German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
strong statement that cuts right to the chase

Quote " Another common situation that is rather problematical is when two littermates are raised together. This sort of arrangement is rarely recommended, since very often one of the puppies seem to flourish while the sibling is over-shadowed and fails to achieve his potential.
Pfaffenberger observed similar difficulties with dogs reared with their mother or sibling:
At San Rafael, besides the experience of having over-aggressiveness develop in dogs who did not remain under their mother's discipline long enough, we have had some bad effects from overlong canine socialization. I cannot remember a single dog wo was raised with her mother to adulthood who could be successfully trained for a Guide Dog .
Where two littermates are raised together in the same home we have had the same results . Puppies raised in homes where there are no dogs not related to them have never been affected this way by the association with other dogs..
In the case of two littermates raised together one becomes a successful candidate (for the Guide Dog work) and one fails even if their apptitude test were equal"

Pfaffenberger (Clarence) authored the book "New Knowledge of Dog Behaviour" based on research done by Fuller and Scott "Genetics and the Social Behaviour of the Dog" ,

Puppy Sibling Rivalry, It's More Than Just Conflict - Daily Dog Discoveries

start the conversation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I said I would and I did

"oh NO ----- not two littermates -- not two sisters --- okay I am going to have to go to my reference books and make a separate thread about the disaster that this is .
reference would be Handbook of Applied Dog Behaviour and Training - Adaptation and Learning -
Choose ONE of them.

breeder should not have let you take two --- what is their interest , the welfare of the dog or the quick sale and $$$.

there are so many threads and posts about problems -- which are a given

visit this thread rethinking "popular" early socialization

this is NOT a comment about your being an excellent owner --

do you know name of sire and dam --- if you post this I am sure someone can find the pedigree of the pooch(es).
Carmen
this from http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-puppy-stuff/654034-pup-considered-sable-2.html

we have had so many threads on littermates as pups , or entering young adulthood fraught with problems or potential problems that it was time to have a central reference for future new owners contemplating owning littermates.

I know that the owners don't like to hear otherwise -- they will fight with anyone telling them it isn't the best of ideas , then disappear .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,835 Posts
Interestingly enough, we kept 2 litter mates, a male and a female and they both flourished... HOWEVER, one was my dad and one was mine. While at the time of their adolescents and a yr old they were in same home, they were treated differently because of ownership and goals... My job called me away for a yr and then they were together again until they passed away at 15 and 10 (due to a growth, probably hermangio)... We had their mother as well who was mine, so treated with great expectations, which was given..

I realize my circumstances were different, and my job allowed (and required) excellent training from my dogs... We had one daughter on mother aggressive act, but otherwise the pack got along very well.. The dogs were in essence in 2 different family sets even though in same household...

Can't say I would choose to do it if I was handling the pups solo... I am sure it would be a different story and require shrewd handling to not neglect the needs of one over another...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
did they grow up together , inseparable or did they each begin as individuals with different homes and owners and then re-unite because of circumstances later on ?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,736 Posts
we have had so many threads on littermates as pups , or entering young adulthood fraught with problems or potential problems that it was time to have a central reference for future new owners contemplating owning littermates.

I know that the owners don't like to hear otherwise -- they will fight with anyone telling them it isn't the best of ideas , then disappear .

I don't think the average dog owner can take on same-sex littermates without problems. Yes, you might get lucky, but what if you don't?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,835 Posts
They grew up together, same home but different owners.. I was a very young adult and paying rent, working and my dogs went everywhere with me, my dad worked and dog stayed home but was worked with by him all the time and went with him everywhere when he could take her. Then the separation for a year and then together again. But because they lived and played together but had separate ownership, and thus expectations and dual but separate love and attention, I believe it worked out well. It wasn't a siblings with one owner trying to do all and meet all needs...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
I think some can, some can't. Lots of today's owners can't own 1 GSD without issues -- Look at all the, "My 10-week-old puppy is aggressive and dominant, HELPPP!!!!" threads.

I have raised many sets of female littermates without problems. But, I can and will separate them, if I feel it necessary. I know several people who have male littermates without issues.

It isn't for everyone though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LittleBear

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,345 Posts
I just don't get how anyone can do this well unless they don't work and are willing to focus their lives around the dogs. That is just me. One puppy takes all my time. But I also have high standards about what I want from a dog, I am very focused on trying to bring the best out of that individual, and I have high drive dogs.

I also, in my uninformed youth, had a GSD and when she was 18 months old I got a lab mix pup. I was working full time, then in school full time, and was single. Not a disaster but looking back I cringe. The dogs had a lot of time by themselves and that lab pup and I never bonded. The lab belonged to the GSD. While the lab was submissive and not a problem, he was an anxious mess when she was not around or later, when she died. The lab never got to reach his full potential and while this happened in the 90s, I still feel terribly guilty about that choice.

