Sunday, March 1, 2009

Question for the readers :)

How do YOU pick out a puppy?? Please add your answer as a comment on this post...I am curious as to all the different ways!!!



Julie Poudrier said...

I pick the pup that appeals to me the most. This is not a scientific method, just a gut feeling. I know others who just take whatever's left after everyone else has picked, and that works well too. Sometimes if there's one that looks the most like a particular parent, I would choose that one. Then again, I've also been known to take a pup sight unseen, based on description only. So far I haven't been disappointed.

Sarah said...

Jane: we picked her, she was the only one left, 4 or 5 people turned her down, no body wanted her because she was all white, we didn't care. People tend to want JRTs with COLOUR ... their loss I said.

Kaleb: We waited for his litter for many months - his breeders knew working ability was the our most important trait, as he was going to be Petes SAR dog. His breeders pick the dogs for their buyers, as they know them best. We knew his pedigree well and the working dogs in it. We got see the pups at 3 weeks - then the day we picked him up at 10 weeks. We trusted their judgement and it worked out well!

Gyp: She picked us. Well Amanda picked her for us :)

I couldn't imagine having to pick who goes where!!

Anonymous said...

I picked my last pup by taking all of the little critters to a novel area and seeing who would follow me. I looked for braveness, sound tolerance, and for a pup who would retrieve a toy. I dismissed submissive urinaters (they were 12 weeks old) and pups who ran away rather than followed. I only had one pup that handled all of that, so I checked the pad-pinch and cradled her on her back. She was stoic and accepting. Had she screamed, I would have left her at the facility. When I set her down, she still thought I was okay, so I took her home even though I had a lot of concerns about the rest of the litter. I met other pups first and was going to reject the whole batch, but one really stood out. She has had some fear issues, but they have been manageable. Not very scientific, but I ended up with a nice pup...

An English Shepherd said...

My Dum and Dad got the breeders opinion on which was the best pup for them apparently. Apart from Chip who found them. :-)

Anonymous said...

I just bred my first litter. I ended up not keeping a puppy but it was really clear to me which one I'd pick if I was keeping one. The pup I'd have picked was actually the least appealing to me looks-wise in the beginning but as soon as they started to develop personalities I was very drawn to her and she was very drawn to me too. She pretty much picked me. Before the litter I'd have said that I wanted a male with lots of white on him and the pup I'd have taken was a female with the least amount of white. Go figure. It was just a gut feeling that she was the puppy for me. She was actually also the puppy left over in the litter (I had her for another 2 weeks before I found the right buyer). If I breed another litter I will keep one and I'll just let the puppy pick me again!

Darci said...

Gosh! I hadnt actually picked out a puppy in years and years! They have been picked out for me, or given to me, or I just ended up with what ever was left from a litter. Now your gonna make me think!
I would say my first thought about choice would be what my plans are for the pup, but assuming we are talking about BC pups, and already know what our expectationas will be, working, agility, OB, flyball, or what have you...overall a dog that has the breeding to achomplish what ever task we put it to, and all the reasearch to find that type of litter is out of the way,and we are now looking at a litter and trying to find the individual pup that will fit our life style and expectations. Hmmm. Well here goes. First off, Im going to want to know if this is a first time cross, if not, Im going to want to know what other pups from this cross are doing now.
Id like the breeder and I to take the litter to a place they are unfamiliar with first, so I can see how they react to new surroundings, and how they interact with each other in thier new surroundings. After a few minuets, Id like to see a few things done to see how the pups will react, such as a bowl dropped, maybe a loud whistle, some times I like to roll some kibble into where they are at,and see if they figure out it came from me,and see if they come to me looking for more. I like to see how they react with each other to the food.Then I just watch them for a while. Eventually, I'll sit on the ground with them and see who is interested in me. I'll pick them up, maybe cradle them, scratch thier bellies, and talk to them. Do they look me in the eye? Are they interested in what Im saying? Those that do, are the ones I will focus on more. Im going to be asking the breeder lots of questions about individual pups at that point, as I will expect them to know thier pups as individuals. Im going to ask them questions like who is bold, shy, aggressive, laid back, more outgoing, Im going to ask about thier eating habits, and if they are picky or do they dive in, do they hog the food or share. What are thier individual quirks and what do they find endearing about particular pups. I have found that I only have a few real questions,and that I find out more in simply talking to the breeder. Conversation while in the midst of a litter of pups, can take you lots of places. Of course I want to meet the dam if Im not already familiar with her, and the sire if that is possible, but if not, Im going to want to talk a bit bout him too and hope the breeder is familiar with him and his breeding and why they choose that particular male. Over all, the pup Im going to pick, is going to be the one that appears to be happy, and out going, and yet cautious, but not scared. One you can see thinking. Friendly, but not in your face. Not the boldest pup, but one that has some come forward to it. One that doesnt mind me handling it, its feet and face and mouth, with little struggling, and that settles once it has time to figure out Im not hurting it. I would never pick a pup because I felt sorry for it, or that looked pitiful. Because I personally, would be looking for a working dog, looks would only play into the role if I had several pups that I was intriqued with, and then Id of course take the one that was most pleasing to my eye.
After choosing a pup, my expectations do not stop there. I expect the breeder to stay involved with me and the pup over the course of time. I want them to be able to be some one I can count on to give advise on the raising, training, health and general well being of the pup. I want them to be encouraging, and knowledgable, and honest when it comes to my expectations for the pup. Id like for the breeder to be concerned about what they have bred, not just long enough to get it out of the house, but for the life time of the dog.
Im not big on contracts, and tend to shy away from them. I figure if it has gone far enough into the interview process that I have picked out a pup, and the breeder has aquiessed to selling it to me, then at that point, we have built up enough of a relationship of trust and honor, that being adults, we can work out anything that may crop up in the future, if not in a friendly manner, than at least in a professional one. For me, its not just all about the puppy. If I have done my home work while looking for my next pup, then I will feel assured in that itself. I am looking for a nice pup, but a pup out of a litter from a breeder that wants to see me and my pup succeed. Id like to leave with my pup, wormed at least twice, and have at least one puppy shot given at least a week prior to being taken home, records to show that, Reg. papers, and I dont want that pup pushed on me at 6 weeks, I dont want it till it is 8 or 9 weeks old. Its always nice if a breeder has taken the pup for a car ride or two prior to me taking it home, and has at least experienced a crate a few times, but its not a necessity. Over all, I think if a person does thier home work, and has a good idea of what they are looking for in a pup, if they can find the right breeder, breeding good dogs for the right reasons, then the right pup will be there, and the job of picking one becomes a lot easier. THese days, I think it is more difficult but just as important to find that Right breeder, than to pick out the right pup. Lastly,let the breeder have some input as to which pup they feel would be right for you and your circumstances. It still may not be your choice, but at least listen to the breeder before making up your mind.
Phew,...Im sure I could keep finding more to ad to this, but I should leave room for others to comment.LOL

