I guess to share what I wound up looking at as far as narrowing the pick -
Every single puppy in this litter took turns coming up and sitting in my lap and looking up in my face and basically doing a "love me love me" puppy huggle with me.
That was the first thing I wanted.
The other thing I was hoping for was agility and energy. The puppies were all running circles and zooming around me. There was a pool table in the rec room and every single puppy easily slid squatted mid run to get under the low table and kept going. That trot picture I posted above - every single puppy would drive to retrieve tossed balls and then had the "I've got something" strut walk on their way back.
The other thing I was looking for - even though I know that there's different opinions on this. When the puppies did the stop-drop-nap, I looked at the ones who did the full frog. Bertie and one of his brothers did this every single time. The breeder laughed and said she kinda looks for this as well as far as looking for a dog with good hips. Her husband was joking and said it means the pup either has excellent hips or absolutely no hips.
When it came to attention, prancing, and just overall look - I wanted Bertie's brother who was a darker color.
The only problem with him though was he had a foot issue. Mom stepped on him maybe or lay funny on him and his rear foot is now missing a couple toes. Before the foot thing happened, this puppy was their show pick and they were still talking about maybe showing him anyway providing the foot didn't mess up his gait. They said the foot could be groomed/shaped to hide the missing toes. Before they mentioned his "foot problem" I had no clue there was anything up with his feet. He was strutting and zooming around the same as his brothers. o_O
The possibility that the foot would cause problems for him as an adult was one of the reasons I went with "Butt".
The other reason - the breeder said he was the most mellow and laidback puppy of the litter. And he is. He went to the vet today and had a lot of playtime outside this morning. Visited with people (not dogs) at the vet. Had every vet tech wound around his little toenail. And he's had two meals today. So he's happy, fat, and sleeping right now.
Jacks heard me say something about a ride in the car later - I forgot Bertie vax schedule from the breeder AND a stool sample and didn't want to walk the pup anywhere outside the vet to get him to poop. Anyway, Jacks heard me and he's lying there WATCHING me. If I go anywhere in the car, he must go with me. He insists!
But really - the whole litter was very uniform and all were very nice puppies. I guess if I wanted to do conformation down the road, I would have a VERY good chance with Bertie.
I met their uncle Harvey (in the house and hanging out with their other non-golden dogs) and he's training for his WC. I guess he was down at the national and they were hoping he'd get it there, but the memory bird was very tough? It was in dappled/shaded water?
The coolest thing though - I pulled up into their driveway and parked in front of the "dog yard" (like 2+ acres?). 5-6 dogs were turned out for the afternoon and they came running up to the gate to watch me get out of my car. No barking from any of them. They were all very nice dogs. Bertie's mom was out there and she was the one dancing around with a tennis ball.
Going on our third day with him - he definitely is a busy puppy and likes to entertain himself. Without the excess barking and biting and mouthing and squeaking for attention. He LOVES playing with you, but he is happy bouncing around with his toys and playing little grr-pounce games with them.
Probably the only bad thing he's done so far is chasing tails. As in chasing Lu's tail (big mistake - fortunately Lu kept his claws in and just swatted the puppy with a LOT of noise). Bertie now respects the cat, and Lu has adopted the puppy as one of his dogs.
He also grabs Jacks' tail - and that's where I have to jump in and tell him "no-no".
He already respects the "no" and knows "spit". <- Very important first things.
I'm getting ready to train both dogs again... Jacks I want to get some jumps in. And pup just needs to do another round of sits/downs/comes/walk nice/play retrieves.