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Adopting Littermates -- good or bad idea?

July 18th, 2007, 11:42 PM
When adopting puppies, is it a good idea or bad idea to get two rather than one?

I know sometimes with multiple dogs fighting can be an issue, but if they grow up together, is this less of a problem?

I also know you have to be really careful to not play favorites, to prevent any form of jealous=based behaviors.

IM just wondering, is having two dogs to keep each other company during the alone hours of the day better than one single dog?


July 19th, 2007, 07:09 AM
Our breeder wouldn't sell us 2 puppies from the same litter. Apparently littermates have a tendency to bond to each other and not to you quite as well. I had no choice but to bow to her knowledge:rolleyes: So we got one from the first litter and 2 months later we got another one from her second litter. Same father, different mothers obviously. They're 4.5 months and 2.5 months old now. They are wonderful for each other, they play, sleep, eat together. 2 puppies is double the work though and it's not easy, I must admit. They can both get into an awful lot of trouble very quickly, playing in the pond planters, tearing up the parquet flooring, etc. It's been well worth it to us though. :thumbs up


July 19th, 2007, 07:52 AM
I have littermates, and though I adore them, I wouldn't intentionally get littermates again.

I haven't personally had a problem with them bonding to me (we're probably too bonded :laughing: ), but they are somewhat co-dependent towards eachother. They're brains also seem connected, which can be good, or bad, depending on the situation.

Then there are just the practical things, like needing to spend time with each dog alone, needing to train each dog seperately (or risk having them function so much as a unit that you can't get one dog to follow a command without independantly of the other), having everything that goes along with having a puppy X 2.....

My two get along really well, but I've known a few people who had littermates who, when they started to reach maturity, began fighting to the point of not really being able to be around eachother.

Anyway, all that to say, it seems like a cute idea, but the reality is a complicated and I, personally, wouldn't go out looking for it.

July 19th, 2007, 08:16 AM
I know its twice as much work, and much more difficult to train/bond/etc.

The main question I'm wondering about is if its good for dogs to have another dog around. If actual littermates aren't ideal, are two dogs of the same age at the same time, but from different litters (not necessarily the same breed either) better?

Are same sex companions or mixed better?

In the long run, if a dog has to be left alone for a few hours each day, are they happier with another dog, or are they better off alone?

I also have cats--can dogs be kept company by cats, or are they more than likely to view them as play things but not necessarily anything to bond with?

July 19th, 2007, 09:28 AM
IMHO - if you are not a very dog savvy person - getting two puppies at the same time can be a recipe for disaster.

Yes, a single puppy can be happy in your home with some time all to itself. No, they do not need another puppy to keep them company. No, littermates are not a good idea. Yes, if you decide to do this anyway, you are better off getting a male and a female as opposed to both the same sex.

Another thing you might want to consider - if you get two puppies and something should happen to one of them, they may be so bonded that the surviver can't function without the missing dog. I have hard of situations like this leading to some MAJOR behavioural issues.

And yes - a puppy can become friends with your kitties. My pom's best friend is my 20 pound cat!

July 19th, 2007, 09:44 AM
Yep, both my puppies love one of my cats in particular. And I am worried about what will happen should something happen to one of them, already they get quite agitated if one of them isn't around. So while I love having the 2 puppies and I know I'll love having them both as adults, I've also had single dogs both for 10 years or more each and they were fine on their own too.


July 19th, 2007, 11:54 AM
I think the best way to think about it is do you want 1 dog or 2? I don't say this because I don't care about the needs of the dog, but rather because dogs can be extremely happy as the only animal in the house and it's you who needs to do all the work. Getting a pet for your pet isn't a good reason to make a 10-15year commitment.

July 19th, 2007, 12:58 PM
My grrrrls are littermates. They fought like CRAZY up until they were about two (nearly drove me around the proverbial bend), are completely bonded with one another and were impossible to train together (completely drove me around the other half of the proverbial bend). As folks have pretty much covered everything else, all I can say aas a "been there, done that" is that I definitely would not recommend same gender littermate puppies.

With that said puppies are HUGE work anyway. Were I in your position and wanting two dawgs, I would adopt two older dogs. Just as much satisfaction, less work and you rescue two dawgs ! :lovestruck: