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  • Selecting a pup from a litter

    My wife and I have settled on a breed and a breeder, and the pups were born on February 2nd. We have the second choice out of 7 pups, so now we're faced with how to make that selection. We're mostly indifferent about the sex, as we've gotten ample feedback from folks in both directions. For every person that says they'd only ever own a male, we get another that says the same about females. So...not too concerned on that, though my wife likes the idea of a larger dog.

    Our priority is probably the dog's personality, as we want one that is relatively mellow and well behaved. I'm new to dog ownership, but I assume this has more to do with training than with a dog's innate temperament.

    So, how do you folks pick a dog when you have your choice of multiple littermates? I'm not likely to train the dog for bird hunting, but rather want a good family dog. Any tips on picking one out, or is it a bit of a crapshoot?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Brian M View Post
    My wife and I have settled on a breed and a breeder, and the pups were born on February 2nd. We have the second choice out of 7 pups, so now we're faced with how to make that selection. We're mostly indifferent about the sex, as we've gotten ample feedback from folks in both directions. For every person that says they'd only ever own a male, we get another that says the same about females. So...not too concerned on that, though my wife likes the idea of a larger dog.

    Our priority is probably the dog's personality, as we want one that is relatively mellow and well behaved. I'm new to dog ownership, but I assume this has more to do with training than with a dog's innate temperament.

    So, how do you folks pick a dog when you have your choice of multiple littermates? I'm not likely to train the dog for bird hunting, but rather want a good family dog. Any tips on picking one out, or is it a bit of a crapshoot?
    Hey Brian, Ok, here is my method,-[over 40yrs +/_]- as we just did this very thing back in April last year, watch the litter as the Dam moves around, the One's or One that follow's her every move, is probably the Dominant One in the litter, and also maybe the Largest, and that may also be a Male as well,,,, and also ask the Breeder to remove the Dam from the Pups/Litter, and then watch which Ones, or One that will venture away from the rest as they will all be somewhat huddled together, with Mom gone,,,,, if you are looking for a laid-back dog, then choose one the pups that didn't venture out of the group, and the largest ones, as a rule will be Males.
    There you go,,,,, Easy, Peasy.
    TG:topjob:

    He turned 10 months, 4 days ago. roud:
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ] :topjob:

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    • #3
      My last dog was picked as follows: The pups were still pretty young and I showed up to see them in the evening after they had already had a long day. They were all curled up in a pile and weren't the least bit interested in me; I got nothing but half-opened eye sideways glances and the equivalent of puppy cold shoulders. A couple of them might even have flipped me off......except for one single pup who immediately got up, extracted himself from the heap, yawned, stretched, and staggered over to be sociable. He turned out to be the best dog I've ever had. I still miss him.
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      ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
      I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
      The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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      • #4
        iofthetaiga got it right. It doesn't to be when thay are tired, when a dog picks you the dog is yuors for life. It will be a family dog but it will pick you or your wife and that is the place they will for guidance. There are some good internet articles about selecting for calmness and test should be done to be sure. Test can be found easily under testing and selecting a service dog. Hope thiis helps.

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        • #5
          well i wrote another reply to this threa and was againg kickout. This orum is getting worse and worse. MY last post.

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          • #6
            Just picked one last summer. Here were some of the steps I took based on extensive online reading:
            • Clap hands. Respond with interest or apprehension?
            • Which pick up objects?
            • If they do pick up objects, call pup and see if willing to share
            • Which ones deviate from group?
            • Using nose?
            • Observe body:
              • Straight legs
              • Depth of ribs
              • High tails
              • Teeth

            • Group litter together and use wing tied to string and stick to tease and observe reaction
              • Eliminate dogs with no interest
              • Evaluate which are fixated vs casual interest

            • Dominant pup of litter will be a handful
              • Least dominate also poor choice

            • One by one, pick up pups. Turn it on its back. Want one that wiggles, but doesnít go crazy
            • Take the pups you like outside.
              • Walk away. Does pup follow or ignore?
              • Stop walking, clap hands and squat on one knee. Does pup run up?
              • Crumple up paper and throw it in view. Does he show curiosity?

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            • #7
              As mentioned above, I let the pup choose me.
              Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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              • #8
                If you are not looking for a hunting dog, just a good family pet, my advice is pick the pup that makes you smile.
                Youíll know pretty quick which one it is.

