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A Litter of Only One Puppy...
  • I'm looking to adopt a pup within the next few months and have been searching for quality breeders in Taiwan. I recently found a reputable breeder (the Vice President of the Shiba Club of Taiwan), who happened to have two pregnant dams. The sire is strikingly beautiful... he was imported from Japan and has one several shows here in Taiwan.

    I was promised a male from either the first or second litter. The first was born today, and the second will be born a month from now. I was very excited to hear about the puppies and was informed today that the first litter consists of one single male. The breeder assured me that most of the litters he sees with his dams are small, typically 1-2 in size.

    Is this unusual? I'll admit I was a little disappointed to hear that the male will have no brothers or sisters. Do any of you have Shibas that were from single-pup litters? Do you feel this will affect temperament or personality in any way? I imagine with less socialization it must... but again I don't know. Fortunately another litter is coming next month, which would place my wait at about 3 months from today (so hard!). I welcome your thoughts and observations... I will be visiting the breeder in about 6 weeks to see the single male along with the younger pups that will have been born by then.
  • you can overcome the socialization aspect if you work hard. I got Banjo at 16 weeks and I don't think he was well socialized prior. However, I found him good role model dogs and made sure he played with/interacted with every well balanced dog I could find, and now he is fine (1 year old).
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    I feel like there has been another thread like this, but for the life of me I can not find it.

    Singletons are not super common, but do happen on occasion, especially with first time dams. Health wise, there are usually not complications. However, there can be some behaviour issues from a singleton if the breeder is not prepared to socialize him with other puppies of the same age (or near the same age) from the very beginning.

    I think the best thing for you to do is to talk to your breeder regarding their socialization plans for the singleton and go from there. Several people on the forum have singleton pups, and the most common problem is bite inhibition.

    @lindsayt is a good resource, since her first "litter" was a singleton and she did an amazing job of socializing him.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    There's nothing inherently wrong with a singleton, but as mentioned, they have extra socialization challenges. But that responsibility is really on the breeder to work with while the pup is developing - he needs extra handling and should spend frequent time with another litter. See http://www.dogbehaviorblog.com/2008/08/singleton-puppi.html

    But besides that, the breeder may keep the singleton for himself. It's too early to evaluate yet whether he is show or pet quality, so you might not even get him. Hopefully the breeder is not just producing "pets," any breeder who doesn't keep some pups is not a good one.

    I'm also surprised that you found a breeder so soon, and got to the top of the waitlist? You should still check out the threads on spotting puppy mills. I am also remembering what @curlytails said in your intro about the lack of health testing in Taiwan. At a minimum, make sure this breeder breeds for temperament. You should definitely visit and meet the pup's parents, and see the conditions they live in. The breeder's title is irrelevant if there are other red flags.

    Thread on mouthy singletons
    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7241/biting-woes-please-help-/p1
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 68
    IMHO, if you feel slightly uneasy or unsure even if the breeder has tried to assure you that it is common, then you should move on to another breeder. You should always be confident in your breeder, and if you aren't then I would listen to your gut and take your business elsewhere.

    Even if they're common, that sounds like an excuse. "Well all of my litters are only 1-2 puppies!".. No, he should be telling you what he will be doing to make sure the pup gets adequate puppy socialization. I'd expect to hear that he will set up an extremely stimulating environment for the puppies, and let the pup socialize with the second litter, maybe see if another local breeder also had a litter on the ground the pup could get together with.
    If its so common I expect he has a game plan since it has happened before.
    I expect my breeder to be open with all cards on the table.
    image
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
    I have a singleton male. It's uncommon but it does happen. He's challenging, and I think that's more to do with his personality than anything else. ;)
    Jenn, Shiba Slave to Rigby / http://hellorigby.com
  • Moxy was the only pup in his litter. I don't think a lack of brothers/sisters caused him any harm. He is very friendly and playful with every single person he has met over the years. The only issue he has is with other BIG dogs. And that has only been the last couple of years (he's almost 9 years old) That was due to being attacked by a Cane Corso at a dog park a couple of years ago.

    I will say the first couple of years were rough. Real rough. But I honestly think that is because he was our first dog (we were much more used to cats) and a Shiba as a first dog is not always the best of ideas. It took a couple of years for him to calm down though. Super hyper pup.

    If you take the single pup, make sure you take him places to meet new people and dogs. Find him a dog friend to play with if you can. That will probably help.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Already lots of great advice, and don't have any exp. with a singleton...just wanted to include a good article on the matter:

    http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/sites/default/files/Bark 2003 Spring Solo-What every puppy needs from the start.pdf
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Thank you kindly for all the helpful information. Your comments and the resources you've all shared have helped me greatly over the last few weeks.

    I decided to look for another litter, and fortunately found a WONDERFUL breeder about an hour away. The breeder standards here in Taiwan are totally unregulated, and quite different from in the USA, so to find a breeder like the one I have is very rare... he socializes the pups every day with his family, gives them varied environments to play in, allows children from a local elementary school come visit them, and his Sires and Dams are absolutely stunning. Very friendly and balanced--I got the impression he really bred for temperament and appearance. I'll be posting updates soon in another thread about the young pup he's put on hold for me :)

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