On adopting litter mates.

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Swanny1790
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On adopting litter mates.

Post by Swanny1790 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:05 pm

This article, by Patricia McConnell PhD, has generated considerable discussion among dog musher on my FaceBook page. I think it can be very valuable for those considering adopting litter mates, especially in the pet (versus working dog) environment.

http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theoth ... mates-dont
"Once infected with the mushing virus, there is no cure. There is only trail." - Sven Engholm

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Nettle
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by Nettle » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:24 am

Great article. I love this from the Pat Miller link too:

Two-pup rationale #2: I have two children and they each want their own puppy.

What a sweet idea. Just say no.


:lol: Easy, isn't it?
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gwd
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by gwd » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:12 pm

I realize I'm prickly about this issue............ but I hate that the title used the term 'adopting'. Language has power and when respected dog people like McConnell fall into the 'feel good' trap used by AR groups I bristle. I'm tired of terms such as 'pet parents', 'pet guardians', ...........when we lose the right to 'own' our dogs we lose rights to make decisions for their care.
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Nettle
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by Nettle » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:25 am

gwd wrote:I realize I'm prickly about this issue............ but I hate that the title used the term 'adopting'. Language has power and when respected dog people like McConnell fall into the 'feel good' trap used by AR groups I bristle. I'm tired of terms such as 'pet parents', 'pet guardians', ...........when we lose the right to 'own' our dogs we lose rights to make decisions for their care.

I so agree with that. And it encourages thinking in a fluffy coochicoo manner. The day we accept dogs as animals, not better than us, not worse, the day we embrace their otherness and stop trying to turn them into something they never want to be - will be a great day for the dog/person interface.
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Suzette
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by Suzette » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:13 am

Words definitely have power and we should always be mindful how we use them, but on the flip side, as a group, we can sometimes become over sensitive to them if we are not careful. I personally have no problem with the term "adopting a dog". To me, it does not diminish my role in their life (or theirs in mine) or affect my right and obligation to make decisions for that dog.

I adopted my daughter. I do not own her, but I still have the legal right (as well as a moral and ethical obligation) to make decisions for her. Same with my dog. My relationship with each is very different, but the basics are the same -- I adopted both into my family, my home and my life.

I have no problem saying I own my dog (I know some do, I just happen not to), but I also have no issue with saying I adopted her either. For me, both are true and accurate without any bad or negative connotations.

Just my thoughts and two pennies worth. :wink: :)
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JudyN
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by JudyN » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:05 am

I agree with Suzette - I don't find the term 'adopted' value laden in the way that, say, 'pet guardian'. The alternative would be something like 'bought', which suggests that the dog is just a commodity, which could then be sold on to someone else at the drop of a hat (and 'bought' doesn't really apply to dogs from rescue centres or, of course, 'free to a good home').

Almost all dog owners do feel a level of commitment to their dogs, and that they are 'part of the family'. A fosterer who decides to become a 'failed fosterer' feels they now have a different sort of relationship to the dog, and to me, that is how it should be.

I totally get where you are coming from, gwd, and of course different words have different connotations for different people, but for me 'adopt' is the right term. But yes, 'pet parent' and 'pet guardian' sound as if they are coming from the sort of people who don't think our children should be singing 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' :wink:

Maybe this should be in a separate thread? It's completely off topic, but interesting!
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gwd
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by gwd » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:29 am

I did a quick search to see if I could find an article that explained my fears better than I'd done..........I came upon this beautifully written piece (at least imo) from 2009

http://www.alldogsgym.com/miscellaneous ... of-the-dog
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by JudyN » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:38 pm

gwd wrote:I did a quick search to see if I could find an article that explained my fears better than I'd done..........I came upon this beautifully written piece (at least imo) from 2009

http://www.alldogsgym.com/miscellaneous ... of-the-dog
In that, the word 'guardian' is suggested purely as a way of promoting the ARs' agenda, as is vetoing the use of 'owner'. Oh, if only giving someone (parent or other) the title of 'guardian' for a child would stop child abuse... but of course it doesn't. And I totally agree we should resist the move from 'owner' to 'guardian', because of the reasons for it and the implications behind it. I'd feel the same if someone told me I shouldn't say I bought Jasper but that I adopted him.

