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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. Lisa says:
    Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 4:29pm

    Singleton c section puppy bulldog very worried mom has no colostrum or milk so im supplementing any advice i want my puppy to survive no other litters to put him with he is over 24 hrs old and doing good so far


  2. Tracy Belcher says:
    Monday, April 24, 2017 at 12:33pm

    My Golden Retriever bitch just had a singleton puppy. It was her 4th litter, and she is 3 years old. She is a very active, healthy girl. All her other litters have been 8-10 puppies in size. She went almost a week past her due date, so had vet x-ray. She actually gave birth, but the pup was still-born. Very sad. My bitch is fine, with no infections or anything. She is bred naturally to our stud, they tied together quite a bit since they had unlimited access to one another – they are our pets. Still dumbfounded by the whole experience.


  3. Tara says:
    Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 7:49pm

    Our staffy just had a Singleton quite a large baby girl. Everything is going well(only been just over a day) but mom’s producing a lot of milk. I’m wooed about how to prevent mastitis. Should I ‘milk’ her? I’ve been doing warm/cool compresses but not sure what else to do. It doesn’t help that we are rural mountain folk and half the town is completely snowed in or shut down. Any suggestions?


    • Ben says:
      Monday, March 27, 2017 at 6:54pm

      Yes. We have had to milk our Dam. I’m sure this is too late for your post, but others may read. My wife was a vet tech and luckily had the “touch”. It helped her tremendously. Back two on both sides were pink, hard, and warm. She let us. Next 1.5 day, looked healthy like others. Hope this helps <3


  4. Rosemary says:
    Sunday, September 4, 2016 at 5:57pm

    I have a 4 month old singleton puppy. He is a Stabyhoun, I tried to arrange fostering a pup so he would have a litter mate but no luck. He came to us at 7 weeks, my resident dog is a 7 year old Portuguese Water Dog and he has been fantastic with the puppy. He lets puppy know when he is acting badly. I was very concerned about resource guarding and bite inabition but what seems to be an issue is touching his feet. I don’t know if this is a singleton issue or just this pup. He is very stubborn and willful, my challenge to train. I intend to train him for agility like my PWD but he doesn’t seem to want to please just do his own thing. What issues are associated with singletons that I need to be aware of?


    • andrea downs says:
      Friday, May 12, 2017 at 3:59pm

      HELP! I am the happy Mom of a 3 month old Bernese Mountain Dog SINGLETON puppy – Logan. Having raised Berners, I have never encountered a Singleton before, and I am a dog owner not a breeder. The Breeder lied to me, and I had no idea what it is like to have a singleton. The ‘biting inhibition” really hit home, you should see my scared and scabbed hands. I need information. Logan is so smart and so Alpha. With his new teeth coming in, the biting has subsided and although I am 90% there in proving that I am the Alpha, Logan quickly assesses other family members, guests, and dogs and he acts out. I began taking him to friends homes with dogs immediately, and as soon as he had his vaccines, i started at the dog play parks and even take him to ‘doggie day care for socializing. He still has yet to ‘submit’ (roll to expose his belly) to much bigger and dominant dogs. I feel this is really going to get him in trouble. Also, I think his mom must have died or did not produce milk, or couldn’t care for him – he acts like he was hand fed (always wants my hand/fingers in his mouth). Berners are easy to train, and Logan is incredible smart. learns new commands easily, was potty trained in 7 days, loves the challenge of training, but his built in aggressive, biting, king of the world mentality is still challenging. What do I do from here? Is there still hope that I can raise him to be a well socialized dog with other dogs and people? Will he calm down in time? He is all mine, and I know I am the best Mom for him, but I could really really use advice. Thank you!


