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Thread: Raising a Singleton

  1. #1
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    Default Raising a Singleton

    This is my first singleton litter. My little girl is almost 3 weeks old now and starting to toddle around. How do I socialize her properly without siblings to learn with? Especially since I'm going to have to restrict her mother's access to her as she's getting too fat. Suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
    Sue

    Susan Shidler
    AKC Breeder of Merit
    SevenWoods Cavaliers
    Mettawa, IL USA

  2. #2

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    Hi Sue,

    I’ve now had two singletons litters. The first was a huge puppy, eleven ounces, from a 15 lb mother! She was very fat but I didn’t keep her mother away from her, reasoning that things would level out, which they did. She was really large at eight weeks but ended up as a decent sized adult, about 16 lbs.

    Everyone treats their pups differently, but when mine get to the stage of walking around I gradually introduce them to the other dogs and, when I had a sociable cat, to him. A lot depends on how the mother reacts to other dogs near her puppies: some are more jealous than others but almost always they’re happier with the older, spayed bitches than the younger entire dogs to start with. One or two haven’t bothered almost from day one and don’t object at all if someone comes near their puppies. I do know people who’ve had bitches share litters, but I’ve never had two litters at the same time. I did have one bitch who virtually raised her daughter’s puppies, more or less only allowing the pups’ mother to feed them while she did all the cleaning up and playing.

    So, at three to four weeks the pups are in contact with adult dogs, always under my supervision. They play together and the older dogs do keep them in line. I also try, as soon as possible to introduce them to other people, especially children. My feeling is that I don’t want to be “too” clean and it is a good idea for pups to start to build up immunity from a fairly young age. I wouldn’t, though, come home from a show and let the dogs that had been to the show mix with puppies! Having said that, I rarely go to a show if I have puppies.

    When I had my Mastiff, pups met her at about four weeks of age; she was very gentle despite her size. Tchi the Rhodesian Ridgeback is different, and the first introduction to her is at about eight to ten weeks. She is slowing down as she gets older, and took to Hula very quickly: when I found her standing with her head down and eyes closed as Hula licked her nose I felt she appreciated the attention.

    I’m lucky at the moment that my neighbour has a great grandson who is brought to visit fairly often: he’s about six and the ideal age, old enough to be responsible but still small. His family have a dog so he knows how to behave. Hula, my second singleton, had played with him since she was about six weeks old, and I’m glad to say that she is a very sociable young lady, now nine months old. Hula was a more normal size at birth and grew at the average rate; she was easy to wean and was one that started trying to eat her mother’s food.

    I do think that singleton puppies have a closer bond with their mothers, though; at least for the first year. Unicité was really close to Hazel but then lost interest in her: interestingly, she and Tchi were very close. She went to a new home at about three years of age, and settled in extremely well.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevenWoods View Post
    This is my first singleton litter. My little girl is almost 3 weeks old now and starting to toddle around. How do I socialize her properly without siblings to learn with? Especially since I'm going to have to restrict her mother's access to her as she's getting too fat!
    Hi Sue,
    My first singleton turned out to be Ch Telvara Kasanova, so fingers crossed this little one of yours will be special in many ways
    I would never restrict Mum's access to her baby... this little one needs guidance from her mother to learn right from wrong, good from bad, so why not protect mums milk-bar and let her continue to teach her little one?
    I find that human baby 'all-in-one' Babaygrows from WallMart work perfectly, covering all teats as well as being light and comfortable to wear. The material is a very lightweight stretch towelling, so a couple or three should do the trick because they wash & dry well. They fit perfectly with front legs through the arm holes, and back legs through the leg holes. The 'poppers' that allow easy changing of a babies diaper fit neatly round a Cavaliers tail, and they are then as snug as a bug as they continue to play and snuggle with their singleton while she's being weaned onto solids in a stress free way.

    Warm regards, and very best wishes for 2013,
    Veronica.
    Last edited by Veronica Hull; 01-02-2013 at 09:38 AM.

  4. #4
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    Hi Sue

    I used a post surgical suit on my girl when I wanted to restrict milk intake but allow mom to be with her puppies. Here are the pictures
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Greetings from Joanna & Maxi, Zoe & Arabella (Kissabella)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica Hull View Post
    Hi Sue,
    My first singleton turned out to be Ch Telvara Kasanova, so fingers crossed this little one of yours will be special in many ways
    I would never restrict Mum's access to her baby... this little one needs guidance from her mother to learn right from wrong, good from bad, so why not protect mums milk-bar and let her continue to teach her little one?
    I find that human baby 'all-in-one' Babaygrows from WallMart work perfectly, covering all teats as well as being light and comfortable to wear. The material is a very lightweight stretch towelling, so a couple or three should do the trick because they wash & dry well. They fit perfectly with front legs through the arm holes, and back legs through the leg holes. The 'poppers' that allow easy changing of a babies diaper fit neatly round a Cavaliers tail, and they are then as snug as a bug as they continue to play and snuggle with their singleton while she's being weaned onto solids in a stress free way.

    Warm regards, and very best wishes for 2013,
    Veronica.

    You're right Veronica. I didn't mean to keep mum away from her for very long, but she shouldn't be restricted at all!! I will definitely put a "onesie" on her for now. I have bunches of them from weaning other litters. I always use them when it's time to cut back on the milk bar. I'm interested in knowing how people introduce the pup to other dogs, when and how. I appreciate Jane's comments from that perspective. Kasanova was a singleton? Wouldn't that be something
    Sue

    Susan Shidler
    AKC Breeder of Merit
    SevenWoods Cavaliers
    Mettawa, IL USA

  6. #6
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    Hi Joanna,

    I like that - where did you get the surgical suit?
    Sue

    Susan Shidler
    AKC Breeder of Merit
    SevenWoods Cavaliers
    Mettawa, IL USA

  7. #7
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    I got those in Poland but I am sure they are available in the US as well. Here is one I found just googling it http://www.woundwear.com/product1.cfm (the full body suit)
    Greetings from Joanna & Maxi, Zoe & Arabella (Kissabella)

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Jo, I'll look into it.
    Sue

    Susan Shidler
    AKC Breeder of Merit
    SevenWoods Cavaliers
    Mettawa, IL USA

  9. #9
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    Thanks, Jane, Very good information to have.
    Sue

    Susan Shidler
    AKC Breeder of Merit
    SevenWoods Cavaliers
    Mettawa, IL USA

  10. #10
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    I've had a couple of singletons Sue. When they get to three weeks I put the whelping box with playpen in the kitchen ( busiest place in our house ). They get used to all the coming and going plus noise etc. Like Jane I let them play with the older dogs when I'm there. I have always had springers too and my one b/t singleton used to pin my soft lad in the corner, running back and forth ,barking. Pup was 4 weeks old and my full grown springer would quake against the cupboard door LOL.He did prove to be a little so and so for his owners. He used to catch ducks from the farm next door and bring them home alive.
    Barbara

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