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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to Doberman Talk but not new to dobermans. We had a black male for 11 years and then after him, a red female for 8 years. The male passed away from an aggressive cancer and the female passed away from Copper Storage Hepatopathy. The Copper Storage Hepatopathy was something I hadn't heard of or dealt with as our dobies have always been just companions and not show so there wasn't a reason to do a much of continued testing. Long story short, I have been researching breeders and the pedigrees in their breeding lines for the best possible health history in hopes of not losing another dobie when it's still fairly young. I found 2 breeders...one local & 1 out of state I really like. Long story short, one has a pup now for me but the wrong gender I wanted, but the other's dog is just going into heat now so there's no pups yet and this'll be the dog's 1st litter and this particular breeder's first litter (although she's had dobermans for years and has several mentors working with her). Assuming all the stars align, everything works out and goes well, and that female gets pg and successfully delivers a litter with a pup that fits both the breeder and my desires (a good breeder/new owner fit)...if I get that pup too...I'd have a male that'd be about 3-4 months older than the female (which also means he'd be with us about 3 months before the female came to us). What's your thoughts?? I could pass up a pup and continue on a waiting list and hope the other new breeder is successful...or get this pup now and then see what happens from there...I also have an old female fixed lab (11 yrs old that was 2 weeks older than my red female dobe that passed away--they were best friends) and a 4 year old Jack Russell/Chihuaha mix fixed female at home now. We have a huge house with 6.5 acres so plenty of room and teenage & college aged kids at home to help. I'm not sure what to do. I have dealt with 2 pups at the same time the same age but both were female, and different breeds. This'd be a male and female (but I plan to have both fixed as I don't intend to breed). Thoughts??
 

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I would not have two puppies at the same time. Research littermate syndrome.
 

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I agree with the other posts, please do not get two dogs at the same time. Littermate syndrome is a real thing and something that should be taken very seriously. Sure, there are the rare cases that it does work out but most of the time, it doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, so these would NOT be littermates. They are from different breeders and different ages (although close in age by about 3-4 months) and one male, one female (which is actually my true question I guess). I have already raised 2 female dogs together...my previous female dobie was 2 weeks older than the female lab and we got them both at about 11 weeks old. It was a pure fluke we ended up with both at the exact same time (they came home together on the same day but one was from Washington state and one from a friend locally). The dobie was also a single pup litter (interesting/odd circumstances). They bonded to each other and to our male daschund we had at the time as well as to us. I really didn't see any issues except when the daschund died, they missed him terribly and then eventually when the female dobie died, the lab was grieving pretty hard so we got another small dog so she wasn't alone. The problem now is the lab is old and not as active as the little dog wants to be. The new pup or pups are not for the other dogs...it's for me.
My oldest daughter has depression/anxiety/panic...she has a well trained and medically certified emotional support dog. I call Loki a "Dogsend" because he's been a lifesaver for her away at college and turned her life around. I have 2 female goats I take around (when requested) to retirement places to visit (goofy sweet friendly goats always bring a smile). They are well trained but can only be outside visitors and really don't travel well. So, I decided with the obvious intelligence and sweet marshmallow personality of the dobies I've had, it was time to get another dobie and train him/her for therapy and possibly tracking/scent work. That said, this'll be a working dog as well as a fur baby so there'll be more than just a little home basic training going on. With one or two, either way, it would have to be regimented and lots of training and attention to the dog (s). I was able to train Mercy and Blu to do a lot together and separately.
When I looked up littermate syndrome, I believe I have never seen this in my dogs (never had just one...usually 2-4). Growing up with multiple dogs in a household as a child and as an adult, I've never seen aggression between dogs living in the same household. I think I know why this is. In my immediate family, we have 4 children...so a family of 6. We also have extensive family in town all with dogs. We camp together and have a cabin/complex together everyone gets together for long weekends or more year round. We get together a lot too! Everyone has at least 1-2 dogs or more...when we visit family or they visit us...the dogs come too. When my son's or daughter's college friends come over, they bring their dogs because they know they are welcome in our home. I think our dogs have always gotten along with everyone because they were "raised by a village"...anyone takes a trip, they drop their dogs off with someone else in the family to stay with them. All these years we've never had a problem with all the dogs that have lived and passed...never issues of aggression because they all seem to get along. So my vote to avoid littermate syndrome must be vast socialization with tons of family both human and furred (an that includes cats and even my goats, chickens and ducks). :) So I guess making me think about it has answered my own question. lol Though I am still wondering if I really want the work 2 puppies will create above just having one....
 

