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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
Thanks.
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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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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Also, some dogs have low sperm count regardless of age.
 

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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.

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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Just wondering if there’ll be any health concerns or behaviour issues with a small litter of two? Been reading a lot of stuff on Facebook and google...a bit overwhelming and that’s why I’m here :/
 

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Just wondering if there’ll be any health concerns or behaviour issues with a small litter of two? Been reading a lot of stuff on Facebook and google...a bit overwhelming and that’s why I’m here :/
In general (and there can be exceptions to this if the small litter was the result of a health issue in the bitch which might have caused puppies to be absorbed--uterine infections which cause issues in the embryos.) just because a litter was small--one or two puppies there really shouldn't be health issues attached to that. And behavior issues--I don't think I've ever seen anything in the literature to indicate that a small litter might have behavioral issues.

After birth--I'm sure you've read about the issues that arise when raising two puppies from the same litter but that's easily avoided. Keep only one puppy. Raise only one puppy. A lot of behavior is learned from the dam--if the dam is sound without issues and unless the line from which the puppy was bred is known to have problems (overt aggression toward other dogs--either same sex or all other dogs, or something like rage syndrome) I wouldn't think you would have any surprises with behavior.

Is that the kind of thing you were thinking about. What kinds of things have you read. There is an awful lot of stuff that gets put up on the internet that isn't true--sometimes it's out and out old wives tales. Some times it's stuff like the non fact that Dobes brains grow too big for their skulls and they go crazy and kill their owners.

When I find stuff like that I try to either go back to where I read it and ask for further information--like are there peer reviewed studies that have shown these "problems" to be the case? Or I go looking via google for the peer reviewed studies myself.

There are any number of things that get reprinted all the time and drive me crazy because they aren't studies they are a collection of articles--(and use care believing everything your see anywhere) you can find stuff that purports to be scientific studies (which actually aren't--often they are pet theories) that will support whatever someone wants them to support.

There is a lot of good scientifically based information on Google and probably on Facebook too but be a little careful about believing it without checking further because some of it is based in nothing but hogwash.

There are people on DT who actually know what they are talking about and can direct you to information that is valid--so ask questions about what you have read, heard and wonder if it's true.

dobebug/ABTLH
 

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In general (and there can be exceptions to this if the small litter was the result of a health issue in the bitch which might have caused puppies to be absorbed--uterine infections which cause issues in the embryos.) just because a litter was small--one or two puppies there really shouldn't be health issues attached to that. And behavior issues--I don't think I've ever seen anything in the literature to indicate that a small litter might have behavioral issues.

After birth--I'm sure you've read about the issues that arise when raising two puppies from the same litter but that's easily avoided. Keep only one puppy. Raise only one puppy. A lot of behavior is learned from the dam--if the dam is sound without issues and unless the line from which the puppy was bred is known to have problems (overt aggression toward other dogs--either same sex or all other dogs, or something like rage syndrome) I wouldn't think you would have any surprises with behavior.

Is that the kind of thing you were thinking about. What kinds of things have you read. There is an awful lot of stuff that gets put up on the internet that isn't true--sometimes it's out and out old wives tales. Some times it's stuff like the non fact that Dobes brains grow too big for their skulls and they go crazy and kill their owners.

When I find stuff like that I try to either go back to where I read it and ask for further information--like are there peer reviewed studies that have shown these "problems" to be the case? Or I go looking via google for the peer reviewed studies myself.

There are any number of things that get reprinted all the time and drive me crazy because they aren't studies they are a collection of articles--(and use care believing everything your see anywhere) you can find stuff that purports to be scientific studies (which actually aren't--often they are pet theories) that will support whatever someone wants them to support.

There is a lot of good scientifically based information on Google and probably on Facebook too but be a little careful about believing it without checking further because some of it is based in nothing but hogwash.

There are people on DT who actually know what they are talking about and can direct you to information that is valid--so ask questions about what you have read, heard and wonder if it's true.

dobebug/ABTLH
Sorry for the late reply! Wow thank you so much for reassuring! Really appreciate this. The reason why I’m asking is because I’ve only just received the good news from my breeder about the new litter. It’s a litter with two puppies. I was extremely excited and shared around with my friends about my fur baby news.

Then a few questioned about why is there only two and then went on about littermate syndrome. This is completely new to me and I was quite shocked about it. So I’ve started googling about it (I didn’t talk to my breeder as it’s almost Christmas and I thought I really should give him some space first).

After reading your replies I feel much better as I know my breeder is a reputable breeder and highly recommended by my childhood English teacher :)

thank you so much for spending time on replying my question. I’m definitely going to take my puppy out (well...carry him in my bag first during school pick up and drop off time) and puppy school plus lots of socialisation etc.

thanks again!! So glad google landed me here 😁
 

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Littermate syndrome is an issue if you were getting two puppies to take home, not in a litter of two puppies. It has nothing to do with the size of the litter. You're not planning on taking both puppies home (I assume) so the people bringing up littermate syndrome aren't understanding what it is at all.
 

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Littermate syndrome is an issue if you were getting two puppies to take home, not in a litter of two puppies. It has nothing to do with the size of the litter. You're not planning on taking both puppies home (I assume) so the people bringing up littermate syndrome aren't understanding what it is at all.
Thank you for your reply! I’ll be bringing just one puppy home. Totally new to raising a puppy but will get there :)
 

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Hi Nicole, my name is Cameron and I was doing some research and came across your post about Laural Harris. We have purchased 2 Doberman’s from her back in 2019 but we’re not ready so just stayed on the waiting list. We did hear about the tragedy that happened to her family and every since then it has been super hard to get in contact with her. We are suppose to be receiving our puppies this month however we are at the mercy of only hearing from her we she feels the need to respond. I was just wondering if you ever received your puppy from her and if you did can tell me about your experience and the puppies you received from her. This has become very frustrating because when we first talked to her in 2019 she was so informative and this felt like a really good decision but now we are starting to question everything!
 
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