I do understand the urge to have more. Oh another puppy, how cool will that be? When we enjoy the connection with our animals, that unique connection, I think we humans really have a great tendency to want more. We hoard, we buy more, we gather up. I have two dogs (one my SAR dog, one is my husband's), but a friend has a retired IPO dog that I would love to adopt. A beautiful WGWL boy that is about 7 years old. I hear the voices... "I can do it" "We could make it work" I slap myself around, "Noooooo!!!!!" I could do it but it would change the dynamic (see I'm still talking myself out of it!)

It is about delayed gratification. We humans, when we like something, we want more NOW. Very hard to delay. Now a person who has decided that their lifestyle is about dogs, I say it can work. So folks who do lots of dog sports and their lifestyle is organized around that, I think they can handle it. But just a person who likes dogs but has kids, jobs, other hobbies... I think it often backfires. Sad because often, not always, a dog will pay... like my lab mix.

And one more thing. Sometimes we say, wait a year or 18 months before getting a second dog. I say wait 3 years. My dutch, 65 lbs, changed pretty dramatically in the months around his 3rd birthday. To have another distraction of another dog before his 3rd birthday would have cost us, I would have lost something with him... (Wait, does that mean I can adopt that other dog now? SLAP)

Keep in mind I work 4 days a week. If I didn't have a job, I would have more dogs. hahaha.

Get one dog and commit and invest for at least 3 years. That is my advice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ksotto333

·
Banned
Joined
·
850 Posts
I just don't get how anyone can do this well unless they don't work and are willing to focus their lives around the dogs. That is just me. One puppy takes all my time. But I also have high standards about what I want from a dog, I am very focused on trying to bring the best out of that individual, and I have high drive dogs.

I also, in my uninformed youth, had a GSD and when she was 18 months old I got a lab mix pup. I was working full time, then in school full time, and was single. Not a disaster but looking back I cringe. The dogs had a lot of time by themselves and that lab pup and I never bonded. The lab belonged to the GSD. While the lab was submissive and not a problem, he was an anxious mess when she was not around or later, when she died. The lab never got to reach his full potential and while this happened in the 90s, I still feel terribly guilty about that choice.

I do understand the urge to have more. Oh another puppy, how cool will that be? When we enjoy the connection with our animals, that unique connection, I think we humans really have a great tendency to want more. We hoard, we buy more, we gather up. I have two dogs (one my SAR dog, one is my husband's), but a friend has a retired IPO dog that I would love to adopt. A beautiful WGWL boy that is about 7 years old. I hear the voices... "I can do it" "We could make it work" I slap myself around, "Noooooo!!!!!" I could do it but it would change the dynamic (see I'm still talking myself out of it!)

It is about delayed gratification. We humans, when we like something, we want more NOW. Very hard to delay. Now a person who has decided that their lifestyle is about dogs, I say it can work. So folks who do lots of dog sports and their lifestyle is organized around that, I think they can handle it. But just a person who likes dogs but has kids, jobs, other hobbies... I think it often backfires. Sad because often, not always, a dog will pay... like my lab mix.

And one more thing. Sometimes we say, wait a year or 18 months before getting a second dog. I say wait 3 years. My dutch, 65 lbs, changed pretty dramatically in the months around his 3rd birthday. To have another distraction of another dog before his 3rd birthday would have cost us, I would have lost something with him... (Wait, does that mean I can adopt that other dog now? SLAP)

Keep in mind I work 4 days a week. If I didn't have a job, I would have more dogs. hahaha.

Get one dog and commit and invest for at least 3 years. That is my advice.
Hmm, I thought being raised with another dog isnt a problem? My brother has a 1.5 year old gsd that will probably interact with the pup I plan to get on a regular basis. (3-5 times a week).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
56 Posts
I think some can, some can't. Lots of today's owners can't own 1 GSD without issues -- Look at all the, "My 10-week-old puppy is aggressive and dominant, HELPPP!!!!" threads.

I have raised many sets of female littermates without problems. But, I can and will separate them, if I feel it necessary. I know several people who have male littermates without issues.

It isn't for everyone though.
This.

I hate when people say; "My puppy is dominant" -... I really, really hate that.

Lol, when I got another new pup these people I knew where also there buying their pup (visiting the pups at 6 weeks than bought at 8 weeks), and they saw me buying one and they acted like experts .. But you could tell they were newbies at being dog owners.. They bought two litter mates because I was there and bragged about it to me, weeks later, I ran into them at the vet office, all I hear is them complaining, and saying both puppies are "dominant" and "aggressive" ... etc.

Pretty funny I must say...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
My family rescued 3 GSD litter mates at 6 months old when I was young, 2 females and 1 males. They were tied up in a junk yard 27/7.