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Littermate syndrome is more than littermates - it is 2 or more dogs who are close in age. As you likely know with your Doberman experience, you need to be mindful of same sex aggression, especially when you gather with family and their dogs. Good luck.
 

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Littermate syndrome does not just apply to littermates. It applies to puppies that are close in age, even if they are not related or not even the same breed.
 

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Can you absolutely depend on your teenage and college kids to completely take over the care and training of one of the dogs while you care for and train the other? Basically to keep the two dogs entirely isolated--separate feeding, exercise, training, play time--from each other except for planned playdates?

That is the only way I would even consider this, and even then, it might be tricky. Really--having two dogs both under 1 year isn't a good idea. I don't see how you can make this work.
 

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This may be just me -- after all different people have different emotional responses to situations.

If I got a puppy that wasn't exactly what I wanted on the theory of better something now than maybe nothing later, and then the second litter turned out to have exactly what I wanted, that first puppy would always be the second best. Not that I'd neglect it, but even if there was no puppy for me from the second litter, in my mind there'd always be the idea I'd settled for something other than what I really wanted.

If you pass on the puppy that's available now and it goes to someone who thinks it's the greatest thing ever and there's no puppy for you in the second litter, would it be that terrible to wait a few months, even a year? I remember chewing my nails through the process of waiting for a puppy from a litter I wanted -- did the bitch conceive? were there more puppies than the bitch owner and stud owner would keep? were there bitch puppies available? I got a puppy I wanted enough to get on an airplane for the first time in over 20 years to go get her. Maybe because it wasn't that easy, there was not one day of her life I didn't look at her and think, "I am so lucky to have this dog."
 

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I know I personally don't have what it takes to raise two puppies and make sure they get enough individual training time, enough time out and about by themselves, to make sure they grow up independent enough to "become their own dog," so to speak. It can be done, but the amount of time and dedication it takes is well beyond my capabilities, or, frankly, what I'd want to do. I also have seen the heartbreak that happens when two old dogs die relatively close to one another, and I don't think my heart could take that. If it's something you want to take on, this is an excellent article written by a great trainer on how to do it the right way - note, her first advice is don't do it! https://nancytanner.com/2018/09/13/top-10-tips-considerations-for-raising-littermates/

I am also pretty much in the camp that GP Person just posted...I'm pretty particular in what I'm looking for in a puppy, so I'd really be waiting for just the right one. That's me, though.
 

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I had two puppies at once last year and it was doable, but not easy. They were not from the same litter or even the same breed or size, and yet there was still a lot of extra care that I had to take to prevent littermate syndrome from happening between them. Basically I had purchased a chihuahua puppy shortly after the death of my rescue chihuahua, and then right before bringing her home the breeder of the mountain dog I'd been waiting on for three years texted me saying she thought a suitable puppy for me had just been born! So my girls are two months apart.

Honestly I can't say I'd recommend folks follow in my footsteps. I did a lot to keep them apart from each other- separate feedings, potty times, training, etc, to the point where they only had about 30 minutes a day to be together in an unstructured (aka not a learning environment) setting. I didn't even crate them near each other. I would get one out and let that one run around until potty breaks needed to happen, then put that dog in the crate and get the other out, rinse repeat. And one of the major reasons I was able to do that is because I was on furlough from my job a good portion of the year due to the pandemic. I don't think I could fathom doing it now, with my current work schedule and my current dog workload.

