Two from the same litter?

What are your thoughts on two pups from the same litter being raised together? When I fostered litters the rescue organization I volunteered for did not allow this though I'm not sure there was any scientific reason for it (concerns about dogs bonding to each other and not the human(s), fighting etc). My concern with this breed is separation anxiety; something no one should have to deal with.

@beth314 - Typically this is not a great idea and it in the end would go to the temperament of each puppy. Remember that littermates have jockeyed for position in the litter their entire lives, for Mom's attention, food, beds, people attention, etc. I do not do this... and do not suggest it.

I have three from the same litter: 2 boys and 1 girl. They have lived together since their first breath and they are now 10 and 1/2 years old. The boys are kept separate but the girl can be easily with either. This arrangement has never been a problem. In fact, each of the 3 are tightly bonded with the humans .... much more so than each other. But they live very easily with each other of different sex.

It is good to see it can work but from my experience with one I can't imagine trying to keep their attention for training. I can see some benefit for a constant buddy, it just seems like double trouble. Not sure if you can relate it to twin children at all but I have twin grandsons now almost 11 and though it is wonderful, when they were toddlers it was definately double trouble! It makes me laugh to consider the challenge of two Basenji babies!

@jot - I hear that, the biggest point is that the males are kept separate.... easy for some to do, not so much for a pet owner. And males/females from the same litter can have issues with each other also.

Might be dependent on the pups. I've known opposite sex litter mates to run together for 15 years, with the only issue being injury due to reckless behavior. I've also known some same sex litter mates to run together for years until deciding that they didn't like each other.

We had four female pups who have gotten together once or twice a year since they were placed. They get along perfectly. So much so that they will stay with each other for weeks when folks are on vacation. Of interest is that they immediately revert to their puppy behavior of chasing and tussling. It's just instant and always fun to watch. However, they are all sweet and mellow dogs, and not all Basenjis have that disposition.

Dogs are social creatures so I'm reluctant to think that siblings can't get along. No hard evidence to back that up though.

last edited by DonC

@beth314 Two solved the separation problems with mine. Male and Female have worked well for me personally.

I always split ages to six or so years apart because the downside is the medical bills and care they need when they get older. One dog is hard, two would be double.

I think 2 pups at the same time, whether or not from the same litter or breed for that matter, can be challenging. A friend who did this found it took twice as long to get them house trained, and training generally wasn't easy, precisely because they enjoyed each other's company and looked to each other more than the human. I do think getting a pup when you have an older dog to be a model can make things easier, but your relationship with the dog will never be quite the same when they have other canine company and are not as dependent on you. This can be good or bad, depending.....

@donc - We all have our opinions.... and while it might work, if you have two dominate pups (littermates) it will not work.... I have evidence, it has happened with my litters.. and many other breeders that I know. As we say, it works till it doesn't

Two rescue sisters....after 5 yrs with us, and never a mohawk between them. I came home to blood all over the porch and punctures all over each one. A year or so later. On the couch next to me and it happened again, however this time i tried to intervene...not a good idea, neither one had,punctures, but I did. Word to the wise never try to separate them, intervene with pillow..cushion, or water, not your hands. Other wise for the next 5 yrs, they slept together ate together and played together. I will never know what triggered. I think the first time was over food but the second time..
No idea

We now have a boy and girl, litter mates 2 yrs old. Lots of rough house but never a mohawk. But I have eyes on all the time. When she is in season our live are literally hell , but no violence.

hubby has the final vote and after reading him this thread it's "no" to 2 pups. crossing fingers that I won't have SA issues ... thanks for all the feedback.

last edited by Beth314

I have never sold two pups from the same litter into the same household. Possibly because no-one has ever asked me to. @tanza has a good argument when she says they have competed since birth and are likely to continue to do so. Which is a perfectly reasonable assumption.

We almost always kept one from each litter so there was a constant progression (and we ended up with 8 Basenjis for years !). The latest addition always learned life skills from the biggies and now I am down to two, Mku is helping me train Kito, just as he was himself partially trained by the old lady, Hoover. There is no doubt but that they learn from each other, related or not.

@Beth314 One now and another in a year's time. Best idea, tell hubby. That way they have company and can learn from each other. Pack animals - definitely get a second one !

last edited by Zande

@beth314 said in Two from the same litter?:

crossing fingers that I won't have SA issues

With all due respect for those who are dealing with separation anxiety and related issues: if you are relaxed, your dogs are relaxed. Our pups are super tuned in to us. They anticipate what is going to happen based on our routine actions. And they react based on how we react. If you treat coming in and out of the house as though it is normal (which it is), it will become less and less of an issue for both of you.

Part of the anxiety is on us. We inadvertently worry about using a crate or not using a crate. And then a list of things run rampant in our imagination... Is the dog going to mess in the house while we are gone? Are they going to get into something they shouldn't? Are they going to destroy my (sofa, shoes, house)? Am I going to come home to trash all over the place? We've heard the stories. We've seen the evidence. ahhhhh!

But it doesn't have to be like that. Start by making several short trips in and out. To the mailbox. To the corner. To the neighbors and back. Don't focus so much on how long you are gone. You could go back and forth to the mailbox 5 times, but you have to leave the house and walk away... your dog can tell if you are (or aren't) on the other side of the door. Your dog can smell you. They can hear you. Walk away, give it a minute, go back. You are teaching your dog that: seeing you come and go is normal. No big deal.

Agree with @elbrant you need to be matter of fact about things. For what it's worth, I never had separation anxiety with the ones I raised from pups. That came later, when I adopted mature dogs. With the first I expected there could be a problem as he had a history of crate anxiety and confinement anxiety, with the second I was blindsided because he had never had an issue with being crated before, but it was his first time in a "one dog" household and being confined just didn't work. I had only planned on using a crate briefly until I was sure of him, but his anxiety level was off the scale, so I had to give up on crating almost immediately. As his reaction was unexpected I'm sure I did nothing to set him off....in both cases a bit of freedom and ability to see out, plus a distraction when I was leaving, sorted the problem pretty quickly.

@tanza said in Two from the same litter?:

@donc - We all have our opinions.... and while it might work, if you have two dominate pups (littermates) it will not work.... I have evidence, it has happened with my litters.. and many other breeders that I know. As we say, it works till it doesn't

Well I have seen it work. But that doesn't prove the thesis anymore than your anecdotal evidence disproves it. To have actual evidence you would need to have pups of the same age from the same litter and not from the same litter. That's not going to happen. So we're just left with rank speculation.

I do know for a fact that Basenji breeders need to be concerned about dog fights between dogs from different litters all the time. So I guess that proves dogs from different litters pose a problem? It doesn't to me because unless you know the base rates and the incidence rates there isn't any way to know one way or the other. We can all choose to believe the myth we prefer, which was my original point -- depends on the dogs and the age differences more than the litter situation -- and thinking that it's because of their being littermate conflates the age issue with the litter issue.

last edited by DonC

@donc I really like and appreciate your post, @DonC . I've been active in the dog world (almost exclusively shelter/rescue work) for 20+ years and opinions and anecdotes pass as facts all the time. I knew I'd get this asking my question in the first place, I suppose, but I also believed to make a decision I needed to hear personal stories; the best on offer. The potential for dogs fighting whether litter mates or not, is more than my husband and I want to take on right now.

last edited by Beth314

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