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3 weeks ago, my husband and I drove 2 hrs to pick up a boxer puppy. When we got there, we couldn't make up our minds between 2 puppies, both female. They were 11 weeks and 3 days old.

At that time we had not heard of littermate syndrome. Last week we decided to try to sell one of them but we could not bring ourselves to part with her.

Now facing the wake up call of littermate syndrome, we have read posts here and articles online on how to tackle it.

I want to run what we have done by you and solicit your feedback and wisdom.

1. They were sleeping together in the same crate until last night. Now they sleep in 2 separate crates. For the 1st night, we allowed them to sleep side by side but tonight and going forward, one (the non-alpha) will be in our bedroom, crated.

2. My husband and I bought 2 10x10x6 dog kennels at Tractor Supply last night and he put them up today. For now they can still see each other, but next weekend we are planning to put up a fence where they can't see each other. They'll still know the other one is there. But short of owning and living in 2 separate homes I don't see how to avoid that altogether.

3. Play time: We are rotating play time with them. One stays kenneled outside while the other has free roam of the yard and able to come in and hang out with us. After an hour or so, that one goes back to their new kennel, and the other gets free roam of the yard and then comes inside with us. They play at the kennel fenceline about 7 or 8 minutes and then the one who is free-roaming begins to wander off and do her own thing.

4. Feeding: I put all day's food for both in a container and portion it out through the day in 2 separate bowls. I take some food to them 3 x day, breakfast lunch dinner. They aren't eating out of the same bowl anymore.

We took one with us to Tractor Supply and left the other home; today I took one to Home Depot and left the other home. This is for socialization.

Potty training: they are about 95% or even higher potty-trained.

These puppies have been so smart. Halter training was a breeze, potty- training wasn't quite as easy, but every time they've messed in the house, I blame myself for waiting too long to take them out.

Any other suggestions on littermate syndrome? We are in this for the long haul and want to be smart about it.

Thank you in advance!
 

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You don’t need to go to such extremes. Crate them side by side, training and walk them by themselves. Spay them both prior to their first heat cycle. You aren’t only dealing with litter mate syndrome but you have 2 females in the same house which is also a big no no so spaying early will help reduce any risk of hormone related issues.
 

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To put it simply, you are fighting a bond that's been there since birth. That being the case you are fight for relevance...
So this is what I would do.
The easiest way to be relevant is to become their food source.
Forget the food bowls for a few months.
Hand feed both ( independent )
Start their training now, that's how they "earn" their food
Here is a video with Michael Ellis working a puppy.
This is just food luring into position and creating engagement with the pup.
If you have any questions on the video, let me know and I'll try to answer them for you.
 

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We have two males who were littermates. They are now 4-years-old. Maybe we were lucky, or maybe it's how we raised them, but they don't have littermate syndrome.

Our boys were never crated- but they were kept in a fenced off area inside our house until they were allowed to roam free, they have always slept together- not to say one will sleep on a separate couch or bed- they are not constantly next to each other.

One loves to be outside in the sun as much as possible, one is more of an inside dog and will go out to play or do his business, but he's a cuddler and inside boy.

My concern with not feeding them together would be food aggression- I'm not an expert trainer and there may be better advice from people on here and the links they share.

When they were puppies I'd sit on the floor at night with them playing, crawling, or sleeping near to or on me. When they were older we started letting them on the furniture. They have full run of the house and have a doggie door so they can choose when to go outside (unless we close it for their own good). This isn't the right choice for everyone, but our furkids are part of our family and it's how we choose to live.

Our boys were neutered at about 6 months old. It was great for us because they played together and we didn't worry about any anxieties when they are home alone for periods of time.

They were trained together most of the time, although they did and do go on separate walks. They sometimes go to the vet together.

It is hard on one if they are not the one to go on a trip, that we should have done better. Part of it is that is the fact that if one is getting to go somewhere, they all want to go somewhere.

We adopted a female, but that did not work out as she attacked our more timid boxer 3 times and she had to go. We found out later that she attacked a dog and human at her first home. She got along great with our alpha male- both the same litter, different personalities. She is doing wonderful as an only pet and has a great spoiled life now.

We got a puppy about a year ago, and they are all 3 doing great. They are all males.

In our experience with littermates- it is more about their personality than keeping them separate. Maybe we were lucky, maybe it's because one is an alpha and one is a big lovable baby (not that they are both lovable, cuddlers).

The alpha- Jax- is my boy and he follows me when I'm home. The others may follow often, but Jax and I are bonded more than the others.

I understand your concerns and wanting to avoid issues down the road. I hope this helps you some. Multiple Female boxers are different than males per all I've read, so this will be a key factor- and as noted above and probably will be shared by other members.

It's great you are being proactive and I wish you luck and years of happiness with your new furbabies!
 

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We have two males who were littermates. They are now 4-years-old. Maybe we were lucky, or maybe it's how we raised them, but they don't have littermate syndrome.

Our boys were never crated- but they were kept in a fenced off area inside our house until they were allowed to roam free, they have always slept together- not to say one will sleep on a separate couch or bed- they are not constantly next to each other.

One loves to be outside in the sun as much as possible, one is more of an inside dog and will go out to play or do his business, but he's a cuddler and inside boy.

My concern with not feeding them together would be food aggression- I'm not an expert trainer and there may be better advice from people on here and the links they share.

