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Old 11-20-2012, 11:10 AM
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What to Look For....

I thought I'd throw this question out there just for mysterious reasons.

Lets say you are going to visit a breeder with the object of buying a puppy who will be a family pet foremost, but also a hopefully sound prospect for jumping-running-obeying-in-confident-sprightly-manner for obedience.

What would you walk away from?

What would catch your eyeball?

I'm possibly tentatively MAYBE going to have 4 puppies to pick from, with the selection narrowed down to 2 for me. <- And I'll be discussing what I'm looking at or want with the breeder the entire time. Having seen pics of the pups and knowing how scrummy they are, I know it's not going to be easy. I hopefully will not be in this position again for 10+ years.

Something I remember with Jacks that caught my eye was the fact he wanted something in his mouth while playing, he made no sounds whatsoever, was happily investigating the room but really focusing on us and wanting to be picked up closer to our faces. And he was already nippy/mouthy - but I took that as a good thing because I assumed a puppy who wanted things in his mouth would be a quick and easy puppy to teach retrieves to.

And he just was this prancy little guy - very definitely a natural as far as picking up his feet.

With Jacks too we were like "wow" when we saw his thunder thighs. We wanted to make sure we got a puppy with good bone and muscle - what little that means when they are that little.

The other thing too... as far as puppy traveling crates, what do you look for? I'm thinking about getting something very basic since I'll be donating it to the rescue group after a month or so.

It's going to be about a 50 minute drive home, and I want to get a comfy crate for the puppy to hang out in. And depending on how insane I am feeling whenever the time comes, I may bring Jacks with when I pick the pup up.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:41 AM
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A few things that are on the puppy tests for Performance dogs:

1) Natural ability to walk by your side
2) Playing with a towel being dragged
3) Retrieving
4) Liking eye contact
5) Coming when called (not by name, usually by 'pup pup' and maybe clapping)

but overall, you will be needing a balanced puppy. Confident and outgoing to a degree but he/she should be most interested in you.

Good luck, have fun!! BTW: my puppies choose me - I know a lot of folks don't really believe in that but for me it seems to work out that way.

ETA: I use a medium size plastic crate - Brady is 4 months old now and still in this crate when travelling. Thi scrate will be returned to Barb in the next week or so; I usually donate to Rescues etc at about 5 months if I purchased one so prefer them a little larger to see me through.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:45 AM
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I like mellow dogs so when I picked Yukon he was mellow, not running and jumping all over the place but he wasn't the shyest and he walked right up to me when I put my hand out. He was one of the "stockiest" of the bunch too and I love that! I'm also kinda partial to male dogs for whatever reason (probably because my favorite dog as a child was a boy)

Were you taking your current dog with you to help pick a puppy? He may not fall in love with one LOL he may do the opposite because he would be out of his normal environment and may be scared, excited, territorial etc with the smell of other dogs.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:08 PM
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Is the litter going to be evaluated by trainers? I would ask to be in on the evaluation.

I agree with Sunrise on the factors, desire/ability to do something approximating a "heel" preferably with attention and an instinct to retrieve. Also a balance between confidence and desire to be with you. Finally a dog that easily can be revved up and also calmed down.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:02 PM
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Honestly I'd be more concerned with finding the right litter for your purposes than the right puppy out of the litter.
If you want to do obedience then look for a litter with a strong possibility of producing obedience dogs. That means trainability, biddability, confidence, intelligence, tractability, sane-ness, non-distractability/focus, etc etc etc, both in the parents and depth of pedigree. This means the parents and extended family proved it with high level obedience titles and production of dogs with high level obedience titles. There are LOTS and LOTS of golden litters out there; if you want a square peg, don't shop at a breeder with round holes.
In the few litters I've had extensive exposure to, and watched them all grow up and evaluated them and witnessed them at a temperament test at 7 weeks, I've observed that SOME traits they display as little puppies hold up throughout their lifetime, but those traits that make them successful or not at high level training and competition can be very hard to discern at that age. Overall the litter will be better suited for training & competition than the average but between individual puppies in the litter, very difficult to tell at 7 weeks. Their true individual personalities don't really develop until later. So much depends on the trainer and how well their temperament jives with the trainer. Best to depend on the temperament and training/competition attitude of the parents. If you like the parents and would want one like that, then just pick the puppy that strikes you best
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:04 PM
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Thanks Sharon - excellent info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cari View Post
I like mellow dogs so when I picked Yukon he was mellow, not running and jumping all over the place
I like running and jumping... It means the puppy is going to have enough energy to spare. I just don't like running, jumping, barking, mouthing, squirming, and ignoring because everything else is SO EXCITING. Spastic in other words.

Quote:
Were you taking your current dog with you to help pick a puppy? He may not fall in love with one LOL he may do the opposite because he would be out of his normal environment and may be scared, excited, territorial etc with the smell of other dogs.
Oh no way! I was thinking about bringing him with on the take home visit, and even then he wouldn't be getting out of the car. Jacks is a doll - and I think most who meet him generally see him that way. But it would be too much stress and sweat for me bringing him into somebody else's house with a lot of puppies running around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selli-Belle View Post
Is the litter going to be evaluated by trainers? I would ask to be in on the evaluation.
I don't think there is or was an evaluation... this is a more conformation type litter. I'll ask the breeder is she's has the pups evaluated, but I imagine if they were it was probably for conformation vs obedience.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9-Design View Post
Honestly I'd be more concerned with finding the right litter for your purposes than the right puppy out of the litter.
If you want to do obedience then look for a litter with a strong possibility of producing obedience dogs. That means trainability, biddability, confidence, intelligence, tractability, sane-ness, non-distractability/focus, etc etc etc, both in the parents and depth of pedigree. This means the parents and extended family proved it with high level obedience titles and production of dogs with high level obedience titles. There are LOTS and LOTS of golden litters out there; if you want a square peg, don't shop at a breeder with round holes.
Thanks for this, Anney. It's probably one of the things that does concern me about this litter. I know with Jacks - what attracted me to his litter was the abilities of his parents. Not so much titles, but their responsiveness and desire to please.

The biggest thing especially is the desire to retrieve... I'm fine with building a retrieve from nothing, but it's easier when they have that instinctively have that joy of chasing and parading.

And I'm learning too that the search/find wiring works better when some of it is already there before you start training. o_O

We will see.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:02 PM
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:30 PM
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They're not doing temperament testing?

I'm with Anney. I don't think a lot of things are always evident in a young pup, particularly energy, drive, and retrieving. In those areas I am looking at the pedigree, not the puppy. I really dont care so much if the pup doesn't go retrieve during testing, if it's there in the pedigree it will develop as the pup grows.

I want a puppy that shows confidence. I picked Flip because he was the one that decided immediately that the umbrella being popped out at him must be a toy to run play with.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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I just knew in my heart that Jige was mine. But then I asked my breeder to pick for me too and I didnt know which pup her and her hubby thought would be best for me when I picked up Jige and said I wanted him and he was the one they said they picked for me too. Some will call me crazy but I dont pick with my eyes I pick with my heart and my soul. I think you will know if one of those pups will be everything you want it to be when you see them. If it doesnt feel right then look some place else.
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