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So I chose to buy the runt of a litter and will be picking up in a week or so. I would like to know what the health complications can be for the runts, specially since the pup weighs a little over 6 pounds at 6 and a half weeks. I don't expect it to be easy, I would just like some help and tips as to help the situation. Thanks for your time.
 

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My gal-dog wasn't a runt but she was the smallest of a litter of 11. She is cautious, having been knocked around by 10 bigger siblings the first 7 weeks of her life. That is why I chose her. I needed a less impulsive pup.

Make sure you show your pup the world in a safe calm way. Try not to overwhelm the little guy. If the world is a safe and interesting place your pup should flourish. My gal has no health problems and because of her smaller size is fast and agile.
 

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Runts Can Surprise You Sometimes...

Sometimes the runts will surprise you and turn into a monster when more mature.

Of course, other times they will just always be a smaller dog.

It’s a roll of the dice.

6 pounds at 6 1/2 weeks is light for sure but not totally out of the range. How is their poo? Any diarrhea? How many times per day do they eat? What diet are they on? Do the other puppies let this dog eat? Is the breeder making sure they all get good food, or do they just drop a plate and run?

These are bigger questions, especially considering you have already decided on this dog.

Best,

Jason
WorldGermanShepherds.com
 

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I have gotten most of my puppies at around 9 weeks of age. They averaged 8 - 10#. Most of them grew to be the high end of the standard or oversized. Your pup's weight sounds fine for its age. I would not worry.
 

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My Zoe was the smallest in her litter, but I don’t think it had any influence on her health or temperament. She turned out to be about 70 lbs and is very athletic, she easily runs circles around our other three gsds. 70 lbs is at the high end of the standard for females, I would prefer a smaller gsd in the future.
 

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In the range....

Here is photo from basically the bible of the GSD, "The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture" from Captain Max von Stephanitz, published 1923. It shows the range for a 6 week old puppy to be average 9 lbs 11 oz. Highest is 12 lbs 4 oz, lowest to be 5 lbs, 9 oz. As mentioned, your dog is in the range. Time will tell.

Please pay attention to their diet and their bowel movements. No other single indicator is as important as a healthy bowel movement.

Best,

JG
https://www.WorldGermanShepherds.com/
 

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So I chose to buy the runt of a litter and will be picking up in a week or so. I would like to know what the health complications can be for the runts, specially since the pup weighs a little over 6 pounds at 6 and a half weeks. I don't expect it to be easy, I would just like some help and tips as to help the situation. Thanks for your time.
The term runt has a couple of different meanings. Is it simply the smallest of the litter or is it really abnormally small? As long as the breeder has supported it and it has received proper nutrition and care there should be no impact and about half the time the smallest pups end up the biggest dogs.
 

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One of mine was the smallest "runt" of the litter but by 8 weeks, she was not to be pushed around. She grew up to be a dog that was "thin" at 90+ lbs. And that wasn't fat - she was very round, barrel chested - a bit of a tank. Lived to be over 10, died of hemangio. Had blown a cruciate but no other health issues.
 

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My pup was the smallest of the litter, 15lbs at almost 10 / 11 weeks. She's now 75lbs at just over 1 year old. Her growth has slowed significantly, so I don't expect her to grow much at all now, but she is a good balanced and large size for a female. The main issue I had with her was that she wasn't much interested in eating as a young pup, she just wanted to run and play non-stop. Plenty of energy from day one, no significant health issues. I think that she just wasn't a big eater, but she definitely caught up in the end!
 

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I ended up with my Dobie gsd at not yet five weeks and he weighed LESS than four pounds. He is now three years old and a robust, solid 90 lbs. Don’t worry.
 

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I wouldn't expect any health differences with the smallest pup in a litter. How much smaller is she (he?) than the rest of the litter? Puppies don't all grow at the same rate, and when that young can put on several pounds a week, easily 10-12 pounds in a month.

Temperament wise, the breeder can probably tell you what they've observed so far. Halo was small, although I have no idea if she was THE smallest. She was only around 11 pounds at 9 weeks old, I saw it on her health certificate from the vet. We got her a week later and she was 14 pounds. Her adult weight was 54/55 pounds, just under the mid-point of the standard, but much smaller than our previous females. She was the most confident dog we've ever had, everywhere she went it was like she owned the joint, and she was one of the most bombproof dogs on our flyball team. Nothing, absolutely nothing phased her, not even when she was charged by a dog at practice (we practiced at a shelter, the dog was being walked by a volunteer and it got away from her) and it latched onto her shoulder. A teammate had to run over and get the dog off Halo while I held onto her so it didn't escalate into a full on fight. Halo was PISSED, she wanted to kill that dog. And when they got the dog back inside the building, she shook it off like it was nothing and continued doing the run. Everyone was all concerned about how it would affect her, "is she okay?" and Halo was like "can we just play flyball now???". :D People would ask if she was sensitive, I guess a lot of GSDs are? I'd always reply "no, she's INsensitive", lol.

Cava WAS the smallest in her litter. We joke about her being the runt, but at 14 months old she's almost 60 pounds. Her brother and sister are at least 15 pounds more than she is and were bigger at every phase of development. She was described by the breeder as having spunk, and she definitely does. She doesn't have the in your face kind of confidence that Halo had, but she's never been phased by anything either, she takes everything in stride, and she's very fast and extremely agile.
 
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