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Old 02-10-2013, 05:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Choosing the runt of the litter?

Hi everyone. So I've finally decided to get a German Shepherd but my mom wants a smaller German Shepherd. So obviously I am going to get a female but if there is a runt or pup that is smaller than its litter mates should I get that pup?

P.S. I've never gotten a pup from a breeder before so I've never been able to pick from a litter. I have checked all the shelters around me within 75 miles and have not found what I am looking for.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I suggest you get the smallest pup, providing that the breeder thinks the pup's temperament will be a good fit for your home situation.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, I suggest you get the smallest pup, providing that the breeder thinks the pup's temperament will be a good fit for your home situation.
Is there always a pup smaller than the others in a litter or is that like a once every so often thing?
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My first question would be how does your Mom define "small German Shepherd"? Your Mom might have in mind a size that is just not possible in the breed. Or she may have an image of an over-sized dog to begin with, and what she considers small is actually correct for the breed.

I don't think being the runt of the litter will accurately preview adult size. The size of the dogs in the bloodline is a better gauge of adult size, in my experience. If you want a dog that is on the smaller side of medium, look for bloodlines that routinely produce that size. Not just the parent dogs, but going back to grand-parents, etc. I think that will be a more reliable indicator of adult size.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My first question would be how does your Mom define "small German Shepherd"? Your Mom might have in mind a size that is just not possible in the breed. Or she may have an image of an over-sized dog to begin with, and what she considers small is actually correct for the breed.

I don't think being the runt of the litter will accurately preview adult size. The size of the dogs in the bloodline is a better gauge of adult size, in my experience. If you want a dog that is on the smaller side of medium, look for bloodlines that routinely produce that size. Not just the parent dogs, but going back to grand-parents, etc. I think that will be a more reliable indicator of adult size.
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My mom defines small German Shepherd as the smallest possible height for a female german shepherd according to the standards I found online, 22 inches. My mom and I have seen the over-sized German Shepherds that are like the size of great danes or tall dobermans and thats the last thing that we want.

I actually work in a doggie daycare and there are a few female german shepherds that are petite and are the size of a small golden retriever.

Do you by chance know of any bloodlines or possible breeders that have German Shepherds that are on the smaller end of the spectrum?
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i understand your mother wants the small end of the standard, but i would think the type/line of gsd you want would be more important.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Runts don't always end up the smallest at the end, it's not a guarantee.

Many if not all of reputable breeders breed for the standard which includes size and don't have oversized dogs
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i understand your mother wants the small end of the standard, but i would think the type/line of gsd you want would be more important.
Well the reason is my mom is only 4'11 so she doesn't want the dog to be almost as big as her. As for the line/type it doesn't really matter. The only reason I want a GSD is because I need a running partner and a dog that can be a good watch dog and look somewhat imposing. Also after working and being around so many GSD where I work at, I just want to own one. No other breeds that I have come into contact with comes close to the GSD in my opinion.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with the runts do not always end up to be the smallest of the litter, and they can be a bit more then the average size pup in the litter with a mellow, good temp . I would look for the right temp in the pup and the parents. I had pick of a liter only suppose to be 60 lbs and he is 74 lbs (not fat either). My last dog was the runt and he ended up being almost a 100 lbs
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Perhaps if you could provide a very general (i.e. state only) description of your geographic location and maybe more details about the type of dogs you were drawn to in your job, members could give you the names of some breeders in your area as a starting point in your research. The working and showline dogs are very different in temperament, frequently in size and usually in drive levels that require varying levels of exercise and mental stimulation. Matching the dog to your lifestyle and goals will go a long way in creating a long and happy relationship for both of you. A good breeder will ask for enough information about you and your preferences to steer you in the right direction, but a thoughtful self-evaluation about your wish list for a companion will make the process a bit easier and more grounded--those cute puppies can turn almost anyone into an impulse buyer! It is wonderful that you have parental support for your endeavor, even though you sound like a responsible young man. Take your time and do your homework--it is an exciting search and the background work you do will be rewarded.
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