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Hello all! I have read several posts about GSD runts but just want more assurance ?. I don’t have puppy yet but really want him. He’s quite small...don’t know exact weight he goes to vet with the litter tomorrow. According to breeder he has never not eaten well...litter was not large and he nursed well. He’s also currently eating well...breeder says he’s the first one to the bowl. He’s active and playful. She said there was also a runt from this pairings previous litter who is doing fine; just still on the smaller side. I want smaller so that does not bother me at all. Just health. Father is DNA certified mom has also been tested. No issues for DM he could be carrier at worst but I will not breed. Are there any tests that should be done? Anything else I should look for?
 

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Thank you...he goes to the vet tomorrow with the litter the breeder is going to have him really looked over. I did take a look at that thread...they went down a rabbit hole of working vs beauty lines blah blah blah. I’m not looking for a show dog just a healthy family pet - I also like to train but nothing hard core.I have had GSDs all my life - the last one I had I thought I had done everything right and he ended up with EPI and died last month of HSA at just 8.5 years old. Great hips though!
 

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A google search will tell you quite a bit about this. Some suggest you get a written agreement from breeder assuring

you that if any congenital problems show up within a certain period of time that they will either take the puppy back

and/or refund the purchase price. And you need to have YOUR VET do a thorough exam as soon as possible after

you get the puppy. Things could be fine w/ the puppy or they may not. Until I perused these articles, I didn't realize

there could be so many possible causes of 'runting'.
 

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Runt as in the smallest of the litter or abnormally small and low energy? My pup was the runt, turned into the highest driven dog of the litter and 62lbs. My friend got the runt of a litter and he turned out to be 85-90 lbs. As long as the puppy eats well, has normal energy and the breeder is ethical it should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Runt as in the smallest of the litter or abnormally small and low energy? My pup was the runt, turned into the highest driven dog of the litter and 62lbs. My friend got the runt of a litter and he turned out to be 85-90 lbs. As long as the puppy eats well, has normal energy and the breeder is ethical it should be fine.
I would say small as opposed to runt. He was in a somewhat small litter of 6 and breeder said he has always eaten well. He went to the vet this morning and they are holding off on vaccinations until 8 weeks. I was glad for that. Vet checked him over really well...no heart murmurs and everything else normal. He was the best behaved at the vet...very active and confident. Breeder is going to start him on additional supplements and Answers Goats Milk, then monitor his growth very closely. She does have a health guarantee on the puppies and I’m not even committed at this point. I am going to visit on Wednesday to check him out as well as her kennels. Luckily it’s only a couple of hours away.
 

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I wanted the biggest of the litter and a male. He did well until 7 months. My vet and a surgeon both told me he had hip dysplasia. The breeder said no way of course. I did both iips pin hipped and the wobbling rear was gone. The breeder said later he just needed water therapy and he had been on stairs and she told me not to let him on any stairs. He hadn't.

I knew going in that if he was shipped out of state I would not get a health agreement. He came from the Northwest Coast to Central Middle America. I don't doubt for a minute that she is a great breeder. There are always videos of her puppies and praises from her clients. I would buy from her again. She is always supportive.

He was delivered with Giardia and had to have two bouts of antibiotics as he grew so fast the first one was not enough.
He has always had an extremely sensitivity to any food change. Even a nibble of bread that may fall on the floor he snarffs up and has diarrhea.

Later, at 6 years of age he was still being fed a high quality food but started losing weight slowly. He is a long haired GSD, I didn't even notice until I felt his bones during a bath. He was starving to death.

He now has Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) and will be on enzymes forever so he can digest food and he's gained his weight back and gone above his 85 pound top to 91 pounds. That is proper for his size.

You never know with a breeder or their vet. Even if she gives you a health guauntee, it wouldn't be for life. I would walk away if your gut is telling you to beware.

I was very happy I could afford to put 6K out at 7 months so she wouldn't need a full hip replacement later. I wanted to do agility training but that didn't happen. We can't play Frisbee either but he can chase balls, is fast as a speeding bullet, low prey drive (actually 0) and low energy which was perfect for our huge family.

