Waiting for a pup--runt of the litter? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Waiting for a pup--runt of the litter?

We have a runt already, but she never grew to a normal size, at least not in 2 1/2 years. We also had a lot of issues to deal with, very different from her older brother. But he passed away last November, and we finally got on a list with a breeder for another male because she could use a buddy.
The new pup was born 2 weeks ago but we're already seeing a bit difference in his size. He was 10th in a litter of 13. We've dealt with so much with our little one, and even though we love her with all our hearts, we would like a larger dog like our Jake that we lost who was much calmer and didn't have issues.
We're seeing already, a big difference in size with the last dogs born (one of which will be ours) and the first born in the litter. These are European, and so they should be definitely larger. The information above** definitely helps, but does that mean that they have to be able to eat before they can be hand fed. We were told they never have runts because they weigh them everyday and make sure no one is under weight. But we are seeing a difference.
Do their growth spurts come when they can eat?

**Edited to add--Reference to thread from 2008 https://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-c...nt-litter.html, about hand-feeding runts

Last edited by melbrod; 07-01-2020 at 12:35 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 02:19 PM
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I lost my runt at 10 months to a birth defect - there were other problems in that litter, as one was a ding and at least one failed to thrive. I honestly wouldn't do it again. He was a true runt, vs just a smaller puppy.

I would also reconsider a breeder who goes by birth order. Ideally your breeder will place your puppy based on your needs and the puppy's personality. If they go by birth order, they don't be able to determine which puppies are show/working prospects and which will make nice pets.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 02:58 PM
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Where are you located? Perhaps we can help you find a better breeder for your next puppy. I agree that this doesn't sound like a reputable breeder.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 03:02 PM
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I agree with falnfenix.

This doesn't sound like a reputable breeder considering they supposedly know which pup is yours and the litter is only 2 weeks old.

To me, that makes it seem like the breeder isn't really matching up homes and puppies based on what the prospective home wants and what the personalities and temperaments of the puppies are. I would expect the pups to be a bit older before a breeder really knows, like, 100% sure, to what home each pup is going.

As to the size concern, again, I agree with falnfenix. Small does not necessarily mean unhealthy or runt. Most pups will grow to be the size of the parents (at maturity, boys will be about the size of the sire and girls will be about the size of the dam) with a few exceptions every now and then.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 03:20 PM
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I also just wanted to address the "they are European, so they should be larger."

The standard for European Dobermans is basically identical to that of the American Doberman. People selling Europeans that are selling/marketing them as "larger" do not understand the size the Euros should be, and it's a red flag if they are telling you they are larger than American dogs.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 01:12 AM
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I will add on the matter of smaller vs runt... my current litter I had two live males and three live females (one stillborn male whom I didn't weigh). Of the two males one was the second smallest puppy at birth. The second male was seriously larger than everyone else. He was a whopping 18.59oz, compared to the two smallest pups, 14.07oz for the female (absolute smallest) and 14.18oz for the male.

By week 8, the smaller male grew overnight and suddenly was taller than everyone else. At their weigh in at the vet he was co-largest with one of the females at 14.2lb. My largest male at birth was now the middle puppy at 14lb. According to Embark their predicted, estimated adult weights are 86lb for the smallest male at birth and 83lb for the largest male at birth.

All this to say that birth size/weight is hardly indicative of adult size/weight, and most smaller puppies aren't necessarily true runts.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 10:37 AM
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There are many things that can determine the size of a puppy at birth, placement in the uterus, the size of the litter, health issues.... A small puppy won't necessarily end up being a small dog. As Artemis mentioned I too just had a litter and the smallest one ended up gaining the same percentage of weight as the others and now at 7 weeks as even surpassed a few. That's what I want and expect to see from all of the puppies. If the smallest isn't gaining the same PERCENTAGE wise, or stays drastically smaller than the others, I would be concerned. With that many puppies I pray the breeder is helping the bitch out and supplementing the puppies.

As others have mentioned this would be a breeder I would probably walk away from. My puppies go to the homes who's lifestyle and will fit my puppy's personality and needs. Doesn't matter the birth order, or the order that people pay or that the contact me... It's based on where that puppy will have the most success and the owners will be the happiest.

Best of luck to you
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thank You all so much!

We really appreciate all of your answers - we're getting a real education!
Where we live, for the past couple of years, it seems ALL the breeders are taking a percentage of the cost, I guess you'd say a downpayment, for the next litter BEFORE the dam gets pregnant. So we're kind of a captive audience - that's why it took so long for us to find another available planned litter of pups.
The first Doberman pup we got about 6 years ago, we found on the internet and called the breeders. They were all 9 weeks old, it was a litter of 12, and they were all black and tan. We met the people at their home, 4 hours away, and were told which pups were available (we had a choice of 9 pups). When we went inside their gigantic kennel they (the pups) all untied our sneakers - they were really cute ! Then one just came over to us and sat right next to my husband. He was beautiful! So we got to play with him and asked if we could have him - he seemed to have picked us! He had no problems and was absolutely gentle, loving and gorgeous. BUT We lost him, last November. I spoke to you guys about that as we were going through it and you were all so wonderfully understanding. We still thank you all for that.