  5. julie gelfuso says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 1:30am

    I only wish I had questioned a single pup earlier. My 5 year old smooth fox terrier had 3 pups her first litter and 3 her second. Her forth litter she had only one puppy. He seemed healthy and she took good care of him but he died within 42 hours. Not knowing what a singleton birth was when she got pregnant again and again only had one puppy I didn’t know what to think. She went into labor exactly on her due date and delivered a very healthy boy puppy. She did everything she should, she fed him, cleaned him, she is a very good mom. 24 hours later she made this awful howl, she and the puppy were right next to me but all of a sudden he started to stiffen up, I rubbed him and gave him CPR…he began to loosen up and breath and I put him next to mom again. He took some milk but then it happened again. I tried everything but after a few hours we lost him. I was so upset I didn’t understand how this could happen or why it happened again. I googled as to why only one pup and saw “singleton puppies” I only wish I had known this sooner, heating pads, stimulation, artificial litter mates. I think now that if I had done these things I could have saved him and her one from the last litter. My Eevie, the mom, took it better than me, I feel since she did everything right I should have known what to do and not have lost her babies. I have had fox terriers for the last 15 or so years, 5 of them for 12 years and now just 2, my Rowdy and Eevie. My females before all had 3-6 puppies in their litters and I never lost a puppy. I am so beside myself, I had no idea of a singleton litter or how they needed special care. I want to thank everyone for their posts and knowledge and for how much this has helped me.


    • Jennifer Selten says:
      Monday, March 6, 2017 at 7:55pm

      Hi, my 4.5 year old dachshund had her X-ray yesterday and confirmed what a previous scan indicated, she is only having one puppy. Vet reassured me all will be ok, however after researching this pregnancy I have many concerns.
      I thank you all for this information on singletons and will be praying I will have a healthy mama and baby. Venus is due Monday 13th, however could come earlier or later, Monday is 63 days gestation.
      I will have soft toys and wheat pack in readiness, with continuous prayers. I don’t know why she is only having one, all I pray is it’s a positive outcome for her and baby.
      Thanks for your sharing, I realise the experience was sad for you, we love these dogs, they are our family.


  6. Suzanne Price says:
    Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 5:27pm

    Nicholas Malachai, our 9 month old Newfoundland, was a singleton with a sister in utero who died at birth. He was large as a newborn and young puppy, never greedy though, and his weight evened out after about 12 weeks. He looks to be an average Newf, like his dad, maybe 145 lbs at maturity. His breeder did everything right, brought him along carefully, created frustrations for him and adopted a sister. His mother Annabelle was an outstanding parent, which is much of the reason we took a chance on a singleton. We left him with his pack until 10 weeks, and I was very conscientious about early socialization (except for elevators, remember that one if you have a farm puppy)

    He’s calm, very friendly and confident, gentle with children, intelligent, easy to train as long as he isn’t bored (not a Pryor candidate!), persistent in learning, a nice companion who tries hard to communicate, a stable puppy. However, we’re in a rural area and didn’t find a puppy class for him until he was 6 months old, a problem for a singleton. He’s currently very distracted by other dogs, just wants to play, doesn’t know dog manners so he frightens little dogs and irritates older males. He is retaking his intermediate class only for that reason.

    I’m sorry we lost those two months of puppy to puppy socialization, but he’s a wonderful dog, and as a mature dog I doubt if he’ll be unusual at all. Granted that the Newf temperament kind of cancels out most of the singleton problems, but I wouldn’t hesitate to welcome a singleton puppy again.


    • Suzanne Price says:
      Friday, October 20, 2017 at 2:40pm

      Nicholas is now 2 years, 4 months. He’s 29.5″ at withers, tallish for a Newfoundland male but not unusual. He weighs 136 pounds and is very strong and active, still has some filling out to do, so he will be average weight and long legged. He won’t be physically mature until about three. The same size as his older brother from a previous litter of two. Same sweet, intelligent, polite temperament, learning more every day. The awkwardness with other dogs has been a problem, but we took him to a very good play group run by the Humane society and he has learned to play with all sizes of dogs and how to act with good dog manners too. He’s getting better at meeting other dogs on a leash, but that still needs work. (He just wants to play) As I said before, given a good breeder and a good mother, I wouldn’t hesitate to adopt a singleton again. (I’ve seen an AKC article which says that having a littermate in utero makes a big difference in temperament).


