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Hi,

I am trying to educate myself to choose a puppy with a good health history. The puppy is located on the east coast so I will not be able to see it before having her shipped. I am looking for a larger miniature/small standard size puppy (adult 15"-17", about 20-25lbs). I found a standard breeder that says she has a "runt" that is smaller, squarer frame, short legs/neck. Is there any reason to think this puppy would be prone to health issues? Also I am struggling with the health issues that seem to be more prominent in standards. Is it true standards live 10 years while miniatures are closer to 15 years? Is gastric torsion always a problem in standards? Thanks for any advice!
 

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I would be really hesitant to purchase a puppy sight unseen unless you have personal references from people you trust that have experiance with the breeder.

It also sounds like this "runt" may not be pure and/or typical of a poodle and may not grow into what you would like. Without knowing the breeder or having good references (not from just anyone, from people you know and trust) it is not really possiable to even know if this particular pup is a pure poodle, since litters can have multiple sires.

I belive most standards still live 12-13 years, and minatures 15 or so. Our previous standard lived to 12, and our mini to 15. The standard was a well bred dog, the mini was a shelter rescue.
 

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Hi,

I am trying to educate myself to choose a puppy with a good health history. The puppy is located on the east coast so I will not be able to see it before having her shipped. I am looking for a larger miniature/small standard size puppy (adult 15"-17", about 20-25lbs). I found a standard breeder that says she has a "runt" that is smaller, squarer frame, short legs/neck. Is there any reason to think this puppy would be prone to health issues? Also I am struggling with the health issues that seem to be more prominent in standards. Is it true standards live 10 years while miniatures are closer to 15 years? Is gastric torsion always a problem in standards? Thanks for any advice!
Hi Mazel. Thanks for your post! If you want at least some information on the dog's history, I would look up the parents (pedigrees and health history). Ask the breeder for pedigree information or if there are any health issues in her lines, and if so, what they are.

"Runts" are not always a bad thing. I can tell you that one of our breeders had what she considered a "runt" standard poodle in the litter from which we got our Luna. Well, this so-called "runt" ended up being 2 inches taller than Luna and had a gung ho personality unlike anything I'd ever seen. Of course, she also body slammed doors out of excitement and couldn't get enough time with puppies (she absolutely adored other puppies). Yet, she started out as a bit of a scraggly, VERY shy "runt" of the litter. You can never really tell.

I don't know of any definitive evidence one way or the other about runts having more health problems. It might depend on how much of a size difference there actually is between the breeder's "runt" and the others in the litter. That might also be a good question to ask the breeder.

From what I hear, average life expectancy for most standard poodles is somewhere between 10-12 years, although I know of many who have lived 13+. It just depends, but 10-12 is a pretty common range. Smaller poodles would have a longer life expectancy I would imagine (13-15 years maybe).

Gastric torsion (Bloat) is an issue with the breed. That isn't to say that every single standard poodle bloats. There are a lot of genetic/environmental/biological causes for the torsion and it's still not fully understood what causes it. However, larger poodles with deeper chests tend to have a higher risk for bloat. We had two standard poodles who bloated, both with pretty deep chests. The good news there is that the gastropexy (tummy tack) usually does the trick with respect to torsion. While the dog could still bloat, it cannot twist so the problem, were it to still happen would be less severe.

From experience, I don't know of too many poodles who have had their tummies tacked and STILL bloated anyway, but I suppose it could happen. It's probably less likely, however, with the gastropexy. I would simply highly recommend that if you do have your pup's stomach tacked, that it's done by a good vet who knows what they're doing.
 

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I would absolutely not buy a puppy sight unseen. This will be your companion for the next 15 years. Get on a plane and go see the dog. The upfront investment is well worth it. Check out the breeder and the conditions under which the dogs are living. Meet the mother dog (and the father if possible) and see the mom with the puppies. As has been said, it might be OK to buy sight unseen from a breeder that you know very well, especially if it is a respected small-scale breeder that is not just producing puppies for the puppy market. But in general it is not a good idea.

It is a real shame that the moyen sized poodles that are bred in Europe are not easy to find here. That would be just the size that you want.

