Can Dogs Be Identical Twins?

DNA tests are the only conclusive way to prove identical twin dogs.

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Sure, dogs can be fraternal twins – or triplets, or octuplets and so on – but what about identical?

Unlike fraternal twins, which arise from two independently fertilized eggs, identical twins come from the same fertilized egg, which splits and becomes two separate embryos. Depending on when the split occurs, the twins may or may not share a single placenta. The earlier the split, the greater the chance they will each have their own placenta.

Some dog breeders have reported puppies born with only one placenta between them, but even that’s not foolproof. There’s always a chance that two puppies were born one after another and that one placenta became detached and was delivered later. It’s also possible two placentas could grow together and appear to be a single entity.

What about reports of dogs with identical markings? It could be coincidence. But to complicate matters, identical twins would not necessarily share the same markings anyway. That’s because certain characteristics, such as the size and placement of spots, are determined during development by random cell splits that occur after the fertilized egg split.

DNA tests are the only conclusive way to prove identical twin dogs, and no reports exist of dogs proven to be genetically identical. Conjoined animals are often identical twins. Reports of conjoined dogs would be consistent with the idea that they are identical twins because conjoined twins usually result from an incomplete split of a fertilized egg that would have produced identical twins. But although conjoined kittens are not that unusual, conjoined puppies are rarely if ever reported.

So for now at least, there’s no conclusive evidence that identical twins exist in dogs. But who needs science? You already knew that every dog is an individual!


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Monica   South Gate, California

4/6/2016 9:06:49 PM

My chihuahua had puppies 8 weeks ago, when the second puppy came out it was stuck to the mothers vulva for a while, we thought we were going to have help her.. About 5 minutes passed when we see a second puppy come out and in the same placenta, they were attached to the same umbilical cord.. They have same exact markings, white paws, the only difference is that one is chocolate brown and other is beige.. We really couldn't believe it..

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Teresa   Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2/23/2016 5:35:59 PM

My dog had. Her litter 2 weeks ago. I was there to give comfort and help. She had 5 pups. 3 came out in their sacs and then the last two came out in one sac. I did not know that was possible. The sac was intact surrounding both pups. So i think it is solo very possible. I would post pic of them now But do not know how to.

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Norah Argil   Keller, Texas

1/16/2016 7:20:44 PM

I have video of what I think are twins in my Yorkie canine... She is 5 weeks and I own a ultrasound machine. I told my daughter look at that huge baby. Looks like we breed her to our shepherd... At 28 days looked like a butterfly ... Now at 33 days I see two heart
beats...
Feel free to watch updates on Yorkie pregnancy timeline ...kisses within her on Facebook. Let's us know what you think!

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joyce   Rosyth, Armed Forces

9/20/2015 7:40:25 AM

My daughter took me to visit a litter of lhasa apsos thst I wanted to buy from. I choose one of the 2 boys. The other 3 were girls with various colours. My daughter ended up buying the other boy. Both are black and white in exactly the same places. I, m sure thry sre twins, as we have a problem telling them apart sometimes. They are now 16 weeks old and have given mine a classic lhasa hair cut, and thst helps. My daughters has developed a umbilical hernia, which I believe show thst they once shared a placenta.

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