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Is Littermate Syndrome a Myth?

two cocker spaniel puppies sat on a leather chair with the caption Is Littermate syndrome a myth

Did you know that there is a phenomenon called littermate syndrome? It’s when two or more puppies are raised together and they end up developing behavioral problems.

But is this really a thing? Or is it just something people say to explain away bad dog behavior? Let’s take a look at the scientific evidence and find out!

Contents of this article:

  1. Why do people say littermate syndrome is a myth?
  2. Does littermate syndrome always happen?
  3. What are the first signs of littermate syndrome?
  4. Littermate syndrome symptoms.
  5. Conclusion – Is littermate syndrome a myth?

Why do people say littermate syndrome is a myth?

Littermate syndrome is a term used to describe the negative behaviors that can occur when two puppies from the same litter are raised together.

While there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of this syndrome, there are many anecdotal reports of it occurring. But is littermate syndrome a myth?

There is a lot of debate over whether or not “littermate syndrome” is a real thing. Some people believe that it is a myth, while others believe that it is a real phenomenon.

There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of littermate syndrome, but there are many anecdotal reports of it occurring.

One of the reasons why some people believe that littermate syndrome is a myth is because the symptoms associated with it are often seen in puppies that are not littermates. For example, separation anxiety, aggression, and potty training problems can occur in puppies that are raised together or apart.

In addition, there is no one definitive cause of littermate syndrome. It is possible that multiple factors, such as genetics, environment, and socialization, could contribute to the development of the syndrome.

Does littermate syndrome always happen?

No, there is no guarantee that littermate syndrome will occur if you raise two puppies from the same litter.

Some people do very little to avoid littermate syndrome and their dogs end up just fine. At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve known people who have gone to great lengths to avoid littermate syndrome, only to have their puppies end up exhibiting some of the symptoms.

In mild cases, the dogs may be overly reliant upon each other and have difficulty being apart, while in more severe cases, the dogs may be aggressive towards each other to the point they cannot be within sight of each other without kicking off.

Dodging littermate syndrome is a bit like crossing the road blindfold though – you may get lucky and not get hit by a car, but you’re more likely to get hit.

Generally speaking, the more aware you are about littermate syndrome and the more active you are in implementing a strategy to avoid it, the more chance you will have of raising well-adjusted dogs.

What are the first signs of littermate syndrome?

The first signs of littermate syndrome is often that one or both dogs will panic if they can’t see the other and constantly seek out their sibling. This can be a mild form of separation anxiety or it can be much more severe.

Other early signs include one or both dogs being difficult to potty train and generalize commands. This is because each dog is more focused on the other dog than on their owner.

If a dog finds interacting with their sibling more rewarding than anything their owner has to offer them, they will be difficult to motivate. The other dog is more valuable to them than their owner.

As the syndrome progresses, the symptoms may become more severe. One or both dogs may exhibit aggression towards people or other animals, and they may become difficult to handle.

In extreme cases, one dog may need to be rehomed. This then creates its own issues because the dog left behind cannot cope without their sibling.

Littermate syndrome symptoms.

Some of the most common behaviors associated with littermate syndrome include:

– One or both puppies developing separation anxiety.

– One or both puppies becoming excessively shy or fearful.

– One or both puppies exhibiting aggression towards people or other dogs.

– One or both puppies being difficult to potty train and train in general.

While there is no guarantee that littermate syndrome will occur if you raise two puppies from the same litter, it is important to be aware of the potential risks.

If you are considering raising two puppies together, it is best to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist beforehand to ensure that you are prepared for the challenges that may arise.

Is littermate syndrome a myth?

Puppies raised together can very easily become overly reliant on one another so it is important to be aware of the potential risks involved if you are considering raising two together, whether they are related or not.

Consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist beforehand to ensure that you are prepared for the challenges that may arise.

More posts on littermate syndrome and having two dogs:

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