Singleton Litters?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by CharlieDog, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    So my best friend is looking at a litter of some sort of hunting dog to start hunting with in a few years. I'm not sure what exactly they are, as they're purpose bred dogs that he heard about through a friend, and aren't really any specific breed. He asked and was told they've got some apbt and catahoula in them, as well as an assortment of other breeds because some of them have coats and some of them don't apparently. They use them mostly on coyotes and hogs, as well as moving some livestock around and general protection.

    They live in the southern zone of the state and so I'm willing to bet they use them on deer as well. I don't know for sure, he does, but I haven't really asked.

    He's met the parents, and he's in love with them and really wants one of these dogs.

    Anyway, he was concerned because this breeding has resulted in what looks like a single puppy. He told me they had her xrayed at 58 days and only one skull is showing, but it looks like there might be two.

    The breeder said if it's a singleton pup they don't want to keep it, and he's first in line for pick after them, so he's having to decide if he wants a singleton pup or not. I think the concern comes from the fact that if it is a single pup they don't want to keep it, because otherwise they are, I think?

    I ramble a bit, but I've no experience with puppies from singleton litters at all. Knox and Ozzy were both from rather large litters, and while I have no clue with Enzo, I know she wasn't a singleton. Indy wasn't either, and in fact, I can't think of any dog I know that was a singleton, so I've got nothing to go on.

    The bitch hasn't whelped yet, so he still doesn't know if there's one or two, and my research has turned up an amazing amount of contradicting information, everything from the singleton has less than 50% survival rate, to the singleton can do just fine. Ect.

    I'm not a breeder, and my breeder/mentor hasn't ever had a singleton in a litter before either, so I turn to the internets, lol.

    Should he consider this pup? Should he not even expect it to survive? Do singletons really tend to develop serious aggression problems due to having no litter mates as a baby?

    And to satisfy my own personal curiosity, I thought that dogs generally need to have at least a couple puppies in a litter to whelp naturally? These are medium sized dogs, not huge but obviously not small either, so I don't think that the issue of "stuck puppy" like you see in small dogs would happen, but I don't know. I'm considering going with him this week just to meet these dogs/people because I think this is all quite fascinating. My friend is not quite as appreciative of the learning experience as I am lol, but I don't have a horse in this race, so to speak.

    Anyway, thoughts?
     
  2. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I've always read that singletons can end up being super pushy and rude.

    I think Patricia McConnell wrote something about it?

    My boss' most recent litter was a singleton and I know he is having issues with the dog being a complete brat beyond what is normal for his litters/dogs he has raised.
     
  3. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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  4. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    That's a lot of what I've read as well. And she does have something about her singleton litter in For The Love Of A Dog, I went and reread that part when he told me that.

    He's not a brilliant dog trainer, he really just wants a hunting partner, and he's made friends with these folks, so I'm assuming his buddy and these people are going to help him train this dog, because I've not one clue on how to train a hunting dog, but I'm trying to figure out if he's about to get in over his head if this pup is a single, and does survive.
     
  5. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    There's an am staff breeder I know that had a singleton litter. She's been trying to breed away from DA which is somewhat entrenched in the line, and was thinking she'd have a really hard time with that puppy.

    Nope. She turned out to be extremely laid back and dog friendly with really great dog and people manners. It's one of my favorites I've ever met, and she said that the dog's temperament and confo are the closest she's ever seen to her ideal dog.

    If it is a singleton and there's not another puppy lurking in there, you can always find a grow out companion/foster puppy for it to help with the early socialization.
     
  6. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I've heard that a lot of breeders try to place a singleton with another litter for that early socialization...
     
  7. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Idk what length they're willing to go to get the puppy early socialization. Enzo and Indy will be there to help if/when the pup comes home with him, assuming he gets it/it lives. They're both extremely good with other dogs, Enzo especially, but I'm slightly worried it will have bite inhibition issues and rage issues if early intervention isn't done correctly.
     
  8. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Mom should be able to help with that some. Is there any way you can find someone with puppies he could foster one out?

    The other issue with being a singleton is getting to pick the temperament etc. that you want. I think the reason my friend's am staff turned out so nice is that she started out as a pretty submissive laid back puppy that would have been on the bottom of the pecking order anyway. A puppy that is naturally more... motivated/aggressive (not sure if that's the right word, she has tons of drive so it's not that) is probably more likely to turn into a brat without siblings to check them. And if there's only one puppy, you aren't getting to see the normal spectrum of temperaments.
     
  9. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    That's very true too. I have no idea how to find a litter of puppies either. My mentor doesn't have a litter planned for this year or even until I think the end of next year, so she can't help, otherwise I'd actually suggest he take the pup and try to put it on one of her dogs, vs being alone.

    I'd like to help him out as much as possible though, because he's very excited, lol, but also concerned, and I'm concerned as well, because I don't want him to get in over his head with a dog that may turn out to be too pushy/too much for him. I don't think this dog will ever really go to like, the dog park, but he's really hoping for a "truck dog" lol.

    His pup may end up here a lot, as he's a firefighter so I did offer to puppy sit while he's at work, so it may get plenty of socialization with my crew, and that's at least four dogs to help raise it past 8 weeks old.

    I did think of orphan puppies, but like I said, I'm not sure how he would even go about getting something like that rolling. And the female is due any day now.
     
