I'm a complete newbie when it comes to keeping dogs. I've been an aquarist for many years but finally i have got a chance to adopt a lab pup.
First question, should i pick a male or female? I am more inclined towards a male though. My friend's lab as delivered a litter of 3 females and 2 males a month ago and now she has asked me to choose one.
How do i go about this? I have done a lot of google searches on this, but would still appreciate feedback.
I was going to say that you should trust the judgement of the breeder as they have lived with the pups for close to 8 weeks and can help determine personality matches to the families. But since the breeder is a friend, and you are asked to choose at a time when personalities aren't even formed yet (4 weeks wont' truly give you an indiciation of what that pup might be like as an adult), I would just let the pup pick you. My inclination is always a male as they tend to me more loving towards you. Girls will be smaller, if that's a necessary consideration.
Thanks for the reply.
My friend though is not a professional breeder. Her lab and the stud to whom she got her lab mated are both show winning dogs. So i'm quite happy about that.
There are 2 males in the litter of 5, one is the first born (named Ron) and the other is the last born (named Jazz).
I'm more inclined towards Jazz as he seemed more alert and friendly when i last saw him a few days ago.
I have by day after tomorrow to choose a pup so any opinions are welcomed.
Another question: She has already named the pups. Can i change the name after i get one home? It will be 8 weeks by that time and the pups would be quite used to being called by their names i guess?
Last edited by Canine; 06-09-2009 at 09:43 AM. Reason: typo
You can absolutely change the name!!! Alot of breeders (most, I think) call their pups something different. Some go with puppy themes, such as Gilligan's Island - Gilligan, Ginger, Maryann, etc. You can definitely change it!
If you're looking for additional advice, try posted in Lab Chat or the Puppy section. More traffic there.
Will you be crate training the pup?
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
As for the name change, I've changed 2 of mine with no problems. I adopted a 10yo KCS ages ago called Tarsha. I hated that name & so I changed it to Charles. She adapted to it within a few days so you wont have any problems with a young pup.
Now, how do you keep track of the pup had you have picked? I mean both look exactly the same. What my friend has done is tied different coloured loose thin (breakable) strings around them. What's to prevent her from exchanging the pup for any reason? Any method of identification?
What colour are the pups? If the one you pick has any distinguishing marks from the rest (not very common in Labs) you can use that to ID him or her otherwise you'll just have to trust your friend.
One thing I recommend is to visit the pups several times before making your mind, and see their personalities. It is common for a friendly pup to be calm and lazy one day and the next all excited and playful.
sometimes the most bouncy playful (i.e. biter) dog is not the best for you, as he/she might be the more dominant. Also make a best effort to auto-analyze yourself. Are you outgoing, sports person, playful or are you a more calm person? pick a pup that matches your energy level, although as a rule all labs are high energy dogs that require a lot of exercise.
One exercise is to separate each pup from the group and take him to a closed separate place and see how he reacts at being at a strange place. If he remains calm and friendly but pays attention to you, this is a confident dog, if he acts shy and hides behind you and gets scared, this is a sensitive dog that will require more work (still can be a good pup). If he ignores people and goes away to investigate everything without paying attention then you have an independent guy, who might be a challenge sometimes (still also can be a great dog).
Stay away from fearful / aggressive pups, this means they were not socialized properly or that their parents donīt have a good temperament. A playful pup will bite you but an aggresive pup will growl, hackles up and have a "weird" stare. Donīt confuse playful biting with aggressive biting.
The last advice is to not "throw away" the idea of a girl. In labs there isnīt much difference (in terms of temperament) between males and females, so choose by personality rather than sex. You have more options to choose from. I have one of each and they are both great dogs. Both are loving, playful, loyal and friendly
Unfortunately, both the males are of same color. I'll try to look for more distinguishing marks tomorrow
Thanks to all you guys.