  7. michelle says:
    Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 11:54am

    Could anyone tell me if, in their experience, their singleton puppy was any larger at full adulthood than they would have been if they were part of a larger litter? I am adopting a mixed breed (wheaten-27#/miniature poodle-10#) singleton who at 2 weeks seems to be the same size as the pure bred Wheatens (1.8 lbs). Under normal conditions I would expect the full grown weight of this puppy to be somewhere in area of 25 lbs. I realize it’s probably too early to predict adult size but I am seeing a lot of conflicting information on the web. Common sense tells me the dog wouldn’t genetically be effected whether there’s one or ten puppies, so if the dog is predicted to be a certain size (with some margin for error), that is the size it will be. I am getting the puppy from a reputable breeder with multiple litters of a similar age who has already put them together, so I’m not worried about the socialization issues. Any thoughts and/or comments would be greatly appreciated!


    • Susan says:
      Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 9:54pm

      I would say there would be no difference as an adult dog Michelle.


  8. Alana says:
    Friday, October 30, 2015 at 3:10pm

    My singleton (Chuck) was one of a litter of 6, his mom separated him out & kept him away from the other pups, the only reason I can figure out is he looked very different from the rest of the litter as he has no health issues. We rescued him at 4 weeks old. He is afraid of everything, wouldn’t ride in the car, at first kept to himself as far away as he could get, we have 2 other dogs, unfortunately they are old and no help with play or interacting. One minute he will be fine with me petting him and then in the exact same situation he growls, snarls & yesterday bit me. I don’t think he will do that again. He did learn (I hope), I was calm, just put him down on his back told him “Wrong” & pushed him away. I just want to know how to help him be more relaxed & social. He is now 16 months old. Hard to train as he gets freaked out at the command
    “stay”. I was just told today about singleton pups, am anxious to learn more on how to make it easier for both of us to relate.


    • Erica says:
      Monday, November 2, 2015 at 3:27am

      That is why your bitch separated him from the rest of the litter. She sensed something was wrong with the puppy and under normal circumstances ie- no human intervention,she would have left him away from the others for him to die. Breeders need to take note of what they’re bitches are telling them when their bitches ignore a particular newborn puppy in a litter.


  9. Susan says:
    Friday, September 11, 2015 at 12:27am

    3 weeks ago we had a singleton delivered by C-section. Breed: Australian Shepherd. Birth weight 16.8 oz. Mom’s 3rd litter (7,8). My first problem was mom’s constant licking and she made a raw spot on the belly, we limited her time with him and it healed up. The next problem was over eating. He got HUGE, as if he wasn’t large enough in the first place her other pups were 10-13 oz. and considered large. At 2 weeks he was 4 lbs. If this wasn’t enough he seemed to never know when to stop and he ate, and ate and ate, until he was crying and crying from a belly ache. We ended up having to only let her in with him every 3-4 hours and let him nurse, her clean him then off and out. His new “Diet” seems to be working but I’m concerned with additional problems now. Not only does he not have siblings he seldom gets to be with mom as well. We are following all the rules and don’t even go to work unless I have someone here (which is seldom) so I can care for him and mom. Tonight was a breakthrough and when he got off one teat he stopped and went to her head for attention. She gave it to him so I’m crossing my fingers. I so wish I could post a picture of him and his “Fake” littermates, stuffed animals, water bottles in socks, Rice in sock tied at the ends, etc. and warming pads. I also added a radio for a few hours a day as he seemed to be startled by noise. We started last night bringing him into the living room with my and my spouse and he was gently introduced to a few sounds. More to come later. I can’t seem to locate anyone in our area with pups at similar age but any thing I can learn I will do. He also seems more vocal that my other puppies, is that normal. He cries and barks and growls. There seem to be a lot of post like mine that tell their story but not as many that actually give ideas to do. Reading everything I possibly can. Thanks, in advance if you have anything to offer.


