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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to do some online reading about the behavior of puppies who are born as a one pup litter, or have no litter mates. All my online searches lead me to discussions of litter box training; which is not what I'm after. If anyone knows of any info about the behavior of single pup litter puppies I'd appreciate the link to it.

Frasier is very aggressive. In fact he's been here 3 1/2 weeks and only today did we have our first floor play session without him biting me too hard or trying to rip out my hair. I was proud of this because I've worked very patiently with him every single day since I got him and it seems to finally be paying off.

He was the only puppy in his litter. I'm theorizing that because there were no litter mates to practice social skills with, the behavior of a puppy born this way is bound to be slightly different. So, I'm interested in doing some reading.
 

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My Fynn was from a single pup litter, her siblings were mumified and she only just survived, being born only weighing 1 and 1/2 ounces! She was very spiteful when we got her at 5 months would bite me really hard and draw blood, she would temper, scream, she hurt me soooo much,i nearly sent her back :D It took months and months of trying to sort her out, she didnt seem to understand anything and one day when she was about a year it was like watching a light bulb go on, she started to listen and understand, she had wee/poo accidents forever, would wee/poo where she was supposed to and then in the wrong place time and time again,but she is now 4 years old and though still a litle scatty she is the baby of my girls,but through kindness and learning she has finally come around and is joined at the hip with me and i love her to bits as i do them all :)And heres my 'singleton'
 

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Here hope this helps I will also post the link :D


Singleton pups

Since there was no body of literature on this subject, several breeders and veterinarians were contacted that had reported experiences with single puppy litters. Many of the breeders said that a singleton pup could be a little dog aggressive, less sociable and a little more "abnormal" than an average pup born with littermates. Others said that singleton puppies were not problem pups until they started to take notice of their surroundings. All of the breeders interviewed had also produced pups with large litters and thus had some basis for making the comparison. Most of the breeders assumed that a singleton would be larger than normal thus producing delivery problems, which resulted in a “C”-section. Veterinarians on the other hand reported a wide range of different experiences that did not necessarily agree with those indicated by the breeders. Most veterinarians said that a singleton was not a larger, stronger or smarter pup than others of the same breed when larger litters were produced. They also noted that the singleton did not necessarily make a better companion. Only a few reported that they noticed behavior problems even though many lacked interaction with other littermates.

Based on the experiences of these two groups the recommendations that can be offered suggest a number of approaches. Apart from having no littermates to interact with, the lack of companionship could be compensated for if the dam is encouraged to provide daily stimulation and attention. Puppies learn to be a dog by being part of their "pack" in the nest. Keeping the singleton occupied was found to be important and most recommended handling by different individuals to keep them from becoming bored. While most dams naturally encourage their pups to play, they also teach them good manners. As soon as these pups are old enough, they should either go to their new home (8 weeks is early enough), or have them introduced to the owners other dogs.

The conclusion that one can draw from this material is that breeders of a singleton should take extra care to be sure that they are occupied and do not become bored. Since most dams can only provide a limited amount of playtime, these pups should be given more opportunities to play with others (Malcolm Willis). Playgroups were suggested as excellent ways for singletons to learn the social rules of the canine species. All agreed that supervision by humans should not be ignored because the singleton can be injured during unintentional rough play.

The group was asked about the singleton when it had become an adult. While this study was limited to several breeders and veterinarians, they all agreed that the bitches involved in this limited study were considered to be good mothers and had plentiful supplies of milk. Most seemed to adore their one and only pup and none were overprotective or lacking in interest. Some were raised in the house as opposed to the kennel. Most of these pups received more supervision and more early human socialization than normally would have been provided while in the nest with a litter. In order to fill the gap involving the lack of stimulation, some were placed with other litters. All grew to be normal and healthy. Most, but not all, were considered well-adjusted adults.

It is not hard to see why swimmers and runts have several things in common with the singleton. During the first few weeks after birth, they all tend to be hand-raised. They are given so much attention, they can be categorized as being treated as a singleton. The differences between them are that most swimmers and runts do no grow up to look like their littermates and few ever become good show or working dogs. Because they are given so much attention and handling, the human bond generally is very good and most make wonderful pets.

Based on a review of this complex subject and the answers gathered, it seems fair to use a conclusion reached by Scott and Fuller in the 1950's. While they did not study singletons and litter size per se, they did study differences between breeds and individuals within a breed. One of their conclusions was that there are measurable differences between breeds that are both physical and behavioral. They found that although there is a great deal of overlap between breeds, the individual capacities they will have are likely to be highly variable. They also found that most pups that become great performers and able to perform extraordinary tasks seem to have different capacities. In short, they "probably have special combinations of certain capacities which are largely the result of accidental selection".


Link

http://www.caninechronicle.com/features/battaglia/battaglia-503.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sullysmom, Fynn is gorgeous. You said the other puppies were mummified. What does that mean? We've had to be very patient with Frasier also. He doesn't draw blood when he bites. He doesn't bite at my husband. He just gets wayyyyyy to rough with me playing. Thank you for sharing the picture of Fynn.

KJ, thanks for the article and the link. This pup is big, but maybe that isn't because he was a singleton, he was just meant to be that way. Your article talks about singletons needing/receiving more handling. I think that happened up untill about 8 weeks when the breeder realized he was going to be too big to show or to breed, then she locked him in the cage in the kennel and the handling stopped. I do know that he was allowed to play outside (hopefully daily) but I bet he only played with the grown up dogs because he'd be way too aggressive to play with the smaller puppies. Knowing this and reading your article makes me think that maybe he was just poorly socialized from 8 weeks until 17 weeks when I got him and that's where his aggression comes from.
 

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That is sad! I am sorry to hear that. If he was caged up and not allowed to play he would fall into the "Singleton" role as he was not allowed to play. Poor baby I am glad you have him now! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lori, If I'm understanding correctly, singleton = only one pup born in the litter, or a pup that is isolated for any reason. He truly was the only puppy. There were no other litter mates born. Then, I'm reasonably sure he went in the cage at about 8 weeks. So maybe he's so bratty because he's a double singleton. :lol:

Bratty and aggressive, but I just can't believe how much I love him already. He is filling the hole in my heart left from the loss of my last dog. He's so precious that I can just watch him sleep for hours. :)

I love this forum. I didn't know the correct term for a one-pup-litter. Now that I know the word is "singleton" which I learned here, I've found tons of online reading.
 

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sjc said:
Fynn is a pretty little girl! :) I'am also curious? what is "mummified?
When the breeder told me i assumed mummified means that they weren't properly formed and were cocooned in their fetal sacs?
 

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Fynn (she)was cared for very well and didnt start the bad behaviour til we got her, the breeder who also bred Sully and rescued Rosie for us.
 

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hellraiser

hey,

cosmo had one little sister, and he's a real fatty.
when we play he also becomes really aggresive, biting to hard and growling...but when i yell ''no'' he stops and gives me a lick,but in two seconds he's at it again.. i try always to play with a stuffed animal.
it's strange because he's such a sweetie, licking me all day an lying on my lap, but in the evening when he's the most active he's like a hellraiser :lol:

kisses nat
 
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