Picking the Runt of the Litter

by Sue
(East of the Mississippi)

Golden Retriever Puppy in Basket

Golden Retriever Puppy in Basket

Everyone seems to warn you against picking the runt of the litter.


The puppy guidance books scare the beejebers out of you by saying that the puppy will be sickly, have personality flaws and behavior problems.

It's NOT true!

Or in our case, it couldn't have been a better choice in the entire world.

My son, who was 8 years old at the time (and one of those boys who was born to have a dog), spent eons researching how to pick a puppy. We found a breeder recommended by several people along with the Vet in the area and waited for the next litter to be born.

Tyler was determined to choose a female and the biggest, most hearty puppy in the litter since that's what all the "professionals" recommended.

Well, when we walked into the room filled with wriggling fluff balls of energy, all that research went out the door. Tyler threw himself into the center of the writhing mass of puppies and started to introduce himself.

It was love at first lick!

Tyler didn't pick the biggest, boldest, most brave female in the litter. He picked the smallest, fattest, laziest, quiet male puppy who snuggled right into his lap and gently licked him the entire visit, pee'd in his lap and gnawed on his finger while all the other puppies were crawling all over him in excitement.

We visited his new found love every weekend until his was big enough to come home with us. Tyler did have a few doubts at first. He wondered if he should select one of the more livelier puppies, but with each visit, as he was welcomed by his snuggly little rolly-polly furball all doubts flew right out the window.

Rory, has become the love of our family and a joy for us all each and every day. He will always be Tyler's dog and his very special friend but he is also a full-fledged member of his adoring family who love him more than tongue can ever tell. . .

And to think that he was considered (fat as he was) the smallest runt of the litter. We couldn't be happier that Tyler picked the runt of the litter or we wouldn't have our beloved Rory!


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The perfect choice.
by: Rita

My beautiful little cocker Spaniel Jessie was the runt of the litter. Jessie is now 11 years old and I must say she is the most loving, caring, gentle and intelligent dog I have ever owned.So... please don't
listen to those who say don't go near the runt of the litter as they really don't know what they are talking about.

by: Anonymous

To all of you, runt of the litter is not always a bad choice, but you should not buy or pay more than the original cost, if you are buying let say a shih tzu. A good breeder will either sell runts on a much lower price or not sell at all.

Can't Wait
by: FullMoonMarvel

My mom's Siberian Husky had 5 pups one early Nov morning. I was so honored to be there through the whole process and coach her along. The very next day I picked mine out. He is the runt of the litter. At 1 week I could stop his crying by laying him in my fleece blanket and holding him close. Of course that was only when his mother wasn't around to stop his crying herself. At almost 2 weeks of age he is still half the size and weight of the other littermates. I still lay him in a fleece blanket (he has his very own now) and he'll fall right to sleep. I can't wait to see him toddling around the house.

Runts need luv too!!!
by: Anonymous

I also bought a Shih Tsu female, who was the runt...shes 4 months and weighs 5.6 lbs. Shes the cutest, well behaved, intelligent, cuddly and loving babygirl ever. I also have a mini Schnauzer runt too. Looks like Im drawn to runts.

Pup Runts
by: Anonymous

We bought a male Shihtzu pup a month ago, also the runt. Most wonderful dog you could ever imagine, so loving, sweet, and kind, and gets along so well with our beagle and cats. So much for bad raps of runts!

Me too!
by: Andrea

I've had great experience with a runt of the litter as well! I was given a Shih Tzu mix puppy when I was 3 years old by a family friend. He grew up to be a small dog but was loyal and never had any major health problems. He passed away a few weeks ago at 13 years old, but he was the best dog I've ever had. I actually just bought a little girl Shih Tzu.. and guess what? She's also the runt!

I agree
by: Anonymous

I myself have always read about the runt of the litter being a bad choice. I purchased a Shih Tzu puppy who was the runt of the litter and he made me very happy while he was with me. I named him Patrik and took him everywhere with me. He slept with me and would lay on my back to watch tv. Cutest thing ever. Now I am about to get another runt puppy about 1/2 the size of Patrik and can't wait until she is with me.

What an encouraging story!
by: Diane

What an excellent, heart warming story! This story comes just as I made the decision to raise a runt, so it is very encouraging to me!

Like you, I've been told to stay away from picking the runt of the litter, but picked her anyway. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that follows her heart!

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Golden Retriever wearing a cowboy hat

Golden Retriever puppies peeking out of a basket

senior Golden Retriever smiling