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The Singleton Puppy

Posted on 02/03/11 105 Comments

I am writing this blog post today not from a position of a great depth of knowledge but reporting from two singular  experiences. I am hoping anyone reading this that has gone through a similar situation will offer their perspective.

I suppose for many of you this post will hold little of interest so I will try to spice it up with racy photos to keep you all interested.

Here is racy photo number one:

This is my now past amazing Jack Russell girl “Twister” with her singleton puppy “Wink.” The reason for her singleton puppy was that she had parvo as a puppy and it left her reproductive organs pretty scarred and non functioning. As it turns out it was a miracle she ever got pregnant.

Okay so maybe that pictures wasn’t racy enough. Here is one a little more racy; Twister doing what she loved best racing.



Weighing only 8 1/2 pounds and 11” tall  Twister easily bounced the 10′ distances in flyball to help set dozens of world records. She was pretty darn spectacular in her day.

Twister’s pregnancy and delivery was not at all the norm for a singleton. Apparently more than 50% of all singleton puppies die (source: the internet so take it for what it is worth:)).

Many of these puppies die because they grow too big in uteral and the bitch has difficulty with whelping (many taken by C-section).

Not so with Twister. Where my other two JRT litters had an average birth weight of 6 oz, Wink was 3.5 oz. Twister’s whelping was no more than 12 minutes long; she hoped into my laundry basket, cocked her hip to one side and popped out a puppy as if to say — here, this is yours, take it will you?

My experience with Wink was not a true singleton experience because I was fortunate enough to have a friend whelp a litter of Border Collies the same day and she gave me one of her puppies for Twister to foster so Wink had a littermate.

Twister was an awesome mom to both “Tsuna” and Wink. Tsuna lived to be 15 years old and I saw Wink just last fall, looking great as usual.

That brings me up to my current singleton who quickly is earning several names; “Sid the Kid” or “Swagger” or “Swag-Man” and as of today he is “Pork -Pie Boy.”

Why “Pork-Pie” you ask?

I have spoke to two friends that have had puppies in their litters of similar birth size; one from a litter of Border Collies one a litter of Standard Poodles.

So at birth all three puppies weighed around 9.6 oz.

At one week old the Standard Poodle weighed 14.6 oz and the Border Collie weighed 18.5 oz

Here it is only Day 5 and my Pork Pie weighs 24 oz. Yesterday I started to limit how long he could belly up to the milk bar in hopes of not having his belly explode. He still gets fed every time he cries, I am just not allowing him to drain all of the resources each time.

And in case you were thinking, “but Susan, possibly your boy is just a big puppy, how big was his sire?” Let me tell you his sire was 5 lbs lighter and 2 inches shorter than Feature . . . so that theory is gone:).

What I am looking for here is input. Here are the special needs and some of the solutions for the singleton puppy that I can think of but I don’t want to overlook anything;

1) Monitoring his intake so he doesn’t become a Pork Pie — although I have been given advise both for and against trying to regulate intake.

2)Tactile stimulation; without littermates there is no one crawling on or under him — so I do that with stuffed animals twice a day . . . often times when he is nursing other times just for no reason. In addition he has a big pile of stuffed animals and a towel with a knot in it (his favourite) to curl up with.

3) Building a frustration tolerance. It has been suggested that some singleton puppies “give up” in work easily because they never learned to work through frustration as a young puppy. Most puppies get knocked off of a nipple and have to fight to get back on a new one. With a singleton this never happens. To help with this I take a stuffed animal and push Sid off of a nipple perhaps once a feeding (but not during the night feedings as I am too dopey). Sometimes I do not allow him access to a new nipple for a 5 seconds other times I just let him discover a new one.

4) Socializing. Puppies learn bit inhibition and doggy body language through their littermates. Without littermates you could easily raise a social deviant puppy. Encore will be great for this but I also  I know of a litter of Cocker Spaniels near by that was born the same day as Sid so my plan is to approach this breeder for play dates with this litter once Sid is 3-4 weeks old.

Okay, I am now appealing to all of you true Breeders out there or anyone who has had experience raising a Singleton those of you that are just great a surfing the internet:). Any input you have for me would be greatly appreciated!

Sorry only one racy picture, I hope that was enough to keep you all reading to the end!

Today I am grateful for one healthy puppy. He has been through a lot making his way this far, I would like to do my best to help make the rest of his journey be less rocky.


  1. Charlene says:
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:10pm

    I just got a shnauzer yorkie cross puppy a couple of weeks ago. I was unaware that she was a singleton until I picked her up. On the phone I had asked the owner what temperment she had as in agressive, timid, or average as I did not want agressive or timid. She told me she was average and got along with all the dogs. When I actually met her husband to get the pup she was very scared and timid. I said I did not want a timid dog and was told she was scared of first time in the car. I asked him how she was in the litter and he told me she was the only one in the litter but was raised with their other 8 dogs. She was 15 weeks when I picked her up. I really did not know there were possible problems with singletons. Which now explains the “oh oh” look the vet assistant gave me when I mentioned it. She seems to be a good pup. She’s energetic, smart, independant, and a bit stubborn which are all typical puppy characteristics as far as I know. But we have very little interaction with anyone as I have next to no social life here and that is the main reason I wanted a companion dog. She is timid with strangers but she was raised on a farm and I don’t think she had much socializing. She is doing all the normal puppy stuff and just started biting my hands but I don’t tolerate that. One loud yelp last night sent her into “i’m sorry” mode, so she is getting the idea that its not the best thing to be doing. My problem is that I have her locked in a kennel while at work and am constantly being told this is normal to do with pups but she is only getting about 7 hours total time out of her kennel in a day (1 hr in the morning 1 hour at noon and then about 5 hours max in the evening.) I am thinking she should be in a home with someone that has alot more time to interact with her. My options for socializing are next to nil and especially no way to have her get use to small children of which I will need her to be now that I am a new grandmother but will only see them a few times a year I need her to be reliable with them.
    My cousin who is retired wants her and I am thinking this is a far better option for the pup. I am getting alot of negative responses from people I know that I should not be just be giving her away but I want what is best for everyone. Should I be concerned about keeping her being as she is locked up so much?


  2. Judith says:
    Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 4:19pm

    Was so glad to find this blog when our girl only had one surviving puppy 3 weeks ago.

