Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have two 14-week-old standard poodle littermates, one male, one female that we brought home at 8 weeks. I just found out about littermate syndrome, and I'm worried we made a huge mistake, but I don't feel like I can rehome a pup at this point as the family is too attached. I just ordered a second crate so I could crate them separately, and I'm walking them separately and together. I have them signed up for separate puppy classes. They're picking up on commands easily and pretty much came potty trained. My main concern is that I don't want them to develop aggression. Is it okay to let them bite each other when they play? I stop it when it escalates, but I can't seem to get them to stop the play biting. They don't yelp like it hurts or anything. I'm just wondering if this is normal, safe play, or if I shouldn't allow it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,882 Posts
They're learning bite inhibition at this age. It's not just normal, it's important! Just be sure to give them breathers every once in a while so they don't lose their little minds :) In our puppy class, we'd pause play every few minutes, deep breath, and then back to play (or home for a nap if they couldn't calm down).

As for avoiding littermate syndrome.... It's rather unfortunate that the breeder didn't speak to you about this concern before letting you choose two. But it sounds like you're at least taking steps to prevent it. Lots of people don't! I especially like the separate puppy classes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
853 Posts
Having littermates isn't the end of the world. As long as you treat each puppy as an individual you'll do fine. You just don't want their bond to be more interesting than you are. The play biting is normal puppy behavior. Misha does this with another young poodle puppy he sees regularly. When it looks like he's being too rough, I just take him for a time out and wait until the other puppy comes to him to ask for more play. Playing rough is fine as long as the dogs understand that not everybody wants to play rough. Good exposure to other balanced dogs will help to teach this. Sometimes they need a few good corrections for inappropriate behavior before they learn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,317 Posts
Yes its sounds like you are already on top of this and handling it appropriately. Play biting is perfectly normal, it how my poodle plays too but I don't allow it to get out of hand. Littermate syndrome is real but its not an end all. I've raised many dogs without an issue. Separate crates are important and individual play /training walks are too. But as they age it becomes less of an issue. They learn to be individual and to repsect you. I don't think it would be an issue to take them to the same class provided two people handle them, though the separate class is nice as they are getting that one on one time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
They're learning bite inhibition at this age. It's not just normal, it's important! Just be sure to give them breathers every once in a while so they don't lose their little minds :) In our puppy class, we'd pause play every few minutes, deep breath, and then back to play (or home for a nap if they couldn't calm down).

As for avoiding littermate syndrome.... It's rather unfortunate that the breeder didn't speak to you about this concern before letting you choose two. But it sounds like you're at least taking steps to prevent it. Lots of people don't! I especially like the separate puppy classes.
It's a relief to know it's okay that they're biting! The breeder is a friend of mine and when I told her about littermate syndrome, she said she'd never heard of it. This is her first time breeding. She's an awesome breeder though. She had all 13 puppies almost completely potty trained before they went home.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,467 Posts
Are you managing both puppies on your own? Hope there are some extra hands at home to help out. Would love to see some pictures of the two if you ever get a minute. Best wishes that they are both “easy keepers”.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,738 Posts
Peggy I disagree that they are learning bite inhibition still. However it sounds like they have learned it well as should be the case. Puppies are the best teachers of bite inhibition with one another. As long as nobody yelps or tries to discontinue the play things should be fine. When people bring home puppies too soon they often never learn to give an inhibited bite.

We raised our two older dogs together. They are only about 8 weeks apart in age. Gotta say I hated it and will never ever do two puppies at the same time ever again. And that POV developed even though there were two people working them. I do hope you have a partner in this complex situation, although you do seem to be working pretty effectively with the balance of separate and together time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Are you managing both puppies on your own? Hope there are some extra hands at home to help out. Would love to see some pictures of the two if you ever get a minute. Best wishes that they are both “easy keepers”.
463607

I have a husband and 4 kids, so not on my own, although I pretty much do everything, as my husband is gone most of the day and the kids are pretty young.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,738 Posts
Cute puppies! One thing I suggest you do even if you like the fuzzy face is to work on teaching them to accept all aspects of grooming. If you change your mind about what style of clip you want or have a need for an emergency groom you won't have to struggle with it. Look here. Teaching grooming behavior to puppies
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
They are adorbs!!!! They'll be fine if you can hang in there and do what's needed. First, they're poodles...very people oriented. Just be sure to give them plenty of one on one with you or another human and let them do things without the other a good deal of the time, but also with each other. Each gets his own crate but it's okay if they're near each other when sleeping. (it will help you sleep better too) Let them hang out together some of the time but also lots and lots of separate time...training, taking walks separately, play time with you separately and together. I used an ex pen also and usually they got to hang out together in there when I couldn't watch them closely. They will continue to learn bite inhibition. Just walk away and don't play with them when they bite on you unless it's extremely gentle. Then they will learn that gentle mouthing doesn't hurt but more than that does and the human stops playing. They can play bite each other. That's how dogs play. If it hurts one too much, he or she will let the other know. Don't worry about it. This is basically what I did with my two 8 week old puppies. (not littermates but from the same breeder) And they turned out beautifully...independent so they don't get separation anxiety. They can stay by themselves or together. Do plenty of socializing. This is the most important thing of all. Read up on what a good socialization protocol is all about and be diligent. It's a lot of work but will be easier if you have other family members joining in with the walks and stuff. If you do a search on here, you can find several of my old threads with detailed descriptions of how I handled it and how they did. Anyhow, don't worry. They'll be fine but it will be a lot of extra work. If you're dedicated as I was, it will pay off in the end. I love having the two and when they were babies, it was nice for them to have each other...kept them from crying and screaming when going to bed, kept them happy during the day and those absences where they had to stay alone could be done intermittently and little bit here and there so it wasn't too stressful for them. But they came to be just great.

