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Old 07-06-2011, 04:13 PM
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Default What do you look for when picking a puppy?

I do know that personalities can change with age, training and different events that happen to a dog.

In my life, we've only ever gotten one dog directly from a breeder and that was when I was in middle school and my dad picked the dog out. Do you tend to pick the pup that is crawling all over you, the one one who is bowling over his litter mates, or the one hiding in the back hoping no one sees him?

I come from a horse world and I swear we have a checklist for EVERYTHING and I have all of those checklists bookmarked in case I ever need them. I don't have anything like that for dogs (not that I'm going to be in a position to get a pup for a while yet). So i was just curious.

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Old 07-06-2011, 04:23 PM
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In the past, I've looked for the puppy manically racing from bowling over littermates to climb on me, to destroy furniture, to chase his tail, to knock over the water bowl....

I don't think I'll ever be picking a puppy from a litter ever again, so don't give it much thought anymore. It would also depend on what I wanted the puppy for and my lifestyle at the time....I might have a different attitude towards it if I wanted an agility prospect, service dog, dog for my kids, or just a pet...
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:44 PM
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Well, my breeder picked my pup out for me since he was in Australia but hypothetically speaking I want the most tenacious puppy there. I want confident, afraid of nothing and ready take over the world but still very loving and focused on people. I want to see very curious and quick recovery time if startled by something.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:53 PM
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I personally would never buy from a breeder. All those dogs are going to sell but the ones at the pound might be killed. You can find a good puppy at the pound
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:15 PM
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I pick the one that feels right. Blue, I didn't choose. My sisters outvoted me and I am glad that they did. Sam however just felt right when I held him. There was just something there.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:34 PM
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I sometimes joke that I choose dogs just based on tug drive. Puppies and young dogs who are willing to tug with anything and anyone tend to be the sort of puppies I like

Of course, there is a bit more to it. I also look for forwardness and being oriented towards humans. I like a puppy who will explore but always check back to see what the people are up to. Whimsy brought the tester the umbrella used for the reaction to a strange object and the spoon used to make a sudden noise. When I saw that, along with her interest in tugging and in people I knew I had found my puppy!
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:43 PM
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Do you tend to pick the pup that is crawling all over you, the one one who is bowling over his litter mates, or the one hiding in the back hoping no one sees him?

Actually none of the above. lol

I like a puppy to check in but be comfortable moving away, checking out the surroundings and by no means playing overly rough with their litter mates.

I want a dog that is alert and eager to play and maintain a strong prey drive. If I bring out a flirt pole I want the pup focused and moving.

Also I want a dog with strong retrieval drive. If I toss a toy, will they investigate? Will they bring it back? Dogs that blow off thrown objects or pick up and drop or pick up and wander off are that much harder to shape a retrieve with later.

Strong nerves are vital when looking for a puppy. If I drop a pot a startled dog is normal but what happens next tells me about them. Do they panic? Do they investigate? If I drop it again does the startle remain or ease up?
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Observe the mother in particular. The first 6-8 weeks of the pup's life are spent with the mother. Everything it learns in terms of dealing with the world, it learns from its mother. If she spooks easily, the pups will learn to startle easily. If she runs to avoid a situation, the pups learn to run away. Their basic responses to life are learned from their mother. Even if the pups inherited good temperament genes, early life with a schizo mother will undo most if not all of that through learned behavior.
Environmentally sound is also important as well. The dog in question should be comfortable leaving their littermates. I want a pup to follow me confidently and not easily spook at various environmental changes including but not limited to ground textures and sounds.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:45 PM
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Well... I didn't meet Cricket in person until I had already decided I wanted her.

What can I say... Grace posted a picture of an amazing tiny little puppy and my heart completely melted. I'm definitely happy I ended up with her.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:49 PM
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Kim I picked by her pretty face. Turns out the rest of her (mind and body) are awesome too. Lucky me!

Webster wasn't a puppy when I got him so...

Mira was picked for me with my input. This is probably the way I will go in the future. I liked her structurally and so did the breeders. We talked quite a bit about what I wanted and they, with their combined ~century of experience, told me which one was best suited temperamentally. Considering Mira is perfect for me I can't argue. The joys of having knowledgeable breeders you can trust
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:54 PM
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well the breeder will probably be picking the puppy out for me. But what I want in a puppy and especially a mastiff puppy is a confident take on the world kinnda attitude. I would like the puppy to be curious and alert and proud. I also like to see a puppy with a independent streak.
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