    So far he is thriving, whilst he is ahead of my other litters in terms of weight gain he is very mobile and moves around extremely well so I have no worries on that score

    He has toys with him in the pen and is now playing with them and climbing over them

    His mother has not been overly fussy, after the first days of being very protective, and lets him cry for food rather than feed him so I guess she is regulating his intake and teaching him that he can’t have it all his own way. She also will play with him when he starts to be cheeky to her

    We play with him when he is awake, pushing him gently around, letting him explore, hold his feet, fingers in his mouth – where he has a good set of sharp teeth now – and get him moving and reacting to stimulation. I think I may have also finally found a similar aged litter that we can go and have some play dates with (fingers crossed)

    I just feel a bit sad watching him on his own in the pen as you feel that he should have more company to interact with

    In a few more days I hope the mother will be more accepting of our other dogs seeing him so we can move him into the sitting room where he will have more company and stimulation but so far he seems quite contented


  3. Terry says:
    Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 11:03am

    I am currently raising a 5 week old chocolate lab that was a singleton and also had Swimmer Syndrome. I was saddened to read the post about having to put the brother and sister to sleep because of this syndrome, as I found putting him in a therapy jacket and then banding his hind legs got his forelegs strong and then his hind legs and he very much walks, runs, jumps, etc. His seriously flattened chest rounded back out very quickly (less than a week), and he is a happy guy. Because I have two other Labs and a beagle, and “Ford” has weekly visits with another Lab and a Great Dane and very frequent interaction with my two year old grandson, he is doing well with socialization. I also did not have another litter to borrow from or to let him interact with. He has had many toys to crawl up and over/under, and has been being flipped over, sniffed, and generally aggravated by his housemates and cousins.


  4. Pat says:
    Friday, August 31, 2012 at 12:07pm

    Update on my August 16, 2012 post. My baby boy singleton is now 16 days old. He was so tiny when he was born only 2 1/4 oz. However he has been gaining weight at about 1 oz per day and now weighs 12 1/4 oz. His eyes opened at about 2 weeks which is average for a Maltese. I notice he is very mellow and quiet. Probably because he is getting all the attention from mom and my husband and I. I document all the behavior patterns of the litters we have had and he is so much calmer then any of my females past litters. He is to young to tell if he has dominant tendencies as most others have posted, but as now I notice he is very content, cuddly and calm. He loves to cuddle up next to anything, his mom, his stuffed toys and us. So far he is very loving even at 2 weeks old. I am paying close attention to his weight. I weigh him every day and exercise him by letting him scoot around in his box and supervised areas. Mom doesn’t like him out of the box for more than 10 or 15 minutes. So I let her tell me when it is time to put him back in to rest. I will keep posting his behavior patterns as he grows.


    • Pat says:
      Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 12:28am

      Update to my August 31, 2012 post.
      My Maltese puppy. He is now 9 weeks old today and doing fantastic. He weighs in at 1 lb 8 oz. He is very tiny, but very healthy. He loves to play. We have now exposed him to my other Maltese Grown up dogs. They all play with him and are very gentle with him. He runs around like he is a big dog. I can see dominant tendencies coming out in him now. He is very smart for such a young puppy. He knows his name and is practically potty trained. He is very active. When I comb his hair he growls at the comb. He hates his bath. I am now teaching him not to bite the comb. He never bites me just the comb.
      He loves people and other dogs, he is well socialized ‘except for the comb’ 🙂
      I thought he would be one of her bigger puppies since he was a singleton however he is actually the smallest one she has ever had. He is adorable and we love him dearly.


  5. Noella says:
    Friday, August 31, 2012 at 6:05am

    My singleton Lagotto girl is now 16 months old and also has a dominant personality, is very much my dog and wants to be touching me whenever possible, lies on my feet, jumps up on my lap etc. Is a real cuddle bubble and very affectionate. She went through a stage of trying to dominate my other dogs about a month ago but they soon let her know her place. There was a lot of noise but no actual biting. It was very hard for me not to interfere but I know it is best for them to work it out for themselves unless actual harm is happening. There has been no trouble since then. She was a very large puppy but has grown into an average size bitch. She is very intelligent and learns quickly but unfortunately has the all about me syndrome, so a lot of work to be done yet. Singletons are definitely different and I am glad I kept her as they are not easy and should never be sent to an inexperienced home. I love her to bits but there have been times when I could have given her away!!
    Sydney, Australia


  6. Peg says:
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 10:32am

    Udate on my singleton labrador. At 18 months, we have managed to socialize him with a lot of time at doggie daycare where there is a crew of trainers and experienced caregivers. While he still loves being dominant, he has improved with the simple neutering and maturity. He usually finds his ‘place” in the pack and he is not ‘aggressive” because our doggie daycare quickly eliminates truly aggressive dogs for the safety of all other dogs and staff. The staff can ‘sniff out” an aggressive dog quickly.

    Now our challenge is DEsmond is evolving into a real mama’s boy and must be with me, near me and always trying to dominate, yet in a nicer way…licking, leaning on me, even putting his head on me when I’m laying down (on the couch for example). Overall, he has adapted, but he is still a dominant personality–is it coincidence or single litter status? We will never know for sure. but he is much easier to live with now.

    Desmond’s mom


  7. Pat says:
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:08pm

    I am so glad I found these postings. My Maltese just had a litter of 1 yesterday. She has had other litters but they have been 3 to 4 puppies. I was not planning on her breeding this cycle, but my male maltese found a way to her even though we had her behind a seperate fenced area in our yard which she was only out to go potty. It was the end of her heat cycle and only the one time mating. From what I have read, this is probably the reason for her only having one puppy in her litter. He is a little boy and very tiny, he only weighed 2 1/4 oz at birth. She didn’t seem to have to much of a problem having him. She is taking very good care of him and he is gaining weight at a normal rate for the 1st day. She had no problems with her milk coming in. He has gained 1/2 oz in a day and a half. I never even thought having a singleton could be a problem for the puppy, but since I have read all of these post I now know different and will do different. I have added some small toys to the whelping box and I am pulling him away from mom when he tries to nurse occasionally. Although I must add mom doesn’t like her baby to cry. She is an excellent mom and caters to her babies every whim until they start playing, then she plays with them and disciplines them if they get to rough. I never even thought about him getting to fat since he was so tiny at birth, but now I will keep a close eye on him. I will weight him 2 times a day until he is a little older. I have several other Maltese dogs in my house, but mom does not even like them in the same room with her and her baby at this point. They have the whole enclosed family room to themselves away from the other dogs but around the family, in a fenced area.

