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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Only two puppies in litter

Hi guys,
So I'm concerned and I turned to Facebook for advice.. probably not the best idea 😅
My breeder texted me today to notify me that puppies were here 💖💓💕 however, the dam only whelped two... Is this something that should be alarming or looked at as a red flag?
I had someone tell me it was because of a low Gene pool and I find this to be upsetting because I know my breeder has done her due diligence with this breed.. I just wanted to see if anyone had any other input?
PS. Please keep all comments kind. It's not too difficult to be courteous, even with differing views. I just hate when someone comments and they are condescending and outright rude. Let's all be nice or don't say anything 😉
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 01:04 AM
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Lots of reasons a bitch would have a really small litter, including a) her age, b) the age of the sire, c) whether it was live cover or AI, d) if it was AI then was it fresh, chilled, or frozen, e) if frozen, how old was it, f) the timing of the breeding, and g) Mother Nature likes to mess with people.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 08:10 AM
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Also, some dogs have low sperm count regardless of age.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 10:23 AM
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Hi Nicole,

There are a whole bunch of reasons for small litters. You've had some suggestions here already but to pin it down a bit you need to give more information.

As far as the small litter size because of a limited gene pool goes I sez hogwash--the breeders are all dealing with basically the same gene pool and I know breeders who regularly have BIG (12 and 14 puppies) litters regularly. And I know breeders, even with similar bloodlines who routinely have small litters. So the explanation likely is something else.

On live covers sometimes there is a problem with "chemistry" between the dog and bitch--a repro vet told me one time about a client of his who was trying to breed a bitch to a dog and she really, really wanted that particular combination--after three tries with not puppies (and all of the testing before the breeding each time) and a year and a half later she bred to the son of that dog and the resulting litter was 8 fat healthy puppies. The vet said sometimes it's just a combination--happens ih people too.

There is an idea that ultrasounding early for puppies may (or may not--no one really knows for sure) result in the bitch absorbing the litter or some puppies in the litter.

Another breeder I know was having small litters--singleton or two puppies and her husband (another breeder of a different breed) finally yelled at her (her discription) while she was crying about another singleton puppy litter, to stop ultrasounding. Breed the bitch and x-ray at the end of the pregnancy to make she knew how many puppies there were and let nature take care of early pregnancies. She stopped ultrasounding and started to get normal sized litters.

AI breedings seem to routinely present smaller litters but age of sire and dam is a factor.

And frozen sperm doesn't always show sufficient motility. And sperm from older dogs is not as likely to produce puppies as that from younger dogs.

So, lots of possiblities but probably has nothing to do with the limited gene pool.

Is it limited, yes, but one of things I don't see mentioned is one of natures tricks to add diversity--and sometimes genes and even whole chromosome divide differently and recombine producing different results. Sometimes that kind of thing is a dead end but sometimes it produces new viability in old strains.

Hope this helps a little.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone! This really helped! I thought it was very strange for someone to say it was due to small Gene pool but thought I should double check! You all are awesome ❣️ my phone isn't cooperating so I can't reply to any specific person 🙄🙃 but thanks so much for the information!! 😊
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