Doing well now and thriving and not staying a runt is not insurance that problems won't happen down the road. If you are just looking for a smaller GSD, pick a small female in the litter. I always trust my gut. If you already are not fully committed it might not be a bad idea to pass on this puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wanted the biggest of the litter and a male. He did well until 7 months. My vet and a surgeon both told me he had hip dysplasia. The breeder said no way of course. I did both iips pin hipped and the wobbling rear was gone. The breeder said later he just needed water therapy and he had been on stairs and she told me not to let him on any stairs. He hadn't.

I knew going in that if he was shipped out of state I would not get a health agreement. He came from the Northwest Coast to Central Middle America. I don't doubt for a minute that she is a great breeder. There are always videos of her puppies and praises from her clients. I would buy from her again. She is always supportive.

He was delivered with Giardia and had to have two bouts of antibiotics as he grew so fast the first one was not enough.
He has always had an extremely sensitivity to any food change. Even a nibble of bread that may fall on the floor he snarffs up and has diarrhea.

Later, at 6 years of age he was still being fed a high quality food but started losing weight slowly. He is a long haired GSD, I didn't even notice until I felt his bones during a bath. He was starving to death.

He now has Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) and will be on enzymes forever so he can digest food and he's gained his weight back and gone above his 85 pound top to 91 pounds. That is proper for his size.

You never know with a breeder or their vet. Even if she gives you a health guauntee, it wouldn't be for life. I would walk away if your gut is telling you to beware.

I was very happy I could afford to put 6K out at 7 months so she wouldn't need a full hip replacement later. I wanted to do agility training but that didn't happen. We can't play Frisbee either but he can chase balls, is fast as a speeding bullet, low prey drive (actually 0) and low energy which was perfect for our huge family.

Doing well now and thriving and not staying a runt is not insurance that problems won't happen down the road. If you are just looking for a smaller GSD, pick a small female in the litter. I always trust my gut. If you already are not fully committed it might not be a bad idea to pass on this puppy.
Well I guess at the end of the day you just never know. That’s life...no guarantees, and I understand what you’re saying about trusting your gut. My gut actually tells me this one is just small but healthy. Once I visit on Wednesday I think I’ll have a better picture. It’s not that he’s little and his siblings are all huge. There’s another one about a pound bigger than him, then they gradually get larger.
I also had an EPI GSD. I got him as a puppy thinking he came from great stock...just lost him last month at 8.5 years to hemangiosarcoma (HSA)...it was in his liver and came out of nowhere. He was seemingly fine one day and gone the next. He was such a special boy...a piece of my heart died with him that day and I’ve really had a hard time dealing with his loss.
 

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He’s doing great at almost 15 weeks!
Such a cutie! Isn't it fun watching there coats lighten up. My male was completely black and now he has so much silver/beige and a super yellow/tan head - love it!!
 

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Well I guess at the end of the day you just never know. That’s life...no guarantees, and I understand what you’re saying about trusting your gut. My gut actually tells me this one is just small but healthy. Once I visit on Wednesday I think I’ll have a better picture. It’s not that he’s little and his siblings are all huge. There’s another one about a pound bigger than him, then they gradually get larger.
I also had an EPI GSD. I got him as a puppy thinking he came from great stock...just lost him last month at 8.5 years to hemangiosarcoma (HSA)...it was in his liver and came out of nowhere. He was seemingly fine one day and gone the next. He was such a special boy...a piece of my heart died with him that day and I’ve really had a hard time dealing with his loss.
Wow, your story sounds just like mine. I also had a EPI GSD. Lost him 2 Xmas ago to cancer in the liver too. Doc gave him several months to live. I had to put him down after 2 months, a week short of Xmas. He was almost 12 years old. He was my first dog and first GSD. And just like you...he was a special boy too. I was grieving for the 2 months between his diagnosis and end date. Cried myself to sleep every night those 2 months and slept on the floor with him every night. Woke up with him when he had poop incontinence. Cleaning the poop off his long hair and the floor at 3 in the morning. Getting 3-4 hours of sleep everyday. It was a rough last 2 months for me and him. It's been almost 2 years, and there hasn't been a day when I haven't had him in my thoughts.
 
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