I would be very wary of a dog that was a "runt." It is not necessarily a problem, but it could be. If you have not already read the following post, it is a very helpful summary of how to buy a puppy.
http://www.poodleforum.com/5-poodle-talk/33522-buying-puppy-safely-basics.html

Karbit has just had a litter of klein/moyens. You might want to contact them.

Regarding age, I would expect a standard poodle to live for 13-15 years. My Sophie died just short of her 15th birthday. My boy Bob is 12 now. He sleeps more than he used to and more soundly, but he has a lot of life left in him. I'm guessing that I'll have him for 2-3 more years.
 

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I'm confused.... a 20-25lbs STANDARD poodle even possible? I guess that just sounds really unhealthy to me. Portia was the "runt" (I hate that term) - the smallest of 10... Her breeder advised us that although obviously he's not clairvoyant and can't predict her adult weight for sure, she should weigh approximately 40-45 lbs as an adult. At eight months, she now weighs 32 lbs so his "guess-timate" sounds about right...

I have nothing really to offer this conversation, I was just shocked that such a small (yet HEALTHY) spoo was even possible...???
 

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I'm confused.... a 20-25lbs STANDARD poodle even possible? I guess that just sounds really unhealthy to me. Portia was the "runt" (I hate that term) - the smallest of 10... Her breeder advised us that although obviously he's not clairvoyant and can't predict her adult weight for sure, she should weigh approximately 40-45 lbs as an adult. At eight months, she now weighs 32 lbs so his "guess-timate" sounds about right...

I have nothing really to offer this conversation, I was just shocked that such a small (yet HEALTHY) spoo was even possible...???

Well since anything over 15" us supposed to be a standard per the AKC I think this is where you get into the oversized miniature poodles are miniatures per their pedigree but standards per the size limits.

I think the OP is going to have the best luck finding a healthy dog in that size range by looking for a large miniature poodle. But that opens a whole nother can of worms since many BYB’s don’t know what a miniature poodle is and advertise their toys as mini’s.

ETA: Our small standard is about 20 inches and 32 lbs at 17 months old. She is very petite in general, and is not a "good" standard.
 

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My new puppy is the smallest of her litter but they didn't call her a "runt", someone always has to be the biggest and someone has to be the smallest. To me runt means significantly smaller.

I also went there in person, saw her Mom and the remaining littermates and to my surprise her Dad was there was well. I had previously seen the littermate of the dad at a couple shows.
 

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I thought the term "runt" was more on being the weak, picked on pup more than just the smallest of the litter. I read when picking a pup not to go for the bully or the victim.... Either way, it's best to see how the pup interacts within its litter, right? More so than just what size he might end up?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi,

Thanks everyone for your responses. The puppy does have all health testing. I was just concerned because the proportions were a little off, not just simply being small. Maybe I'll look into Klein poodles and look at Karbit poodles as well. Thanks again!
 

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Hi,

I am trying to educate myself to choose a puppy with a good health history. The puppy is located on the east coast so I will not be able to see it before having her shipped. I am looking for a larger miniature/small standard size puppy (adult 15"-17", about 20-25lbs). I found a standard breeder that says she has a "runt" that is smaller, squarer frame, short legs/neck. Is there any reason to think this puppy would be prone to health issues? Also I am struggling with the health issues that seem to be more prominent in standards. Is it true standards live 10 years while miniatures are closer to 15 years? Is gastric torsion always a problem in standards? Thanks for any advice!
Tiara poodles in Southern california often has smaller standards and they are healthy. From the size you quoted I think you want a large mini size or moyen/medium size. She also has a moyen line. My small standard is almost 22 inches tall at the shoulder. My sister in law has a true moyen at 17.5 inches tall. There is a huge difference.

You don't want a runt. You want a genetically smaller dog.
 

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Thanks Outwest. That is very helpful to hear that theres a big difference between a small standard and a moyen. Really it is the moyen size that makes most sense for our family. I will look into Tiara- I quickly looked at their website but only saw standards but I'll email the breeder. Thanks again. Oh and your poodle is gorgeous!
 

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You might want to contact mini breeders and ask about an oversized mini instead. Many minis go oversized into the range you are talking about.