    I do not know anyone with a litter of puppies. I do however have a client of mine that bred her female maltese with my male and is due to have puppies in a month. We are getting pick of the litter of these puppies so When these puppies get old enough I can probably put them together to play.

    Thanks again for all the comments and advice. I am very glad I searched the internet for information while my little tiny boy is so young and I can start helping him and mom to raise the perfect puppy. 🙂


  8. carolanne says:
    Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 1:20pm

    Thank you so much for all your comments here. Our sister in law’s Australian Shepherd had puppies last week. There were 3 but only one little female lived. We have had this line for over 35 years and all puppies were spoken for. This little girl will be ours as we had first choice on the litter.

    She is growing strong each day and so cute. I was anxious about her socialization process and now am so glad I found this webpage with good suggestions and experience.

    I will get her some new toys today and begin to monitor her feedings more and not let her get the teats so easily. Mom is producing milk nicely and cleaning her well. My also see about fostering some pups or finding a little for socialization.

    Thanks again to all for putting your experiences here.

    Best of luck to all,


  9. Deb says:
    Friday, March 30, 2012 at 8:10am

    Hi Paula,
    That is so sad. Every thing I read on singletons said it was better to put them with another litter if the mother will accept the new puppy. Or find an orphan litter for your bitch to raise. If I were you & you have the time, I would take him over now & try it. Put him & the littlest one in a box together for a little bit to see how it goes. If it works, you can try taking him over every day for playtime. If he’s too small for them now, I’d wait a few days then try again. They grow so fast! Even if you have to wait until he is 3 weeks & they are 6 weeks, some socialization with other puppies is better than none. I think having my other 2 older Vizslas to play & raise Breaker (cause he was going to be a heart breaker! aka Otto) really helped him but when he saw dogs his own size it was strange for him! But it only took him a few hours to be comfortable with some of them. It is going to be a lot of work, but so worth it. Another thing not to worry about is how much he nurses. People told me to limit his nursing but it was too stressful for me & momma. Once they start moving, they loose the weight. And I didn’t let momma eat as much as she wanted since she didn’t need to make all that milk. Also, put rolled up towels & stuffed dog toys for him to crawl over so he doesn’t develop into a ‘swimmer’. I worried about that too & there was no problem. I swear if my bitch ever produces another singleton, I am keeping it! You can go to my website (www.bizzievizslas.com) to see pics of him & I also have links to ‘Early Neurological Stimulation’ by Dr Carmen Battaglia & ‘Super Dogs are Mad Not Born’ by Joyce O’Kelley. Hope all this helps & good luck! Just don’t stress over it, it will be fine!


  10. Becky says:
    Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 11:18am

    I have a singleton GSD puppy and this is my first after 20 years of breeding. Our adorable little guy is now 15 weeks and he is socially inept. Born a c-section, he was raised in my home right off the kitchen. His littermate died in the womb, thus affecting his & his mom’s health. He is about 2 weeks behind in growth. He is courageous & intelligent in all areas, but is fearful of dogs outside his pack (6) and slightly aloof of strange people. With strangers, he will warm up to them within about 2-3 minutes, but still concerning. Had I known there were effects to a singleton puppy, I certainly would have done a better job with him when he was younger. Any positive feedback would be appreciated!! Just sick!!


    • Deb says:
      Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 4:57pm

      My Vizsla had a singleton in Sept 2011. He was socialized with our 2 1 1/2 year old V’s. I would yelp like a litter mate, when he bite me so he would know it was too hard. I also took him to a kennel that has a puppy daycare for 2 days. There he met other puppies & small dogs. I would’ve taken him longer if I would’ve thought about it sooner. He went to his forever home at 8 weeks with people that were ready to continue socializing him. Their neighbors had friendly dogs for him to play with & they joined a Vizsla club in their area to get him out among a lot of other dogs & people. They also take him everywhere with them to get him used to different stimuli. My suggestion now would be to take him to puppy classes or daycare to get socialized with different dogs & take him everywhere that you can with you for him to meet different people. Take treats along & ask people to give him a treat. An article that was useful to me is ‘Super Dogs are Made Not Born’ by Joyce O’Kelley. This blog was very helpful to me also. Good Luck with your pup!


      • paula says:
        Monday, March 26, 2012 at 3:54am

        hi Deb,my hungarian vizsla bitch has only 1 pup,her little girl died following the C-section,left us with one boy,who is 4 days old and absolutely lovely.Pretty traumatic experience :(Do you think its fine to socialise this pup with my friend’s puppy vizslas who are now 3 weeks old??and when can i start this???
        thank you paula

  11. Lissa says:
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:50pm

    Loving this helpul and informative blog. My older maiden dam had a singleton just 5 days ago. A gorgeous male shih Tzu. We own both dam and sire and are NOT breeders, we just love our dogs though and they are very much part of the family dictating our lives to an extent. Now that we have ‘Tucker” (monster) named because he is such a guts at the milk bar life has become hectic. Unfortunately due to mums age, temperament and being such a ‘princess’ as well as not whelping naturally (inertia and puppy squirmings it’s way from one uteran horn to the other) a c section had to be performed and she is not inclined to puppy. Thankfully she will feed him so long as we sit with her, but she won’t lick/clean him or tend to him if he cries etc. and she pulls away if he squirms anywhere near her face. So timed feeds on mum, toileting, play and socialisation has been left to us. We too added toys similar in size for him to snuggle with and climb over, as well as keeping him on a heat mat. He is averaging a 20-30 gram weight gain everyday. He is very impatient when trying to latch on for a drink and appears to have a lot of strength and fight in him so this blog has been interersting with tips on how to manage this and other bahavioural issues. If anyone can help though I would love to know how often he should be defacating, he wee’s everytime but trying to get him to produce number 2’s has been painful (for us) and very tedious. He also refused at the Only attempt to bottle feed the other day when we unavoidably had to go out so hints on this would also be useful. Thanks again.


  12. Deb says:
    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 9:22am

    Thank you all for good information. I have a 3 week old singleton Vizsla which is a little porker! Momma’s last litter was only 4 & I thought they were fat! I was so worried about him being overweight & relieved that the individuals responding to this blog have had positive results. His belly & penis did get raw from momma’s licking. The vet suggested putting antibiotic ointment with pain relief on it. Also tried to limit momma’s licking. Now at 3 weeks it is all but healed. Thanks again for a very helpful blog!


