Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?
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Thread: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

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    Senior Member Kay Weber's Avatar
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    Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    Maybe this is a silly question but...

    Recently we received a puppy back from a litter born over 13 years ago. We have a sister and the mother to this dog -- do they know that they are related? The "new" dog fit in great with our pack. We haven't had any problems at all. Do you think they remember each other?

    Also one puppy was raised with the mom. Do they know that they have a connection or are they just another member to their pack?
    Kay Weber

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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    i, personally, believe they know there is a connection....my youngest, Titch is the son of Tir....he has always treated her more as the matriarch then a pack member or sibling (meaning the way he interacts w/ her is different then the way he interacts w/ Saoirse or any of his siblings that he gets together w/...and siblings are different then Saoirse, as well)....the end of July, we went to MN to visit one of the brothers, who nobody had seen in a yr....Jigs (bro) greeted Titch and Zaida (sis) differently then he greeted Saoirse and Carson (a Goldie) and Annie (a friends BC) and when he met Tir (mom) she was the only one that he "bowed" to and did ALOT of lip licking (his) and nuzzling under the chin....
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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    I once read that dogs can remember individual scents ( of the thousands they can indentify) for as long as a year.
    How would one test such a thing?
    I have no idea.

    I believe our Moose, from his posturing, remembers dogs he has met quite well...and sometimes for longer than a year.
    Ranger seems to remember, but Ranger is so indifferent to other dogs it is hard to tell one way or the other.
    The other dogs...well I think Kurgan forgets most things before his next breath and Daisy does not care so long as they do not take her spot on the couch.

    The question is do they remember their litter mates AS their litter mates. I do not think so. I think after seperation for a period of time they just indentify dogs as dogs.

    HOWEVER...I do believe that siblings raised together DO BOND differently. We do not suggest that people adopt two pups of the same litter because we have found that the pups SOMETIMES have a tendency to bond with each other more than they bond as individuals with their new folks...and this kind of creates an atmosphere of competition between the dog's sibling bond and the dogs bond with their people. It can complicate training when the dogs look to each other as much as they look to their people. I have no way to prove that...just a personal observation.
    If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
    Mark Twain

    Ranger...Bluetick Coonhound
    Moose...English Coonhound
    Kurgan...Beagle
    Daisy....Beagle

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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    From my experience which wasn't much I don't beleive they do. I had a rescue litter born at my house and about a year later I had one pup returned and the mom was still at my house. They fought bad and I had to keep them seperate at all times, I worked with them to get them together daily and it did not work out. They were both going to new homes so I did loose sleep over it and made sure they went to male dog only homes.

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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    I think I remember reading an article or something that says the moms reject their pups after they're a couple months old and forget about them so she can prepare for the next litter. It said that she will completely forget them.

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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    It will probably be very hard for someone to really answer this question. Us as humans can typically tie our memory to around the same age we learned a language. That is how our memory works and why we cannot consciously remember anything before this time in our life.

    Because a dog is much more independant than a human at such a young age (can do almost everything except feed themselves). I would say they can remember things at that age.

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    Senior Member FaithFurMom09's Avatar
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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
    I think I remember reading an article or something that says the moms reject their pups after they're a couple months old and forget about them so she can prepare for the next litter. It said that she will completely forget them.
    i read that too. I know specifically i had a kitten when i was younger and my BFF had the mom and dad. I moved into her house with my kitten and the dad and baby got along but the mom and baby HATED each other.
    Jen, Furmom to:
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    Hope- Lab
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    Opie- Beagle w/?

    Harvey- Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge

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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    I think they do to an extent. Of course it is tough to sort out what they recognize and how they react to the clues we may not realize we are giving.

    We are taking Raven to a party when she is 11 weeks old. It will be about a month since her and Nora left for their homes. I am sure they will have a great time together, but will also enjoy the company of the other dogs. Over the years, I have seen many such reunions. Daisy may have been 4-5 months old when she met Cooper again. Would she have greeted a non litter mate as warmly? Our puppies always enjoy a chance to be around other puppies, litter mates or not.

    Even when Maggie was 6-7, and had long quit playing with other dogs, she and Aster out of her first litter still played like puppies. I am sure they remembered each other with frequent visits. Did they understand they were different from Isaac, a Golden 6 months older than Aster owned by the same family as had Maggie?

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    Senior Member Kay Weber's Avatar
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    Re: Do Dogs remember their mom or litter mates?

    It's all really interesting. We received Katie when she weighed only 4 pounds - someone dumped a litter of puppies on the side of the road. A college girl kept her in her dorm with her a week or so before deciding to give her away... trying to keep a small puppy quiet in the dorm wasn't working out very well. Then we ended up with her - a friend of a friend.

    That girl loved Katie. A couple of months later she came to our house to see her. Katie wined, jumped, snuggled, licked --- I have never seen her act that way to anyone. Katie was so excited to see her - she obviously remembered a connection on a deep level.

    This girl came to see her 3 maybe 4 more times. Each time she stayed only a few minutes and each time Katie's reaction was the same. Katie hasn't seen her in years but I believe that she would remember her. It was deep feeling from Katie.

    So if Katie remembered this girl and she was so tiny ....?
    Kay Weber

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