What is a cub?

What is a dwarf puppy? By definition, the term “dwarf” refers to an animal that is smaller than average. Runt is also used to refer to the smallest pup in a litter, which may or may not be smaller than average. It is important to realize that after birth, dwarf puppy development is usually normal.

Dwarf puppy development

Breeders will supplement puppies that don’t get enough mother’s milk if necessary, but it is now recommended that it be one of the larger puppies, allowing the smaller one to get nutrients from the mother.Credit: Laures | Getty Images

Although birth size is important, the smallest puppy at birth will usually catch up to his siblings and may even surpass them as adults. Why he was the smallest puppy at birth is unclear. It could be that his fertilization process was a day late, or his placenta wasn’t providing as much nutrition as other puppies. Still, dwarf dogs often catch up in size thanks to the abundant milk provided by their mother.

Concerns for a dwarf puppy include making sure he gets his fair share of milk bars and doesn’t get pushed away by his older siblings. In the past, young cubs were given nutritional supplements, but current advice is to feed the young cub separately so that he can get enough of his mother’s nutritious milk, supplementing one of the larger cubs if necessary.

Pup health issues

Don’t believe those old wives’ tales about health issues with your pups. Being born small does not necessarily mean that the puppy has or will have health problems. What matters is how the dwarf develops.

Puppies that are underdeveloped and smaller than other puppies may have health problems. Common problems that can cause puppies to lag include heart defects, cleft palates, and gastrointestinal issues such as liver shunts or anal blockages. Any organ defect can lead to reduced organ size and potential illness or death.

If a dwarf puppy doesn’t make up for its smaller size quickly, have it evaluated by a veterinarian. You can detect a cleft palate on your own, and sometimes you can “feel” a severe heart murmur through your chest, but you will still need veterinary documentation and guidance.

Dwarf puppy character

If your puppy comes back healthy but just tiny, then you’re good to go. Pups usually have very positive personalities. Shorter puppies generally receive more petting and affection, so they are generally well socialized and happy. However, they still need to learn boundaries, so don’t spoil them. If their mom is a good mother, let her handle the interaction.