Littermate Syndrome: What it means and is it a concern

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

This confident pair of four month old pups are also quite willing to work alone - and do! - all on their own.

Questions about this issue come up frequently when I talk with prospective buyers that are new to LGDs. I have never experienced anything like it with my many, many pairs of dogs & pups placed but it seemed like a good idea to really understand this term from a scientific point of view. Kathy generously took this project on; her findings are in the blog below.

In my opinion decisions about ownership or management of animals should be based on science, not fads or popular current jargon. As the secretary of the MSCA I can tell you that there is an unacceptable rate of failure for LGDs. Maybe my memory is selective but I cannot remember a time when the dog the owner wanted to give our rescue had been part of a pair.

Training is among the minimum management requirements owed to an animal. Two dogs, left to make decisions on their own without the benefit of training, are likely to get in trouble, littermates or not.

Littermate Syndrome: What it means and is it a concern by Kathy Flynn

One of the questions that comes up when placing puppies is “what about littermate syndrome”?