  10. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    You might check with local rescues and see if they have any orphan puppies or ones whose moms dried up and are being bottle fed.

    It'll probably depend more on the puppy's temperament how it turns out in the end, though any socializing you can do will definitely help. By the time it's old enough to go home with someone they should have an idea of what it's like though, and he could pass or take it at that point.
     
  11. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I'll definitely suggest that to him to try. :D
     
  12. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    A singleton could end up being extra large, and not whelping easily. Otherwise, there's no reason why a singleton should have any more trouble with survival than any other puppy.

    I have heard of them having behavioral issues. My Tess was raised as a singleton (there were 5 other pups, but only Tess survived past 36 hours), and she is fine, no problems. Not a lot of impulse control, but she's a Stafford, they aren't a breed that is good at impulse control anyway. She's a little uncomfortable with other dogs, but still mostly appropriate. She tends to just not know how to handle dogs that are behaving inappropriately towards her.

    I did do some extra stuff with her that I might not have otherwise done, ie; when she got old enough to motor around by herself, I'd roll her over on her back and hold her gently with one hand, to get her used to being frustrated. I don't know if the breeders of this dog would be willing to do that kind of stuff. If not, other pups to mingle with would be a really good idea.

    The one other thing I'd say is that I think there may be some breed differences in how dogs deal with being a singleton. My Tess is not the only singleton Stafford I've known, and all of them were fine. I heard once from someone who bred Deerhounds, though, that it caused a lot of problems. I suspect that in breeds that are intended more as pack dogs, it might be more of an issue.
     
  13. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Hmmm, that's definitely something to consider.

    If he DOES end up taking this pup, do you think doggie daycare would be a good idea once it's older? I'm not sure what length the breeder is willing to go to to work with him on this, I'll find out if possible, but I have access to a really great daycare (I used to work there) to utilize once pup reaches four months old (minimum age for this place to attend) but four months is such an old age to start learning about interaction I'd think.

    And too, I guess it all depends on this pups natural temperament as well. If it's a really pushy pup to begin with, four months might be too little too late.

    I don't know. I think if it was me, I'd probably pass on this puppy. Which is probably what I'll tell him, but he's just as hardheaded as I am, so he'll end up doing whatever he thinks is best, but I'm just not sure.
     
  14. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    It's interesting that the one fine singeton I knew was also a staffy.

    Sighthounds physically don't develop right if they're singletons. Even past 8-9 weeks. They don't exercise properly without another similarly sized dog to romp with and even the best bred dogs can end up roachy, easty westy, and slab sided. It's really common for people to take a loaner grow out companion puppy/sibling until their pup catches up to any older dogs it's going to live with.
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Rose was a singleton. She is the antithesis of pushy dog. Genetics is going to be more important than how many pups were in a litter.

    Singletons happen a LOT in toy breeds. Small litter size to start with and all that. So it's completely normal to me and wouldn't phase me one bit.
     
  16. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    The only two singletons I know or have known personally were Flatcoats (there are probably others, but I didn't know they were singletons). Both were raised as singletons but with extra early exposure to appropriate other dogs and a lot of attention as pups. Both grew up to be confident, mannerly, affectionate dogs who were safe with people and canines. One is the dog with whom we intend to breed Mira -- when I met him the guy just had a charming and rock-solid temperament, and those who knew him when he was younger say the same...he was a fan favorite.

    But these are Flatcoats, and ones of excellent breeding at that. The genetics were already lined up for enthusiastic, level-headed, socially oriented dogs. Being a singleton did not prevent that from developing.
     
  17. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    I do think it's interesting that medium/big dog breed folks worry so much over singleton litters while toy breed folk are used to it and don't even raise an eyebrow.
     
  18. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Auggie's brother is a singleton. LOL it sounds weird to say that, but they did the breeding once and it only produced Quigley, so they repeated the breeding and that resulted in Auggie's litter which was four puppies.
    I am pretty much obsessed with Quigley as a dog, love him to pieces, he is amazing. As far as temperament goes he often reminds me of Payton who was also in a litter of four.

    It does seem slightly odd to me that they want to keep the puppy if it's a multiple but won't keep it if it's a singleton, but that's the only thing that seems bizarre. Otherwise nope, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  19. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    From a reproductive health standpoint, singletons and small litters from natural breedings are a bit concerning, especially if it happens repeatedly. Except in toys, where it is considered normal. From a behavior standpoint, I do think people tend to worry a bit too much about it.

    I would not take the puppy to daycare or over expose the puppy to wild, free for all group play in an attempt to make up for not having littermates. Especially considering the dog is an APBT mix. I think exposure to and play with friend's dogs is good or one on one play with another well matched puppy. And socialize as normal.

    I have known breeders who wouldn't keep singletons because they like to be able to compare puppies to littermates in their choosing. I think that is a bit strange but I've come across that thinking more than once.
     
  20. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I knew one singleton puppy...parent's friends had their beagle artificially inseminated and turned out one pup.

    She was a bit wild, but had no aggression issues, bite inhibition issues, was great with kids and other dogs. But:

    a) this was a beagle, not really prone to DA
    b) she lived her whole life with her mother
    c) she was a little "off" (my mom said mentally retarded) but not in a bad way at all. They thought it was because she needed to have CPR done at birth to get her breathing...looking back I think it's because she was much higher energy than their other dog and they just didn't get that.
     

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