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Discussion Starter #1
I fostered two Pit x puppies at my parents' house over my christmas break. Someone had turned the entire litter in with no mum to the animal control I volunteered at, and I had the puppies from ~4.5 weeks old to 9 weeks old. When break was over and I had to go back to school (no dogs allowed where I live when in school) they were placed with a new foster mom in the rescue. My understanding was that she was going to foster the two puppies (both girls) until they were spayed (about a month longer), and then the rescue would start taking applications from potential adopters and both littermates would be adopted to different homes.

A few days after she got the puppies, she emailed me to let me know they (her husband and ~4 y/o daughter) had fallen in love with one of the puppies and would be keeping her. I was ecstatic: she works from home, feeds a decent brand of dog food, is on the board of her local dog park as well as familiar with the breeder of her 9toy breed) dogs and is a member of that regional breed club as well- pretty much everything you would want a potential adopter to be.

The girls are due to get spayed on friday, and she emailed me tonight and said that the potential adopter for the sister fell through, and she wanted to tell me that they had decided to keep both puppies.

I should be completely happy, but part of me feels that keeping two littermates as pets in the same home is usually a risky decision- compounded by the fact that both are female and Pit x's can become DA- (again, im not saying the breed is vicious and not trying to stir up the pit argument- just making a statement.)

I feel like it isnt in the dogs' best interest to be together permanently. She has 3 toy breeds + a male Labx + the two puppies for a total of 6 dogs. Again, I know she's a great owner- i just am wondering if she knows that two years down the line, she might have to end up with crate and rotate.

The issue is this: do I not mention anything to anyone, and simply be glad the pups have found a wonderful home. Or are the concerns I'm raising legitimate, and I should speak to her about making sure this is the right choice. I dont know her well enough to judge her current workload, but I would imagine that a business run from home + a small child + 6 dogs is already a big load, assuming there are no temperment problems in the future.

What would you do? I dont want to demean her, but I know most of her experience is with the toy breeds, and two female Pits from the same litter just worries me in general- and if a dog needed to be rehomed, it'd be much easier to adopt out one of the puppies now than two years down the road.

:redface: thoughts?
 

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I would continue being happy . Assuming makes an ass of you and me, so I might gently mention the challenges associated with litter mates...but given the fact that pits are a challenge to adopt out of shelters, and this woman is an enrhusastic and capable dog owner, I'd consider this a success story.
 

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well considering I just adopted 2 female littermates giving me a total of 6 dogs and I sound just like this lady minus the toy breeds and the work from home(I work with dogs and my dogs come to work with me) I would continue to be happy and not worry to much about it lol
 

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Sorry to burst the "be happy" bubble but raising littermates, especially same sex littermates and especially of breeds prone to dog aggression issues is a very bad idea for most owners. Definitely not in the best interest of either puppy long term, unless the new owners are willing to do everything separately (feeding, walking, socializing, training, playing, crating in separate rooms, etc) for the first year. Are these owners willing to Crate & Rotate if these dogs grow up and decide they can no longer share living space peacefully?

Some info to pass on to them:
http://www.pbrc.net/rotate.html

http://www.workingpitbull.com/aboutpits.htm

http://www.caninedevelopment.com/Sibling.htm

http://www.dogstardaily.com/radio/02-littermate-syndrome

http://buddyschance.typepad.com/positive_dog_training_blo/2007/04/adopting_litter.html
 

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I would talk to the rescue. The rescue I foster for would NOT adopt female littermates to the same household. There are 3 problems in that situation- first is same-sex aggression which is more an issue with females typically, second is littermate syndrome, and third is that the first two issues can be compounded when dealing with a breed with dog aggression issues.
Actually, they prefer not to adopt a female pit to a household with a female dog of any age already. If the adopter is a trainer or the dogs will be working dogs etc, then it is looked at differently (we have pits in training as scent detection dogs, therapy dogs and such)

The foster might think that since the dogs get along fine now that they always will (as in, they aren't DA) but like Alerondogs mentions, dog aggression often shows up at maturity (between around 1 and 2 years old). There is a fairly good chance she will have to crate and rotate, and not just because of the two littermate pits but if one of the toy breeds is a female then there is also the chance of same-sex aggression there too (plus the potential for prey drive issues with the toy dogs).

Out of the female dogs we have in rescue now, I'd say that less than half could happily live in a household with another female dog, maybe another 1/4 are fine with only male dogs and maybe 1/4 or so need to be only-dogs (some for aggression but others for fear issues or PTSD type reasons around other dogs). Some are dog-selective but the adopter would need to be aware that their tolerance level could change in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would talk to the rescue. The rescue I foster for would NOT adopt female littermates to the same household. There are 3 problems in that situation- first is same-sex aggression which is more an issue with females typically, second is littermate syndrome, and third is that the first two issues can be compounded when dealing with a breed with dog aggression issues.
Actually, they prefer not to adopt a female pit to a household with a female dog of any age already. If the adopter is a trainer or the dogs will be working dogs etc, then it is looked at differently (we have pits in training as scent detection dogs, therapy dogs and such)

The foster might think that since the dogs get along fine now that they always will (as in, they aren't DA) but like Alerondogs mentions, dog aggression often shows up at maturity (between around 1 and 2 years old). There is a fairly good chance she will have to crate and rotate, and not just because of the two littermate pits but if one of the toy breeds is a female then there is also the chance of same-sex aggression there too (plus the potential for prey drive issues with the toy dogs).

