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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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On picking puppies

I'll say up front that I am a breeder who chooses puppies for each buyer.

I never understand why puppy buyers will buy a puppy from any breeder they can find with a litter available, but then get all butt-hurt if they can't pick their own puppy from the litter. To me, it's like, "Oh, any litter in the whole world is fine, they're all the same to me, but I'm super particular about which puppy I get from that randomly selected litter. I did it before, and the puppy chose me, and it was wonderful."

First off, the puppy didn't choose you, and didn't instantly bond with you. 8-week old puppies don't have that capacity. You've anthropomorphized the situation.

Second, it seems to me that selecting the right litter is far more important than which puppy you get from that litter. Breeders breed for traits. If you want a calm dog, but your search for "any breeder who has a litter available" found a breeder who bred two energetic performance dogs, you're going to have an adventure on your hands no matter which pup from that litter you pick.

Besides, that pup that sidled up along side you and leaned on your leg the day and time you happened to drop by isn't a pup who loves you. He was sleepy, and 8-week old puppies look for warmth when they are sleepy. And to him you smell like the breeder who feeds him so he was comfortable leaning up against you because you were warm and reminded him of food. He's actually the puppy who fights with all his siblings, is a resource guarder, and just chewed up my kitchen wall. You have no idea what you're in for. Good luck! Haha!

When I breed, I breed sporting dogs, not lap dogs. You're simply not going to get that couch potato who will be patient with your two-year old child. I tell people that all the time. Maybe in three years, but as a 9-month old (a puppy brain in an adult body) he's going to be a 70 lb. hellion. So if that's your biggest concern, it doesn't matter which puppy you get from me, you're not going to be happy. You've chosen the wrong litter. But you wouldn't believe the number of potential buyers I get whose only care is that we have clearances for the parents, and who think littermates will be wildly different from one another. Maybe one will be somewhat better for your situation than another. But the chances of you finding that puppy on a random Saturday afternoon after four other families have been there tiring out the litter are pretty slim.

Let breeders pick your puppy. We know what the puppies are really like. 24 hours after getting home, you're going to be madly in love with whichever puppy we give you. But more important than choosing your puppy is choosing your breeder/litter. That's what you get to choose. Choose wisely.

/rant

Last edited by DanaRuns; 03-06-2019 at 11:33 AM.
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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:29 AM
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This is an awesome post. Thank you!

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Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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I also choose pups for buyers because I don't like the whole "first pick, second pick" thing. One person is always the "last pick," and that's not fair. You don't want a leftover puppy. So we try to match puppies to buyers' lifestyles and interests. And I don't make the choice for you, I make it for the puppy. It's the puppy's life I care about. I really don't care about you. Sorry, not sorry.

But if I have multiple puppies who would fit your home, I might let you choose between them, if I haven't already selected. And that does happen sometimes.

Folks hereabouts know that we have a 24/7 puppy cam they can watch, and our puppy buyers watch. We also video various exercises we do with the puppies (neurological stimulation, scent detection, problem solving, woods walks, etc.) which we can share with puppy buyers. We had one buyer looking for a competition obedience dog, and she watched that feed like a hawk, carefully examining each puppy. She was able to pick out the best puppy for her purposes, and we let her do that. It worked out. Here's that pup at 14 months old.
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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:52 AM
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I agree with you. Rukie's breeder did the picking and he is EXACTLY what we asked for. She explained that you could come to pick on the afternoon the wildest puppy was tired and think you are getting the calmest. The breeder is the one who knows the puppies and add the temperament testing to that and they really know.


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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Of course, we watch the litter primarily for ourselves. We did this breeding because we wanted a puppy from it for a particular reason. When you buy a puppy, you should know the reason the breeder bred that particular litter.

You see the puppy above. That was a perfect choice for her. But not for us. We were looking for a show dog. So we picked this puppy for ourselves. Here he is, also 14 months old.




This guy is a great show dog, but would not have been a good dog for small children. He is super energetic and incredibly strong. While he's a happy guy, he's oblivious, and is a bull in a china shop. His wagging tail will clear a coffee table in nothing flat. But when he was 8 weeks old, there was a family who was adamant that they wanted that puppy as a companion for their toddler daughter. LOL! Would not have been a good choice for them. But part of me wishes I could see that unfold. (Yes, I have an evil streak!)

Last edited by DanaRuns; 03-06-2019 at 03:19 PM.
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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:57 AM
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I think what I've seen...Some breeder has a litter - posts many pics and videos on fb.

Puppy buyers are avidly following - and you see people seem to kinda fixate on certain puppies. Might be the most "visible" and unique pup in the litter for some reason? Might be the blondest puppy.... or darkest puppy....

People are dorks that way... But I think some sympathy too is in order. Purchasing a puppy is something that happens once in 10-15 years for some people - I think probably that's why they get super weird and worked up about wanting specific puppies, and even wanting the whole "picking the puppy" experience.

^^^^ That said! ޏ₍ ὸ.ό₎ރ

My two boys right now - I picked both of them. And it was the hardest thing ever.

