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Caledonia's avatar

Are two dogs with the same parents but not born in the same litter technically considered siblings?

Asked by Caledonia (32points) June 11th, 2009

I own two border collies, born of the same parents but a year apart. A friend, when I introduced the new puppy as the older dog’s sister, informed me that they technically aren’t considered sisters if they aren’t of the same litter. Has anyone ever heard this before?

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16 Answers

Judi's avatar

nope. Never heard of that before. maybe this thread will enlighten me!

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know why the wouldn’t be. I mean, two sets of twins (human litters, if you will), born 5 years apart by the same parents would still be siblings, right?

shilolo's avatar

The assumption here is that all the pups in one litter are identical (which they are not). Most animals that produce large litters simply produce more eggs during ovulation (as opposed to the 1–2 of humans). Thus, two pups born in the same litter may be identical, but are likely siblings, and thus are as genetically similar as two pups born by the same parents when the births are separated by years.

Harp's avatar

Dog breeders do recognize that dogs can be siblings without being littermates.

For example, look at this Google search.

MrItty's avatar

Of course they are. Are you and your brother/sister still siblings even though you didn’t come from the same litter?

Caledonia's avatar

Shilolo, the question wasn’t whether they are identical twins. If they’re born a year apart, they can’t be identical twins. The question was simply whether—in the dog world—they are even considered siblings.

Augustian, I agree with you. Why wouldn’t they be? It never crossed my mind. But I was told by another person that—in the dog world—the term “sibling” is reserved only for littermates and not for dogs born of my same parents, as in the human world.

Mritty, Again, that is the logical and intuitive answer. But my brother/sisters and I aren’t dogs. This other person told me that there is another term (though they couldn’t think of it) to describe the canine relationship of having the same parents in different litters.

I know it doesn’t seem logical that it should be one way for people and another way for dogs. On the other hand, the rather special way that dogs say hello—by sniffing the other dog’s butt—doesn’t seem logical—or particularly pleasant—for humans either.

MrItty's avatar

@Caledonia you need to decide what you’re asking, then. Your question asks “Are they technically considered siblings”. Are you asking whether or not they actually are siblings? Or are you asking whether or not the “dog world” has a different definition for the word “sibling” than the rest of the world uses?

shilolo's avatar

Unless the people in the “dog world” don’t understand simple genetics (which is highly unlikely given centuries of breeding), then there is no difference between dogs born in the same or different litters, and your friend is, to put it bluntly, wrong. Offspring born to the same biologic parents are siblings, period.

crisw's avatar

Yes, most definitely. My dog has brothers who were born a year earlier. They are considered siblings.

MrItty's avatar

A quick google search shows a bunch of results for “littermates” and “litter-siblings”, neither of which would be necessary if only dogs born in the same litter are considered siblings in the “dog world”.

I posit your friend is simply wrong.

asmonet's avatar

Why wouldn’t they be?

Surrogate puppies? :P

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

In dog-world, basic genetic principles don’t apply?

The person who made that statement was wrong.
The offspring of the same parents are still brothers and sisters. Dog people differentiate between litters which is accurate but not being brothers in sisters is inaccurate on a basic level.

Randy's avatar

Although I can’t answer your question from the “dog industry” stand point, I can say that I would not allow any set of dogs with the same parents to breed no matter how many litters apart they were.

I’m pretty sure that says it all, right there.

susanc's avatar

“But my brother/sisters and I aren’t dogs.”

@Caledonia: That is so nice!

And, so far, my favorite-ever out-of-context fluther-statement.

DominicX's avatar

A sibling is a brother or sister. A brother or sister is someone who has the same parents as you. Dogs with the same parents are siblings whether or not they came from the same litter. There is no alternate definition in the dog world; those are the only definitions of those words. Just to clear that up…

babyblue's avatar

yes they are siblings, just not from the same litter. Friends of mine have a dog who has the same parents as my schnauzer/rat terrier mix. They are of course brothers, just not from the same litter.

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