View Full Version : does anyone

11th February 2009, 10:56 PM
on the board have two cavs of the same age?

Mom of Jato
11th February 2009, 11:02 PM
My two are close in age...only 7 months apart.

11th February 2009, 11:14 PM
on the board have two cavs of the same age?

I have littermates- Domi and Mia (dob 7/18/04), Teddy and Hunter (dob 11/20/04), Noel and Dickens (dob 12/21/05)

12th February 2009, 12:07 AM
I had littermates and a cousin who was just one week older than the littermates........but they came to me at different ages (one, two and four) so they were not always together from day one.


12th February 2009, 12:15 AM
I have Pippin just turned 5 yrs old and DJ who will be 5yrs in june, but DJ has only been with us a year.

Cathy Moon
12th February 2009, 12:52 AM
Two of mine are only one month apart in age. They've been together since they were 5 and 6 months old. :lotsaluv::lotsaluv:

Cathy Moon
12th February 2009, 01:54 AM
In case anyone is interested, I found an interesting thread about 'Littermate Syndrome'.


We were forewarned by our trainer (Bless You Michelle!), so we did everything recommended to raise our puppies (India and Geordie) separately. It was a lot of extra work. They grew up to be individuals and bonded with us more than each other. But they are good friends and love to play together daily!

12th February 2009, 02:05 AM
In case anyone is interested, I found an interesting thread about 'Littermate Syndrome'.


We were forewarned by our trainer (Bless You Michelle!), so we did everything recommended to raise our puppies (India and Geordie) separately. It was a lot of extra work. They grew up to be individuals and bonded with us more than each other. But they are good friends and love to play together daily!

I've never encountered this-- not even a little bit. Cavaliers just seem to "love" being with other cavaliers. Go to a club show, there are MANY cavaliers all over the place(sometimes 30 in a room). IF another breed of dog walks in, the noise is deafening. My pups are kept together until they are at least 10 weeks old (earliest I'd ever homed a pup). At 7 weeks, cavaliers aren't ready (let alone wanting) to move away from their pack. I prefer they stay together until they are 12 weeks old. Between 10 - 12 weeks, we then do individual crate training and beginning house training.

12th February 2009, 02:05 AM
Cathy thanks for that -- will add that to the links on this topic as well as the article from this UK trainer quoted on that thread:

from Stan Rawlinson, dog trainer.

Buying Siblings

The Worst Of Both Worlds

Buying Two Puppies

The incidence of owners purchasing "Siblings", either same sex or brother and sister from the same litter or two puppies from different litters and breeds but of similar ages, is now more prevalent than at any other time in living memory. The old dogmen and owners knew the pitfalls and problems that this action would create. However this knowledge now appears to have been lost on today’s dog owners

On the surface the idea appears to be highly commendable. With the busy lifestyles we now lead, it would seem feasible to take on two pups. They can stimulate each other and keep themselves company, hopefully alleviating any separation anxiety. They can also imitate the good characteristics of each other. They will be able to do everything together and therefore will benefit from that closeness and companionship, and could glean untold pleasure from each others company.

Sounds fantastic, unfortunately the reality is far from this ideal, you really get the worst of both worlds in this scenario. The puppies come to rely on each other and it weakens both of them, often to the extent that they become withdrawn from everything other than themselves. I call it “Littermate Syndrome.”

The puppies can come to fear other dogs, people and any situation where they are separated from each other. The stress this causes can often then spill over into aggression against each other culminating in fighting in some cases causing serious injury or even death, commonly known as “Sibling Rivalry”. Strangely enough the worst fights are normally between bitches.

Often, we can inadvertently cause the conflict; owners can disturb the hierarchical balance by rushing to protect the would-be subordinate from being “bullied” or “picked on” granting him/her liberties, such as being petted first, which the other dog may consider his due. The lower dog may now feel emboldened enough to challenge the other. “We need to understand that dogs have their own set of social rules, whereas we humans just want democracy.”

If you need to break up a fight, squirt the dogs with water or make a loud noise to distract them. Never attempt to break up a dog fight by grabbing the dogs by their collar or getting in between them. Grabbing dogs whilst they are fighting can result in what is called "redirected aggression," where a dog bites you because he thinks you are part of the conflict.

Sometimes the problem can be resolved if, instead of protecting the underdog the owner supports the hierarchy ie the top dog. Firstly determine who is the more dominant, reinforce that position by feeding, greeting, playing or letting the top dog out first. Usually this will help, but not always. “The problem with that approach is that it’s often difficult to tell who should be the alpha dog, it is also difficult for owners to play favourites with their dogs.

