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Old 11-25-2006, 10:21 PM   #1
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Default So we selected the runt, should we be concerned?

We carefully researched the breed we wanted (Australian cattle dog), and found the only reputable breeders in our area. We even passed over one 5 mo. old bargain pup, opting to choose from a litter and begin a clean slate.

Researching again, we studied hard the Volhard Pup Aptitude test. Armed with test toys and testing chart, we felt (semi) confident. Here's the stumper...out of a litter of ten! 6 week old pups we had five left to choose from. Of the five, the only one that genuinely interacted, came when called, followed and fetched was the runt...and not the runt by a small measure, this fellow was clearly the smallest of the batch. We re-ran the tests - same results. All the rest of the pups wandered off or showed little interest in we visitors. Again, this one engaged, followed and fetched - a good sign in our book, particularly when so young...but gosh, he's sooo small! Did we make a good choice? Would responsiveness rule out neurological defects he may have? Amongst the litter, he has a good appetite, and did not appear aggressive in reaction to a good bit of tussling by his littermates.

Interestingly, the breeders mentioned twice that this fellow was the mother dog's favorite pup. When we asked what that meant, they explained that on more than one occasion, she would take this particular pup away from the litter and allow it to sleep next to her alone. What does this indicate? That the mother realizes this one needs extra attention? (and that this individual is worth the effort? (rather than letting nature take its course). Do bitches often have 'favorites'?

We left a deposit and the pup at the breeders as we believe that 6 weeks is too young for separation and that 8 weeks would be better. So, in two weeks, we will return. We may have the opportunity to retest, reselect from what is left at this time. It would be a little tacky to ask, but we're a bit reserved about having chosen a runt. On the other hand, it was the only responsive pup we observed. Maybe it will be a fine dog.

Comments appreciated.

Last edited by lfrj; 11-25-2006 at 10:38 PM..

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Old 11-26-2006, 11:34 AM   #2
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Yes, six weeks old is definately too young for the puppy to leave the pack and mommy. Wait till closer ten weeks for this one to have a great start.
There is nothing wrong with a runt, I chose a runt from a $1500 English Bulldog, she grew to normal size in time and was the utmost best pup I raised into an adult. Lifespan was 8 yrs, she lived to near 11 yrs and put her down due to lungs filling, etc. Leave with your pet with confidence it will be a great pet for you and do what the rest does in time gone.........

"Don't make the mistake of treating your dogs like humans, or they'll treat you like dogs."


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Old 11-26-2006, 04:30 PM   #3
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We chose the runt as well, partly because he looked like no-one would have him, as he looked so tiny and unwell. He needed looking after and we took him to the vet within 3 days but he's really picked up now and he's fine little puppy, just like any other. We've had him 8 weeks.
Good luck!

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Old 11-26-2006, 06:07 PM   #4
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One of our family dogs was the runt. Physically she was absolutely fine, and grew to be a normal sized, healthy dog. She was, however, also the timid one of the litter which caused considerably greater challenges.

Sounds like you have done heaps of research, and if the puppy that fits the bill temperament wise is the runt, then I would probably go ahead.

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Old 11-26-2006, 11:04 PM   #5
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My vet explained this to me awhile ago.

They are not necessarily the runt, they are just younger. When dogs breed, they mate more than once and a few days apart. The bigger ones could have been concieved earlier making them bigger and smaller ones conceived later. It can also be difference in genes. Males are usually a little bigger than the females and it depends on which parent the pup is going to take after.

Unless the pup is sickly - the runts are just as good as the bigger siblings. Just like humans. My biggest baby was 9 lbs 9 oz and smallest was 7 lb 2 oz. They all have their individual looks and personalities.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

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Old 12-01-2006, 01:36 PM   #6
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Nothing wrong with getting the runt.

My other dog was the runt out of 14 puppies, and the guy even tried to talk me out of getting him, but that just made me want him more.
He grew into a very large, very healthy happy 80lb friendly boy.

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Old 12-01-2006, 02:20 PM   #7
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i personally hate the term runt. What is a runt exactly??? I had a litter of pups some years ago , and one was much smaller than the others, in fact almost sheltie size. However she was a big as her sisiters at 10mths.
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