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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My mom and I go to meet Mabel for the first time in about a week. Since we are allowed to choose our puppy as opposed to the breeder picking for us, we don't yet know which puppy in the litter is Mabel. We've been getting updates in terms of photos and videos - all of the puppies are dark red with slight variations in size and lightness of coat.

As the title of this thread suggests, how do we go about picking the right puppy for us? Or, as I like to think of it, how do we know which puppy is Mabel? :) We have five females to choose from.

I've been watching YouTube videos and reading articles on the topic that seem to give some pretty good starting tips. One thing they suggest is to hold the puppy on its back for a short time and see how it reacts. If after a few seconds it lays there calmly, that's a sign that the puppy trusts you. Another test to try is to call the puppy to you. If it doesn't react at all, that could indicate a hearing or sight problem. Or the puppy could just be in la-la land 馃槅

They also say to pay attention to how the puppy reacts with its litter. The more outgoing, playful puppy probably has a more dominant personality than the puppy that hangs back and is a bit more submissive. A puppy that only follows you around in spurts is probably more independent than a puppy that clings to your legs and never leaves your side.

Also, I've learned that the first puppy that comes to you isn't necessarily the right one. It just happens to be the puppy who reached you first.

Other than these tips (unless I'm wrong about any listed above), what things can we do when we visit the litter that will ensure we are picking the right addition to our family?

In terms of "what we are looking for," we just want a dog who will be a friendly companion, someone who we can take the park but also snuggle with on the couch. Looks aren't that important to us, although I have been eyeing a lighter, pudgier puppy in the litter 馃槃 As long as our puppy is healthy, we will be happy. We would prefer a puppy with a calmer demeanor (but know that we realize there is no such thing as a "calm" puppy!); definitely not the "dominant" one in the litter.


1,340 Posts
We chose the girl who was following us around. Let us pick her up and yeah, hold her like a baby.
She wasn't playing with her siblings and was more focused on us.
As for that making her more dominant, no.. on the ride home we stopped for a potty and noticed her army crawling to our feet.
Later that night it included a piddle. She is a submissive pup. It didnt happen until we took her away from her breeder. Although we noticed that night she didnt pee at all until midnight. Almost like she didnt drink most the day.
It has gotten better but once in a huge while if my hubs reaches for her leash she will piddle a little or if strangers reach down to pet her she will.
Most of the time we see piddles it is from excitement now and that is also slowing down. She is 18 weeks.

I would just choose the one who seems right to you.

Super Moderator
2,750 Posts
the puppies might have had a play session before you arrived and some could be more tired than others, just because you meet the puppy at the time and they seem calmer doesn't mean that its the most submissive etc ( he could just be tired from playing and resting!)

Maybe ask breeder for a recommendation? they would know the pups the best as they've been with them the longest.
Good luck! would love to see pictures when you have picked Mabel.

5,589 Posts
I agree, our breeder picked Rukie and he has just the personality we wanted. I would ask the breeder to help you decide.
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1,536 Posts
First and foremost is does the parents of the pups have all the health certificates? They should not only have them, but you should be able to verify these on line. If these are all available and verified by you...that greatly increases the odds that you will actually get a "puppy [ that ]is healthy"! Without these health certificates, I would not purchase any puppies from any breeder!

The tests you suggest are a good starting place, actually the pups are so young, that you cannot really depend on these 'tests'. I always tell the breeder what kind of dog I want, and let them pick our puppy. These breeders have seen lots of puppies and have watched this current litter for weeks. They will have a better idea of what puppy will best match what you want.

Good Luck!

48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is all good advice. Thank you! And yes, I forgot to mention in my original post that of course we will speak with the breeder about each puppy's personality. That will be a huge factor in deciding as well.
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