  10. Sam says:
    Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 8:29pm

    I whelphed a Yorkshire Terrier male singleton 7 weeks ago and he is huge for the breed! Daddy is 3.5 lb mom is 5.9lb and already this boy is 3.25lb and still gaining 4 oz per week.I want to get him away from his mom and feed him a grain free. He seems a fairly stable fellow character and personality wise. I have 3 YT that love playing with him and this helps to take mom away so he is nursing less. I want him not to nurse at all but she just isnt drying up and she usually has walked away from feeding on her own by 6 weeks!
    She has been bred 3 times now but this is her last time. She whelped him naturally and needed only some calcium to bring him down!. But she was a singleton her mom died giving birth to her and her grand mom was a singleton and had only singletons, each one via C section. C sections are too expensive and the risk of her life is not worth it.
    I would love to know how to get her milk to dry, also will this boy stop growing so rapidly??? thanks


  11. Aunt Sal says:
    Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:37am

    My beautiful blue nose pitbull delivered 2 puppies 2 days ago. Should I limit how long they feed? They seem to eat all the time.


  12. Brooklyn Barbra says:
    Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 8:47pm

    I am raising a singleton female who is now nearly 6. Part poodle part shih tzu.

    Having raised many other dogs from puppyhood, I am no stranger to loving training. THIS DOG DEFIES ALL MY KNOWLEDGE!

    She is beautiful all 11.5 lbs. of her and although she had PARVO at birth (on intravenous for 8 weeks) she is uber healthy.

    She is very naughty. Aside from having taken 2 training classes, she will not do as she is told. She barks at any noise.

    I live in an area with other houses nearby. She will not walk on a leash easily and does not want any other dogs around.

    Once in a while she falls in love usually with a huge dog. This is not often and yet at the kennel (overnight) she plays with others well I’m told. (that’s what I am told but …)

    “under the bed” is her spot. For a reason or for no reason she retreats under the bed.

    She is sweet, cuddly and soooo adorable but I need help.

    Brooklyn Barbra


  13. Pam says:
    Friday, September 5, 2014 at 12:36am

    My Shih Tzu bitch whelped a singleton (while I was asleep in the same room) early today; I was wakened by the puppy’s squeal! After an hour and no indication of more labor I did a vaginal exam and palpation and…nothing. Went to the vet 2 hours later and they X-rayed the bitch…lots of gas in the intestines but no more pups (we did not X-ray her this time because her fist litter of 5 was un-eventful and she didn’t get as big as she had first litter). Baby girl is small but strong “like ox” and Mom adores her. Singletons happen…and often they are very special in so many ways!


    • Lyman says:
      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 9:18pm

      Pam we have a Singleton Shihtzu too. Now just 2 days old and we are concerned. How is it going?


  14. Brenda says:
    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 3:14pm

    Glad to have found this, I have my first singleton ever and it’s been lot’s of work not knowing what to do…so far I’m doing most of what you mention thanks to another gsd breeder in my area. I just started weaning Slade to food this Sunday. Still allowing him to be with mom every other or so feeding. I have to pull him off in three or so minutes for being a pig. Not sure how I’m going to do the socializing thing as most pups in my area are much older or the area’s are not clean enough for me to take him. Any info you can share would be great.
    Brenda in NH


