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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
FWIW 4 lbs is about half of what an average 8 week old Golden Retriever puppy should weigh. That said, from your picture I would not have guessed she was so small. She looks purebred to me (not well-bred, but purebred), and too “mature” looking to be a much younger pup. I’d say she either has a health issue (hopefully your vet is correct that that is NOT the case),, or she’s mixed with something. Only a DNA test can tell you for sure…
So- she's half the weight of a small Golden puppy @ her age. My own tend to 10+ pounds at 8 wks ,and usually more than 12# so that puts her at a third the size of my puppies. She does (as Lisa said) look Golden, but not well-bred... and my worry at that weight would be that she has a shunt which is why she is so small- so do watch her, health wise, and mention a shunt to your vet on her next round of shots if she hasn't caught up by then. At 12 weeks she should be well over 17# for a small Golden puppy. I would be concerned enough that I would purchase insurance for her before her next shots, so the question of health is not in her records.
Thank you for your response. I will ask the vet about that. I want nothing more than her to be okay. Do you think it’s possible that she may just be younger than they told us? Her siblings were all small as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
She is very sweet and she clearly landed in the home she was suppose too!
Obviously 4 pounds for 8 weeks is way too little for a purebred golden. So she is either younger than 8 weeks or mixed breed.

I looked back at photos of Emmett when he was 5/6 weeks and this age resonates with her look and better fits the size (though still on the small side of things regardless). Healthy for wherever she is at is the best news. If she is just younger than expected be prepared for some extra work with behaviours and social skills that she is missing from mom and littermates.
There is something about her face eyes/muzzle, ear length that makes me wonder if there is a mix in there… I would definitely do embark to see what shows up just because I would be too curious to not too.
Thanks for you’re response. What about her eyes/muzzle and ear length makes you think she may be mixed? I’m just curious, I don’t know much about golden retriever puppies. I will get the embark to make sure.
 

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Yep, as others have said 8 weeks should be at least 10 ponds. My puppies are usually born at around pound. They then put on a pound a week for about the fist 4 weeks and then it start ramping up. Mine are almost always 10 pounds or more at 7 weeks.

So, there is an issue here. There are several reasons this could be the case.

1. She is not purebred. Considering the situation I have zero trust for this person especially knowing the Phoenix area breeders like I do (I live in Tempe). Honestly, I hope this is the case as it is the best reason for her to be so far under weight.

2. She way younger than represented. I don’t think she is 4 weeks old just based on her leg length. (there are other things too but legs are easier to explain) Unless she is a mix-bred with something like Saluki (very long limbed) a 4 week old would still have disproportionately short legs.

3. She has had a poor start to life. That could be malnutrition and/or sickness to the point her growth was impacted. Sadly these issues should they be true could have lasting effects that could become apparent with age.

4. She has an underlying congenital condition that is causing her suppressed development. A shunt as mentioned above could be a real possibility.

So, we can’t know at this point why she is the way she is just based on internet pictures. I would suggest hope for the best, plan for the worst with insurance and love this little darling.
I would recommend a full coverage insurance with no delayed waits for orthopedic or surgical care. Most surgeries are going to be thousands of dollars if she needs it. So, make sure you are good with the deductibles, co-insurance and maximums.
 

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Best of luck to you and your new family member. I agree with most - some of the information about her breeding ( age, shots, the lack of reply from the breeder etc.) is odd if not downright negligent. She could just be a very small female, under estimated of her true age and her lineage is skeptical. I am not trying to insult anyone but the old saying "Let the buyer beware" comes to mind in this case. Having said that I wish you good times and good health ahead. She is a cutie pie and fortunate to have you as her owner. Welcome the forum. Hope to see more pictures as she grows up. :love:
 

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Thanks for you’re response. What about her eyes/muzzle and ear length makes you think she may be mixed? I’m just curious, I don’t know much about golden retriever puppies. I will get the embark to make sure.
It’s just a hunch. I don’t have any other than comparison to my own.
Here was Emmett at 8.5 weeks when we brought him home and he was 12.5lbs
Dog Plant Pet supply Collar Working animal

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Road surface Companion dog

ears were longer basically inline with jaw hers look much shorter. Eyes just have a different look and the distance is either a little close together or the distance to muzzle is too short. That will change as she grows or maybe it is just the breeding. I don’t know really just something seems different.
 

