Help with sibling female pups...

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Help with sibling female pups...

This is a discussion on Help with sibling female pups... within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; As the title says, I am looking for some advice regarding my 2 female pups. First, a little history about them... I was contacted by ...

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Old 01-21-2019, 06:58 PM
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Help with sibling female pups...

As the title says, I am looking for some advice regarding my 2 female pups. First, a little history about them...

I was contacted by a friend who works with a local rescue. She was out of town, and needed someone to pick up a mama dog and her 9 puppies ( approx 4 wks old). Mama was in bad shape, really skinny and on a chain outside with the babies.

When I picked them up to take to the rescue, the owner insisted on keeping one of the pups (the runt female). I also kept one of the females, as they were eating solid food and the rescue planned to wean them due to mother's health.

A couple weeks later, the owners contacted me and said they couldn't keep the runt female. I went and picked her up, and for awhile all was good.

Recently, however, they have been fighting alot with each other. They are almost 1 yr old. It's not over food, toys, treats, they just fight almost constantly. To the point I have to keep them separate at all times. If they can't be trained to get along, I will have to re-home one of them.

Looking up the subject, it seems to be a common issue with siblings, especially same gender siblings (2 female or 2 males). I did not know this when I decided to keep the second female... Any advice or input is welcome.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:59 AM
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Females can be very difficult. They'll fight to the death if they're both the dominant type.. but I think that it depends on the breed too. Honestly, I've avoided getting another female for that reason.


In your situation, unfortunately, I would probably rehome one too
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Cobra View Post
As the title says, I am looking for some advice regarding my 2 female pups. First, a little history about them...

I was contacted by a friend who works with a local rescue. She was out of town, and needed someone to pick up a mama dog and her 9 puppies ( approx 4 wks old). Mama was in bad shape, really skinny and on a chain outside with the babies.

When I picked them up to take to the rescue, the owner insisted on keeping one of the pups (the runt female). I also kept one of the females, as they were eating solid food and the rescue planned to wean them due to mother's health.

A couple weeks later, the owners contacted me and said they couldn't keep the runt female. I went and picked her up, and for awhile all was good.

Recently, however, they have been fighting alot with each other. They are almost 1 yr old. It's not over food, toys, treats, they just fight almost constantly. To the point I have to keep them separate at all times. If they can't be trained to get along, I will have to re-home one of them.

Looking up the subject, it seems to be a common issue with siblings, especially same gender siblings (2 female or 2 males). I did not know this when I decided to keep the second female... Any advice or input is welcome.
My first issue is, "If the dogs are being taken away..why is the owner and yourself allowed to keep a pup??" This doesn't make sense to me. Even if the owner called and said "Come get these pups and mama", like heck would he be allowed to keep one. Now he can not keep the one he kept... I see a pattern.

As for sibling fighting, it's genetics, no matter the breed. Some dogs can not be with other dogs. Time to separate.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
Females can be very difficult. They'll fight to the death if they're both the dominant type.. but I think that it depends on the breed too. Honestly, I've avoided getting another female for that reason.


In your situation, unfortunately, I would probably rehome one too
I agree, they may and can 'fight to the death'. I had 2 dogs that ate,played and slept together for 2 years (both spayed and neutered), then they fought over something silly (we will never know with dogs) and one killed the other in my livingroom. (15 years ago).

I do disagree, however, "To rehome" for someone else to have issues. The only way is to separate them.

As a long time owner of the American Pit Bull Terrier, I had a few dogs that couldn't be together. My husband and I did the crate and rotate for years.

DA (dog aggression) has different levels of it. Low to high. I've dealt with both.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:05 AM
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I highly recommend you look into Littermate Syndrome. Aggression between siblings can totally happen. In most cases re homing one of the puppies is likely recommended.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Toasted Mango View Post

My first issue is, "If the dogs are being taken away..why is the owner and yourself allowed to keep a pup??" This doesn't make sense to me. Even if the owner called and said "Come get these pups and mama", like heck would he be allowed to keep one. Now he can not keep the one he kept... I see a pattern.


As for sibling fighting, it's genetics, no matter the breed. Some dogs can not be with other dogs. Time to separate.
At the time, when I picked up the mama and puppies, I was more concerned with getting as many as possible to safety. I advised the owner to surrender all, but they insisted on keeping one. I didn't want to leave them all there. Perhaps I should have been more firm about taking all or none...
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:58 AM
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I do disagree, however, "To rehome" for someone else to have issues. The only way is to separate them.

As a long time owner of the American Pit Bull Terrier, I had a few dogs that couldn't be together. My husband and I did the crate and rotate for years.

DA (dog aggression) has different levels of it. Low to high. I've dealt with both.
Both of these females are not agressive with other dogs, they actually play well with my other 2 dogs. They also both get along with my cat. But with each other they want to fight. I do not see how rehoming one would pass on the issues to the new owner. It seems to me it would end the issues for both dogs.

I am currently keeping them apart, and rotating each of them, but this does not seem entirely fair to either dog. Ialso worry that the agression between them may eventually affect how they behave with other dogs.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
Females can be very difficult. They'll fight to the death if they're both the dominant type.. but I think that it depends on the breed too. Honestly, I've avoided getting another female for that reason.


In your situation, unfortunately, I would probably rehome one too [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.dogforum.com/images/smilies/frown.gif[/IMG]
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Originally Posted by jclark343 View Post
I highly recommend you look into Littermate Syndrome. Aggression between siblings can totally happen. In most cases re homing one of the puppies is likely recommended.
I appreciate the advice. Have read some on littermate syndrome. Had I known from the beginning, I would have rehomed one as a 6 wk old. They got along well for so long, but yes, I think they are both (trying to be) dominant. I am talking to a trainer/behaviorist locally as well, but in the end I may end up finding a good home for one... Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:45 AM
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As previously mentioned, it is surprisingly common in litter mates. The other thing that can happen is they become so attached to each other they don't bond to humans and develop poor social skills.

I would HIGHLY recommend re-homing as dog fights tend to increase in frequency and severity once they have started.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:08 PM
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Best of luck. Sibling bitches can be a very difficult task. I'm not a big fan of management but when it comes to sisters, I'm willing to go there.
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