– by Melissa Waters

Adopting multiple puppies from a litter can be tempting. Potential adopters often have a difficult time choosing between siblings or they feel guilty separating littermates. While we understand the desire to adopt littermates together, the SPCA-NN enforces a strict one-puppy-per-household policy. This policy was put in place to promote healthy and safe relationships between owners and their dogs. 

We understand if this seems strange or confusing, but we assure you it’s in the best interest of everyone involved! Here is the reasoning behind our one-puppy-per-household policy. 

1. Adopting multiple littermates increases training workload.

Training a single puppy is already a significant amount of work that requires commitment from all family members. Training multiple puppies will substantially increase the amount of time families need to spend with the puppies. While there are examples of successfully training littermates in the same home, it typically requires the effort of at least two family members or intervention by a professional canine trainer. We want to make sure your puppy gets as much undivided attention as they can to ensure their long-term success as a pet!

2. Adopting multiple puppies requires a greater financial commitment. 

Our adoption fee for puppies is $200, which is a significant amount of money. Furthermore, with a second puppy, future veterinary care, food, grooming, boarding, and training costs will essentially double. We want to set our adopters up for success, and the financial burden associated with adopting multiple littermates may cause additional stress.

3. Adopting multiple littermates may lead to “littermate syndrome.”

Littermate syndrome occurs when littermates become overly bonded, resulting in behavioral problems such as dog aggression, an inability to bond with their owner, and extreme separation anxiety when the dogs aren’t together which can lead to destructive behavior. Adopting a puppy by itself gives it the opportunity to become independent and makes training much easier!

4. Adopting multiple littermates can lead to one or both puppies becoming under-socialized. 

Puppies require constant socialization, and owners of littermates may believe that the interaction between the siblings will adequately socialize the puppies. However, the puppies do best when exposed to a variety of people and dogs with different play styles. This helps them build confidence!

Thinking about getting a new dog?

Click below to learn how to introduce your new dog to your home and pets, how to help your dog decompress after adoption, how to crate train and more!

Read more!