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William T. writes, “I have two puppies (littermates that are 4 months old). At what age should I start training them to sit and stay, and can I teach them together or would it be better to teach them separately?”

You’re in a tricky situation! It is difficult to train and properly socialize two puppies at the same time. “Littermate syndrome” can often develop because the pups tend to prefer each other’s company over that of any human. Littermates raised together sometimes have trouble developing social skills with other dogs or people, so it’s extremely important that they spend plenty of time apart from one another and are only allowed short periods of playtime together each day.

The pups should have lots of one-on-one time with their human family, and that time should be spent playing and training. Training needs to be done separately with each puppy and can start ASAP.


Our dogs are cherished members of the family, sharing our lives and providing unconditional love. But dog owners know that our canine partners have different perspectives on life than we do.

If you have ever asked, “Why does my dog do that?” then this feature is for you. The AKC GoodDog! Helpline training team will answer your questions on dogs’ behavior and offer training advice to help you and your pup have the best relationship possible. The AKC GoodDog! Helpline is a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by professional dog trainers. For more information on the service and how to enroll, go to www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.

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Puppy Socialization

Socializing your dog in an important step in raising a balanced and happy dog. Not sure where to start? Download this e-book for some tips.
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