    • Trudy says:
      Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 5:19pm

      I have a 7 week old singleton American Golden Retriever who has gained a kilo in weight each week. I did not limit his feeding from Mum at all, and he is still feeding off her.
      Oakley was on his feet from day one, we were aware of Swimmers and had had this in a previous litter of 10 pups where one small girl developed it.
      with each feed remember to watch pup and rotate him/her laying on each side, on belly, and even try to lie on back.
      Oakley was up and walking at 2 weeks, did everything well ahead of himself, and continues to surprise. He is now racing after Mum and another adult Golden. He was toilet trained at 4 weeks to toilet on artificial grass in the house and is really good, goes as soon as he wakes, after play and food. Stimulation is the key, and socialization with other animals in the house too.
      I too was concerned about other pups, but Oakley met one other dog last week and was fine.Just make sure your pup goes to puppy school at a young age, as soon as second vaccination is done.
      Oakley still doesn’t eat too many solids, but I think it is better to keep close with Mum to build confidence.
      Teach them many things, take them out everywhere with you, to shops, meet new people every day, these things build their confidence, which is so very important early, more important than meeting others pups.
      My boy leaves us in 3 weeks, but is very confident, and I’m sure will go far in his learning.


      • Marie says:
        Monday, February 9, 2015 at 5:43am

        I just adopted a singleton golden retriever puppy we named Baier a few days ago. I didn’t realize what the breeder meant when she said the puppy was the only one in the litter and did not think it a big deal. But I was doing research and started reading about issues that singletons may have. Our puppy looked shy and small, but even after a few days of spending time with my mate and I, she seems to have gained a bit of weight and is very active. We taught her to climb up and down stairs in 2 days and have given her plenty of toys to chew. We accidentally let her near one other 3 month old puppy the day we picked her up because we didn’t realize you shouldn’t socialize them until they had all 3 shots. The other puppy growled at Baier so we pulled them apart quickly. A lot of people pet her as well and she loves the attention and does not bite others and is quite friendly and lovable so far. We were already planning to enroll her in obedience school but now we will make sure to do it as soon as she gets all her shots so that she learns biting manners and social interaction with other pups. Thank you so much for this blog post as well as all the comments and responses because now I know what concerns may arise and what we need to do to address them.

  15. Maru says:
    Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 10:43pm

    Hi, I have a singleton of my GSMD (Swissy). Is my first dog litter and mine too. The problem is that the puppy had “flat chest” and her mother couldn’t fed her. The puppy was with the vet and now she has almost four weeks and is ok. She is taking starter mini kibbles. After 21 days she came from the hospital and her mother miraculously recongniced her. She stimulates her to pup but she is not playing with. Your comments are very useful.
    I have to say that english is not my first language so please excuse my writing.


  16. Wendy Becker says:
    Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 2:10pm

    I raise Miniature Bull Terriers and show them in conformation.My one girl was bred by AI July 2013 producing only one girl pup, a large pup. I didn’t see your site until recently and she is now a bit over 6 months. We were not prepared for some of her issues,lack of attention, biting, sensitivity to touch, frustration coping, etc., but recently we have made some progress with much of this, about a 25% improvement. She’s very food motivated and has a favorite tug toy that we have made good use of with play, release and reward, and gaining her attention while I tell her to wait (getting that eye contact), then she gets it back. I am waiting for your book to further assist, and will be enrolling her in a graduated obedience class in the next week and conformation classes. I’ve been sick for a while and only now really have the vigor to do these activities. Any other suggestions I can utilize to help us bond further?


  17. Elsa says:
    Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 5:57am

    Didd Swagger born through C-Section? My BC bitch is on the 63th day and yet to deliver and I hate to get her go through the ops. How long more can I delay ?


    • Susan says:
      Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 9:44am

      No Swagger was born naturally . . . although it was after a shot of oxytocin at the vet clinic.


  18. Jan says:
    Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 12:26pm

    Hi Susan
    How soon after whelping do you put your dogs back in the agility school? Some say 6 weeks and some say 10.
    Many thanks


  19. Mona Lilly says:
    Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 10:06pm

    We just had a litter of one. A Toy Fox Terrier. We decided to take the puppy C-section, that was a good idea the puppy was too big for the mom to deliver. She will be four weeks old and I too am concerned about her. I have been using the stuffed puppy to play with her. I growl and play kind of ruff like the other puppies would. She does however seem shy. Thanks for all the posts and I will keep updated on this.