But I've realised (and should have realised earlier) that when I read 'adopting littermates', I took it in the context of getting them from a rescue centre, which isn't meant to be implied at all. Patricia presumably has in mind buying two littermates, whereas if someone asked me if I bought Jasper or adopted him I would think they were asking whether he came from a breeder or a rescue - the two are mutually exclusive. So yes, you're right - this could well be linguistic creep playing into the ARs' hands...
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Ari_RR
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by Ari_RR » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:04 pm

I can't say that the original article was very convincing to me... :?

The only point that I found convincing was that there is a good chance that the littermates bond to each other before their new owners get them, therefore making it more difficult for the humans to "exert influence".
The rest - training separately, spending 1-1 time with each, etc - all that is applicable whether you have 2 puppies from the same litter, or from different litters, or just 2 dogs of different ages all together.

As for aggression between littermates... Would the chances of not getting along between a male and a female from the same litter be higher than between 2 females from different litters?

ETA: raising and training 2 puppies I think requires high degree of knowledge and experience and time commitment.... (Granted, I only know sight hounds.... even training 1 is a huge undertaking :lol: ).

For a regular pet owner, I would suggest not getting 2 puppies. Period. Train 1, then get the other when the 1st one is trained.... For an advanced, knowledgable, experienced owner - does them being littermates really add SO much more to an already challenging case?

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Nettle
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by Nettle » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:30 am

Yup.

Unless there is enough space for the pair to have separate 'territories' sooner or later there WILL be fireworks. How fiery depends on - breed tendency and gender, plus husbandry in regard to feeding and exercise. The easiest would be dog and b itch, next a brace of males, but female and female would take an unholy amount of skilled management. I have seen it done when a fellow breeder took a b itch pup back, but those people were very experienced and the dogs were a very laid-back breed of sighthound.

Kennels of working hounds keep males and females of all ages, some in mixed groups and some one yard of females and one of males. It works for them partly because most are raw carcase fed and exercised hard, partly because of 400 years of being bred to live and work in packs (I use the word deliberately, not to be confused with outmoded pack rules theory) and partly because of a rough-and-ready selection process where troublemakers are culled. But this is far from a domestic environment.
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ClareMarsh
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by ClareMarsh » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:02 am

Is it really litter mate syndrome or is it just very young dogs/puppies too close in age.

I've seen this written about a lot. What no one ever seems to mention is "is it fair to the dog?". Raising a puppy is time consuming, especially during that key socialisation phase. Maybe there are people who are extraordinarily talented and have the time to do justice to both dogs but that's a phenomenal amount of work. In my opinion puppies deserve to have adequate time lavished on them in their formative months.

My butcher has two brothers (pomeranian something crosses), they're around 18 months now I think, maybe older. They get along well but he's had a hell of a time training them, and even now he can't walk them on lead together in an orderly fashion. He was telling me that he can get them walking reasonably nicely on their own but he just doesn't have the time to train them both separately and put enough practice in for it to stick. When I said that it was nothing to do with his skill, and everything to do with having two young dogs and not enough time to train them separately, he said he wished he'd spoken to me and got them one at a time with a good gap in-between.

Whether he would have listened at the time I don't know but it's sensible people that this info needs to get out to ... the people who don't want to gamble on "might" be ok, the people who know they don't have time to do twice/three times the work of one puppy and don't want to risk the dogs falling out down the line. The people who say my father's dentists's hairdressers sister's cousin in law had litter mates and they're fine are never going to listen anyway :lol:
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Nettle
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by Nettle » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:47 am

I know those people :?

Puppies close in age are almost as difficult, and the percentage of extra difficulty between those and actual littermates is small. Where littermates have the worse deal is because they are similar in size and mindset, though equally there will be trouble with a big size difference, simply because one has the capability of hurting the other more.

I know of people who, when a breeder refused to sell them littermates, went to another breeder and bought a second puppy :roll:
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Ari_RR
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Re: On adopting litter mates.

Post by Ari_RR » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:04 am

Nettle wrote: I know of people who, when a breeder refused to sell them littermates, went to another breeder and bought a second puppy :roll:
That's us! Well.... Almost :lol:
But it was so darn hard to choose between Ari and another girl, we were seriously leaning towards just getting both, and if the breeder hadn't put her foot down ("Forget it. You are not walking out with more than 1") - we probably would have.

Come to think of it.... (off topic for a moment) - those responsible breeders can be quite off-putting in their direct way of stating things :? :lol:

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