  13. Margaret Mcintyre says:
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:22am

    My singleton Lab puppy is now six months old–and he is getting easier to live with since he now has all his grown up teeth. The nipping is just about “extinct”. I was worried about socialization, so I take him to a marvelous doggie day care for a half day three times a week. The staff is wonderful (includes a trainer and there is a pool! Being a lab, he loves to swim–but most importantly, he seems to be perfectly comfortable with the other dogs. They try to group the dogs my age so a more natural “pack” develops, otherwise puppies are always the lowest status pack members. My guy seems to love it and gets along fine–he may be a bit alpha, but certainly not intimidated because he was a singleton. Since there is no way to know for sure if his “alpha” nature is a birth order (singleton) issue or if he is just a bit of an alpha male. I do know his grand father is a nationally known champion….father of hundreds…so we laugh and say, “maybe it’s just a high testosterone level in the gene pool…. I do get the sense though that my puppy is demanding and that he sees us as “big dogs” because he has been around mostly “animals bigger than himself.” There is a dominance test you might consider doing with a puppy you are thinking of adopting. Lastly, you might do the “temperament test” on the puppy… go to http://www.volhard.com/pages/pat.php


  14. Denise says:
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 8:13pm

    I currently have a 2 1/2 year male American Eskimo dog, he has a strong personality and is very playful and we are active in agility competition. We want to get a second Eskie, of course for agility also. There is a singleton puppy we are considering and I am trying to determine if I should be concerned about the fact that he is a singleton and how is adaptation into our home will be with another dog? And also concerned on how this type of dog might affect our current Eskie? Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.


    • Susan says:
      Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 8:27pm

      @Denise. I would be very cautious of a singleton puppy of any breed but especially a breed that could be less confident by nature. I would only consider adopting this puppy if the breeder has done something similar to what I did with Swagger. Just having the puppy “hang out with adult dogs in her own home” is not at all the same as getting the singleton into a litter of puppies for him to learn all of the socially appropriate responses.


  15. Margaret Mcintyre says:
    Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 2:25pm

    I was happy to find a blog dedicated to singletons. I adopted Desmond, my blond Lab singleton, when he was 10 weeks old and I think my breeder tried to put him with another litter, but the litter was two weeks older so that was limited. He was a chunk when I got him but also continued to grow rapidly until 23 weeks and then growth slowed down. Behaviorally, he is a bit aggressive as he will charge adult labs and other large dogs–loves to play with them rough. So far, all have been tolerant of him. I did notice he can be “lazy” (maybe stubborn) while on a walk which we are still struggling with, he will just sit down–then lay down and stay put! I find myself bribing him still with kibble. At five months, walking on the leash more than a block is getting better. I plan to have his joints X-rayed when he is neutered, just in case we had some difficult development due to fat singleton on newly forming joints. Besides being a savage chewer of woodwork, door and yes, my stairs (pure lab) he has a good disposition and learning quickly. Even with a water bowl nearby, he will choose the toilet to drink (think Marley). He can open doors with lever handles and carries his food bowl to us to get a refill. (again, pure labrador here. Maybe assistance training is in his future)


  16. Donna says:
    Friday, July 22, 2011 at 4:52am

    I have a 10 week old singleton Golden born by C-section … 4-5 identified pups at day 20 Ultrasound were re-absorbed and mom never came into milk (4th litter)… we got her into a litter 11 days older and when they all left, she continued to be handled alot with many toys/play interactions … name recognition & sit clicker training started at 5-6 weeks … at times she can be an independent exploring soul … not affraid of the dark and investigated everything … sleeps alone fine and is doing super on the potty training … she happily greets people & other dogs but can be submissive in her greetings … she accepts being told “what’s what” by our 9 year old Golden and plays non-stop with our very gentle 17 month old Golden … so far, so good, but since the aggressive “piggy” litter feeding stopped, she’s not a very enthusiastic eater and requires supplemental feedings with good stools & weight gains … starting a Basic Pet class at 10 weeks, then on to CGC and Agility … she’s a joy ;o)


    • Donna says:
      Monday, March 5, 2012 at 8:01pm

      Emma (singleton raised with litter 11 days older)is now an extremely sweet 10 months old Golden … she is very exuberant, a quick learner and loves training … still “belly up” submissive at dog greetings but shows no fear of trying to engage other dogs in play … she’s independently inquisitive to explore and actively joins in play with our 10yr old and 2 yr old Goldens … all has turned out well ;o)


  17. Sandi says:
    Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 1:07am

    I have a singleton – now 6 years old. She is one of 5 dogs in our family and has brought more joy and loyalty than any one could imagine. She’s persistent, smart and resiliant.
    Similar to an only child, they are different. They’re loyal, independant, strong willed and would go to the ends of the earth for you. They connect with their humans like none other – its special and I wouldnt trade her for the world. She’s taught me so much.


  18. Kym says:
    Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 11:04pm

    I just had a singleton litter 7 days ago. It was unplanned. A roug Cocker Spanial raped my poor Rat Terrrier girl. We were unsure of a pregnancy until 2 weeks before delivery. We thought they had reabsorbed until I felt the puppy kick. She had a normal delivery, and then there wern’t any others. She was very little at birth, but now she is quite portly. The neighbors have a litter of 5 week old Bull Dogs and she is almost as big as them.(Not near as well developed) She has very short legs and she “crawls” around a lot. She has more than doubled her weight. We have handled her from the begining. The mom is more of a feed her, clean her and leave her alone kind of Mom. She has always been a little stand offish and scitish, but I don’t think she pays enough attention to her.(except to feed her) She does not play with her and she is not real protective of her. She is very twitchy when she sleeps and she seems very healthy.(other than the porkyness) I have never had a singleton litter. I am very concerned she will become bitey and agressive. That is what my Breeder friend says. She is very cute. I hope I am doing this right. We are trying to get her used to people in our family right now. There are also 3 other dogs in the house of various sizes and ages. From 2 years to 18.5 years, and from 17 lbs to 100 lbs. They have all been introduced to the pup and have very little intrest right now. I think that is good. Good luck to all with these single miracles.


