What age do you evaluate a litter?
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Thread: What age do you evaluate a litter?

  1. #1
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultWhat age do you evaluate a litter?

    A comment in another thread made me want to ask this.

    From my experience, the people I am in contact with, and what I thought I have read/seen (like in Pat Hasting's Puppy Puzzle), I thought you eval puppies at 8 weeks because that's the closest to what they will look like as adults.

    Maybe it's regional, who knows....but what's YOUR experience?

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    meandclint is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    Jen it depends on the breeder's experience and the lines being evaluated but I don't know anyone who bases picks on 8 weeks - those legs sprout between 7 - 8 weeks and I've seen first hand that nice rear angles can pull out at 8 - 9 weeks and return at 16 weeks or so. Usually it's 7 weeks but sometimes younger. I know someone who very successfully evaluates at 6 weeks and then closes her eyes.

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    nwlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    7 weeks and if you are working with your own line you can be pretty consistent on picking the right pup. Not that things don't change, but they typically what you see is what you get. Nothing against Pat Hastings. Loved her video, but people have been picking pups successfully long before she came along and I am not talking about myself, since I am a mere newbie of nearly 17 years in the breed.

    eta: These are the best examples of what I mean that I had at work...

    Here are two pics of the pup.

    7 weeks


    2 YO

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    Well, I know it's all a crap shoot anyway since we hear the stories of best pick at whenever the eval was done just falling apart the older they get. Heck, Grace was evaluated at about 6.5 weeks and every single strong point on her then is gone now. Terrific straight topline and awesome rear angles...gone. She produced nicely and so far am happy with what I have and what I see from the other pups.

    We did mine at 6.5 and 7.5 just because on when the weekends fell and being able to visit the gal who did mine.

    Hopefully someone else chimes in because I am sure I didn't make up the "8 week old" number in my head....

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    ZRL
    ZRL is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    I'm not a breeder or a shower, but I know several people who do (from the local kennel club and other things). I've heard 8wks mentioned quite often, but it seems most of them have smaller breeds with a less pronounced growth spurt/gangly phase. Don't mind me though...I can generally pick passable conformation on an adult but all puppies look like floppy stress-relief squeeze balls to me

    ETA: By "small" I meant things under 50lbs. So I'm sure there are differences...
    Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure

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    Fallriver's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    Jenn, it depends on the lines. Mine have to be looked at about 6 weeks as they generally fall apart after that, especially as I am bringing more Tabatha in. The bitches can come back in time to show as puppies, the dogs less often. Chili's line needs to be looked at a bit closer to 5 weeks but they are almost always showable as puppies. I will then take another look at 12 weeks and I am looking more at movement and attitude at that point, then I close my eyes again.
    I'm very lucky: two of the puppies I am running on right now are 12 weeks and so far are holding together beautifully. They lost some angulation at 7 weeks but it seems to be coming back in but they have not turned gangly at all yet and it is nice for a change
    The small dog breeders I know look closer to 12 weeks FWIW.

    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    So how long did it take you to find this out this about your lines? Just curious as all of you who responded have been breeding some time now. Obviously some years, some practice and several litters to look at.

    I've been keeping an eye on the pups from my litter just to see what ends up happening as they grow and mature, what ends up good or bad. The 2 pick girls have really fallen apart to the point where I am just shaking my head wondering why they just got so ugly. One of them looked REALLY nice too. I told both owners that we'll do the local specialty and probably just sit on the pups until next year and let them grow up. My one boy though has kept it together. Still looks like he did at 7.5 weeks...


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    yellwlab is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    From a really really newbie's perspective: we looked at my litter at 8 weeks give or take a couple of days. I think we should have done it closer to seven weeks.

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    What's kind of interesting is that I had a friend in the breed for 25yr. look at my pups and picked 2 boys she absolutely loved. This was at 6.5 weeks. Then at 7.5 weeks we had another breeder/judge look at them and one was her top pick and one was the worst in her eyes. It will be interesting in a year or so because those were my keepers! :embarrass:

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    canUdigIt is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What age do you evaluate a litter?

    Ruby's breeder swears by picking her puppies at 5 weeks old. Got my pups on the table at 5 weeks old, and they obviously needed more time.

    Now at almost 7 weeks, there are a ton more angles visible, I am going to do pictures again tomorrow, but you can see them at 5 weeks here

    www.lastcalllabs.com/puppiesstacked5weeks

    Not only did they get more angle to them, but they also don't brace themselves thinking I am trying to trick them now when I plop them up there LOL

    I think that this has been a lesson in patience for both of us. I was so affraid that they would have no angles to them Thats clearly not the case now...I'll post tomorrow the new pictures.


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