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!


Comments for Picking the Runt of the Litter

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Sep 11, 2017
Runts Rule
by: Emilie

I got a Decker Rat Terrier who was the runt of the litter. Best choice I made. He is a great all around dog. I love my Ares and nvr regret my choice. Runts rule!!!

May 23, 2017
Runt Shih Tzu's
by: Tim Ramos

We bought a runt from a reputable shop. He came home with Parvovirus and by morning was almost in a comma. We took him to the Vet at emergency, and was told it's so painful as a pup and he had 10% to put him down. The wonderful pet store said we have a husband Wife vets that give them every chance to live. It was 2 1/2 weeks of 24 hour care. But they saved our baby. We have had some issues, like pulling 9 teeth and an illness that is hard to kill,. But now he's 8 months and he is so playful and intelligent. I'm so glad the pet store paid the $13,000.00 bill. And said we give them every chance. Praise God for compassionate dog lovers.

Jan 08, 2017

Just bought a female Shih Tzu runt yesterday I picked her over the other normal size. Breeder charged me same price.Know I will have many happy yrs.to come with her.My 6 yr.old grand daughter loves her.We both do.

Jan 06, 2017
My little runt
by: Anonymous

I have a girl Shih Zhu the runt of the liter. She's so sweet and adorable! She's 9wks

Nov 27, 2016
My Jack Russell Named Brutus
by: Anonymous

I picked the runt of a Jack Russell Terrier Litter and could not be happier. He is the sweetest and most loving dog I have ever met. He is still small compared to many other Jacks but he still has just as much or even more love. He is very Gentle with children and has the patience of a saint. He gets along very well with our "Morkie" (Maltese/Yorkie) and lets her win any fight they have.
Could not have picked a better pal

Oct 09, 2016
Runt of litter
by: Kay

My son at the age of 16 wanted his own dog an inside one at that so he decided on a Rottweiler we went and looked at the litter and he fell in love with the smallest female from the day she was picked he loved her more than words can say she sleeps with him goes wherever he does it was the best decision she is so loving I know a lot of people don't like this breed cause they think there aggressive but anyone that comes near her all she wants is to be patted he would not give this dog up for the world neither would we she is a much loved member of our family I and my kids have grown up with this breed and not ance have any of us been hurt she's a little smaller but we love her that way it's all in how there bought up and that's with any breed I'm a firm believer of that.

Jan 17, 2016
Runt of the litter
by: Anonymous

I picked the runt of the litter. Cutest one in my opinion. Did however have kidney failure which was genetic. Had to he put down at six, sadly.

Apr 22, 2014
Runts can be great!
by: Anonymous

Growing up I had an English Setter runt. When my Dad and I went to see the litter, I knew from the look in his eyes that he was to be ours, even though he was small; he was cheery and intelligent, warm and loving. Our Dog lived a long, natural life and was as kind to our older "alpha" dog and sweet and loving when we got a kitten. He was definitely THE PICK of the litter. Now we have a Hungarian Vizsla- also the runt of the litter; he is protective, loyal, and loving!! We're about to get a new puppy who is the runt of the litter. My daughter picked him out saying that "it was love at first site!" Animals respond to kind, loving, care!

Mar 03, 2014
Just bought the smallest chihuahua
by: Anonymous

I have 2 Chihuahuas and just put a deposit down on a week old puppy. My daughter and I drove to Indiana from Wi to see the 1st liter. I noticed on the photos she posted that the white female was always on top of the other during feeding and when we saw her she was 1/2 the size of her sibling females. The breeder said she would give her to another nursing female because I was so concerned that she wasn't getting enough food. I also emailed the breeder to make sure she got a vet checked before we get her in 10 weeks. She's white and so tiny, the size of a little mouse. I could have changed my mind and choose another one but I wanted a white puppy since we have one black and one tan. Just because she's white doesn't mean she's albino? she has tiny pink eyes and feet. The breeder will email me pics as she grows. I just wish I felt more secure about her.

Jan 24, 2014
Tints are the best!
by: Anonymous

I had an AMAIZING dog who was unlike any other and was, too, a runt. Her name was Taylor and she was a red golden retriever. When I ran to train for the marathon, she was my companion. Taylor could have run 5 miles without stopping if she wanted! Taylor also let my toddler pull her tail, slobber, and ride on her. She was the best dog in the world…and a runt! Rest in peace my baby.

Jun 22, 2013
RIP Lacy darling
by: Anonymous

18 years after the passing of my runt American cocker spaniel and I couldn't agree more. In fact, I am finally ready to fall in love again. And I have chosen another A.C.S.. A rescue this time. She is 7. Apparently too old to be useful to a breeder. I guess I now run a retirement home. LOL

Apr 29, 2012
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.

Mar 17, 2012
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.

Dec 01, 2011
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.

Nov 12, 2011
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.

Jul 14, 2011
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!

Jun 07, 2011
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!

Apr 19, 2010
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.

Apr 09, 2010
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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