    • Amy Madden says:
      Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 3:00pm

      I too im going to have a singleton toy fox terrier puppy. My bitch had a litter of 4 beautiful pups 1 1/2 years ago and now we have ultrasounded her twice at 25 days and 28 days and only seen one puppy. Im very concerned about the puppy and the bitch. I see that this was written 1/14. Wanted to know how your dog is now and if you still have her. Any advice? Im already thinking about a c-section. thank you amy


  20. Hannah says:
    Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 6:07pm

    My long haired Dachshund had a puppy last Sunday. She ended up having only one and still went into labor. The puppy was small and the birth went normally. Milk came in fine and all is well. But the puppy will suckle on my finger anytime it finds it and she always seems hungry. Should I start supplementing? Or wait a little?


  21. Melody says:
    Friday, August 23, 2013 at 11:52am

    I had my Pomeranian bred for the 1st time to a male pom who had never been bred and they hung up sevral times and the ties lasted a few minutes like normal, the first tie was June 28th so I took her for her Xray yesterday and they say she is not pregnant and she has had every symptom by the book of being pregnant, morning sickness the whole nine yards and this morning she has 4 teats hanging a lot more than they were, I have had a dog go thru a false pregnancy but never lasted like a full term pregnancy, could they have missed a single pup or could we be way off on the due date, because I read where the sperm can live for a few days before it fertilizes, can that throw us off on the date? I am hoping pups are hiding, but I am so puzzled that the x ray shows no pups


  22. Julie says:
    Monday, August 5, 2013 at 2:22pm

    I have a singleton Border Collie puppy, and worried she is gaining too much weight too fast. She gains about 4 oz a day, when most my other BC’s 1-2oz per day was normal. she is one week old. Should I try to limit the amount of time my bitch is nursing her? if so, how often should I allow her to nurse. She is a good mom and will lay with pup most he day so she can belly up to the bar at will. She looks very fat to me, and dont want her to become a swimmer. advice welcomed


    • Susan says:
      Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 9:08am

      I would contact breeders with more experience on this one. Yes swimmer’s is a concern. Swagger did get pretty darn fat but never had swimmers.


  23. Ana says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 8:52pm

    I’m raising a singleton GSD, my dog’s first litter and mine too! Did my research, got a proven sire (only a bit away from his ROM), have a breeding mentor, did everything by the books, and was amazed when only one pup came. She seems to be doing fine, is well-grown and happy, and is not a swimmer. My worry is dog socialization; without siblings, she is the little Princess of the Universe although she is very independent and self-contained. I would love to have any advice as to how to raise her well.


  24. bilay says:
    Monday, May 27, 2013 at 1:19pm

    Hi. My miniature schnauzer is due next week. Her first scan showed nothing the 2nd showed a pup. She doesn’t look pregnant though her tears are larger. I’m concerned about whether or not it will trigger a Labour. I’m taking her to a vet on friday.


    • Matt Kemp says:
      Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 3:19pm

      Hello we have a singleton mini and wondered how you are getting on?


  25. Catherine Laria says:
    Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 12:11pm

    5 Years ago I had a singleton… Today she is going into labor for her first time and the x-ray shows she too will be having a singleton! I believe the breeding timing was off due to the stud being at Nationals with me but either way we are back in the same position. My concern is the x-ray shows the pup to be rather big. We have everything ready and are 15 minutes from the ER vet if needed. But I wanted to share this link. This lady’s page has gotten me thru 5 litters now, this will be my 6th. She has a wealth of information and is very detailed. One tip I read was on the singleton (She calls it a “swimmer”, and the reason you need some sort of “climbing” stimulation, regarding how their chest and lungs develop. She suggested a small foam egg crate material to go under the sheet/pad. This will simulate little peaks and valleys the pup can crawl over. Anyway, here is her site. http://www.debbiejensen.com


    • Alison says:
      Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 5:13am

      thanks My singleton is so fat at 9 days we are concerned we need to make her exercise !