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Thank you for your response. I will ask the vet about that. I want nothing more than her to be okay. Do you think it’s possible that she may just be younger than they told us? Her siblings were all small as well.
Like Laura said, her leg length does not look like a puppy's that is way younger- so assuming they didn't lie about more than a week or two, the issue is her health. I wouldn't imagine she is under 6 weeks old. She may be 8 weeks- no telling. On that insurance- Trupanion, Healthy Paws, both good ones. Def do that before you go to the vet another time, because he will note your concerns and that might get you denied if she has issues downline. Insurance is a good idea anyway, even if she were what looks like a healthy puppy- puppies are stupid and put everything in their mouths. An obstruction is several thousand dollars!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
It’s just a hunch. I don’t have any other than comparison to my own.
Here was Emmett at 8.5 weeks when we brought him home and he was 12.5lbs
View attachment 892091
View attachment 892092
ears were longer basically inline with jaw hers look much shorter. Eyes just have a different look and the distance is either a little close together or the distance to muzzle is too short. That will change as she grows or maybe it is just the breeding. I don’t know really just something seems different.
Thank you so much for that. She looks a lot like him just so much smaller. I’m hoping she’s just younger and it’s not a health issue, even if she is mixed that’s totally fine. I’m going to make sure she gets tested for everything everyone on here has suggested to make sure she is healthy. I appreciate all the comments and advice. I added a picture that I took just now. Super sweet and full of energy!
Glasses Dog Dog breed Carnivore Ear
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Like Laura said, her leg length does not look like a puppy's that is way younger- so assuming they didn't lie about more than a week or two, the issue is her health. I wouldn't imagine she is under 6 weeks old. She may be 8 weeks- no telling. On that insurance- Trupanion, Healthy Paws, both good ones. Def do that before you go to the vet another time, because he will note your concerns and that might get you denied if she has issues downline. Insurance is a good idea anyway, even if she were what looks like a healthy puppy- puppies are stupid and put everything in their mouths. An obstruction is several thousand dollars!
Thank you for that! May I ask why you think her leg length does not look like a puppy? She has very short legs. Honestly, I really appreciate you, I’m trying to learn. I added a picture for you.
Dog Couch Comfort Carnivore Liver
 

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Thank you for that! May I ask why you think her leg length does not look like a puppy? She has very short legs.
Clarification she doesn’t look like a 4 week old puppy for many reasons including her leg length which is too long for a 4 week old golden. Her coat texture is also wrong for a 4 week old.

Here is a litter of 4 week olds so you can see the big differences we are seeing.

 

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Thanks for the positive comments, I appreciate it. Based on your experience with goldens would you have a guess on her age or whether she’s purebred? Thanks for being so kind. I appreciate any information you could give.
Yes, ignore the scolds. The puppy's weight is concerning, but you've taken her to the vet and you're keeping a good eye on her. She should start putting on weight fairly quickly. Whatever her beginnings, she's now yours to love and take care of. Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Clarification she doesn’t look like a 4 week old puppy for many reasons including her leg length which is too long for a 4 week old golden. Her coat texture is also wrong for a 4 week old.

Here is a litter of 4 week olds so you can see the big differences we are seeing.

Thank you for the video. Her face does look a lot more mature than those puppies. I will have the vet check her out for everything you guys are saying. I appreciate you all.
 

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Just like babies are not just tiny adult, puppies are not tiny dogs.

At 4 weeks the fur is just starting to change from sleek to fluff. The ears are still very small but starting to grow. Leg proportion is still baby short making them clumsy as they are still mostly body. The facial proportions are still very immature. All of these 4 week old traits are missing from your puppy. She is definitely older than 4 weeks.

