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Unimaginably Helpful Tips for Raising Sibling Puppies Together

Tips for Raising Sibling Puppies Together
Whether it be humans or dogs, blood is thicker than water. Sibling puppies, therefore, will be as difficult to handle as two fighting human siblings. Take extra care in case you are raising sibling puppies of the same age and gender.
Sonal Dharmadhikari
Last Updated: Jun 7, 2017
The Litter-mate Syndrome
Though it is debated whether the condition of sibling puppies fighting and displaying aggression is a 'syndrome', many pet-parents report problems amongst puppies from the same litter. These include vicious fights (mostly unprovoked), display of aggression, damaged social skills, fearfulness of unfamiliar people or dogs, and a strong bond with the sibling which is damaging to the overall individual development of the puppy. The pet parents need to understand the working of the dog mind to avoid these conflicts.

As dogs are pack animals, their pack instinct is naturally strong. Thus, if the puppy has a close kin with it, it follows and imitates him rather than the humans (pet-parents) around him. The bonding between them, thus, becomes so strong that it is inseparable and their individual growth remains stunted.
The fights that occur are also an issue of concern. It is natural for dogs to fight and establish a pack leader or alpha dog amongst them, which is generally the naturally dominant dog. But these fights can turn really violent, where siblings might hurt each other badly. In this case, what should be done to avoid the unpleasantness of the situation and be a happy family, pet et all?
Re-homed puppies
Unfortunately, the first solution is a tough one - as most pet trainers will give you a word of precaution, the safest way is to give one sibling a new home. This helps in keeping the siblings as far as possible from each other and does a great deal to develop their personalities. After all, be it humans or dogs, individuality is the strength of one's character.
Separate Them
Puppies separated in the same house
If it is not possible to re-home a sibling, you have to follow a routine of double-duty - each puppy needs to be given a separate place in the same home and a separate routine too. This includes separate meal times, walk times, veterinarian trips, and separate exercise or obedience classes. This is the nearest simulation of keeping them in different houses altogether. Good luck being a parent of two!
Do Not Introduce A Third Dog
Sibling puppies at loggerheads with third dog
If the idea of two dogs didn't please your heart enough and you decide to bring in a third one...don't! It is so advised because the presence of the third dog will disturb the ongoing struggle for leadership amongst the siblings. If the new dog is submissive, he may be bullied; if he is dominant, god help you!
Take Extra Efforts To Socialize Them
Sibling puppies socialize
If you are thinking by now that the siblings can never be put together, that's not the case. They can be allowed to play together, albeit under human observation only. Extra efforts go in teaching them socializing skills, which include obeying human instructions, bonding with other breeds, and other abilities that are needed for a healthy domesticated life. By the time they are well-trained, they become the best of our friends!
Assume The Human 'Pack Leader' Position
Human pack leader with sibling puppies
One method to stop sibling puppies from fighting and keep them together is to assume the role of the pack leader yourself, as a pet parent. This is a method involving patience, skill, and training on your part too, so do see a professional trainer before doing so. It is a unique experience and, if done well, there is nothing cooler than this!