  26. Gina says:
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:46pm

    I’m so glad to have found your blog. I have a singleton Brittany puppy that is 4 weeks old. I have talked to a lot of other breeders about it and get varying responses from “it’s no big deal” to “you absolutely MUST get her with other puppies”. None of the breeders I know have puppies right now and I am very hesitant to get my 4 wk old puppy around other pups that I’m not familiar with. My vet is of the opinion that it’s not a big problem and I just need to expose her to a lot of different situations once she gets a little older to socialize her better. I called a breeder (that I do not know) and she acted like I was crazy to think another breeder would even consider letting me bring my puppy around theirs at 4 wks. old. Historically, my puppies have been between 9-14 oz at birth and she was 14 oz. She seemed really fat for the first few weeks but is balancing out now. She is up walking, running and playing. I have 2 other adult dogs, besides her mother but they just don’t play with her the same as other puppies would. I do have a 4 yr old son who just won’t leave her alone, so maybe that will help with frustration tolerance, and I’m hoping that he will also help with bite inhibition. I’ve actually told him to yelp loudly if the puppy bites him. The puppy is already spoken for and will be going to a family that has some experience with Brittanys as this will be the parents 5th Britt. They do not have any other dogs and have 2 older (high school & college age) sons, so I’m hoping it will all work out. You’ve all given me some ideas of things to do to help and I’m feeling much better after reading this. Thank you to everyone who has posted here!


  27. Rebecca says:
    Friday, January 4, 2013 at 8:40am

    So glad to have found this post.. we were expecting four pups from our working cocker spaniel bitch and one fattie arrived on the 2nd January to a maiden mum who is doing very well bless her. The advice given here is so helpful but I am more worried about the effects on mum at the moment (I am a dog trainer so can handle his needs he he). Before giving brth her four back teats were really swollen and full of milk, she went to have a scan on the evening of the 2nd Jan to check where the other three puppies had gone (the vets had made an error on their original scan) and they checked her over and said everything was fine. Her teats are still the same, are not red or burning but she seems uncomfortable and if you touch one milk spurts out really easily. The pup is doing well and is feeding, but just cant keep up with four active teats and we cant dictate to him which teats he feeds off of. Is mum more likely to develop mastitis with only one pup and should we be draining any of her teats to help her out a bit? I dont think they can dry up as I think Am concerned about losing any of the colostrom he is probably chosing all (it makes it harder that they are both jet black so morph into one when feeding). She seems quite restless today and has been digging a bit, I have lost a bit of faith with our vet so reluctant to call them for advice (very long story!) but also do not want to risk an infection in mum. Temperature is normal, she is eating and drinking and is not pale. She is absoloutly obsessed by her puppy though and wont go outside to the toilet (she has been out three times since the 2nd) as she wants to be near him. She is happy for him to be handled though and just watches very intently. we have tried taking him closer to the back door whilst keeping him warm but then she just panics as he is not where he should be and wont go outside at all, Any help would be appreciated x


    • Lisa McClelland says:
      Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 11:56am

      I do rescue and mostly take in momma dogs and they whelp here, or take a momma dog with newborns as fosters. These dogs are very nervous and hate leaving pups to potty. I just put a leash on and take her out to potty have a treat and go right back inside. The first few times it is a fight to get them out. Sometimes we have to carry them outside. But when they get to go right back in after potty they learn it is ok. You have to teach this or you dog can get a UTI. There are not many antibiotics that they can safely take nursing that cure these, so better not to risk it. She will be ok. and she will learn, just do not yell or get frustrated. Take her out at least 4 times a day to relieve herself. Good luck.


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