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                • #9
                  I pay way more attention to the parents than the pups for a family pooch. If either are aggressive, pick another breeder. Donít take the breeders word for it either, unless you really know them. Nothing worse than a biting dog around kids.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gbflyer View Post
                    I pay way more attention to the parents than the pups for a family pooch. If either are aggressive, pick another breeder. Donít take the breeders word for it either, unless you really know them. Nothing worse than a biting dog around kids.
                    We know four families with dogs from this breeder, and all are wonderful family dogs. We feel pretty confident on this end.

                    Thanks all for the advice shared above!

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                    • #11
                      I've got a dog team and a pile of dogs, and in my experience a lot of the dominance stuff is wrong or misleading, and pack structure is a lot more complicated than they suggest. I do agree that the pup that picks you is the pup you pick - I've had that happen and in those cases those were special dogs and special bonds. Also, +1 on the parents, but it sounds like you're in great shape with that one.
                      Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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                      • #12
                        Brian,

                        For what it's worth, the personality when they are a pup is what will carry on. As an example, I had two goldens, one would climb out of the puppy pen and venture out on her own. She showed no sign of fear. She was very outgoing in every way as a pup and this was the case for the rest of her life. She would tree bears for fun. The other wouldn't venture out on her own and showed signs of fear. This has also carried on. She is very timid and scared of most things. She will be bringing a bear back to me.......right between my legs for sure. If you want an independent dog, look for outgoing personality. If you want a clingy fearful dog, it will be the one sitting by its self with no ambition to venture out and show's signs of fear. Hope that helps. Neither is wrong, it just depends on what you want for a family dog. As one breeder told me, not all the pups are the same, some need high energy families to be with and others need to be sitting by grandmas side in a cozy little cottage.
                        Adak Caribou Hunts
                        dave@svahunts.com
                        1(907)399-1775
                        http://www.adakcaribouhunts.com/

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                        • #13
                          Might be wives tale, but I have often heard about rubbing skull between the ears. Envision a big bear skull, there is nub there. Larger the nub or nub present means it will b a smart dog. All the great dogs Iíve met in homes while working all had this feature. My do u have met was mailed to me. Sheís super smart and great natural hunter. Sheís got big ol nub back there.

                          Iíve skinny many bears. Not all have the same size nub, the one w the biggest nub was the oldest and out smarted us many years till a sow lead him through and my dad happened to wake up after sleeping and busted him.

                          Otherwise these other gentlemenís post all great info. TRUST YOUR GUT!!


                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                          • #14
                            Selecting a pup from a litter

                            Hey Brian, Iím just curious, what breed of pup are you looking at? I see you made reference to a bird-dog, so Iím assuming that itís a hunting breed. Also you made reference to the fact that your wife would like a bigger dog. Iíve owned labs for many years now (well, over 20 years anyway), and lately Iíve been leaning more towards the English, smaller, more compact size. They seem to be more super cub friendly.


                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AK Troutbum View Post
                              Hey Brian, Iím just curious, what breed of pup are you looking at? I see you made reference to a bird-dog, so Iím assuming that itís a hunting breed. Also you made reference to the fact that your wife would like a bigger dog. Iíve owned labs for many years now (well, over 20 years anyway), and lately Iíve been leaning more towards the English, smaller, more compact size. They seem to be more super cub friendly.
                              Actually, I'm not looking at a bird dog. I like bird hunting well enough, but I do it very infrequently, so that's not a priority and I wouldn't want to train a dog to love bird hunting and then not take it out.

                              We're getting a goldendoodle. If you had told me that a year ago, I would have scoffed at the notion, but we made that choice based on a couple of factors. First, the no-shedding hypoallergenic aspect is huge from my wife's perspective. I have to be respectful of that being a priority. We're aware that some still shed, but this one is 75% standard poodle, so it shouldn't shed much if at all. Second, we have three neighbors and another friend with dogs from the same breeder (same dam, different sire), and they are all fantastic dogs. I was skeptical, but being around those dogs regularly for the past year has sold me.

                              I always pictured myself with a lab or a maybe a pointer or spaniel of some sort, but at this point I'm pretty happy with the idea of a goldendoodle - despite the utter ridiculousness of the breed name.

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