A dog trainer explains the dangers of the same litter syndrome
You know what’s cuter than a new puppy? Two (or three, or four) new puppies! When first time owners choose a new dog, it can be tempting to bring them all home. Of course, that’s not always doable, but some people have room in their hearts and homes for more than one puppy. It’s not hard to justify bringing two dogs home: they can play together, they’ll keep each other company throughout the day, and they might even be easier to potty train. Dog owners won’t have to worry about their pups not being socialized, and they certainly won’t suffer from separation anxiety. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, right? ! Well, not quite.
While it can be tempting to bring home two new puppies at once, there is one major downside. Professional K-9 Trainer and Manager Garret Wing of American Standard K9 explained the dangers of “litter syndrome” in a recent video shared on his TikTok Account. This phenomenon involving several young dogs can lead to serious behavioral problems on the road.
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“Same litter syndrome can occur when you buy two dogs from the same litter,” Wing explains in the clip. “Instead of bringing a puppy home, you said, ‘You know what? Our puppy needs a friend. Let’s buy two.’ »
He’ll explain that it “will come back to bite your ass” because the two puppies grow up in the same house.
“Inevitably, they’ll do just about everything together. They’ll eat together, sleep together, drink together, play together,” Wing says. “What’s going to happen is they’re going to form an extremely close bond – a bond so close that you won’t be part of their pack anymore.”
Rather than connecting with your new puppies and forming a family, Wing says you’ll be more like a zookeeper. Although it’s called “litter mate syndrome”, it can still happen with puppies from different litters and even different breeds. In the video, Wing shows two puppies having so much fun playing together that they never check on any humans. He explains that no dog owner can recreate the fun they have together or penetrate their bond. This behavior continues when they become adult dogs. In the second part of Wing’s video, he explains what the sequel could look like.
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The two dogs in the video, Blue and Murphy, are around 4 months old and often play together, but they don’t live together and play all the time. However, when they’re together, it’s clear that they don’t care about the humans around them. Wing points out that your pup can form friendships and have playdates with other puppies, but you need to space them out, so they don’t become too attached.
When you bring home a new puppy, it’s crucial to bond with them immediately. Take them everywhere with you to form a pack. If dogs do not form a pack with their humans, but form one with another dog, they can become difficult to control. As a coach, it becomes difficult to teach them new behaviors because all they want is to play with their buddy and they are not used to looking to people for guidance.
If you suspect your dogs are suffering from same litter syndrome, it takes hard work and a professional trainer to break the bond between the dogs and have productive training sessions. Sometimes dog owners may need to see a pet behaviorist to address any behavioral issues that may arise from having two puppies at the same time.
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