  19. Noella says:
    Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 9:21pm

    Dorothy, mine also was a maiden dam but I was lucky in that the delivery was normal and mum took care of everything. The only thing I have to worry about is that the pup is big, which hopefully will sort itself out as she is quite promising and I did want her to go into the show ring. I had soft toys in whelping box and then transferred them to her crate. She is weaned now and eats everything in sight, not the least bit fussy.
    Donna, they learn heaps from their mum and they seem to know that more is expected with a single puppy. I am keeping my girl but if you were planning on letting yours go I would keep her with her mum for a bit longer than you would normally. Also I have already taken her to flyball and agility competition days and also to our local dog training club, where I leave her in her crate near a class and she just watches fascinated.
    Please contact me whenever you want, as I have been watching development carefully, since they do have differences, and I am finding the whole experience a new learning curve.
    Regards, Noella & Lagotti x 4
    Sutherland Shire Sydney Australia


  20. Dorothy Thompson says:
    Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 8:51pm

    My singleton German Shorthaired Pointer was whelped by c-section on May 5, as his maiden dam never went into labor, and its been challenging for the last six weeks, but they thrive, and he is bold and independent, and as curious as any in my previous litters, smallest of which was six for shorthairs, and three for mini schnauzers, (which were 30 years ago).

    I have networked with friends and through them, have been contacted by others who had singletons, and they have been encouraging. The most beneficial advice anybody gave me was to get lots of soft toys, which have served as littermates to my boy, and he still snuggles up with them. Good luck with your pup.


  21. Donna Mullin says:
    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 12:25pm

    I too have just had a singleton litter. It has never happened to me before either! My breed is mini schnauzers. I will be interested in emailing you , as my pup is only 8 days old.

    Thanks for sharing
    Las Vegas, NV


  22. Noella says:
    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 12:11am

    I have a 9-weeks-old Lagotto singleton puppy. Normal birth and we were expecting more puppies, but that was it. I have 3 other adult dogs including her mother and they all play with her. However I think she is like the precocious child who is too much with adults. She seems to be a lot older than she is. No real problems at this stage except I think the older dogs let her get away with too much. Mother dog has a lot more work to do as she has to teach her many of the things she would learn from litter mates. Interesting that when playing tuggie with the puppy she always lets the puppy win. I could not find another litter for her to interact with, so we shall have to wait and see. Having never had a singleton puppy before I am finding the whole thing very interesting. Would really appreciate any help in things I should be looking out for. I am in Sutherland Shire, Sydney, Australia.


  23. Arlene says:
    Monday, April 25, 2011 at 2:00pm

    My singleton is a toy breed mix, Papillon sired pup. Her dam was x-rayed a week prior to her whelping date and no pups could be found, so we thought the litter had been reabsorbed . . . not so. She was a big pup considering her current size, but the delivery went off without a hitch.

    I understood some of the issues that could happen with her being an only pup, and she was pushed off the teat regularly and handled often. I could not find another litter, close enough, to socialize her with and she made due with taking on one of my other small dogs as her rough and tumble littermate. I think he let her get away with a bit too much!

    It is apparent there are some consequences to this lack of early socialization. She is very noisy-growly in play with other dogs and has difficulty winding herself down if things get intense. She is improving in that area slowly. Resource guarding of her toys and most precious treats from new dogs to the home has been more of an issue than I’ve seen in any of my dogs prior, however we have been able to overcome that with training. She is also most comfortable as the boss (and my other dogs are soft and allow her to be so). It has taken a great effort to get her comfortable with meeting new medium-large dogs when out and about. That, of course, could be largely due to her small size.

    On the people level she is incredibly friendly and has not shown a problem with bite inhibition. Her people skills are actually quite wonderful.


  24. Kicki says:
    Friday, March 11, 2011 at 9:56am

    And here is my blog: http://nessiesvalpar.blogspot.com/


  25. Kicki says:
    Friday, March 11, 2011 at 9:54am

    Great that I found you Susan 🙂 Right now my Aussie has a single puppy. She is now 3 weeks. I haven´t found much to read, so your blog will be great for me!
    I can see some of you are concerned about the lack of exercise. I will defenitly consider that, even though this puppy runs about a lot.
    My main concern is about the social part. We are right now keeping a 4-months old flat for a few months, but he is far to clumsy to be allowed to be with the puppy. Maybe when she is older? I try to be a sibling myself, like some of you have described.
    I will read all your reflections with great interest. I´m writing a blog as well, but in swedish… There are some nice pictures anyway:)
    Good luck!


  26. Christine says:
    Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 2:25am

    My friend uses Snuggle Safe for cuddling of singleton litters and I would use TTouch: mouth work, ear work, tail work as well as TTouches on his body, to raise body awareness and also a sense of having had enough in addition to what was suggested.


  27. Sharon Normandin says:
    Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 10:52pm

    Interesting point you made. My little deaf girlie Biss was a singleton, and I was very impressed with the job that the foster mom (her mother was a rescue) did with socialization; she is great with other dogs and people, has great bite inhibition, doggie communication, etc. But the one thing she does have is lack of frustration tolerance, and I now wonder if that may in part be fallout from her singleton status.


  28. Naomi says:
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 3:46pm

    My 2 cents:

    My boy came from a litter of 4 (equally boys/girls) and all of them had they weight of 16/17 oz AT BIRTH!

    In my perspective 24 is not THAT fat.

    (if weight is suppossed to double at day 8- my porkpie should have been 30oz-ish)

    They were big puppies… but all turned out to be average size, lean, agile bc’s.


  29. Sylvia Feder says:
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 2:09am

    Panda (Canadian Inuit dog) was not born a singleton, but became one shortly after birth. He was whelped and lived outside with mom until he came to live with me at 6+ weeks of age; the owner of the bitch (I hesitate to use the term “breeder”) did not give him any special treatment for his singleton status.

    He was a huge, exceedingly confident and assertive pup, and at 2 yrs old, is the biggest inuit dog I have owned. He remains outgoing and boisterous to the point of being tiring (for me). He has good bite inhibition, but is very oral when playing with other dogs.

    He does have one habit that I wonder is the result of his singleton status so I thought I would mention it here. From the time he came to me, when he was falling asleep or sometimes when he was stressed, he would suck his hip. I attributed it to being similar to a pacifier in a child. To this day, he still occasionally reverts to this behavior if he is stressed or frustrated.


  30. Jane Harding says:
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 11:30pm

    Well, my singleton pup was born today – by c-section. I’m already handling him plenty (of course he’s a boy when I have two working homes for FEMALES!) whilst he’s nursing. Mom is not ready for him yet, she’s still groggy, but I’m putting him to nurse on her every two hours. Guess it’s no sleep for me tonight!


  31. Becky Golatzki says:
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 9:41pm

    My dog Cory was a singleton pup (sheltie) and we used to call him “the Tick” because he was so fat. Once he was 3-4 wks old though the puppy fat normalized; he continued to run at/over the top of the size charts for a while- one important cut off for shelties is considered to be no more than 10 inches tall at 10 wks, and he was 1/4-1/2 inch over. He ended up a very moderate 15 1/4 inches (upper limit is 16).

