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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Best book on dog training has been Think Like Your Dog and Enjoy the Rewards.  Order on Amazon.com.

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

Rodrigo and Sydney at 8 weeks old.

Littermate puppies Scout and Zoey at 8 weeks old

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.
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