But now, things have changed throughout the state, and we figure there must be an extremely large demand for Dobermans. I grew up with a best friend whose family bred Dobies, and one of them went with us wherever we went as young kids. He was like a best friend. So now we have our own but she can use a friend. We play with her all day and she's never home alone.
I do have to say that these breeders have absolutely NO complaints that we can find on the internet. That's why we went with them. We also said we wanted a male, black and tan, or red. This litter had both colors. That's probably why they were giving certain males to certain people.
So that is the way it is here. We have to say we really love the education you're giving us and appreciate your input. We are getting daily pix and will be visiting the pups soon. We're 2 1/2 hours away from them but cannot find any others in the state. My husband did meet with the breeders and liked them and the dogs very much. We're just not used to all the changes, including the ability to adopt a pup, right now.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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So sorry to hear about your 10 month old, Fainfenix. I couldn't go through that again, and so young. I know we still cry when we even talk about Jake, and he was 5 yrs old, we did say we wouldn't get another one. That's why we're so concerned, too. We couldn't go through it again.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:43 AM
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If I may ask, where are you located, and which breeder is this? I'm still very concerned about a breeder letting you choose vs choosing the dog which fits your home best.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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We're in a delicate position

I know what you're saying, Fainfenix. We are in an odd position that we're not used to. We don't want to ruin anyone's reputation, but we don't have too much control, that's why we've come here - to understand more of what's happening. This is a happy time, but also a time that we're not used to. We feel we shouldn't say anything to hurt anyone, especially since we initiated this contact. We DO want as much information as possible, though. We're originally from NY and tend to ask a lot of questions since this will be a family member that we've waited for since November 2019.

Most owners and breeders look at ALL the info on the internet, since Doberman people have such a connection to their 'kids'. Most people don't understand our enthusiasm and relationship to our dogs. I guess we're a different 'breed'.
But we do feel like we shouldn't say too much about any specific people. Don't want to hurt anyone, just want to be more aware of the breeding process and the fact that all states are not in the same position that we are. Having to reserve pups before their born brings up a lot of questions but we couldn't find anyone in these past 8 months.

I will be in that area, in the next few days and will be stopping by to see them. We are getting pix everyday, but yes, this is a different situation than we've ever been used to.

Thank you so much for caring. We know you understand the love and concern we all have - especially when it's such a long wait. We're already concerned and excited at the same time. It's a very strange feeling having a dog you already love in someone else's care.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 10:36 AM
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I know what you're saying, Fainfenix. We are in an odd position that we're not used to. We don't want to ruin anyone's reputation, but we don't have too much control, that's why we've come here - to understand more of what's happening. This is a happy time, but also a time that we're not used to. We feel we shouldn't say anything to hurt anyone, especially since we initiated this contact. We DO want as much information as possible, though. We're originally from NY and tend to ask a lot of questions since this will be a family member that we've waited for since November 2019.

Most owners and breeders look at ALL the info on the internet, since Doberman people have such a connection to their 'kids'. Most people don't understand our enthusiasm and relationship to our dogs. I guess we're a different 'breed'.
But we do feel like we shouldn't say too much about any specific people. Don't want to hurt anyone, just want to be more aware of the breeding process and the fact that all states are not in the same position that we are. Having to reserve pups before their born brings up a lot of questions but we couldn't find anyone in these past 8 months.

I will be in that area, in the next few days and will be stopping by to see them. We are getting pix everyday, but yes, this is a different situation than we've ever been used to.

Thank you so much for caring. We know you understand the love and concern we all have - especially when it's such a long wait. We're already concerned and excited at the same time. It's a very strange feeling having a dog you already love in someone else's care.
If you're committed to going ahead, the things that would be really important to me to ask/consider with your puppy/breeder are:

Temperament: if you can, meet the dam of the litter. Make sure she is outgoing and confident. Ask questions about the sire. If he's a dog they own, meet him, too. Remember that temperament is hugely genetic. The temperament of both parents are very predictive of the temperament of your puppy. Additionally, since it sounds like your puppy is chosen "in order"...another thing that I would really consider is the puppy's temperament. I would not want a "shy" puppy. You want a confident puppy. One that isn't afraid of people or new things. You want to see how this puppy behaves when away from his littermates, and away from the breeders. Does he confidently try new things? Does he greet you happily? Will he explore something that is new and unfamiliar to him? A worried, anxious, shy puppy can be really, really hard in so many ways.

