23 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Are Two Puppies Better Than One?

Littermates can be a great choice in dog adoption with the right socialization and training. Follow Me on Pinterest

Littermates can be a great choice in dog adoption with the right socialization and training.

“I’m afraid because my brother is. Woof!”

There are situations when we might feel the tug in hearts to adopting a sibling, but are two puppies better than one? While having litter mates may sound like a great idea there are a few socialization and training techniques to consider first.

Are Two Puppies Better Than One?

An older gentleman attended one of my group classes with his two Siberian huskies. The nine-year-old siblings were smart and attentive, but whenever I walked the female a mere five feet away to work on leash skills, the male would panic. He’d cry, shriek, and try frantically to follow. The two had been together all of their lives and had never been separated, even temporarily. As you might imagine, this had caused problems in a variety of situations.


Although it doesn’t happen between all siblings, over-bonding is a commonplace phenomenon and is termed “Littermate Syndrome.” It’s the reason shelters, responsible breeders, trainers, and others caution against adopting siblings. What well-meaning owners often don’t realize is training two puppies at once is not only much harder than focusing on just one, but the pups are very likely to become more bonded with each other than they are with their owner. Siblings can become so dependent on each other that they become a sort of security blanket for each other, sometimes to the point that, when separated, they experience extreme distress. Separating them to take one to vet, for example, can be a traumatic experience. Read more about Dog Adoption in Littermate Syndrome here.

The decision to adopt a puppy is a big commitment, and one that must be planned out well ahead of time. When asking the question, are two puppies better than one, it’s good to have the right socialization and training ready to go the moment you bring your beloved new fur babies home. It’s important to understand the pack mentality and how our dogs interact together, which is very different than ourselves.

Do you have littermates in your home?

How did you train them?

Tell us below!