In July of last year, I published a blog post on this site about littermate syndrome, a condition in which behavioral issues may arise during key development periods because the two siblings’ deep bond impedes their ability to absorb and grasp the nuances of human and canine communication. This essentially limits their ability to socialize normally. This post has gone viral on multiple occasions, at times receiving ten of thousand of hits in a day. Bark Magazine recently republished my article in the Winter edition:
Don’t Take Two Littermates
by Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA
THE EMAIL described a familiar scenario: “We were planning to adopt one puppy, but the breeder said that raising two sisters would be easier. After we brought the girls home at nine weeks, their behavior became increasingly out of control. My husband and I could not get their attention for more than a second or two—it was as if we weren’t even in the same room. And then they started displaying alarming fearfulness of people and other dogs.” I made an appointment for a home visit so I could meet the family and the puppies.
Many dog behaviorists, trainers, breeders and shelters discourage adopting siblings. Anecdotal evidence suggests that behavioral issues may arise during key development periods because the two puppies’ deep bond impedes their individual ability to absorb and grasp the nuances of human and canine communication. Since fear is the canine’s default reaction to odd or unfamiliar stimuli, this muddled understanding of the world around them can lead to impaired coping mechanisms later on.
Click here to continue reading on Bark Magazine’s website.