The word ‘Littermate’ includes two names in itself. Litter and mate. Let’s break down the meanings of the two words off the bat. Litter is the place the pups are born. Mate refers to them being friends. When puppies are born and raised in the same home and litter, they are called littermate puppies. When they grow older, they become littermate dogs. However, growing up, they can develop littermate syndrome.
Littermate Syndrome – A Complete Guide
It is normal for people adopting puppies from a litter to adopt two instead of one. No one would want to separate the cute brothers and sisters from each other just after birth. It is also normal to think that in adopting two puppies at once, it would take lesser time to train both of them. However, training two puppies can take twice the time and effort required to train one.
Not only are work and time required to train two hurdles to overcome in adopting two puppies at once, but behavioural issues can also be prominent in the case of littermate puppies. This could be littermate syndrome.
What is Littermate Syndrome?
Littermate syndrome refers to behavioral issues that are developed in sibling dogs. Two puppies from the same litter develop a very strong attachment with each other. That bond becomes so strong that it interferes with their ability to interact individually. Not only that, but the bond also interferes with them acting and behaving normally with others. All this happens when the two siblings are not together. They do not have the thinking ability to act properly individually.
The only good thing about this is that it does not necessarily develop in all sibling puppies. This syndrome can affect unrelated dogs as well as dogs of any breed. With specialized training and pet parents, this syndrome can also be prevented.
Lack of Socializing and Training
Preparing, mingling, housetraining, and focusing on two youthful pups can be more troublesome than you’d envision. Certain parts of pup raising are frequently lost or done improperly when there’s more than one puppy. As such, a lot of time is devoted to “enduring the madness.” Without proper training, all dogs can create a frenzy anywhere they can! If the dogs are not social or have been kept inside almost all their life, they will have issues.
Being together will include love for each other. Hence, dogs born and growing up together will love each other unconditionally. However, this may lead to them being aggressive and hostile towards other dogs than each other.
Not only that, just as human siblings love each other the most, they do too. However, when human siblings fight, they fight twice as badly as they love each other. It is the same with sibling dogs. When they love, it is most of all. But when they fight, it is the worst of all. Battling can get serious, even risky, as they arrive at development. Siblings frequently play hard and battle more diligently.
Is Littermate Syndrome A Myth?
When we intently analyze what is “Littermate Syndrome”, we see that it is not a current disorder, and there is no such substance. It’s anything but a helpful, proper, or precise mark to put on sets of puppies who are burdened with conduct issues. It isn’t a conclusion by specialists in canine brain research and conduct.
Being littermates doesn’t naturally or straightforwardly incline dogs to have a social turn of events. There are auxiliary factors that can add to issues. There is a danger associated with getting two pups because of the realities that:
1) They may both offer a hereditary inclination to nervousness and social issues, making them both bound to create issues independently.
2) If one of the puppies has a conduct issue, they may cause issues in the subsequent puppy. This can be due to putting social weight on them.
3) They might not have the chance to get associated with being separated from everyone else (isolated from one another). That may deliver them less strong and less ready to adapt when isolated.
4) Some individuals are slanted to mingle with them less, expecting they can depend on them to mingle with one another.
Preventing Littermate Syndrome
For this, you have to ensure not to let the puppies share a single crate. Be sure to give them time individually as well. They should be fed in different bowls and walked differently. They should be played with and trained separately.
Bond with the puppies individually as both would have unique traits and personalities. As they are different individuals, they would have different energy levels as well as habits. The most important thing is for your puppies to socialize. They should be taken to places with you and allowed to explore. They should meet people and other dogs as much as possible.
There are professional dog trainers and dog training institutes as well. They can help prevent littermate syndrome from developing in your sibling dogs. Your sibling dogs would grow out to be just like any other normal puppy or a grown-up dog.
Littermate syndrome in puppies can lead to a disastrous environment at home. However, it is not yet confirmed if the issue of littermate syndrome exists or not. For all the doctors know, it could still be a myth. For now, we will have to keep a close eye on our dogs and ensure that they behave themselves, whether they are from the same litter or not.