Out of the female dogs we have in rescue now, I'd say that less than half could happily live in a household with another female dog, maybe another 1/4 are fine with only male dogs and maybe 1/4 or so need to be only-dogs (some for aggression but others for fear issues or PTSD type reasons around other dogs). Some are dog-selective but the adopter would need to be aware that their tolerance level could change in the future.
This was exactly my thought process. All communication is online- over facebook messages or email. Should I mention something to her AND to the rescue "president?" Or would it be okay to just ask the president first- I don't want her to think I'm going behind her back, but I do want whats best for the puppies.
 

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This was exactly my thought process. All communication is online- over facebook messages or email. Should I mention something to her AND to the rescue "president?" Or would it be okay to just ask the president first- I don't want her to think I'm going behind her back, but I do want whats best for the puppies.
I would write a very polite and thought-out email that expresses first that you appreciate the time and effort put out by the current foster/potential adopter and you are glad she cares enough to want to adopt both after the adopter for the one fell through, but that you have some serious concerns about the situation. Talk about the issues with littermates and same-sex aggression and make it clear that you are concerned for the well-being of both the adopter AND the dogs, as it isn't fair to put anyone into a situation with a likelyhood of having to crate and rotate or the potential for a serious incident of dog aggression in the future. Say that you understand how easy it is to get attached to the sweet pups that one is fostering, but that there is much more opportunity for finding a forever home now while the dog is young rather than in the future if aggression issues pop up (or even harder, once the dog has attacked another dog). Be clear that you are not saying that either dog is aggressive or will be aggressive, just that the potential for problems exists (and female/female aggression can be a problem in many breeds, even many not known for dog aggression tendancies) and makes you concerned.

Copy both the foster and the rescue person (not blind copy) and address the note to both of them.
 

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Adopting littermates, especially female littermates, especially in a breed which can be DA, can be a very bad idea. Add to the mix 6 other dogs, including three tinies, and it sounds like a recipe for disaster. I'd proceed cautiously.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
HELP!

below is our communication- she hasn't answered yet but i'm worried i offended her. these are back and forth messages on facebook.

Foster mom:
I have 2 lhasa's (females), a male puggle, a male lab/pit, and [the two puppies]
7, 6, 5, 5months and then the babies

Me:
Have they approved the application for [second puppy]? I was looking on the [rescue] website and it said no same sex pit bull pairings- I didn't know if [president of rescue] had talked with you about it.

Foster mom:
Its all set!
Because I fostered them and they have been with my pack its okay.
A lot of the foster family's have same sex

Me:
im super happy they're with you and honestly think its an ideal home. but are you prepared to crate and rotate for ten years if you need to? the personality of a dog isnt set at four months, and dog agression wont usually present itself until 2+ years old. have you ever experienced littermate syndrome?http://www.caninedevelopment.com/Sibling.htm
http://www.pbrc.net/rotate.html

the second link is what im referring to- when they say " Perhaps you acquired same-sex pit bulls and now that they have matured, they no longer tolerate each other." crate and rotate can be done, but you have to be prepared that this is a real possibility and i just wanted to make sure you're aware of it- dog agression will VERY rarely present itself earlier than 1-2 years old

again, I dont mean anything against you! I just want to make sure that you were aware of this. pits are more likely to be DA- it doesnt have anything to do with the owner, just the breed itself.

She said:

I am totally aware. I mostly worked with bully breeds and I actually prefer them. I have broken up many dog fights and know how to safely if needed. I know the warning signs/signals and usually will prevent one from ever starting.
I am going to start crating them in separate rooms now as well. I have the room to do so.
They will both be involved in obedience training and I may train for agility or rally as well.


Do I have any further responsibility? Shes SUCH a great owner- I just am worried about if this is the best way to minimize the risk of having to crate and rotate.
 

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If the rescue group is aware of your communications and of her intent to keep both dogs while acknowledging the problems that might arise, then I think you have done everything that you could reasonably do.

I'm not sure about her last communication, it sounds a little optimistic and like she thinks that she can prevent dog aggression. She might be able to prevent fights, sure. But preventing dog aggression is a whole different ball game as that can simply be hardwired.
 

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When you've done what you can, the best you can do is stay connected and positive and hope for the best.

If the two dogs can't be together safely, crate and rotate isn't the end of the world.

I agree that this situation stinks and that this isn't a good idea, but it sounds like it's out of your hands. I know people who have made it work. I know more who have regretted trying and ended up rehoming one of the dogs. It's too bad so many people think that being "sisters" means something to a dog.
 

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I think that pits being prone to DA isn't the part I'd emphasize here. The issues with raising littermates together, especially same-sex littermates, are universal. Maybe instead of trying to prevent the adoption -- since it says the rescue has already approved it -- you could compile a list of resources and links about how to proactively prevent problems with littermates and send it to her. Maybe she'll change her mind on her own. Or maybe she'll just be better prepared, and she'll be able to prevent problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone! I'm just going to have to take a step back and look at the positives. She seems like a dedicated owner and hopefully everything will work out! She said she is familiar with NILF and I mentioned Ian Dunbar so we're going in the right direction.
 
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