It depends on who you ask, but for the most part littermates are not seen as a positive addition to the home for your dog. In fact, most dog trainers will tell you have littermates are not something you should willingly want to have in your home.
The reasons for keeping littermates are rather obvious. The connection the dog feels towards its littermate can make it difficult to separate them. You may have more than one child, so keeping two puppies makes sense. Or you made an impulse decision and now you may be regretting it.
Whatever the case may be, it is difficult enough to raise and train a single puppy. Having two not only makes it twice the work but given their bond it makes it even more difficult to establish the proper discipline and training needed. So, if you can, do not keep the littermate of the puppy. Instead, you should wait until the puppy grows up before finding another puppy.
But What If You Already Have Littermates?
If you are already there, then you are going to have to make some tough decisions. The good news is that the solution is relatively straightforward, but it is going to take time and patience to implement. You need to teach each puppy to live on their own.
Think about your children and how you raise them to be independent-minded. The same holds true for puppies who must learn to live apart if they want to grow up properly. Because if you let them grow up together, they will never learn to do anything apart. With so many animal shelters filled with bonded pairs of dogs who cannot be adopted individually, it’s easy to see why you need to shelter, train, and keep them apart for long periods so they can learn independence.
Here’s what you can do to start the process of raising the puppies to not be bonded with each other.
- Have separate crates for sleeping
- Put the crates in separate rooms
- Play with the puppies one at a time and out of sight of the other
- Train them separately and at different times
In other words, any activity that you need to do with one should be without the other present. That is the only way for each puppy to develop independently.
Why Raise Them Separately?
You may intend to have your puppies stay together their whole lives, but life doesn’t often work out that way. If something happens that causes the puppies to be separated, the effect can be devastating. Without the other present, their behavior can change radically and in unexpected ways which may cause depression and other symptoms which they cannot overcome.
That’s why if at all possible, do not get them a litter mate. But if they have a litter mate, then do what you can to raise one as if the other is not present. That is the only way to keep them healthy in case something unexpected happens when the other is not around.