This was in a different country where (and when) good dog behaviourists, trainers and handlers were not accessible to us. We didn't know what we were getting into when we cut those chains. It was a HUGE task managing the females, even though they were very close they were still a danger to each other and we had some close calls. We don't regret taking them, but I would never do it again, or recommend it to anybody!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
850 Posts
are they littermates?

no .

different dynamics .
No, they are not littermates. My bros is 1.2-1.5 years old. Female. The pup i will be getting is a male. But like I said they will be together a lot of the time. I read on the humane society website that it is best to keep them separate for the first year, only permitting them 30 mins of playtime a day (at most). So it CAN be done I guess, but is a huge challenge and needs proper management. If you keep them apart, separate rooms, separate crates, separate walks, it can be done. But I'm just glad it's my bros dog and not mine, I'm just worried about them interacting more than they should.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
No, they are not littermates. My bros is 1.2-1.5 years old. Female. The pup i will be getting is a male. But like I said they will be together a lot of the time. I read on the humane society website that it is best to keep them separate for the first year, only permitting them 30 mins of playtime a day (at most). So it CAN be done I guess, but is a huge challenge and needs proper management. If you keep them apart, separate rooms, separate crates, separate walks, it can be done. But I'm just glad it's my bros dog and not mine, I'm just worried about them interacting more than they should.
This shouldn't be an issue. Yes, if you are a first time dog owner, getting one puppy and raising it for 3 years before considering another dog is great advice. Not getting littermates is also great advice.

Here's the thing. Couple of things:

1. Puppies gain ALL their confidence from their dam and their litter at first. They are perfectly confident when you see them at 8 weeks because they are in the presence of their dam and litter -- all they knew, their whole life revolved around this setting. They do not know about stranger danger. Mom is there. The others in the litter are not worried. They run and play together and all is good.

Then you take a single puppy and you put it with a group of strange people. The pup needs to swim or sink. No choice. Doing this becomes a burst of confidence-building experience. And, it learns to transfer it's pack-need from its litter (family of origin) to its new family. So it then gets what confidence it requires from you. A puppy that still has a littermate, can continue to look to what it knows, the other puppy, when it is in a new situation, instead of looking to its owners. And it may not gain that burst of confidence, because it has never had to sink or swim. Instead of being thrown into the deep end, it was put in a pool that only reached its belly. Paws still reach the ground. Yes, he still may learn to swim. But he doesn't gain the kind of boost that most dogs do when they leave their litter at a young age and move on.

2. When you have SSA or inter-pack aggression, the dogs that are most likely to fight, are dogs that are close in power. Littermates are the same size -- about, and often close in rank. If you have one that is naturally dominant and one that is naturally submissive, they set up who is who in the litter and you are unlikely to have any fighting going on. The submissive pup will always defer. It will also gain its power/confidence from the stronger pup and when taken out by itself, it can become anxious, reactive, a general nerve-bag. Not common but, you can have issues when you take them out with each other, where one, usually the weaker pup, feels it needs to aggress toward what it perceives as a threat. When you have littermates, you just have a dynamic where the pups are close is size and power, have been matching each other for weeks already, and as they grow, they continue to match and spar. Sometimes they figure it out in the litter, and sometimes they just continue to try and figure that out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
there are posts covering the experience of a couple committed to making a two male littermate household work .

The idea was introduced BEFORE the pups were able to come home, until they were into their young adulthood (18 months or so) . There is a wealth of information , everything from common challenges of time management , behaviour, dogs maturing , training and how to problem solve.

follow the Jake and Elwood posts - problems and progress

it begins here
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/finding-right-puppy/476474-meeting-new-pups-5-days-advice-please.html

I hope for them that things turned out well in the end .

June 29 marked the 2nd birthday of the dogs so it sure would be interesting to have an update.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
Do you really not know anyone who has male littermates?

My one friend kept a couple out of her litter, and they are over a year and doing fine.

Another friend has two males that will be two in October. They are doing great.

I've been following both. Nice dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,695 Posts
Do you really not know anyone who has male littermates?

My one friend kept a couple out of her litter, and they are over a year and doing fine.

Another friend has two males that will be two in October. They are doing great.

I've been following both. Nice dogs.
I know many. I wouldn't say that any of them are doing "great"

All of them have 1 dominant dog and one submissive dog. Neither dog knows how to function on their own. One dog makes all the "decisions" and the other just goes with the flow.

Now, as pet dogs? yes, their owners think that they are doing great. Would they be doing better if they had been raised separately? Probably.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
Dogs are naturally leaders and followers, like people are naturally extroverts and introverts. There are functions in the pack for both types of dogs, just like there are functions in society for a variety of personality types. A dog that is a follower -- submissive is not necessarily unable to function on its own or sad.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top