Some where between 7-8 weeks would be my guess if she is purebred. That does make her very underweight as she should be double that at least. Careful monitoring and vet support would be wise. If she is the “calmest puppy” ever, I would seek help.
 

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She's such a teeny sweet little thing. It's so hard to know her age. As others have suggested, she doesn't really look like a 4-week old, but she doesn't weigh what a "normal" 8-week-old Golden would. I would simply take the great advice of getting pet insurance now now now (because any health issue she might have will become a pre-existing condition once it is treated and it is in her records). So do that now, and then just love and enjoy her. She is adorable. There may well be something else mixed in with her, and she may not grow to be the size of a well-bred Golden, but chalk it all up to a learning experience :)

Hope you'll stay around here. There is great information and support. If your pup does have any issues, we can try to help. What is her name, by the way?
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Yes, ignore the scolds. The puppy's weight is concerning, but you've taken her to the vet and you're keeping a good eye on her. She should start putting on weight fairly quickly. Whatever her beginnings, she's now yours to love and take care of. Best of luck to you!
Thank you! Your response has comforted and reassured me that I am doing all I can.❤
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Just like babies are not just tiny adult, puppies are not tiny dogs.

At 4 weeks the fur is just starting to change from sleek to fluff. The ears are still very small but starting to grow. Leg proportion is still baby short making them clumsy as they are still mostly body. The facial proportions are still very immature. All of these 4 week old traits are missing from your puppy. She is definitely older than 4 weeks.

Some where between 7-8 weeks would be my guess if she is purebred. That does make her very underweight as she should be double that at least. Careful monitoring and vet support would be wise. If she is the “calmest puppy” ever, I would seek help.
She’s definitely not calm. She is very playful, definitely a rowdy little lady and she loves her food. I have only had her for a week but she seems perfectly healthy and the vet says the same. I sent in a fecal panel for further testing and waiting on results. I appreciate your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
She's such a teeny sweet little thing. It's so hard to know her age. As others have suggested, she doesn't really look like a 4-week old, but she doesn't weigh what a "normal" 8-week-old Golden would. I would simply take the great advice of getting pet insurance now now now (because any health issue she might have will become a pre-existing condition once it is treated and it is in her records). So do that now, and then just love and enjoy her. She is adorable. There may well be something else mixed in with her, and she may not grow to be the size of a well-bred Golden, but chalk it all up to a learning experience :)

Hope you'll stay around here. There is great information and support. If your pup does have any issues, we can try to help. What is her name, by the way?
Thank you! I went ahead and got her pet insurance just in case. As of now she’s perfectly fine super playful and eating very well. She’s nibbling on my toes at the moment. I appreciate your advice.
 

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Do you think it’s possible that she may just be younger than they told us? Her siblings were all small as wel
If all her littermates were the same size then yes, I’d lean toward either younger than claimed or she’s mixed with something. She is a very cute puppy! I hope she has a long, happy, healthy life with you!
 
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Thank you! I went ahead and got her pet insurance just in case. As of now she’s perfectly fine super playful and eating very well. She’s nibbling on my toes at the moment. I appreciate your advice.
That's awesome. I'm glad she's doing well. And hopefully she will just stay healthy (touch wood!) and you will never need to use the insurance. But it's good to have. And honestly, don't worry too much. She's yours, you love her. The guy who sold her to you was most likely less than honest, but it's done. Don't beat yourself up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I would like to thank everyone who gave me advice. I will take it all into consideration. I literally just got her pet insurance a couple minutes ago, and will have them examine her for everything. I also plan on getting the embark test to see if she is purebred, I’ll love her no matter what it’s just out of curiosity.
 

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She’s very cute but yes, very small. I agree-get insurance on her while you have a good vet report.

As far as her size goes, I would also suspect giardia/coccidia as a possibility. I have literally seen golden puppies that were so small when I saw them that I was shocked when they got up and started walking around! I thought they were too young to walk. As it turns out, they had coccidia. The only sign they were sick was their size. I have since seen this multiple times.

She obviously landed in the right home!
 
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