I'm absolutely content that I made the right picks in both cases, but Bertie especially it wasn't necessary a "miraculous predestined meeting" type thing. LOL.

One of his brothers was all curled up in my lap and wanted to be held and loved the entire time I sat on the floor and chatted with the breeder's husband. This pup would have technically been my emotional pick not just because of the snuggling, but also because he was the closest to having an actual natural retrieve.

Bertie FAILED the retrieve test. I also did not want to pick him because he was the blondest pup and I feel people who fixate on lightest colors are dorks and I didn't want to look like one in front of the breeder! LOL. But structurally and athletically - he was a better pick.

The breeder told me that she felt that Bertie would be the best pick for me (it was his pic that she sent me prior to me going out and meeting the dogs), but she wanted me to decide for myself and didn't lead me one way or the other.

I think my point here is in theory - the breeder would have made the same choice for me that I made for myself.

Jojo was difficult for other reasons. He had retrieve drive, wanted to snuggle in my lap, was confident and outgoing, had the structure and coat I wanted.... etc, etc.... But so did his one brother. <= They were so close it was ridiculous. I could have picked either one. And I kept second guessing which one I should pick and why. <= The breeder would have picked 1 of those 2 boys for me - and either one would have been a good.

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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 12:19 PM
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I’m glad my breeder picked her. Oddly, she was the puppy from the videos I loved. Never imagined she’d be the one chosen for me.

I listed what I would hope for in a puppy and that was definitely a down the road dog. Golden puppies are not always so golden. They will test limits and patience. And I think people assume they’re the easiest puppies. Last night her one dog trainer, said to her, “Stella you’re a therapy dog and you don’t even know it yet.” I almost cried. Lol.

We have been in training 3 nights a week for 7 weeks after KPT this past fall. And we are doing a mini-session in between winter/spring sessions. It just reaffirmed that at 8 months tomorrow I have a puppy someone is seeing what my intent from the beginning is to work toward.
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 12:22 PM
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After decades of rescue it was clear that people seldom picked the pup personality that was right for them. Not sure if they lack the honesty of their true personalities or are drawn to the characteristics they wish they had. Regardless I would pick the families for my rescues and gratefully never got one back in 40 years. Sure some people left without a dog but that's ok. (my name/number was on the microchip)

I was shocked when I went to pick up Sipsy. Breeder wanted to show me faces... like there was a homely one??? I'm just grateful I knew what would work, how to temperament test and all the other stuff that goes into picking a pup. I asked the breeders opinions and she had nothing to offer, she wanted my money and for me to leave. I should have realized when I sat in the floor I had already offended her!

I had a specific purpose for getting this pup and totally expected her to know which pup she thought I should have. People, please respect the breeder! A good breeder knows their pups, they have also been communicating with you for 2 months, they KNOW which pup will fit well for you. ... and which homes are not for her puppies :-)

Thanks Dana... really great subject/post!
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 01:10 PM
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My breeder generally does a kind hybrid she picks/we pick thing. Technically, we have a pick order, but that doesn't mean you really get to pick out your own puppy. She guides each person to the right pick for them via a long phone call or in-person visit. She absolutely will not let a puppy go to a home that is not the right fit for them. Here's my example: We were second pick male for the litter with a service dog pick ahead of us. The people wanting a service dog (like a legit service dog with an actual job, not an ESA or fake ESA), had their heart set on my puppy. My breeder said no and they were mad at first, but she said that he was unquestionably not the dog for them and he does not have the temperament of a service dog. So even though they had first pick male, they didn't get to pick their puppy. And guess what: we both got the best puppy for us. "Green boy" has gone on to be an excellent service dog and my "black boy" gets to be my first performance dog.

I am a firm believer in her judgment on placing puppies and guiding people to the right litter as well.
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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ArkansasGold View Post
My breeder generally does a kind hybrid she picks/we pick thing. Technically, we have a pick order, but that doesn't mean you really get to pick out your own puppy. She guides each person to the right pick for them via a long phone call or in-person visit. She absolutely will not let a puppy go to a home that is not the right fit for them. Here's my example: We were second pick male for the litter with a service dog pick ahead of us. The people wanting a service dog (like a legit service dog with an actual job, not an ESA or fake ESA), had their heart set on my puppy. My breeder said no and they were mad at first, but she said that he was unquestionably not the dog for them and he does not have the temperament of a service dog. So even though they had first pick male, they didn't get to pick their puppy. And guess what: we both got the best puppy for us. "Green boy" has gone on to be an excellent service dog and my "black boy" gets to be my first performance dog.
^^^ That's very similar to something that happened with my sister's collie when we all got him a couple years ago.

The pups were 12 weeks old by the time my sister made her choice on a pup. In her case, she just wanted anything but a buff sable (what Arth the prior collie was).

There was a service dog person who had picked a puppy a couple weeks earlier, but the temperaments of the puppies changed. By the time Mare picked Con-Con, he was the better working dog pick.

The breeder thankfully protected Mare's pick - but that SD person was seriously working overtime on switching picks. By that time, my sister and niece had already bonded quite a bit with Con-Con, picked out a name for him, and so on.

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