Here's some pictures to give you an idea of a moyen, large and small standard. You can also check for pictures of Beau and Chagal on the forum. They are beautiful oversized minis the size you are talking about. :) :

Jazz (black) is full sized. Bonnie (apricot) is a small standard




Here is Chili, Bonnie and Jazz. Chili is a medium size at 17.5 inches tall (in lap). (Jazz was only a puppy here and he is now much bigger!)



and Chili. This shows his size well
 

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Based on what you want, I think I'd steer away from a runt puppy. There are different reasons a critter can start out as a runt. Sometimes the fetus just happened to implant later than the rest of the litter, or it implanted in a poor spot in the womb. These runts will often catch up to their litter mates if they get proper nutrition once they're born. My runt now outweighs his brother! An animal can also come out as a runt because it's got some kind of developmental or genetic defect. The defect stunts the growth but may also have other health impacts. Since you said the runt you were looking at has odd proportions, I'd be extra wary.
 

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Wow- those photos are perfect - exactly the information I needed to understand the sizes! And everyone who said they had a "runt" that grew up larger than expected - thank you as well- that obviously happens with some level of frequency! Thanks again for all the great information!
 

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Here's our sweet boy, Beau. He's an oversize mini, at about 16.5" and 21 lbs. He's the perfect size as far as our family is concerned; not too big, not too small! The photo with the bathroom counter gives some scale - the countertop is at 35". The poor guy is too short to counter surf, which is fine by us!



 

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Thanks for the photos of Beau- he is beautiful! So if a runt can grow larger than expected, does that mean a large puppy can slow down and be small in the end. Basically what I'm asking is how do you know the puppy will be an oversized miniature - or are there mini breeders that have oversized dams and sires so the litter is oversized? If so, can people point me to those mini breeders to research? Thanks again!
 

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Hey there... I'm with the rest. Buying sight unseen may be okay with a breeder with stellar references- my parents bought their eldest Springer Spaniel like that and she's amazing- but beware otherwise. These dogs do tend to be high-strung, intelligent, and prone to some potentially problematic health issues. Getting a dog you enjoy and can afford is more consistent with a good breeder.

Keep in mind that runts aren't the same in everyone's mind. Mine was definitely the "runt" of his litter- picked on, 1/2 the size of everyone else, and very timid. The runt by any known definition. Ask me why I got him? I almost always pick the runts- as long as they're healthy on vet-check.

Today, although he is still very sensitive to people, he's now an indomitable alpha with any other dog (or horse) he meets (not physically aggressive but almost always rules the roost) and is 27" tall at the shoulder and 70 lbs at almost 2 years old. I have only used a lot of positive reinforcement, TONS of socialization, and very strict obedience training/boundaries to encourage confidence, but something worked! I call him "Bob Marley" because he's the most laid back dog I've ever met.

Good luck picking your pup, I love my runt and he's turned a lot of people onto Standards. Just my two cents- as long as you train thoughtfully and there aren't medical issues, you'll have a great dog on your hands.
 

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Having a mini go oversize is something that happens purely by chance, and for most breeders, it is not something they strive for -- quite the opposite, as an oversize mini (or toy) is disqualified from the show ring. Beau's parents were both in-size minis; he just turned out to be a big boy, which was lucky for me if not for the breeder! We got Beau as a six-month-old, after it became obvious to the breeder that he was going to be oversize. (And getting an older pup is another decision we are very happy we made, but that's another thread.)

So Beau wasn't a "runt" or a giant, nor were his parents anything other than beautiful, well-bred, in-size minis. He just happened to turn out on the tall end of the normal litter-size bell curve. What's more, I doubt this would have been apparent if we had got him at the usual puppy age of 8 weeks or so. If I wanted to be sure of getting a poodle in the 16-20" range, I'd sign up for one of Karbit's moyen pups -- and one day, I might do just that!

I know this is confusing, but I hope it helps in your search!
 

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I love how Beau is trying to get to the treat. This is what Charlie will do as well. They are so cute in that position mid-air to the counter surf. :)
 

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Hi,

Thanks everyone for your responses. The puppy does have all health testing. I was just concerned because the proportions were a little off, not just simply being small. Maybe I'll look into Klein poodles and look at Karbit poodles as well. Thanks again!
Mostly it's the parents that require health testing, as the puppy is too young... Health testing is normally done, when the dog is around 2 years old, before breeding...
 
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