    My experience with singletons has been that they are generally very intolerant of restraint and possessive about their bodies, and can range from “bratty” to aggressive for things like grooming, nail trims, etc if you don’t get a handle on it early. Cory and I had a discussion about that when he was 7 wks old; he learned I was stubborner than he was and we have no issues with him since or as an adult :-). He has surpringly great bite inhibition, but he absolutely cannot get enough of playing mouthy games with lots of growling- his favorite is to grab my arm and mouth it like crazy, he sounds rabid but is very gentle (we call it “schutzhund sheltie”). However, he has never learned how to moderate his growling; he growls more and more the more excited he gets (especially when he is greeting people); he LOVES people and is wiggling, wagging and kissing all over while he is doing it. Interestingly, the only relative of his who does this (and I know several generations back and laterally on both sides) was also a singleton pup. Even in the midst of all this I can reach down his throat and grab anything out of it; I am confident this is not an aggression issue but more of an inappropriate social behavior issue- it is like kids playing who get wound tighter and tighter until you know someone is going to end up in tears- he just doesn’t know how to stop the cycle and wind himself down. He gets along well with almost all other dogs, the exception being he will get defensive with very pushy intact males if he has no way to retreat. He is trustworthy to run and play with 95% of the other intact males out there, it is generally just the belligerent ones he can’t get away from. He has been INCREDIBLY patient with his son who has been with us from 7 wks and is now 8 mos- I have never once had to get after him for being inappropriate or too rough with the puppy and he has tolerated a LOT of abuse from him. I have not found him to be particularly easily frustrated, though he is a little softer than his dad; he is very high energy/enthusiasm, combined with being just slightly mentally soft, so if you are not watching carefully and don’t know him well it can appear to be a sudden change from working hard to shutting down a little bit. I think this has more to do with his dams temperament than it does with being a singleton; and it is really not a terribly difficult thing to work around. (and his “soft” in my mind is still way tougher than the average sheltie out there, just not quite as tough as his hard headed dad). Interestingly most singleton puppies I know have had huge egos; while Cory’s is certainly quite healthy it was his dad (from a litter of three) who thought the whole world was a party thrown for him.

    He was a stud fee puppy back to me, and I knew I might never have a chance to have a puppy from my “heart” dog again, but I was not happy when I knew he was a singleton…for the most part it has been a non-issue for us, with the exception of a few extra lessons in being handled at a very young age. It would never be my first choice, but I wouldn’t worry about it nearly so much next time around.


    • Trudie says:
      Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 8:34am

      Becky really enjoyed reading your tale!
      I have a little intact boy who is very intolerant of restraint and possessive of front paws. I do regret I didn’t have any “get-a-handle-on” know-how… And sensitive on his butt, with tail having been docked after birth…. Not a singleton but he was the last pup to go at seven weeks after 2 other litter mates. A very vocal growler when making contact with certain people!
      (Yes, now we get a nose touch first, if we don’t we move away, reward with distraction, then call away again):>)
      This is a pyrennean shepherd and I’ve had other folks with the same breed who notice the same growl, whilst other people give me hairy eyebrows…


  32. June says:
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 1:04pm

    I would like to stress I am not a breeder but have had 3 litter of pups from my dogs over the years.
    The first litter I had was from my German Shepherd and yes it was a single puppy. My experience of having a litter of pups was zero and the outcome of the pup was that he grew up to be a working Police Dog who was used to go into Schools due to his great nature. (Went to the Police at 18months – due to change of circumstances within my household)
    I did nothing special with this pup and left all feeding/cleaning/disipline issues with the mother initially. I did handle the puppy a lot from birth as I have done with all my other litters,
    We called our single puppy Solo and he was a robust porki wee pig until he was fully weaned – he turned out to be a well proportioned and socialized dog, great with my 3 year old son, loved all people and was great with other dogs.
    He was easy to train and always eager to please,
    Feature is a well balanced dog and she will pass this on to her pup. This wee pup is in a balanced household with rules boundaries and limitations – I believe he will be absolutly fine
    Go with whatever your Gut tells you with this pup – that will be the right decision.
    Puppy Watching is one of my favourite pastimes, especially when they twitch and make wee funny noises – Enjoy


  33. Kim says:
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 7:24am

    I have a book called Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development edited by Pat Hastings and Erin Ann Rouse – http://www.dogfolk.com/puppydevelopmentbook.htm – which is a collection of articles about puppies, from birth to when they go their new homes and has a LOT of really good information. Worth a read if you can get a copy. What made me think of it however is there is an article in there called ‘Raising a single puppy litter’ by Shereen Farber. I have not been able to find the original article online but this one is adapted from it http://www.ackcsc.org/files/TheOneAndOnly.pdf

    Best of luck with Sid! 🙂



  34. Melissa Blazak says:
    Friday, February 4, 2011 at 5:08pm

    The Patricia McConnell story about a singleton pup she raised is in “For the love of a dog: understanding emotion in you and your best friend”.

    That section starts at page 189 and goes on for about 2 or 3 pages. There might be more in the book as well.


  35. Diane says:
    Friday, February 4, 2011 at 4:25pm

    Hi susan,
    Try the animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell. I remember in one of her books (maybe “The Other End Of The Leash?) or in her blog, she talks in depth about raising singleton puppies.


  36. Chris (Kel-Lani Shelties) says:
    Friday, February 4, 2011 at 3:06am

    Hi Susan,
    We’ve had two singleton Sheltie litters, so thought I’d chime in. Very huge puppies all the way, but much more normal in size at 7 or 8 weeks. We played with them tons (when there’s only one you really want to, and that’s the right thing) so they got lots of exercise and stimulation. However, we did cut down on the mom’s food, so that would cut down on the milk a little, and we were careful to make sure that each milk duct got it’s share of nursing, so the moms didn’t develop a problem there. We never worried about their social development, as they got so much attention before their eyes were even open, we knew they’d grow up just fine – and they did!
    All the best!


  37. Bernadette says:
    Friday, February 4, 2011 at 2:49am

    Fat singleton puppies are unavoidable! Their growth is not indicitive of future size. With singleton sheltie pups I have to throw away all growth prediction charts as they are a law unto their own!

    One of my singleton pups was huge as a 8 week old and ended up as one the smallest sheltie I have ever produced.

