermates by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
The ASPCA Shares Thoughts on Adopting Littermates
We Adopted Littermate Puppies on a Whim
Should Dog Owners Keep Their Littermates Apart?
Surviving Adolescence with Littermate Puppies
Pondering How We Escaped Littermate Syndrome Twice
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