Two Choices:
To my mind you have two choices with siblings from the same litter, Whilst I believe the first solution is the most practicable, which is to re-home one of them, I am also aware it is the hardest and most difficult for the owners. If not they will always be damaged by their almost total reliance on each other.

If you decide to choose this alternative, you can home one of the dogs with another family member or a trusted friend. You will see dramatic improvements to the personalities of both pups. These changes occur almost immediately. Be aware that the longer you delay the harder it will be to part with one of your pups. It is a difficult and agonising decision for someone to make, however in the long run it is in yours and ultimately both your dog’s best interest.

Your second choice is to create two individual dogs, with two separate identities and personalities, without the total reliance on each other that normally happens in these situations. To do this you will need to work twice as hard because all the things you did together you will now need to do totally apart.

Things you must do:
Everything must now be done independently to allow for the Siblings to have any chance of becoming separate entities instead of the reduced sum of the whole.

• Walk them separately
• Feed them separately
• Train them separately
• Crate them separately
• Play with them separately

Literally everything you do should be separate. That includes Puppy and Training classes, take them to a trainer that understands the inherent difficulties of raising two puppies together. Take them on separate nights hopefully to the same trainer. They can play together but only at strict designated times and for a period of no more than 15 minutes each designated play time.

This regime will not be for life as the pups will, after a period of about 12 to 14 months have formed their own personalities and temperaments; at this age they will have become confident of their own individual abilities. Not as in most cases total inter-dependence to each other when siblings are raised, trained, and fed together.

Without the total reliance on their sibling for constant support they will grow and blossom into much rounder and less aggressive and fearful individuals. I cannot stress how important it is to separate the siblings until they are older. It will produce two individuals rather than an impaired two parts of the whole.

It is worth stating that it is not only siblings that have these problems. If you raise two young pups from different litters or even breeds, you can have similar problems. I always recommend my clients to wait till their puppy is 14 months old before purchasing another puppy this then allows you to concentrate all your efforts on that individual and hopefully it will take on some of the good traits of the older more experienced dog.

I think what truly annoys me are the breeders that sell siblings, and in some cases actually use emotional blackmail to push two pups, For instance " what a shame you can't take two as I may have problems as he's so small/white/little/runt etc and I'll probably have to have him put down in the end". I have no respect for a breeder that uses these tactics or that sell litter mates to one owner. If they are experienced and not a first time breeder then they are well aware of the pitfalls of these actions, and that the dogs will suffer for the rest of their lives.

I fully agree with that last paragraph! Most pet homes are not aware of the challenges or the huge amount of extra work.

12th February 2009, 02:12 AM
I've never sold more than one at a time. Many people have problems with paying for one dog these days.

12th February 2009, 02:15 AM
I think with cavaliers, it is most common with the cheaper puppies in N. America from backyard breeders, and in the UK and Ireland where the breed costs far less, especially from the BYBs (you can find poorly-bred cavaliers from breeders who have never seen a cardiologist in their dogs' lives, for $150-200 in the Irish free ads papers :bang:).

Some people are well able for two of course -- and give all that individual time. :thmbsup: And of course breeders and dog trainers are well used to managing two or more puppies at a time. :)

I have seen how much improvement comes from separating two pups though that clearly haven't had enough individual rearing, when I get older pairs into rescue (as being too challenging, generally!). Tara (certified trainer) has fostered a lot of these for me, and almost always recommends splitting them.

Cathy Moon
12th February 2009, 02:37 AM
Sandy, like you our breeder only let her puppies go at 10-12 weeks.

I think maybe littermate syndrome is more likely to happen when the family has only two puppies of the same age and no adult dogs? And when the puppies are left together all the time where they become overly bonded or one constantly beats up on the other.

We already had India going to puppy classes when we got Geordie, and our trainer was very concerned. I felt the trainer was helpful.

12th February 2009, 03:46 PM
Hi All,
We have two dogs, Sam is one year 3 months and Charlie is 1 year 1 month, they have the same mammy (well me ha ha but the same doggy mammy too). The get on great but when Charlie arrived he had come straight from the pack and bossed Sam who is bigger then him from the beginning. There are no issues however.
I read the article and some of it may apply to my sister in laws dogs who are cockers and littermates. One of them (Bunk) hates other dogs and if he sees a dog even our two whom he would be used to he barks at them, he does not like other dogs going near his brother (Mac). Mac is fine plays with other dogs etc but bunk is very insecure. There is no aggression.
I think all dogs have a tendency to be aggressive over food. I feed out two separately because it is just easier and they can take their time eating.
I think it is nice to get two dogs together if you can afford it and pay attention to both equally.

