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Hi everyone,

I am currently looking for a puppy and have noticed some litters have “runts” who are considerably smaller than their litter mates. One little standard puppy I saw in a photo was half the size of her siblings at 7 weeks of age.

I have heard that runts can later catch up and be normal size once full grown.

Of course, my decision will be based on temperament first. However, I am very curious if these puppies grow up significantly smaller than their parents or catch up later in life. Any runt owners out there who can share their experiences?

Thanks!
 

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My non-runt Pogo was 26 inches and over 70 pounds at top weight. His runt brother Snarky matured just a tad shorter and lighter: about an inch shorter and 8 pounds lighter. That's within the range I'd expect for normal siblings. People, seeing them together, thought Snarky was a girl. Seeing them apart, people never said Snarky was a small dog.

Whether being a runt is a problem really depends on why the dog started out small. Sometimes it's just bad luck; the pup got slightly less nutrition in the womb and came out smaller. Then, being less able to shoulder its siblings out of the way, it gets less access to the teats and falls further behind. These pups, if given extra nutrition, usually catch up like Snarky did.

Other pups come out smaller because they have a congenital issue. One of my friends has a runt with malformed jaw and teeth. This dog, obviously, has a lifetime of trouble eating. It's manageable with specially prepared meals, but my friend wouldn't have signed up for the challenge if she'd really understood it.
 

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Hi everyone,

I am currently looking for a puppy and have noticed some litters have “runts” who are considerably smaller than their litter mates. One little standard puppy I saw in a photo was half the size of her siblings at 7 weeks of age.

I have heard that runts can later catch up and be normal size once full grown.

Of course, my decision will be based on temperament first. However, I am very curious if these puppies grow up significantly smaller than their parents or catch up later in life. Any runt owners out there who can share their experiences?

Thanks!
Hi! We got a runt Standard Poodle who was significantly smaller than his siblings. He was a timid dog, I saw him being pushed around by his siblings. My vet pronounced him "significantly under sized , under nourished and under weight " when I brought him there directly after buying him. At 3 years of age, my vet says he is exceptionally muscular, excellent conformation and no health issues aside from some environmental allergies and a sensitive tummy. He also weighs close to 85 pounds, is nearly 30 inches at the shoulder, and moves like a race horse. So I think subsequent nutrition and good genes can make up for a poor start.

Sent from my STV100-3 using Tapatalk
 

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Annie was the smallest of her litter when she was born, and she and another littermate were fed separately as they were pushed away by their bigger siblings. She was voraciously hungry when I brought her home, I ended up needing to find a very dense food, as her stomach seemed to get full before she was unhungry. She is now bigger than several of her sisters (including at least one that was bigger than her at 12 weeks), and at least one brother. Dogs in her litter ranged from 40-80+ lbs, she is a lean 50 lbs, almost 25".
 

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This is so interesting! Thank you everyone for sharing. I had no idea that runts can potentially grow even larger than their siblings! I guess the best indicator of size is really to just to see the parents and assume within that range will be normal.
 

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I got a runt for my wife because she wanted a lap dog to cuddle with and when I was looking at the litter he kept leaning against my legs and giving me puppy eyes he is 28 inches tall and 65 pounds he should be 70 he just stays thin from all the playing
 
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