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I was able to speak to my puppies breeder tonight. I didn't not get him directly from her so I didn't know this when I got him. Turns out he was not only the only Black and Tan in the litter of (I think she said 9), but also the runt. He had some immune system related health issues but seems to be back to normal now. What should I expect as far as growth and development? Is there anything I should be doing? He's about to be 20 weeks old and weighed in at 27lbs at the vet this past Thursday. Anything I can do to help him grow and mature into a normal weigh and size? Or is he always going to be tiny?
 

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He may still catch up. He will grow to the potential of his genetic blue-print. I wouldn't do anything special, just appreciate and enjoy him whatever size he'll end up.
 

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Love him and love him some more:)
 

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My "runt of the litter" pup, wasn't that small when I got her -- and she turned into a barrel chested tank! It was hard to keep her under 100#. Sooo he may stay smaller but he may not - My girl was not tall but she was solid... (see comment about tank).
 

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Sabi was the runt of her litter apparently, and she grew to be a moose! In working trim she was 82lbs and around 25-26 inches at the shoulder.

I have seen a good many 'runts' that grew to be bigger then their siblings, so I wouldn't worry. Keep him healthy and love him.
 

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I absolutely love him with my whole heart! He seriously has been the best pup I've ever met. He eats pretty good and he takes vitamin supplements every day. I guess time will tell his size! Thanks everybody!
 

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I think Dex was the runt of the litter, he was one of the last 3 left and was the smallest of the 3. He's now 30" at the withers and weighs 102 pounds. Somewhere between 5 and 7 months he grew every day. He's 14 months now and has grown 1/2 inch between 12 months and now.
 

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It had been my experience in the past that runts easily turn out to be the largest of the litters as adults when it comes to mixed breeds. Our current full GSD was the runt (only female) of a litter of 8. She was all of 4.8lbs @ 7 weeks. She is now 25" @ the withers and a lean 57.8 lbs. as of 2 days ago. She is just 1 year old so she will fill out as time goes by.
I wouldn't worry. Just love him and fed him well but don't over compensate and he will be fine what ever size he ends up. I think you will surprised down the road what a
"big" boy you will have.:)
 

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It had been my experience in the past that runts easily turn out to be the largest of the litters as adults when it comes to mixed breeds. Our current full GSD was the runt (only female) of a litter of 8. She was all of 4.8lbs @ 7 weeks. She is now 25" @ the withers and a lean 57.8 lbs. as of 2 days ago. She is just 1 year old so she will fill out as time goes by.
I wouldn't worry. Just love him and fed him well but don't over compensate and he will be fine what ever size he ends up. I think you will surprised down the road what a
"big" boy you will have.:)
Haha this statement cracks me up.
 

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My previous dog (a rough Collie, now living with my parents) was the runt of the litter of 6 pups. Based on the fact we wanted a male and a medium drive dog, we actually got to pick first out of the 2 suitable males. Interestingly the other male was the largest pup in the litter. My parents were dead set on getting him because the dog we had before that was very, very sickly (epilepsy, eventually kidney & liver issues, had to be PTS at around 8 years old) and they were convinced that larger pups were healthier.

When we went to see them, I fell in love with the runt. Yes, he was little, but he was REALLY feisty! Just ran circles around his siblings, was fearless and very outgoing. I knew immediately he was the one and it took some convincing but my parents finally relented.

Samson is now over 12 years old, so for a Collie, he is ancient and living on "borrowed time." He is now very slow and very deaf, but otherwise, such a joy. This is a dog who wasn't sick a single day in his life (despite us paying monthly for "platinum" dog insurance!). His older brother had lots of health problems and died two years ago. Samson is the last surviving dog from that litter and the best dog I've ever come across. If my new GSD puppy was half as great of a dog as Samson, I'd be thrilled!

So don't be scared of the runt, they can turn out to be the very best!
 