Robin French said...

I've used lots of methods with pups out of other people's litters. But with the litter i bred, i had to keep Zac. He was a split face and i always thought i'd have a special dog that was split-faced, so how could i let him go? I also kept Tess because she was the most athletic of the bunch. Because it seems like in so many litters more talent falls with the males or the females, i wanted one of each. I'm glad i did it that way. I also kept a 3rd puppy until she was about 4 months old. The wrong homes just kept coming up for her and there was something about her that made me think she was going to be a special worker. I might have kept her longer if it hadn't seemed like she was getting way too into the other dogs and less people oriented, and a good home came along. I still tease her owner that i'll take her back any time as she did end up being a really good working dog. If it helps you at all, i know a lot of people who say the "best" working dog in a litter is the one that ends up trained (in the hands of an Open handler/trainer, for example) - the one that has the time put into it. Like i was saying on email, if it's that hard to choose between two, they must both be nice ones and you're not going to go too wrong. And if you *really* can't choose, keep them longer until you feel like you can let one go. It's not like they *have* to leave by a certain age.

Robin French said...

Oh, as for how i pick pups out of other people's litters -- i choose by sex first, then looks/markings and then "feel" or gut instinct.

Dianna said...

I prefer to leave the picking of puppies to the breeder. (I know, not what you want to hear for this post) I feel that they see them everyday, and if they have screened me as a new owner well enough, and I have been completely honest and sure of what I want in a puppy, they will make a good decision for me.

However, when faced last year with choosing between River and his nearly identical brother (the breeder didn't know who i'd rather have, so sent them both for me to choose) I went with the puppy that was more into me. He played with me more, and had a bit more drive. Truthfully, when I saw them both initially, I actually felt looks-wise the other boy was better marked and such, but River just stood out as the one who interacted best with me. Very hard decision though, and I'll avoid it at all costs if faced with it again.

It has been so much fun seeing Zip's litter grow up and seeing the different personalities emerge. Spending a weekend with them was eye-opening as there were some that from pictures and video I thought i'd fall for, turned out there were others that I liked better when actually living there with them. That said, I feel with these three girls you have narrowed it down to are all wonderful and you could probably just close your eyes and pick. You and the lucky person receiving the final female will have great dogs. There is no wrong decision here.

stickitbc said...

Well i would say when i pick my NEXT puppy it will be picked on it's personality. I think that personality is key in a puppy. In order as the way i believe to get the best personality that you want is to tell the breeder certain things that you are looking for and let them go from there. There is no one better then the breeder that knows the puppies. Since the breeder is with them most of the time and can see the personality change and see them at different times of the day. As far as what i would tell the breeder is i want a dog that is naughty but also enjoys some love time and long with that a drivey pup. In my opinion looks would be the last thing that i would look at and coat type. If it came down to two pups that were equally tempered then i would consider the looks of the one i like the most but still would not put that MUCH consideration into looks:))

Nancy O said...

I've always had the pick of the males from the litters bred by Ben. 2 of the litters only had one male each, easy choice. One litter had 6 males. I visited often, most of the pups were alot alike in thier presonalities, none were shy, all would follow when taken to a new place, all figured out how to find thier way thro a gate to cross a small bridge to me, so I eventually took 2 of them, eventually sold one and kept one.

I've followed all the pups from the litters. My pick at 2 years of age have always ended up being a female.

The current litter has 3 males and 2 females. I am keeping 2 pups, but don't know at this time which ones I'll be keeping, will need to visit more frequently. I like an outgoing puppy, but Nick, from the first litter (whom I originally sold and then bought back at a year old due to health issues of his original owner) was a bit shy, so i worked with him alot before he went to his new home.

I don't think it really matters. It matters more that you believe in the dog and therefore will put the time and effort into the dog. That is what I think will make it the best dog of the litter for you.