Honestly, I think a better option would be to listen to what other folks have been saying, and get one to raise and love, and then get the other. You can even have them be the same age if you want- getting an older dog that needs a home is always a fantastic thing to do! I did that with my chihuahuas- after my puppy had grown up some, her breeder offered me a holdback that didn't turn out that's just a little bit older than her. So now I have a 2yo and an 18mo chihuahua, and a 16mo greater swiss, and the dynamic ended up working really well for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am still mind boggled over the littermate syndrome. I grew up with getting dogs at the same time and we never had or needed any separation? I hadn't even heard of it before this forum. The last two, Mercy (the dobie) and Blu (the lab) were only 2 weeks apart and it wasn't planned to get them both at the same time...just a pure fluke. However, I actually kennel/crate trained them together. I got two very large crates with front and side entrances and connected them. At night or when no one was home, they had the crate(s) together and full access to each other. I never saw aggression or domination...could be that the lab is such a total sweetheart and the dobie was what I called an "old soul" with a marshmallow heart...even as pups. They had different likes though...for instance, the lab loved water and the dobie not so much! lol They both got individual time with family members all the time, but it wasn't something we planned out. Maybe I've just seen the exceptions to the rule? I absolutely would trust my teens or college kiddos (very blessed with these kids!) to take over and they will help a lot but, I know I would be crazy stupid not to listen to anyone on this chat and ignore the opinions I asked for.
For my situation, I work at an office 50% of the time and from home 50% of the time but my work is very flexible. The dogs go everywhere with us. And I am not just jumping into getting a new pup (well aware that it's usually 6-12 months wait for a dobie pup). Mercy has been gone for 2 years now and just now I think my heart is healed enough and wanting a new dobie in our lives. I've spent more than 6 months so far researching breeders and looking into the lineage of their kennels/breeding program. My priorities have always been is health, longevity and temperament. I have no interest in conformation/showing. I look at the breeder's history, their standing in the dobie community, the pedigrees back usually 4 gens (fairly standard) and what testing they do regularly and can prove. I also love seeing longevity certs or bred for longevity certs on their pedigrees in their pups lineage. I'm am waiting for the right dog and because I've had both male and female and both were phenomenal in many ways, I really can't say I have to have a female or male. The breeder that has the pup for me right now is extremely proven in the dobie community and has been breeding since the 1970's. She also is focused on health and longevity as well as has proven dogs in therapy training which is another plus. I've been on her waiting list. The other breeder is new but in state and is well connected with reputable dobie breeder mentors she's working with. So this might be her first litter, but reading through her dog's pedigrees (she's had dobies for 10+ years and now just entering breeding) and her contracts, I'm impressed with her dedication to the correct focusing on breeding for the right and best reasons. I was going to definitely go with the first gal for sure until I found the gal in state that also caught my interest. I want to get into more with this dog and that includes the connections, training, clubs, etc that are pretty sparse in our state. I am not interested in breeding at this time and may never be interested in going that far. Anyway, I have decided to go with the male from the first breeder. I will do more research including more talking with both breeders and others to decide if I really want to get another pup (I believe in being open and honest because I know from the past that they'll be a part of me and my pups life for the pup's entire life and I respect their experience and knowledge). I still have time for that. I think also that getting the male might help keep my relationship continuing with the second new breeder if I decide against getting my second pup from her. So that all said....I do appreciate all the comments and help. I still have no experience ever dealing with littermate syndrome and hope I never do because never seeing it, it simply boggles my mind that it can happen since I've always had multiple dogs. I know how much work raising and training 2 pups of the same age together are, but I'd happily give references to prove that our 2 gals were amazing, individual and live(d) to their full potential without any aggression. Yep, I was lucky and very blessed so I definitely don't want to go into anything in the future without fully researching and being a responsible dog mamma (owner).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All I will say is if you really want to end up in the nut house - then get 2 puppies , that will do the trick : ))
I have to reply directly to this one because you brought a huge smile to my face...I'm already the biggest nut in the nuthouse! You're talking to a 50 year old woman with 4 kids (3 girls and 1 boy) who's always had a ton of fur, feathered, fin and scaled family members. We have 6.5 acres and a huge house on the outskirts of town...with 7 chickens (some too old to lay eggs but they are beloved pets of course!), 1 fun rooster that thinks he's a goat (long funny story), 2 female mini nubian goats, 10 ducks, 1 indoor male cat, 1 female fixed lab and 1 female fixed Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix...and 2 pea hens from the neighbors house who love my house more and seem to live over at our place the most! It's crazy, it's busy and we're all very busy making sure everyone is taken care of but my kiddos and I can tell you every pet's name, their age, their quirky personalities and what they eat and fav treat. Friends and family come to our house to get the "fur treatment" (almost thinking I could charge for this kind of relaxation or crazy fun! Everyone gets time...for me, it's my zen....and I won't even mention how many tanks with fish I have in the house because I don't watch tv much when my peace is sitting watching fish while snuggling something furry! lol Seriously though...with the outside world so unkind, heartbreaking and out of control...there's nothing better than the unconditional love of our big family and I take the responsibility I have for each and everyone very seriously.
 
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