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I think it's awesome that my guy may grow big, but I'm also completely OK if he doesn't get as big as his dad (who was pretty big). It will be easier on his joints and after seeing HD that needed euthanasia in my family's rottweiler I will definitely not complain if he's small or medium sized. Or if he's big ;)
 

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Runts shouldn't have such a bad reputation. Puppies change in growth rate all the time. I have seen several so called runts grow up into larger than average dogs for their breed.
So enjoy your probably perfect normal puppy.
 

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He may still catch up. He will grow to the potential of his genetic blue-print. I wouldn't do anything special, just appreciate and enjoy him whatever size he'll end up.
:thumbup: Pretty much this. Being the runt doesn't mean he will be small forever, but who knows. Doesn't change anything in the end, right? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
It actually eases my mind a little to know he's the runt. It explains his current size a bit. I've been so worried because he comes in weighing much less than everyone else's pups that are his age. And he had some repetitive health issues that may have set him back. His parents weren't huge to begin with 70-75 pounds, so I don't think he'll end up huge whether he's the runt or not. Time will tell! Either way he's the best pup ever. He's just been so calm cool and collected about everything since day one. My vet has even complimented his behavior and says he was very pleasant to be around which of course made me feel like a very proud puppy mommy! He is the love of my life(second to my hubby :D)! I'm glad to know there's still hope for him to mature to a normal size. He is on probios and and will soon start getting fish oil, after I do all my research and find one I like.

I was concerned about having a larger dog prior to getting him but now I really don't care because he is truly the best pup I've ever been around. He's smart and observant and very obedient. He's a total doll, not to mention my little shadow. I can't even go to the bathroom anymore without him either trailing in before I close the door, or he's laying outside the door when I open it. I love him to bits and pieces.

Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement!
 

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My female was the smallest female of the litter and turned out the be the biggest. She is 71lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
:thumbup: Pretty much this. Being the runt doesn't mean he will be small forever, but who knows. Doesn't change anything in the end, right? ;)
Doesn't change a thing! I wouldn't love him more if he wasn't the runt. I don't think it's possible for me to love him more! He's my heart dog!
 

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It actually eases my mind a little to know he's the runt. It explains his current size a bit. I've been so worried because he comes in weighing much less than everyone else's pups that are his age.!
there's a good chance that "everyone else's" pups are bigger than they should be. :) Some people use "runt" to describe any puppy that is smaller than the others. Not every puppy will be the biggest, most every litter will have a pup that is slightly smaller than the other.

Then there is the more technical "runt" This is a puppy that is born smaller, often with internal organs not entirely formed or as fully formed as they should be. A good example would be "peanuts" in a litter of rabbits. These babies often don't survive for long and, if they do, they usually have numerous health problems related to their abnormal birth.
 

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I think it's awesome that my guy may grow big, but I'm also completely OK if he doesn't get as big as his dad (who was pretty big). It will be easier on his joints and after seeing HD that needed euthanasia in my family's rottweiler I will definitely not complain if he's small or medium sized. Or if he's big ;)
I think thats a good way to look at it. Im used to having smaller dogs and was glad my pup was smaller. However he grew larger than average, but I love him the way he is. .
 

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There's a difference between picking a smaller puppy and a puppy that really is runty. To me a true runt often has a problem when it is young and sometimes overcomes it, sometimes not. There was a runt in Legend's litter. At 2 weeks she was considerably smaller, like almost half the size of the others. She didn't make it. Nikon and Pan were both the smallest males in their litters (litter sizes of 10 and 9 I believe) and now both are completely normal size. Legend is "only* 35 lbs at 22 weeks but I'm not the slightest bit worried. No point in having a HUGE puppy. If the puppy is healthy then there's no arbitrary weight it must be. No litter is going to produce 6-12 dogs exactly the same size and weight. If the parents were good quality, healthy dogs of the correct size then you probably have nothing to worry about.
 
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