12th February 2009, 07:15 PM
There certainly is conflicting information out there about this. I have a book entitled 'A New Owner's Guide to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels' [details edited by admin -- I prefer not to have extensive discussions on individual breeders please; if you read the Getting Started section you will be able to see that this is one of the board guidelines]

. On page 23 she states 'Of this breed, it can be said without hesitation that two dogs are just as easy, or sometimes easier, to raise than one. The breed loves his own and when there are several together they can be found sleeping piled one on top of the other.' As you can see, it complete contrast to what others have posted. A bit baffling!

13th February 2009, 07:21 PM
I think I must be losing the plot. I thought I had posted yesterday evening about something in a book I have, that was written by someone who is an authority on the breed, that states that raising two puppies at the same time is actually *easier* than raising one. I could have sworn that it was on this thread I posted it:confused: Have checked other threads and can't find it? Does anyone remember reading it? Was just wanting to point out that there are others out there that have a differing opinion on the ease of raising two cav pups at same time . If this post was deleted I apologise if I broke any posting rules and if someone could let me know if indeed I have that would be great so as I don't repeat the same mistake :).

13th February 2009, 11:04 PM
I'd okayed the post and deleted the detail.

I don't think it is particularly baffling -- mainly because I do not believe from the way she phrases this that she is actually referring to having two puppies at the same time, simply to owning and training two dogs and bringing them up together, which most of us, including me, would recommend as ideal. If she is recommending buying and raising two puppies -- hmmm. Odd that this author then stands alone against a whole slew of advice from trainers and breeders! But they are certainly entitled to their opinion.

Do consider that on the one hand, I cannot, after having searched the web extensively when creating my Two Puppies or One thread for the Library, found a SINGLE trainer who actually recommends getting two puppies at once. Nor have I ever found a reputable breeder who would sell two without extensive counselling -- because what responsible breeder wants to risk an overwhelmed family, and dumped or poorly trained or socialised puppies? Most puppy owners will NOT, even if it is specified in a homing contract, return a dog to the breeder if there are problems -- this is a simple fact -- so every good breeder is trying to set up each puppy s/he homes for total success in the family, not create exceptionally high hurdles that must be overcome. I absolutely will not home two younger dogs together via rescue myself.

Also: consider that some breeders have a vested interest in the subject and might not be the best advice-givers for an unbiased perspective -- they after all, sell two puppies right away rather than just one. For some high volume puppy producers, this might also be a motivation.

Plus: there are all types of authorities, both in breeding and training. I've seen some claim to be experts who have some pretty shocking attitudes. :( I'd talk to a range of trainers, and those who work in breed rescue, on the issue of two puppies if you remain unconvinced.

It isn't that it is impossible to raise two. It is that it is a challenge to raise two properly and give the needed amount of time. Given the serious problems that can arise, I don't think it is fair to the dogs to place that burden on them for a lifetime. Much better to raise one dog to well-balanced adulthood then get a companion puppy.

13th February 2009, 11:43 PM
No problem Karlin. Sorry for mentioning author's name. Have to confess that I hadn't read posting rules in full but have done so now.

I guess we have just been lucky with our two. Although my parents are getting their two from a very well known and I believe sought after breeder in Northern Ireland (can't mention who but they are well known internationally for breeding and judging and their line is prominent). We got our pups from them also and they actually recommended that we don't buy two beds or crates as they are better to sleep together and we have certainly had no problems with this. I can tell you that this breeder has a waiting list for pups and they have no problem whatsoever homing their pups so I am very confident they are not just telling us that having two is ok just to get rid of their pups. I'm not saying it hasn't been hard work but our two are certainly well behaved and affectionate dogs that love everyone. They are both over one year now so hopefully if there were going to be problems we would have some evidence of it by now.

I'm not meaning to challenge what anyone on the board is saying, and indeed I have printed off a lot of the information on problems with having 2 pups at once to discuss with my folks. I do appreciate the advice and that many of you have a great deal of experience in training etc, in particular you karlin,....I just have to say that I haven't experienced any of what is being described except that it has been hard work. I guess like everything there is an exception to the rule and, like I said previously, perhaps we have just been very lucky.Thankyou everyone for your input. I do value it.

14th February 2009, 12:58 AM
Stan Rawlinson is an excellent dog trainer and you can visit his website on:


There is lots of helpful training advice as well as other interesting links.