Same Litter – Good or Bad

Is it true that a good breeder will not sell 2 pups from the same litter? I have 2 brothers that have just turned 2 years old and I am finding pee markings all over the entire house and it is getting worse each day. We brought them home when they were 8 weeks old. Isn’t that 4 weeks too soon?

Thank you in advance


Hi DK,

That’s more of a wive’s tale than a reality. This is probably more a people problem, at least from the perspective of understanding how dogs “work.”

It doesn’t matter whether the two dogs are or are not of the same litter, gender, breed or age. These things can influence the dynamic but they are not make or break. At the core, is the problem of getting the dogs in a multiple dog scenario to take us seriously as the head honcho.

In a one dog scenario, when you’re the only game in town it’s still a challenge to get and hold a dog’s attention let alone its respect. When there’s another dog “talking dog”, oh so much better then you many people come out on the short end of the stick and find the dog’s connect on many levels with each other rather then their owner. It doesn’t help that your personal resources for reinforcing good behaviour and disciplining bad behaviour are now divided between two dogs. Anything, including house training isn’t twice as hard with two dogs, it’s three times harder.

When it’s done correctly to train a single dog is a considerable draw on one’s mental and physical resources, more with some than others but certainly significant with all. I’m freshly aware of this having just started training of a new dog for myself. It’s a 22-month-old Belgian Malinois named Odie and at the end of every day as I flop myself exhausted into bed I have to wonder if he isn’t on crack or whether I need to be.

As to when you brought them home, research indicates that the ideal is 7 1/2 weeks. There are those that think the dog should stay later but that would have to be in an extraordinarily rich environment to properly impact the dog’s temperament. It’s a rare breeder that does so. As a result I think you got the dogs at the right time.

Your house-training problem likely stems from a lack of structure and way too much freedom. At two years old you’ve a challenge in breaking the cycle but it can be done. My house training cheat sheet (anyone can email for a free copy – ) will help you with guidance pertaining to the structure and scheduling freedom, replacing what I’m guessing is essentially a premature carte blanche access to the house.

Essentially, you’ve left a couple of 5 year old kids unsupervised in the mall every day and are puzzled when they come home one day, pockets packed with chocolate saying, “Mom this place is great! There are chocolate bars all over the place.” Instead you’re hearing, “This place is great, you can pee anywhere.”

Pawsitively yours,

John Wade

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27 thoughts on “Same Litter – Good or Bad”

  1. Tina LeGresley

    Hi there.I find your information very helpful. I will be training my new puppy soon and would love to have one of your house training cheat sheets to help guide me along in this process.

    Thanks so much in advance for your great advice!

    Kind Regards

  2. Our 2 male dogs r from the same litter. There now 1 years old. But…. r always fighting w/ 1 another as a dominance thing or something. 1 is my husband’s 1 is mine. Try to treat the same but… when both r in same room, if I pets 1, the other gets jealous. How do we balance both of our dogs?? Or.. was it a bad idea to get 2 males from same litter?? So I’ve heard.

    1. Hi Laura,

      It’s true that household’s with same gender dogs have more potential for conflict. However, more often then not I’ve found the problem lays not with the relationship between the dogs (that’s a symptom), it’s the relationship with their owners. For instance, you mention “try to treat the same”, that’s a human construct for children. For dogs, if one is more authoritarian and you don’t respect that and pet the other dog first you’re often setting the dog being petted for an encounter with the other dog. The first step in a solution for this sort of thing for me starts with getting both dogs to understand that you two are the teachers and they are the students. Dogs that understand this fight less because there’s less to fight over. It’s clear to them it’s your house, they just live there.


  3. Please I need to know if I can breed 2 dogs from the same litter

  4. plz send the cheat sheet, I have a pair of pugs of same litter. Whenever I trained one another forgets the training.

  5. Great info
    I have two pups from same litter
    Fun but I desperately need your house training cheat sheet

  6. Tyah Davis

    Hi John,

    This is great information. Can I have a copy of your cheat sheet? Thanks

    1. Hi Tyah,

      I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.


  7. Hi, I have two males from the same litter1 yr old. I take them home n walks with leashes. They are small dogs.. They live it get so excited but just started fighting eachother as soon as we get outside nonstop. Please send info thank u

    1. Sorry Erin, not enough details for me to go on. The first bit of the second last sentence doesn’t make any sense either. Best not to guess when the issue is aggression. – John

  8. I need a cheat sheet for potty training/dog training our dogs. We will be getting them when they are 8 weeks old. (Feb 7). They are from the same litter. It’ll be a boy and a girl. Now I’m worried that in a couple of years they will mate. They cannot breed as they are in the same litter! Please help!

    1. Hi Micohn,

      I’ll send you the cheat sheet for the house training to the email address you provided. As to the potential breeding, you are familiar with the concept of neutering, sterilization? Your “couple of years” time line is off. Sexual maturity will be much sooner than that. If you haven’t got these dogs yet I’d suggest that you put it on hold and wait for another litter while you learn a little bit more about dogs, dog ownership etc. so you can be better prepared.


      1. Hi John,

        Thank you. I recieved the cheat sheet. I am familiar with neutering/sterilazation but couldn’t remember the time frame when they go fertile and such. It has been quiet a few years since I had a dog. I am persuading my husband that it is not good to in breed (even accidentally). I have purchased them both so there’s no option on waiting for another set of litter. I do however am very active on reading/studying and have a very willing mind to learn about dogs (again)to refresh my memory and help me direct my overwhelming love to our new four legged babies. So easy to spoil but I want to do it right so it’s easier for everyone. I have purchased the necessary potty apartment crate last night and other things they need for a great potty training experience. I have lined up also a reputable dog trainer near me (great reviews on yelp) to also help me be a really good mommy. I am reaching out to the online community also to just help me with current ideas and new gadgets that are a lot better and tested from what i used to know 15 years ago..

        1. For what it’s worth, good dog breeding is more complicated than knowing the difference between a male and female dog and reproductive cycles. It requires countless hours of research in areas related to genetics, blood lines, behaviour etc if the goal is to improve rather than dilute a breed’s stability. Sadly, like my own profession where one day a person can be greeting customers at Walmart, the next they can decide to be a dog trainer. It’s unregulated. I have had this sort of dog trainer attend one of my seminars and change their business card from “dog trainer” to dog behaviourist. Many (trainers and breeders), more wise in the ways of social media than true expertise are very highly rated on platforms like Facebook, Yelp etc. Caveat Emptor.

  9. Hi John, can I get a copy of the cheat sheet. Have 2 German Shepherds, litter mates and working on their training. Tanks!

  10. Kenneth Martin

    I am on my second set of littermate sisters. I had the first two for 15 years. The two I have now are three years old. Belgian Malinois. Two well trained dogs require 10 times the work as one does, if they are constantly together. You need to train them both individually and together. You need to give one a stay command while one is being heeled. Dogs feed on stimulus, and they need to learn you are the stimulus, not their littermate. Done properly, multiple dog ownership makes things easier, especially with a high energy dog like a Malinois. But done wrong, and they become a mini pack, letting pack mentality override your leadership.

  11. May I get the Cheat sheets for socialization and house training? Thanks!

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