    I have had three singleton litters. If I could I would try and put the pup with littermates as you did with your JRT. But sometimes that is impossible. In my case I chickened out as the only available litter I could find was from someone I did not know and so I would not risk it.

    None of the singleton pups have any trouble interacting with other dogs nor have any aggression problems. But all three are rather strong vocal personalities. And, guess what, all were boys!

    I echo Jan’s advice. Keep the pup moving as much as you can but don’t restrict his food. My puppy box with my singletons has double the normal amount of toys for the pup to snuggle and climb over. Make sure he can get good traction on the flooring. (carpet or vet-bed) so that he can move his legs and not slip.

    Good luck!
    PS I hope I do not become a singleton expert… 3 singletons is enough please! VBG

    Best of Luck
    Bernadette and the Obay shelties in England


  38. Ingerid says:
    Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:47am

    I’m no breeder, but my first dog was a singleton. His breeder didn’t do anything special at all, just treated him like any other litter. He was quite fat when I got him (8 weeks), but that soon wore off as he grew bigger (think it took two or three weeks). He has never been a quitter, and has no special social issues.
    This doesn’t mean that I disagree with the special precautions you are making, I just wanted to share this little success story 🙂


  39. Diane says:
    Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:33am

    I have a singleton puppy, 10 months old.
    Drifter was born via C-section and was large from birth on..he had a very fat belly, and looked as though he would be HUGE. The breeder took special care to introduce him to other puppies, arranging play dates and allowing him access to older easy-going adults. I got Drifter at 8 weeks and immediately took him to agility and obedience trials with me and my other dogs. Every Wednesday all summer we went to a friends home and he would play with a Lowchen puppy who was 1 month older. That was one rough puppy, rolling my boy around in the grass, chewing on his neck, etc. Drifter joined right in and learned to chase, pounce and play just as rough. When he would play with other puppies he was soft and gentle. All summer he played with puppies and adults in a controlled manner. I found that he was quite independent, and very, very, busy, needing careful management around the house. At 10 months he is working obedience, nice heel position, great recalls, scent articles, retrieves. Agility he has learned tunnels, 2o2o on boards on the ground, stays in front of contact equipment. He is a blast to train. I have made it a point to have him “settle” next to me on the floor while we watch TV, taking a balance play break during commercials..he is slowly becoming much more cuddly now and will actually lay next to me (amazing!!) while I sit on the floor. He is an average size male Border Collie now, about 21″ and a little on the slim side, no more fat belly. He loves all people and other dogs……
    Enjoy your new baby, he is adorable!


  40. Jenn says:
    Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:25am

    Rosie, my Border Terrier, was not born a singleton but her only littermate passed within two weeks of birth so she mostly was a singleton puppy. She was allowed to eat as much as she wanted since her mom was pretty good a shutting her off.
    I gave her a squishy plush pig so she would have something to cuddle & quarrel with when she got playful. Everyone in the family handled her at a young age and when old enough she was roaming the house receiving manners and etiquette lessons from the other BTs.
    As for work ethic, Rosie is never one to “give up work” at any time. She has a drive and intensity for agility that is incredible. And is was not because of a good foundation in training because I had no idea what I was doing when I started with her!
    Best wishes with this special guy!


  41. Cassie Levy says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:40pm

    I have bred and whelped only two litters and neither of them were singleton litters, however, my Emma came from a litter of just two. And, at the time, her breeder did have another pup who was only a month older who was a singleton. (who then did get to socialize with Emma and Joe mind you). Emma and Joe were dubbed “stinky and smelly” by their breeder because all they did was eat, sleep and poop. For a while, Emma’s breeder did wonder if the pups were going to have any developmental orthopedic problems because they were so well-fed, but both of the “fatties” moved around the box quite effectively and went on to be healthy, active pup who passed all their orthopedic clearances. (Emma was and actually still is borderline loony at almost 9 years of age). Out of this litter of two, and the singleton litter, both bitches have gone on to be extremely successful working dogs, highly titled in multiple venues and each have produced successful puppies also). Both were given lots of extra stimulation and nurturing by the breeder and she did ensure that they occasionally had to “work” for their meals also. All three of the dogs in this case grew up to be extremely confident dogs so I don’t believe that singletons or pups from small litters are predisposed to be weaker mentally or unable to handle stress. That was not the case with any of these dogs, if anything I think you could say they were all more confident.
    I’m not sure if this was the sort of anecdotal feedback you were looking for, but regardless, have fun with him!


  42. Barb DeMascio says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 9:52pm

    I had a singleton Flat-coat puppy many many years ago. He did grow very fast and was so huge, but ended up normal size. One of the problems I had was that his mom would lick him so much he would get raw. No other pups to spread her mothering out on. So keep an eye on that.

    Good luck!


    • Dorothy Thompson says:
      Monday, May 9, 2011 at 9:04pm

      My singleton gsp four days old is pretty raw from the sam licking him on his belly and to get him to urinate. What can you do about it. Vi have tried distracting her and I sleep on the floor by the box to try and stop it.

      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  43. Kristie says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 9:21pm

    My border collie, Hemi, was a singleton. Most people told me to stay away from this litter because of this but I’m so glad I didn’t. She doesn’t have any behavioral issues. Hemi’s mom did a really good job with her so that helped a lot even though she was the only one. There weren’t any other litters around so she didn’t get to socialize with puppies her age but did a lot with her breeder’s big dogs. She ended up having a better temperament (loves all people and dogs) than all my other dogs even though I didn’t get to socialize her much (because of Hurricane Katrina). Since you have another litter for him that will be a great advantage!


  44. Jan V says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 9:06pm

    Brio was the absolute PIG of her litter and became bound up from overeating at about 4-5 days old; then became very ill (failure to thrive). It took an emergency vet “flushing” via tube to get things moving through again. Was very close to death. Took a while for her to catch back up to her litter mates. But… she ended up being the best dog of the bunch (IMHO)


  45. Jan DeMello says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 9:03pm

    some other things that might be worth mentioning is that I always remove my bitches collars so that the puppies don’t get caught up in it in any way. I remove all loops from any plush toys that you put with the pups. I don’t want to risk any body parts of the puppy to be caught, strangled or choked on.


  46. Susan says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 7:53pm

    Wow great input! Thanks so much for such a detailed report Jan. I am out to see if I can find pool noodles anywhere in Canada in February!


