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RIP Banner von Di Caprio
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If a puppy is one of the smallest in the litter one week after birth and not necessarily the runt....... comparatively when it becomes an adult, will it still be small compared to the others in the litter? I've always wondered this. Or does size at birth or right after birth really a determining factor on how large a puppy will grow compared to its litter.
 

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Might be some correlation but in no way is it absolute.
Many smallest-in-the-litter end up being the average or on the larger side in the end if given access to the same nutrition.

I don't know of any study that's been done to state percentages but I'm sure it's out there.
 

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Eska von den Roten Vorbergen
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Had a pup that was born half the weight of most of her brothers and sisters. By 8 weeks, she had caught up with both of her sisters, and was actually slightly heavier than one of them. She grew to be a normal sized adult.
 

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Nadja- AKA the BooRoo
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Not a dog but a cat. My cat, Scrappy, very much was the runt of her litter. She could fit in the palm of my hand easily. She was also developmentally delayed and took about a week and a half longer to start walking. She’s my bow legged, special sweetheart. That being said, she’s still a very small cat weighing in at a whopping 6 lbs! To be fair, her mother is also a small cat weighing about the same and the other three kittens ranged from 7-10 pounds.
Green Carnivore Felidae Automotive tire Tire

Scrappy is the little grey kitten, you can see just how small she was compared to her sisters.
Cat Felidae Carnivore Small to medium-sized cats Whiskers

And here she is now two years later. Love my little oddball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Might be some correlation but in no way is it absolute.
Many smallest-in-the-litter end up being the average or on the larger side in the end if given access to the same nutrition.

I don't know of any study that's been done to state percentages but I'm sure it's out there.
Yeah this is what I wondering. So size at birth and just the first 2 weeks isn’t necessarily a determining factor of the size as an adult.
 

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Eska von den Roten Vorbergen
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The ones that are small at birth are sometimes that way because they may have been conceived later than their littermates, if the bitch had repeated matings several days apart. Or it may be they weren't as well nourished in the womb due to the way the placenta was attached. Those are the ones that can grow to be the same size as their littermates, if the breeder allows them a chance to nurse as much as they want, and not get pushed away from the nipple by the larger pups.

Genetics are the main factor - a genetic dwarf is, of course, always going to be small, or a pup may take after a parent who is smaller than usual for the breed.

Unless a pup is very severely malnourished, nothing you feed it (supplements, special food, etc.) is going to make a bit of difference in its final size, which is determined solely by genetics.
 

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In my litters, the obviously biggest pup has always turned out as the biggest dog in the litter. For the females, there was more variation. I kept one of the smaller females, who is now the biggest in the litter, I think (not by a lot like the male is, though). So my experience is that the smaller pups generally end up normal sized or larger, while the larger pups stay large into adulthood. In comparison to their littermates. For size, I like to look at the grandparents. If they were big- or small- or there was a lot of variation in size, you'll see that in the litter, more than likely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The ones that are small at birth are sometimes that way because they may have been conceived later than their littermates, if the bitch had repeated matings several days apart. Or it may be they weren't as well nourished in the womb due to the way the placenta was attached. Those are the ones that can grow to be the same size as their littermates, if the breeder allows them a chance to nurse as much as they want, and not get pushed away from the nipple by the larger pups.

Genetics are the main factor - a genetic dwarf is, of course, always going to be small, or a pup may take after a parent who is smaller than usual for the breed.

Unless a pup is very severely malnourished, nothing you feed it (supplements, special food, etc.) is going to make a bit of difference in its final size, which is determined solely by genetics.
This is great info. Thank you!
 

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Cava, floofy supermodel
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Cava has always been the smallest in her litter, they're now 5 years old and she's at least 15 pounds less than her two sisters, maybe closer to 20 pounds. And the one male is larger than all of them, I'm not sure by how much. She's under 60 pounds, near the midpoint of the female standard so she's hardly tiny, but the rest of them are giants, lol. She's about 10 pounds less than her dam.
 

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No....I have seen the smallest pups at even 8 weeks end up being at the top of the standard and bigger than some of the littermates

Lee
 
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