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Hello!

My husband and I went and checked out a litter today, and settled on a sweet girl puppy that my husband fell in love with. I don't know if it's new parent jitters or what, but I am super worried there might be something wrong with her. It's great that she's sleepy and is a cuddler, but should she be more active?

Of course, we will not be bringing her home until she is 8 weeks, and I'm sure a lot can happen before then as she grows and changes. We put a deposit down on her, so no one else would take her. But I was just concerned because she's the most mellow of the bunch and the breeder says she's always been like this - since she was born! I would love a sweet, cuddly, mellow dog...I just want some reassurance that she's going to perk up eventually. At least just enough to be healthy!

P.S. The breeder said she has taken all of the litter to the vet for their de-wormings and all are healthy. The litter is pretty big, though - 10 puppies! Should I ask her to have the vet give her a closer look the next time she goes (they'll get another de-worming and shots before we get her).

Thoughts? Any of you have a mellow young puppy who turned out great?
 

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Welcome to the forum. How much do you trust this breeder? Is this a reputable breeder who has clearances on the dogs being bred (ofa hips/elbows, cardiologist cleared heart & annual eye exams) that you were able to verify online at offa.org? Is this breeder actively competing with their dogs in some venue (agility, obedience, field and/or conformation)? If not, I'd strongly advise against the litter. I am a little surprised that you were picking out your pup at 4.5 weeks--I guess this breeder doesn't do temperament testing/litter evaluation between 7-8 weeks.
 

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We were allowed to view the litter at 4 weeks put not choose until 6 weeks. At four weeks they do sleep alot and although they were walking around it was only for a short while and even then some puppies flaked out before the rest of their litter mates ( our Luna being one of those!) I must say she is the most calm chilled out retriever she's now nearly 7 months. If you are happy with the checks you have made itch the breeder( as we were) i expect you may just have a laid back puppy. Not saying Luna doesnt have her moments, but on the whole she's very calm. Luna is also a cuddler and will plonk herself on our laps when she needs a fuss! Wishing you all the best, and can't wait to see some pics soon.
 

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Mom to Oatmeal too!
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I think at 4 weeks, they are still very young where they spend most of their time sleeping instead of playing. From reading various threads here, it seems like puppies don't really show their personalities until they are older than five weeks.
 

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If you are the one raising the litter of pups, you can sense their personalities early on. I raised three litters of Goldens, the first two litters were 12, and the last was 14! Of course, Mom needed a bit of help, so the time spent with the puppies was very significant from birth. You will notice which ones are laid back and more passive, and which ones can fend for themselves and are more aggressive.

To a potential buyer, I don't think all of these things would be evident at 4 weeks. 5-6 weeks would give you a much better idea. They change so much so quickly.

So, I wouldn't be worried about it, but I would have rather waited a couple of weeks to make my choice. Some breeders are in such a hurry to get those deposits that they rush things up. I didn't even start contacting people I had on my list to come look at them until 6 weeks.
 

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Puppies have moments of glory and moments of not so great, and you'd have to sit there for days to see the true temperament of the litter. It's generally accepted that the breeder, given true information about the home puppy might go into and their activity level and expectations and plans, should choose which puppy goes where. Only the breeder knows each puppy in and out. The use of an independent temperament tester is a wonderful tool, and my own TT'r has insight for me - which I add to my own knowledge of the litter to place puppies. It would 'red flag' me, personally, to be able to pick a puppy myself from a 4 week old litter if I were a puppy buyer. Another note- two de-wormings does not follow any state's VMA rules re: de-wormings. Most states suggest 2,4,6 and 8 weeks. So maybe puppy just has a parasite load and that's why she's sluggish... if she even is.. you may have caught her in a down time. Here's a link that covers the average state's rules re: de-worming:
Doctors Foster & Smith Deworming Guidelines for Dogs & Puppies
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for everyone's insights and support. You are all SO helpful! I was literally up at 4:30 this morning worrying about this.

As someone said, they are still babies, so maybe her personality might begin to peek out a bit in week 6 or so. I'm going to remain cautiously optimistic that she is just a laid-back girl. I have met both of her parents - both of which were beautiful and loving - so that also helps me a bit. I will keep you posted on her progress over the next couple of weeks.
 

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The fact that the breeder allowed you to pick at four weeks would also concern me.
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

Four weeks is very, very young for making judgments about puppies, IMHO.

My Charlie, whom I chose and brought home when he was 8 weeks old, was a mellow puppy who turned into a mellow adult. He won hearts wherever he went. He also adored tennis balls and would have worked himself to exhaustion retrieving them if I had allowed it.
 

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There is a difference between lethargic and mellow. Lethargic is sickly, more limp than simply laid back. Not engaged. Sickly would concern me for sure.
 

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Mercy Miracle (M&M)
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Take a deep breath! I am sure your pup will be just fine. Provided that she reputable, the breeder knows what she is doing. She knows her pups best. I think it is just new parent jitters. And besides, she's only 4 weeks old. Chances are, she will perk up just fine. Good luck with your new puppy.
 
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