    • Mary M says:
      Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 8:29pm

      I too think Jan’s info is spot on….not that I breed but from all I have read, heard and the experiences with different dogs in rescue work I would say frustration tolerance and working through obstacles without shutting down are the big ones to be on top of, almost constantly throughout the day. My girlie did not have a mama to teach things, and her littermates died, so Sid is better off than that (and Feature from what I have seen will be a great teacher for a baby)…..just gotta create the pushiness of other litter mates and create many moments of not getting what you want without persistence.

      —Susan, you can use the noodles you have in the training center for going over your standards for teaching turn work on the flat, easier to replace them in the spring and use what you have now for this important purpose.


    • Kelly says:
      Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:02pm

      Check the dollar stores, Susan — or WalMart.


    • Dianne Marshall says:
      Friday, February 4, 2011 at 3:02am

      Pipe wrap at home depot or hardware store if no noodles. It comes in lots of sizes


    • Barbara Currier says:
      Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:09pm

      Check pool supply stores because they should have them stock all year round. If you can’t find one try Lowes or Home Depot and you can buy a black foam tube just like the pool noodles that we use on the rim of the chute barrel. I think it’s purpose is to insulate wires or something.


    • Karla says:
      Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:37am

      If you can’t find pool noodles maybe foam pipe insulation? Smaller diameter. Years ago I raised a solo pup. All the litter had died, the dam had mastitis, and the breeder brought him to me. I knew much less than you. The Volhard Puppy Personality Profile at 7 wks was daunting, but he was a brilliant willing worker in obedience. Terrible social skills. My “heart” dog! Swagger has wonderful advantages and I’m sure will become everything he was born to be! Enjoy and embrace what he brings! Karla


  47. Jan DeMello says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 7:34pm

    My Scandal, Kindle’s first litter with Bezel, was a singleton puppy


    Since this was my first singleton litter, like you, I wanted to make sure I did everything right in his early development to help him be a well rounded adult.

    I would be a bit concerned about his ‘over’ intake of eating. I say this because many years ago, I helped a friend with a litter of just two border collie puppies. The puppies, male and female, didn’t move around much and seemed to do nothing but nurse all day. Since these puppies did not live with me, I did not see them 24/7 but probably at least once per day. What I did notice each day was how FAT they were becoming!

    Then one day I started to notice that they were flat on their underside with their front legs much like a turtle. My gut instinct told me this had to have something to do with their being too fat. I recall that these puppies were about 2 wks thereabouts but it was many, many years ago something like over 20 yrs?

    The vet was perplexed by their condition and finally upon doing research (no internet way back then) she concluded it was a syndrome called ‘turtle-ism’ which was caused by over eating and not being mobile enough at their first 2 weeks of live. Sadly, these puppies had to be put to sleep.

    Getting back to Scandal, i wanted to make sure that this did not happen to him so this is what I did:

    I sat in the whelping box several times each day and would put Scandal at one end of the whelping box furthest away from Kindle. this meant he had to crawl several feet before getting to the milk bar. After about 1 minute of allowing him to nurse, I would push him off, much like a littermate would do, and bring him back to the furthest end of the box to repeat his crawling session. I did this procedure about 4 times before finally allowing him to remain nursing

    In addition, I took pool noodles and cut them in half lengthwise, put double sided tape on the flat bottom and stuck them across the whelping box floor. Depending on the size of your whelping box will determine how many pool noodles to put. I had a big box so I did 3 strips but started with just the one strip and built up to 3

    The pool noodles allowed Scandal to have to crawl over them to get to the milk bar. By having the two sided tape, the noodles didn’t move.

    So once again, I would sit in the box and put Scandal at one end and then watch him crawl over the pool noodles to get the Kindle. He was allowed to nurse for about 1 minute before I would then push him off, take him back to the furthest end and repeat the process. I did this procedure about 3 to 4 times before allowing him to remain nursing.

    I watched for any signs of him ready to give up and I trust you can read those signs with Sid the Kid. You need to stop the process for that session before seeing the first sign of him quitting. build up slowly.

    Every day I took Scandal away from Kindle and just let him lay on my chest inside my shirt a bit. I stroked him often as he snuggled under my chin. I would place him on my stomach which allowed him to crawl up to my chin before snuggling

    I would also take Scandal out of the box and just lay on a carpeted floor with him so he would crawl to me.

    All this was done for his first two weeks of life all before his eyes opened.

    As for sibling rivalry and such, I became his sibling so to speak with the help of my then young bitch Cachet of which she would lay low on the floor and gently play with him when he was just 3 weeks old.

    Scandal is a well adjusted boy with no behavioral issues.

    Hope this helps


    • SIW says:
      Friday, February 4, 2011 at 9:10am

      Regarding swimmers/flat-puppies: this sometimes occurs with big fast growing puppies in otherwise “normal” litters. Some of these get on their feet by themselves. Others can be helped by a “harness” made by soft/elastic bandaging material to keep their legs together underneath them. They manage to walk by themselves within short time (couple of days)Experience has shown that if puppies are helped to get on their feet, even the dorsoventral compression of their chest is reversed, and the chest and legs develop normally.


  48. Andrea says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 6:17pm

    it sounds like you are on the right track all round – we have a had a few singleton puppies born into our rescue over the years some born single, some the only survivor. Our vets have always allowed them to get as much food as they want for the first 21 days then, if they are porkers, they get cut back a bit.
    I love the fact you know another litter of a similar age – playdates will be very important for Sid!
    Our singletons are all doing well in homes but we were careful to place them in dog savy homes with support.


  49. Barb says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 5:24pm

    My information is ancedotal from the “behavior/pet dog training” business, Susan. So here goes.

    From what I’ve read and heard, you’re right to make Sid work for his meals. And this is the right age to teach that frustration tolerance.

    The other thing that I’ve read, heard, come to believe with a singleton is that the lack of frustration can lead to aggressive tendencies — and sometimes outright aggression. The more that the pup can have “littermates,” the better chance of his not having these tendencies. When I say littermates, I mean puppies his own age that he lives with. Any chance there’s a litter at the local shelter that might have a spare puppy that you could borrow?

    Best to you and Mom and Sid the Kid — love the name!


  50. MJ says:
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 4:50pm

    Coz was a singleton.
    My breeder did the early puppy stimulation stuff with her.
    Unfortunately, there were no other litter available for Isa to socialize Coz with other pups but she had 5 adult dogs of the same breed and the pup had gradually access to the pup after she turned 4 weeks.
    She also took the pup everywhere (agility practice, restaurants – she lives in Europe), etc. to socialize her to other dogs and people.


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