Of course, having 4 kids will keep you incredibly busy. I thought I had a handful! I hope someone will help you. (don't know the ages of your kids)

Absolutely...get them use to grooming...all aspects of it. Lots of positive reinforcement along the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Cute puppies! One thing I suggest you do even if you like the fuzzy face is to work on teaching them to accept all aspects of grooming. If you change your mind about what style of clip you want or have a need for an emergency groom you won't have to struggle with it. Look here. Teaching grooming behavior to puppies
I took them to the groomers for this very reason and had their faces shaved. My family freaked out a little and told me we can never shave their faces again. Haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,882 Posts
Peggy I disagree that they are learning bite inhibition still. However it sounds like they have learned it well as should be the case. Puppies are the best teachers of bite inhibition with one another. As long as nobody yelps or tries to discontinue the play things should be fine. When people bring home puppies too soon they often never learn to give an inhibited bite.

We raised our two older dogs together. They are only about 8 weeks apart in age. Gotta say I hated it and will never ever do two puppies at the same time ever again. And that POV developed even though there were two people working them. I do hope you have a partner in this complex situation, although you do seem to be working pretty effectively with the balance of separate and together time.
At 14 weeks, they're no longer learning bite inhibition? Or maybe the correct term would be "practising." I thought that continued through adolescence?

I defer to your expertise on this, obviously. Maybe the initial learning period just FELT like it lasted longer. ? I do not miss those little needle teeth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,882 Posts
I took them to the groomers for this very reason and had their faces shaved. My family freaked out a little and told me we can never shave their faces again. Haha.
Ha! Been there! And believe it or not, after a few poodle face shaves, my husband now actually likes it. He doesn't even mind Peggy's naked little feet! Thank goodness, honestly. So much easier to keep clean.

I also like being able to see her eyes. It strengthens our bond.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
I have 2 standard poodle litter sisters, never had a problem with littermate syndrome. My two are 11 years old now, and have very different personalities. I think the best most important thing you can do is go to lots of sessions of obedience lessons. Poodles are smart so you can easily train them at home but going to lessons with other dogs and owners in a neutral space and then practicing with each one on their own is just so much more effective (I've found), and it's fun! You'll build a special bond with each one. And as they get older, lots of free play on soft surfaces (like your lawn) is great too! Someone on this forum had awesome training exercises to teach her puppy not to grab children's hands or sleeves as they ran by the puppy, and for not reacting, the puppy got treats...it would be worth searching out.

Sent from my VOG-L04 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I have 2 standard poodle litter sisters, never had a problem with littermate syndrome. My two are 11 years old now, and have very different personalities. I think the best most important thing you can do is go to lots of sessions of obedience lessons. Poodles are smart so you can easily train them at home but going to lessons with other dogs and owners in a neutral space and then practicing with each one on their own is just so much more effective (I've found), and it's fun! You'll build a special bond with each one. And as they get older, lots of free play on soft surfaces (like your lawn) is great too! Someone on this forum had awesome training exercises to teach her puppy not to grab children's hands or sleeves as they ran by the puppy, and for not reacting, the puppy got treats...it would be worth searching out.

Sent from my VOG-L04 using Tapatalk
We're definitely going to need those training exercises. I've been trying to train the kids not to act so hyper around the dogs, but as soon as I mentioned it, the 6-year-old started spinning in circles and the 4 year old started running around the kitchen. ?‍♀ Hopefully the dogs obey me better than the kids do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,982 Posts
Mine are mini's and am now on my second set of same litter siblings. Follow the great advice here, it's going to be a wonderful life!

I hadn't heard of it til I was doing training research (first puppies in over 30 years lol). After reading the description and before I found PF, I figured so long as I didn't bring home both of them so they could entertain each other and keep each other company so I wouldn't have to, we'd figure it out.

As for playing and biting, they're heading toward 3 years old and still do:).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,738 Posts
At 14 weeks, they're no longer learning bite inhibition? Or maybe the correct term would be "practising." I thought that continued through adolescence?

I defer to your expertise on this, obviously. Maybe the initial learning period just FELT like it lasted longer. ? I do not miss those little needle teeth.

More about practicing at that point. If they haven't learned good bite inhibition by the time they separate from their dam and in most instances all of the littermates it is very hard if not impossible for people to teach it. We can teach them to be polite with their mouths and I have taught all of our dogs to accept having my hands in their mouths, but I never taught any of them anything about not applying pressure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,882 Posts
More about practicing at that point. If they haven't learned good bite inhibition by the time they separate from their dam and in most instances all of the littermates it is very hard if not impossible for people to teach it. We can teach them to be polite with their mouths and I have taught all of our dogs to accept having my hands in their mouths, but I never taught any of them anything about not applying pressure.
Thank you! I carefully followed Dunbar's chapter on this, but I suppose what I was working with was already an inhibited bite. Peggy was with her large litter until 9 weeks.

Now we're just working on no mouthing ever, which is proving rather difficult. I met a lovely standard recently and she greeted me with that toothy "spoo handshake" I know so well. Another puppy! I assumed. But nope. Almost 2 years old. ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
We had two puppies the same age, from different litters, but they were born one day apart and raised together from 10 weeks. The worst part was housebreaking. Someone was always making a mess. It slowed down the process. Remember to treat them as individuals and not a two headed dog and you'll be ok. Let them go on car rides apart from one another, a training class without the other, stuff like that. I was concerned about littermate syndrome, too. We avoided it by making sure to separate our puppies for several hours every day. But, like I said, housebreaking was the worst part.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top