Raising a puppy can be extremely challenging.
Potty training, socialization and building confidence are daily tasks for new pet parents.
Raising one puppy is often more challenging than new owners anticipate.
Dachshund puppies are absolutely precious, and your breeder may have convinced you to get siblings.
Or perhaps you just couldn’t resist double cuteness.
Or maybe you thought you needed to get two Dachshunds so your puppy has a friend.
No matter the reason, many Dachshund parents don’t realize what they are truly getting into when adopting two new puppies.
Puppies are demanding and high maintenance as it is, but with two puppies you run the risk of battling littermate syndrome and things could end up being even more difficult than you imagined.
Below we discuss what littermate syndrome is and why it’s not advisable to get two Dachshunds from the same litter.
Getting two puppies from the same litter means double the cuteness but it can mean triple the trouble. Keep reading to find out why.
What’s the Problem with Raising Two Puppies from the Same Litter?
When you laid eyes on your puppy for the very first time, it was love at first sight.
Unbeknownst to you, however, that adorable puppy had an equally precious sibling that you just couldn’t live without! After all, you couldn’t dare separate this pair.
Wouldn’t it be fun to raise two puppies from the same litter?! The truth is – it may not be.
Littermate syndrome occurs when two puppies from the same litter become so closely bonded with each other that they lack a connection with humans and other dogs, including you.
Littermate syndrome is the reason why it’s probably not a good idea to adopt two Dachshunds from the same litter.
It can lead to a slew of behavioral issues such as extreme separation anxiety, fearfulness, and lack of discipline.
Littermate syndrome commonly occurs between Dachshund siblings raised together.
To put it simply, the littermates become so consumed by each other that they have a difficult time focusing on you for training, socialization, and bonding.
Furthermore, the puppies have created an early bond that may lead to dog-on-dog aggression and severe anxiety when separated from each other.
This phenomenon is known as hyper attachment.
Hyperattachment typically affects one puppy more than the other.
Symptoms include becoming frantic, aggressive and severely anxious when removed from the presence of the sibling.
What if you got two puppies but they aren’t from the same litter?
They can still develop symptoms of littermate syndrome if they are young and very close in age.
Thew two puppies don’t actually have to be from the same litter to develop “littermate” syndrome.
Not all pairs of puppies will end up with littermate syndrome, but it is a fairly common occurrence that comes with a whole different set of challenges than raising one puppy alone.
How to Raise Two Sibling Puppies Successfully
If you’ve ever experienced raising a puppy, you know how daunting it can be to train one. It takes dedication and commitment every single day.
Raising two puppies will be double the trouble. Then, throw the risk of littermate syndrome in the mix and it can be overwhelming.
To successfully raise two sibling puppies, consider these tips:
Crate train the puppies separately
Make sure that each of your puppies has their own crate.
Giving each puppy a space that is their own can help minimize hyper-attachment to each other.
You can start by placing the crates next to each other, and slowly move them apart as the days and training progresses.
Ideally, you’d want to have the crates in separate rooms so your puppies cannot see each other.
This way your puppies are learning that they can be safe and happy, even when separated from each other.
Not everyone has the space or desire to do that though. If separate crates is all you can do, not also separate locations, it will still help some.
Spend one-on-one time with each puppy
Training and playing with each puppy on separate occasions (while the other is out of sight) will allow the two of you to bond without the distraction of another puppy.
During the socialization period (between 8-16 weeks old), take each of your Dachshunds out for adventures separately, so they learn to behave in public around their canine and human friends without the comfort of their sibling.
A puppies ‘socialization period’ occurs between 8-16 weeks of age. This is a key time to teach them being apart from each other is ok.
Don’t just separate the puppies for one day and hope it all works out.
Stay consistent with a routine of enjoying time with each of your Dachshunds separately as they grow into healthy adults.
It’s even a great idea to continue these “are you ok alone” exercises throughout their lifetime to make sure they don’t backslide.
