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Thread: Runt of the Litter.

  1. #1
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    Default Runt of the Litter.

    Hi guys,

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on this.
    Yeserday i went to my Bullmastiff breeders home to view the pups and she gave me the choice of 2 wonderful looking pups, both males which is what i wanted.
    She did show me and explain the diffrence in both of thier personalities and she reckons the smaller, quieter guy would best suit us because we have young kids and its our first go at BM breed. The other pup was a little bigger and a bit more of a 'goer' as such.
    I trust her judgment and she has a wealth of experience and while they both look healthy and happy but for some reason i keep thinking i should avoid the 'runt of the litter'.
    At the end of the day i would like just a basic trained, loyal and healthy pet.
    Am i worrying about nothing?

  2. #2

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    A timid dog is not really ideal around children, however, once it settles and gets to know you all well and gets comfortable, you shouldn't have any problems.

  3. #3
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    Bella was the "runt" of her litter, she was so small. The lady I brought her off said that the runts are usually a little more boisterous and demanding of attention etc. because they are much smaller than the others, they have to battle (in a way) to get what they need/want.

    I found it to be very true, with her anyway. Bella can't handle not being the centre of attention and she is far more adventurous than Harley who was the biggest in his litter and a complete sook.

    I still think it also comes back to their individual personalities. And depends on what kind of dog you want.

    I think always follow your instinct, if you don't feel you want the runt get the other one!

  4. #4

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    Runts often grow up to be just like any other dog, some may even end up bigger than their litter mates. You may have heard us talking about how runts are bad on this forum but it really only applies to teacup dogs where the runts of the litter are continually bred to reduce size.

    Temperament of pups is almost irrelevant. In extreme cases where a pup is very timid or very aggressive it can affect them as adults but quite often temperament changes as they grow.
    My Poodle was an very outgoing little puppy, she was kept as a show dog and well socialized with dogs, people and places. At 3 months she went extremely timid, so much so she was pulled from the ring and eventually desexed. Now she is 4 years old and an outgoing little dog again.

    My Crested was the opposite, he was a skittish puppy, petrified of other dogs and now he is almost 2 years old and a little show-off.

  5. #5
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    There is nothing wrong with a puppy being "a little bit quieter" and as Crested said the runt or smallest of the litter often doesn't stay that way.

    I have a litter of 6 puppies and the smallest of the six is just now at 3 weeks of age starting to overtake in size the next smallest one.

    When I bought my Gordon Setter I had a choice between the real go getter and the quieter one. Had I not been after a show dog I would have gone for the quieter of the two but she was not as good for show because my girl is a real handful.

    One of my best trialling dogs was the runt of the litter.

    Being smaller doesn't necessarily mean there is any thing wrong with them nor does it necessarily mean they will remain the smallest but a good personality match does make life easier. Though I am a firm believer on the weeks and months after they have left the breeders and gone into their new homes makes the biggest impact on puppies.
    Last edited by MAC; 09-05-2011 at 02:40 PM.

  6. #6
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    My last ACDx was the runt too and my choice. Wonderful wonderful dog.
    He lived 14 years and was a valued member of our family.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  7. #7

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    My dog Keira (Bull Mastiff/Ridgie Cross) was the runt of her litter. Unfortunately I think this has contributed to her health issues (Luxatting Patellas and HD both bilateral) as well as skin and immune system issues, she is a very unwell dog and will never ever be 100%, in saying this I also believe it is because she was the runt of a BYB litter. (Her sister who I know is perfectly healthy)

    In saying that, from a well bred litter of dogs I cannot see why being the runt would cause the dog any problems in the future.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Thanks for the info everyone.

    I didnt notice anything timid about him and he wasnt the most boisterous. Just a little quieter and was the smallest, not by much but it was noticable. The breeder has been great so far and she did say he may be bigger than some of the others in the next few weeks and she wanted me to trust her instincts which i have no reason to question. My wife was rapped with him and so where the kids so i think thats a pretty good start. Hearing some positives from 'runt' owners and feeling a little bad about even calling him a 'runt' makes me think i've already got my heart set on him to.

    Maybe i should just take them both !!! (love 2 but the missus would crack it).

    Thanks again for the advice.

  9. #9
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    Quieter is good...if I pick a puppy I never pick the most timid one or the most forward. I like to sit in the quieter friendly bracket.

    I am not sure if you have seen pictures of my Katy, she was the smallest of the litter. A runt is usually below standard, but smaller might just be smaller and catch up. katy is now the largest of the litter-mates when we met, but the best behaved and friendliest.
    Now I alwys pick my puppies to be future Therapy dogs and for Obedience/water rescue Training. Which means picking a dog that will be good with people and of course children. I use the Volhard system. I have for the last three puppies and I have attached the link.
    I have a Breeder who socialises her puppies very early and that helps me a lot. I go with the belief where I think it is more important to socialise your puppy then worry about all the vaccinations (watch me flame!)....There are more dogs being PTS due to aggression then puppies from good kennels with good parent vaccination record dying from Parvo. So I socialise from 8weeks, lots in controlled environments, where I pick dogs whose vaccination record I know.
    This is what will make your perfect dog...Let your puppy meet and greet lots of people of every age, colour, type and personality. It is sooooo important. But you need to keep it happy meeting for the puppy and be in control.
    Let the puppy meet lovely dogs again of all sizes and colour. And allow well mannered older bitches to teach your puppy manners when your pup is too boisterous.
    I have a really good bitch for tat, Tessa...She won't attack or bite, but she will let the puppies in puppy class know if they are rude. It makes nice and polite dogs in the future. Some people protect their puppies too much and will get rude or not well socialised dogs. And in todays world the best way to protect your dog is to socialise, socialise and socialise. There are now many people who believe this is the way to go.
    Ultimately it is the best way to protect your dog and anyone else.....
    Anyway.........I better get off my soapbox again

    Here is the Volhard link Volhard Dog Training and Nutrition: Behavior and Training: Behavior
    Pets are forever

  10. #10
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    I don't have any experience with this with dogs, but I've had a couple of cats that were the runts and they always seemed to be real characters, with some pretty quirky and endearing personality traits. They also caught up with their siblings in size and weight very quickly. My theory is that they are often more resilient because of all the bullying they had to endure from their litter mates.

    Sorry, probably not all that relevant, but I imagine this might be similar for most species.

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