Ask a lot of questions about what the breeders are doing for socialization. It is ESPECIALLY hard with the pandemic. How are the exposing these puppies to new people and new situations? Early experiences, especially in the first 8 weeks of life, have an enormous impact on the rest of a dog's life. Research is showing that the first 8 weeks are critical. Puppies need to have a lot of experiences. The more a breeder does to prepare a puppy for resilience, the more stable a dog can be (assuming they have a strong genetic make-up, of course).

HEALTH:
Health is also a huge factor in this breed. Ask the breeder about the dogs they've bred together. Are those dog's parents still alive? How old are they? If not, how old were they when they died? What health issues have come up in their dogs? Allergies? Cancer? Heart issues? Health testing would be preferable, but knowing what is common in their dogs would be helpful to you. Knowing how long their dogs typically live is important. Hopefully they can share this information with you.

I understand you are feeling caught and like you are probably going to go ahead. I hope you feel like you can ask these questions. I hope the dogs that were bred have good, stable temperaments and good health. I hope that if you have a bad feeling in your gut that you can walk away.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for that info, MeadowCat!
My husband had been there and met the 'mom and dad to be', back in January. Both were under 2 years old at the time. Both were extremely playful and affectionate. Mom was red, Dad was black and tan. Both had really nice markings. They were very friendly, trying to get in my husbands lap, loved being scratched around the ears, and loved running after a ball. So, they seemed to be the exact temperament of our almost 6 year old before we lost him. My husband had a lot of fun with them and felt comfortable because they were no different from what we were used to.

I've spoken to one of the owners twice and she was very friendly. I don't think she'd have a problem with those questions, she's probably been through all this before. I will be there this coming week. The pups will only be 3 weeks. We only have an idea of what they will be like from watching the 'Too Cute' episodes on Dobermans showing 3 week old pups and what they're able to do. It is a long drive, so I'm not sure how many times we'll be there before we can pick him up at 8 weeks. A lot can change between now and then. Especially in this crazy situation the whole world is in right now!

We like your questions they're very well thought out and more than we would've thought of. We'll bring a copy so we can ask and talk about them more in the future as they grow. We are aware that the only time we'll really know everything will be when we actually pick him up, and that's what makes it so hard. There's so many things to adjust to in the past 20 years, the rules about everything seems to be changing constantly. It is challenging. But we will ask as many questions and keep up to date as much as possible, and we thank you so much for your input and all your help!! We're grateful to you all for caring so much, and helping us make our way through the 'anxiety' of a new baby!
Just wanted to add that we LOVE your pix of Richter and Sypha!!

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to thank you all for your help. We did back out. They stopped sending pix of him and only had dark pictures of puppies in a pile sleeping. We thought maybe we'd call it a day. Thank you for all the information!!!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 05:33 PM
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Just wanted to thank you all for your help. We did back out. They stopped sending pix of him and only had dark pictures of puppies in a pile sleeping. We thought maybe we'd call it a day. Thank you for all the information!!!
I know it's difficult to make this decision but I'm betting you'll be glad you did.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraS View Post
Just wanted to thank you all for your help. We did back out. They stopped sending pix of him and only had dark pictures of puppies in a pile sleeping. We thought maybe we'd call it a day. Thank you for all the information!!!
It's always good to trust your gut.

I know we'd all be happy to help you find some trustworthy breeders in your area, if you want to give us a general area as guidance. Many of us know quite a few good breeders to steer people to.
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by Shanoa Delta, on Flickr

Richter & Sypha
Glengate's Mountain Fortress CAA ORT L1E L1C NW2 L2V L2I ACT1 RATI SOG WAC
& Sirai's Golden Masquerade ORT L1V L1E L2C L2I NW2 RATI SOG DOG TKN WAC
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both so much. We really appreciate all of you. We just have to re-adjust and when we do we can take you up on that generous offer. Can't tell you how much you've helped and how much it means to us that you offer to help us even more! You guys are so understanding!!!!
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraS View Post
Just wanted to thank you all for your help. We did back out. They stopped sending pix of him and only had dark pictures of puppies in a pile sleeping. We thought maybe we'd call it a day. Thank you for all the information!!!
Unfortunately, this isn't surprising. Glad you've seen they aren't a good way to go!

“I am the sea witch. I am the tide you fear and the turning you can't deny. I am the sound of the waves running over your bones on the beach, little man, and I am not amused at finding you on my doorstep.”
- the Luidaeg, Chimes at Midnight

DPCA Chapter Club: http://www.mbdpc.net/
Regional rescue: http://www.dobe.net/
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 07:59 AM
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I'm glad you're going a different direction. It sounded like a crummy breeder and asking a bunch of questions was not going to re-assure you any more. Where are you located? Perhaps we could suggest some other breeders.
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