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April 27, 2007


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Lisa B

Even though there's no hard data to back you up, I think you are correct, based on my own observations. I had a family in on of my puppy classes who had sibling soft-coated wheaten terriers (the stupid breeder had a buyer back out, so she suckered this family into taking both puppies by telling them it would be better for them to have a playmate). What I saw was that the male dog was completely out-of-control to the point where we had to block his view of the rest of the class with agility tunnels just so the family could (attempt to) work with him. meanwhile, the female was so non-energetic and unenthusiastic that we had a hard time getting her to even stand up so we could teach her sits, downs and loose-leash walking. She would come in and lie down on the floor, refusing to get up even if we tried to lure her with steak. All the while her brother was barking his head off. It was as if he sucked all the energy out of her and expended it barking and lunging at anything that moved.

I have no doubt that both of these dogs would have done better if they had gone to separate homes. We even brought up the topic of re-homing one of them but the family didn't want to discuss it.

meg h.

hello---as the owner of 2 littermate golden retrievers, now 4 months old, i know now what i wish i had known then: DO NOT take 2 pups of the same litter. our dogs, bess and easy (brother and sister) are wonderful loving and intellingent dogs. but they are changing and not for the better, esp. our male. he is obsessed with his sister and has moved further and further away from my husband and i emotionally--he moves right past us in the morning to get to his sister's crate, where he paws and paws to get to her. puppy play escalates into hand-to-hand combat--up on their hindquaters and going at it--and they are young yet! we LOVE both of our dogs, and we love them enough to do the right thing: we are searching for a good new home for easy---and i cannot believe i am even writing this, it hurts so much. but i want him to be someone's good dog, happy and living life to its fullest--not some obsessed shadow of bess, who seems relieved to have a break from him. we have done all of the recommended separations but to no real avail. within minutes of being together, it all begins.
this is not scientific proof i suppose, but it is not anecdotal either. it is real life and it is sad.i feel all breeders should be responsible and at least warn people of the potential risks, if not completely refuse to sell 2 puppies. i do not blame our breeder per say--i should have done my homework. but i never dreamed i would be at this moment. i am writing this on the day that easy will most likely move out and i am so, so sad. but i love my dog enough to do what feels to be the right thing.
thank you for your excellent website--i am glad that i found it!
good luck and take care.


I'm so sorry you're having to go through this! If it makes you feel any better, the resulting change you should see after rehoming is generally quite immediate and should be better for both dogs. I wish you the best of luck with this!

Cara, Austin Dog Training


WOW! I feel so much better knowing I'm not alone with this issue. I too just adopted 2 puppies (sisters) thinking they would be happier together - WRONG WRONG WRONG - they constantly fight and they are not just playing around they will draw blood if I don't stop them. And they weigh only 4 pounds a piece! After being up all night AGAIN listening to them I have decided to give one to a good friend of ours and hopefully we will have a more peaceful home. I only wish I knew that adopting littermates, especially sisters/females, is not a great plan before I brought both of them home. I'm just glad we realized this after just a couple of weeks but it is going to be hard to part with one but hopefully they will both be better pets for me and the other new owner.


It's always wonderful when you can find a friend or family member to adopt one of the dogs so that you can still get together for playdates! I'm sorry you have to go through this, but I hope it all works out for the best in the end,

Cara, Austin dog training, behavior, and daycare


I was just reading your info, I have a brother half sister set of labs. 5/06 our beloved choc lab was killed in front of our house by a car accident, 1 month later the deputy that took the call that night, brought us Gunner our yellow. Well that was gift we could not turn down and at the time I asked if there was a sister I could purchase, they said no puppies left. Well 11/06 we heard of a choc girl needing a good home, I agreed to adopt then reading her papers discovered she had the same parents as Gunner, but 1 litter earlier. I was thrilled, I got my brother/sister pups like I'd dreamed of. Well needless to say, they play so rough sometimes it turns into knock down drag outs, I have to yell/clap hands to seperate them. My husband thought taking in the second pup was a terrible idea, but I thought Gunner needed a playmate to release his energy. I think it's the sister/Sadie that gets out of control, her haunches are raised and she'd kill him for a bone. Sometimes it scares me when my 2 year old is around them when they behave like that. I think Sadies previous owner may have experienced aggression but didn't tell me anything about it. Can they be trained to stop the fighting? Gunner was 1 in April and Sadie is now 2.


I'm looking to adopt two dogs from a local animal shelter. The dogs are from the same litter, male and female, lab mixes. They're nearly 3 years old and have been placed in a shelter since they were puppies and got never separated. I've been told they're the most loving dogs ever seen and gets well along with other animals and people. They're little shy and are reserved first before you get to know them better.
I'd just like to ask for some advise, should I go for an adoption of these two? Would I be just looking for a lot of troubles by adopting them?

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