When they were puppies I'd sit on the floor at night with them playing, crawling, or sleeping near to or on me. When they were older we started letting them on the furniture. They have full run of the house and have a doggie door so they can choose when to go outside (unless we close it for their own good). This isn't the right choice for everyone, but our furkids are part of our family and it's how we choose to live.

Our boys were neutered at about 6 months old. It was great for us because they played together and we didn't worry about any anxieties when they are home alone for periods of time.

They were trained together most of the time, although they did and do go on separate walks. They sometimes go to the vet together.

It is hard on one if they are not the one to go on a trip, that we should have done better. Part of it is that is the fact that if one is getting to go somewhere, they all want to go somewhere.

We adopted a female, but that did not work out as she attacked our more timid boxer 3 times and she had to go. We found out later that she attacked a dog and human at her first home. She got along great with our alpha male- both the same litter, different personalities. She is doing wonderful as an only pet and has a great spoiled life now.

We got a puppy about a year ago, and they are all 3 doing great. They are all males.

In our experience with littermates- it is more about their personality than keeping them separate. Maybe we were lucky, maybe it's because one is an alpha and one is a big lovable baby (not that they are both lovable, cuddlers).

The alpha- Jax- is my boy and he follows me when I'm home. The others may follow often, but Jax and I are bonded more than the others.

I understand your concerns and wanting to avoid issues down the road. I hope this helps you some. Multiple Female boxers are different than males per all I've read, so this will be a key factor- and as noted above and probably will be shared by other members.

It's great you are being proactive and I wish you luck and years of happiness with your new furbabies!
It's a good post thanks for sharing. :cheers:
 

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Thanks Chip18!

Roxie_TheRockStar - How are things going?
After much angst and going back and forth, we finally decided to sell one of the puppies. She sold right away of course.

The reality is that hubby and I are just too old and our time is stretched way too thin for that particular battle. Now maybe if we were retired or independently wealthy and didn't have to work, we might try it.

However, we began to see that it was not fair to the non-alpha dog because her sister was making all her choices and leading her down a "dark path" - under 2 out-buildings where snakes are prone to hang out in the summer and the areas of the yard that we don't regularly venture to so big and bold critters are far more likely to be hanging out there.

We kept the smaller one, the runt, and she is a treasure. Every day I thank God for her. She brightens me up, she lightens my burdens. Her joy spills out onto my husband and I, washing away our concerns at that moment.

She has come into her own sparkly personality, mostly compliant and submissive with short, rare out-of-control outbursts. We distract her and she goes back to her normal sweet self. :clap2:

So for those who call hubby and I wussies for quitting, I get that, but frankly, it was not worth the stress and lack of sleep the way things were going before when we had 2.

The other went to a great home; I hear that she bonded immediately with the family's 4-yr old girl and is extremely protective of her.
 

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Aww ... I'm a little bit sorry! I meant to post but lost track of your thread, my bad. But as others had alluded to you were taking things a bit to far???

What you were attempting, could be done butttt .... you were in the "Deep End of the Pool as it were! You did seem to be aware of the "Litter Mate Syndrome." But ... you "ALSO" had two girls!!! And in Boxer World ... that is pretty big "NO!"

Now people do stuff and lot's of members on here have multiple girls??? But uh ... I'm not one of them! I go with the numbers and I work rescue ... and Boxer Rescue stated policy ... is, no female Boxer placed in a homes that already have a female Boxer!

Female Boxers are notorious for that crap ... "Males fight to breed," Females fight to breath!' And rest assured it may easily have been as long as two years before you every saw any serious issues!??

The girls whom I dearly luv, can be kinda like. :


I saw that crap happen twice with my "Struddell" under, unusual circumstances, but her response to the situations was uh ... uncalled for??? ANd without a swift and correct response from me ... my other dog or me was gonna get hurt!! So yeah ...but I luv the girls! :clap2:

In any case ... it sounds like you did good and make the right call!! It sounds like all puppies involved are in much better situations, so now you'll just be dealing with the usual "Boxer" nuttiness. :)
 

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Raising two puppies at once is no small feat! And as Chip said 2 girls...though I've had two girls together and never a problem but they weren't boxers. No one here would ever consider you a wuss, you did what you felt was in the bet interest of your pup and your family and this #1 class in my opinion. Good luck now with the puppy.
 

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So for those who call hubby and I wussies for quitting, I get that, but frankly, it was not worth the stress and lack of sleep the way things were going before when we had 2..
Well I don't know who said that, but i's a bit uncalled for I would say.

Raising two well trained, well behaved puppies at once ... is a big deal. Dumb luck only carries one so far and then one day one finds themselves with too much dog and not enough knowledge??? Been there done that ... got the stitches (not a Boxer) but still.

At any rate you did exactly what I did when I ran out of answer for my dog's issues??? Seek information from others and if it makes sense to me ... i'll go with that. :)

As for the runt of the litter?? Maybe so maybe no, you won't really know for two to three years ?? If she is really small, she'd top out at 55 lbs I would think?? My Struddelll topped out at 65 lbs?? I was surprised but she was solid muscle, deep chest and tiny waist and almost ... Jack Rabbit fast!

She was still small next to a Male Boxer, they were always taller and broader. But that was OK ... I like my male dogs big and females small, there size seemed to better fit their personality. :)

Do you have any recent pictures of her???
 
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