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Sibling Recognition

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My pup is from a litter of 13 puppies from a local APL and I just got in touch with another couple who's interested in having our dogs meet up! They're about 9 months old now and they haven't seen each other since they were 8 weeks old. The two look similar although their boy is smooth and our Callie is rough coated.


Do you think they'll recognize each other or will it be like two regular dogs meeting for the first time? I think we'll start slow until we can tell whether they do recognize each other or not, but what do you all think? Any similar experiences?


Any recognition between puppies and momma dog versus puppies and their siblings? We haven't heard from the momma dog's new owners, but I'm holding out hope that they might still e-mail me in the future!

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It's reported to be 2 years between mother and her pup


Here's the abstract from a relevant study.


Long-term retention of kinship recognition established during infancy in the domestic dog.


Hepper PG

Behav Processes. 1994 Dec;33(1-2):3-14.


Author information:

School of Psychology, The Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN,Northern Ireland, UK.


The ability of the domestic dog to recognise its kin, and to retain this information once acquired, was studied in this paper. Dogs were examined for their ability to recognise their siblings, offspring to recognise their mother, and mothers to recognise their offspring, using a series of two choice tests. The results revealed that, at 4-5.5 weeks of age, pups can recognise their siblings and their mother, and mothers can recognise their offspring. The preference of pups at this age appears to be strongest for their mother. Olfactory cues are sufficient for this recognition to take place. At approximately 2 years of age, and having been separated from their offspring from 8-12 weeks after their birth, mothers were able to recognise their now adult offspring and these adult offspring could recognise their mothers. Siblings could only recognise one another if they had been living with a sibling (not the test animal). Dogs living on their own were unable to recognise their siblings. Thus dogs can recognise their kin, retaining this information for a period of two years in the case of mother-offspring. It is suggested that mother-offspring and siblings are

recognised by different mechanisms.


Copyright © 1994. Published by Elsevier B.V.


PMID: 24925236 [PubMed]

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I've read the study about mother and pup, but I've not heard anything about siblings.


I got Tess at 10 months old. She had spent her previous 10 months with two of her siblings and the various other dogs the breeder owned (including her mom and dad).


After I had had her about a year I took her back to the farm for a visit. She's been there twice more since then (to meet Crow and then to go pick him up).


She definitely recognized her siblings.Though, I wouldn't say it was more or less than she recognizes the other dogs she had hung out with while she was there.


Since they haven't seen each other since they were 8 weeks I would guess that they probably wouldn't recognize each other. But that's just a guess.


Let us know how it goes and if they do recognize each other!

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