Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?
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Thread: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

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    Senior Member naoki's Avatar
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    Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    I know itís kinda stupid question but I wonder if dogs can recognize their parents or siblings once they become adults.

    -n

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    Senior Member Chloef_2799's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    I personally don't think they can recognize family members. Chloe sees her sister all the time because she lives only three blocks away and to this day Chloe ignors her completely. When they were litter mates Chloe was the dominant one but she ignors her brother and sister when she sees them now. And we ran in to the guy who had Chloe's father and mother about two years ago and Chloe was extremely aggressive towards her mother and completely ignored her father. Her mother has since passed away but her father is still around, he lives up in London with his owner.
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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    That's not a stupid question at all.

    After we'd had Charlie beagle for several years, we had an opportunity to meet up with the breeder we bought him from for a weekend of rabbit hunting. The breeder brought along Charlie's mother and a couple of his siblings.

    I saw no evidence that Charlie thought any more or less of them then he would any other dog. There was no tearful reunion. No nagging from mom about how spoiled he'd become. No bickering among the siblings. Just four good dogs doing what they loved.

    I was expecting a little more.

    I do think dogs retain a scent memory of every dog they've ever met and they keep all the essential information - whether they like the dog or they don't - in a canine Rolodex in their little doggy brains. I just don't think that blood relatives have a special section in the card file.

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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    the pups may recognize their breeder more than they do the other pups in the litter. I can tell you that my pups will go nuts when they see me but don't care one way or the other about their mother or littermates.....

    I have witnessed the same behavior with other breeders whose pups even at 5 and 6 go crazy when they see their breeders.....

    s

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    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    I think it may depend on the dog. Mal recognized one of his siblings at the dog park with her new owner- I'd never met the dog OR the owner (CEA carrier, obviously a pet, had gone to her new home before I'd ever seen the litter)- and they carried on and were maniacs for over three hours. Indy appears to recognize his relatives when we run into them at the park BUT he plays that way with any corgis, so I'm not so sure of that. And I don't ahve a blind way to test Mal on that- we've not run into another collie his age that WASN'T a littermate to test. I know he gets excited and whiny when we pull off the exit by his breeder's house and he starts getting VERY bouncy when we turn onto her street- he loves going over there to play with his littermate Pebbles and his halfbrother Pluto.

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    Senior Member lovemygreys's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    IMHO, greyhounds often remember their siblings. I definitely saw it with our two sets (a sister/sister combo, Harmony/Melody and a brother/sister combo, Rocky/Echo). Though, greyhounds have a different upbringing than most other dogs and live together with their siblings for almost the first two years of their life. Then they often go to the same racing kennel/track to race and may retire at nearly the same time. I'm not sure if they think of siblings the same way as humans do, or they just think of them as a dog they've known their whole lives. We fostered most of the other littermates of our brother/sister combo and I really think they remembered each other. One that we didn't foster, we see at playgroup and from the first instant he and Rocky saw each other you could see the instant dislike. Redman is the only dog Rocky has not gotten along with.

    We do have Rocky and Echo's dad, and even though he lived on the same farm they grew up on and hung out at the same race track during the days, I'm pretty sure he has no clue who they are.

    Here's Harmony and Melody the day we brought Melody home from the track. Harmony cuddles with NO other dog...ever.



    Even still, our littermates are buddies with their littermate and close in ways they aren't with other dogs and that I don't see between any of the non-related dogs. Echo and Rocky will often talk to each other if they are in different parts of the house, with one barking and the other responding...back and forth a few times. They usually sleep like yin and yang every night and groom each other.
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    Senior Member TheChinClique's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    We've stayed in close contact with Tank's breeder and although Tank doesn't care much for his mother or siblings, he just LOVES his breeder. He goes nuts when he sees her! So he does remember her...not so sure on the mom or brothers and sister.

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    Senior Member borzoimom's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    I have had it happen several times, but they were shepherds. Coming back years later, its strange- within a matter of minutes its like ' OHHHHH WOW MOM I KNOW YOU!'... Its so obviousl!

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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    I think this is one of those strange things we will never truely know. But by judgeing what others have said I guess its possible.

    Shadow [15 years old, Shih Tzu/Poodle] [RIP] Belle, loyal companion of 13yrs

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    Senior Member blackrose's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    I really don't know. One of the puppies we had went to a neighbor, but they lived far enough away that her and Rose didn't see each other frequently. One day Jewels got loose and went into our field and was hunting for mice. Rose and Blackie promptly went out to chase away the strange dog we had in our feild, but when they met, they sniffed and then they all started wagging their tails and all three starting digging for mice. Blackie is dog aggressive and Rose is fear aggressive, so it made me think that they recognized each other...maybe not an excited "OMG, it is my long lost sister/daughter!" but just the fact that they had met before and they got along.

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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    Yes and no. LOL

    I've had dogs who did not, and yet my current dog, Beau, became very excited and affectionate with his breeder, whom he had not seen since he was 8 wks. old (he was 18 mo. old at the time). He also greeted his littermate brother that the breeder had with her.

    Maddy was with me for a couple of months visiting my mom. She met my friend and her two Poodles, and then two years later when we went back, she was very excited to see both the dogs and my friend. Did she remember them? I think she did.

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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    I think at an younger age and as litter mates they would but have no clue when they get older. It would make a good study, I would be interested in knowing.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Durbkat's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    Hmmm, I might just bring snoopy back to the breeder to visit to see how he responds.


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    Member beaglechaser's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    My friend has a basset who meets up with his siblings at field trials and is always very excited to see them.

    Our good friends have BJ's brother and we haven't had a chance yet to get the boys together. I am interested to see how they react to each other.

    Beagles (l to r) Blaze, Boomer, Buster and BJ the wonder puppy

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    Member dachlover's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shalva View Post
    the pups may recognize their breeder more than they do the other pups in the litter. I can tell you that my pups will go nuts when they see me but don't care one way or the other about their mother or littermates.....
    That's funny b/c the breeder we got Jackson from had a little boy, maybe 7-ish that Jackson seemed to get along with very well. We've had Jackson for 10 months now and he still goes nuts when we see little kids. He wants to play with them in the worst way and we always attribute it to the little boy he probably played with a lot.

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    Senior Member britishbandit's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shalva View Post
    the pups may recognize their breeder more than they do the other pups in the litter. I can tell you that my pups will go nuts when they see me but don't care one way or the other about their mother or littermates.....

    I have witnessed the same behavior with other breeders whose pups even at 5 and 6 go crazy when they see their breeders.....

    s
    Totally what I've noticed in my experience as well. More interested in the breeder, and no more or less than any other dog in comparison with littermates and parents.

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    Senior Member Amaya-Mazie-Marley's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    Mazie has come in contact with her brothers at the vets office and went absolutely nuts and got all excited but around other dogs she was on edge and didn't want anything to do with them. So I really think she remembers but she's still young.
    I've said it too many times and I still stand firm. You get what you put in and people get what they deserve. Still I haven't seen mine, no I haven't seen mine. I've been giving, just haven't been getting. I've been walking that there line. So I think I'll keep on walking with my head held high. I'll keep moving on and only God knows why.

  19. #18
    Senior Member LoveLilly's Avatar
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    Re: Can dogs recognize their parents/siblings?

    IMO I don't think its noticing a "family" member per say as much as it is recalling a scent and having either a positive or negative association with that recalled scent.

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