singleton puppy

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Joined:Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:25 pm
singleton puppy

Post by Analia » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:55 am

Hi everyone,
A friend of mine has a gigant schnauzer who in this days is about to give birth to a single puppy. They arleady have another dog a cocker spaniel, but she is also an adult.
I would like your opinion about how to raise him propertly regarding to what the puppy would learn og his brothers, or if you have an article or book to recomend i´ll be very greatfull. If you have to recomend a book the only problem is that i need to read it online or buy it from a bookshop that sends to Uruguay :)

Joined:Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location:West Midlands

Re: singleton puppy

Post by emmabeth » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:49 am

Firstly - a single pup in a large breed is unlikely, if a vets scan has shown just one puppy it is NOT at all uncommon for there to be more puppies, that the scan hasnt seen. So hopefully, there will be more than one.

I say hopefully becase as I think you have guessed, singleton puppies will not have their littermates who teach them a LOT about what is and isnt acceptable behaviour.

So much so that if I was breeding a dog and thought there was a high chance of a single puppy, I would actively be seeking out someone needing a ***** to 'foster' orphaned puppies and take a couple in for her to raise if it turned out she had just the one. It IS risky, but I think, worth the risk.

Single puppies have no one asides from mum in the first few weeks, which means they tend to get undivided attention and no competition for anything. When it gets to around 3/4 weeks and the puppies are quite mobile, even if in a wobbly way, they would respond to unpleasant interaction such as biting, by moving away or yelping or both. Obviously a single puppy won't have that so it is up to the humans and the adult dogs around him to teach this.

Depending on how good mum is, you (or the owner/breeder) may need to find clean, healthy adult dogs who will tolerate but NOT allow bullying - some Mums will let singleton puppies get away with total murder, above and beyond what tehy would tolerate from a full litter - the problem with this is that the single pup grows up thinking this is ok and that ALL adult dogs will tolerate such behaviour. Whilst it can be addressed when the pup goes to a new home it just adds one more HUGE shock to the pups system when they find out other dogs don't like it, and there are enough changes for a pup to deal with at that time anyway.

I would also suggest starting socialisation earlier than may be necessary for pups from a large litter - at even 3 weeks old, having people (sensible people who will put on clean clothes and use antibacterial hand wash etc) come over and handle the puppy (sat on the floor, hold the puppy, touch his feet, ears, nose, tummy, tail etc, and reward him for this with something the pup can lick off their hands), especially men and children.

The reason is that single pups do miss out on things that pups from a litter get, and we cant recreate or replace all of that because we are not dogs. If you can ensure that a pup has the foundations of housetraining, socialisation to men, women, children, other animals, household noises, is crate trained and trained to use chew toys BEFORE they go home to a new owner (and yes all this can be done by 8 weeks!), it makes dealing with the problems that come with being a single puppy MUCH easier.

To crate train - from as early as Mum is happy about it, have the puppy spend time in a crate. So at 4 weeks for example, 20 minutes in a crate will be fine - it doesnt matter if you think the pup isnt really aware of where he is, he will become aware gradually as he gets older and it will be familiar to him. Extend the time he spends in a crate slowly, fix a chew toy in there, something you can spread a lickable safe treat onto (peanut butter, low salt meat paste etc), so he HAS to be in the crate to eat it (because its fixed in there), so he learns to play with chew toys when crated, that crating is safe.

For house training, set up an xpen with the whelping box in one end, then a space for toys, then as far as possible from the toy./bed area, a tray with some turf or dirt from outside in it, as a toilet area. Puppies will if left to their own devices and given the opportunity, go as far from their bed as they can before they eliminate. So if that area has the same surface as the one you want the pup to use later on (ie, grass, dirt etc), they will by 8 weeks be hard-wired to go on that surface. (Note, if you use newspaper, or blankets or anything similar to carpet or hard flooring, you will have trained a pup to go IN the house, as that is where those surfaces are found!). You will need a couple of trays at least so that the grass doesnt die and you can wash poop off and dilute urine by sloshing it down with water, if you use turf.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

Joined:Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:25 pm

Re: singleton puppy

Post by Analia » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:03 pm

Thank´s for the reply.
I´ve already work with several litters before, and i have a socialization programs that had worked me, but never with just one puppy.
They are going to by another cocker spaniel (a puppy), but she will come by the time this puppy has about 1 month old.
We have several adult dogs that tolerate puppies (we have a agility club), but i don´t know if they are or aren´t go to accept bulling. For example my dog loves puppies, but he doesn´t mind if they bite him.
This is the first litter that is having the schnauzer, i believe that in the futures litters they will be more puppies. This time i really believe that it´s just one, because the do date is today and the RX were taken 5 days ago....
Both owners are dog trainers so they will do the best job socializating the puppy, and i´ll be helping with anything that i can, but like i told you i didn´t work with singleton puppies before.
The problem with foster puppies is that believe it or not the vaccunations plans here are not the best, and most fo the dogs in shelters have diseases, we can´t risk the dogs of geting sick.
Do you recomend to bring other dogs to the house in a early stage?
Thank´s so much for the advice!!!!!!!

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