Teach your puppies to interact with other dogs
Puppies who only get introduced to each other will have issues interacting with different pups you come across, whether out on a walk or at a social event.
It’s easy for littermates to develop fear and aggression – which manifests as barking and lunging on leash – toward other dogs if they aren’t properly socialized.
Make sure that your puppies get play time with dogs outside of your household, both together and separately.
Feed meals separately
Mealtime is exciting and fun.
In fact, dogs can tend to get overexcited, which can result in food aggression, gobbling their food too fast (causing them to choke), or other behavior issues.
Separate your puppies whenever you feed them and make sure they have their own bowls.
Feeding on a set schedule is better than free feeding them so that they don’t have access to food when you are not watching.
How to Train Two Puppies at Once
You’re committed to raising your Dachshund littermates together, and we’re proud of you for remaining positive!
It’s important for any small dog to be properly trained but it’s imperative for someone with littermates to ensure that the habit of listening to you overrides any pack mentality that could develop.
With littermates, and additional training obstacle you’ll have to overcome is getting them to listen to you over getting distracted by each other.
Plus, both of your littermates deserve plenty of time and attention, and training them separately is an effective way to bond and spend quality time.
Remember it’s going to take patience, repetition and positive reinforcement.
Here are some tips to ensure you’re able to train your Dachshunds even though you have two puppies at once.
Train your puppies separately
With two puppies, it’ll be best to train them one at a time, and while the other is out of sight. Crate one of your puppies, then take the other one into a different room for your session.
This process will ensure that both of your Dachshunds are getting the proper training they deserve.
Training each puppy separately will help them learn faster but you will need to set aside additional time and practice patience.
Walk them one at a time
It’s crucial to leash train your Dachshund to properly walk on a leash.
When you are trying to train two at once, it’s a good idea to walk each of your puppies one at a time so that they don’t feed off of each other’s bad habits.
Not only will this continue to teach them independence, but it also gives you a chance to give each undivided attention.
Socialize them separately
It’s ok to have group play dates with your puppies but it’s equally important for them to learn to interact with other dogs separately.
As we talked about above, take each of your puppies on fun outings one at a time.
You may even consider meet-and-greets at a friend’s house who has a well behaved dog.
Give each of your puppies separate attention. The more they realize they are individuals, the better behaved dogs they will be.
Train on a daily basis
Puppies require daily training, even if it’s for a couple minutes at a time (in fact, it’s good to keep each training session under 5 minutes).
Just remain consistent and use positive reinforcement, and you’ll have well-trained Dachshunds before you know it!
How to Stop Littermates from Fighting
It’s not uncommon for littermates to fight, especially if they are the same sex.
Inter-dog aggression occurs often if you adopt littermates, and it can eventually become severe and even dangerous as your dogs reach adulthood.
If you’ve noticed that your puppies just recently started squabbling, be sure that you’re giving each puppy plenty of one-on-one time with you.
It’s also important to note if they are getting enough playtime and exercise. A tired puppy won’t be as likely to fight.
Sibling rivalry between your puppies can show up as aggression. Stop this behavior early by giving each dog 1-1 time with you.
Be sure to respond immediately if you begin to see your puppies quarrel. Separate your dogs and place them in their respective crates if necessary.
Luckily there may be signs that your littermates are going to fight so take time to learn their signs and triggers.
If one puppy is bullying the other by resource guarding, take care of the issue before it escalates.
It’s hard to resist Dachshunds, especially when you see those big puppy eyes staring at you.
It’s not wrong to adopt two Dachshunds from one litter, but it’s advised against simply because it can present a world of challenges that you weren’t prepared for.
You absolutely have the choice to get littermates, we only suggest knowing exactly what you may face in the future.
Ultimately, we recommend waiting until your Dachshund has reached adulthood before finding them a sibling.
About the Author: Through her 17 years of owning and caring for Dachshunds, and almost 10 years researching and writing about them, JW has become a respected expert in the Dachshund community. Read more about her here.