We are going to be bringing home our new puppy in about 4 weeks now. Can hardly wait! Have done tons and tons of research for months, love the breeder, she is very well respected and the pups are well bred..NO worries there.
My question is about the individual pups within this great litter. Of course I realize there are differing personalities, but should there be a huge difference in temperaments? Would any of them be a bad choice? Would the more cautious of the pups be a good choice for a quiet household (we want a mellow, quiet but not shy pup...once the pup grows up)?
Breeder is really picking out the pup for us, so her input is very valued and trusted. But you hear the middle of the road puppy is the best and stay away from the more reserved pups and the most active . Nothing is certain as far as the puppy we are getting as yet, but I am just asking a general question.
Thanks so much!!
Yes there can be a wide variety of personalities, just like a human family. Some puppies are extremely smart and learn to be quiet and reserved in order not to call attention to themselves. Calling attention to themselves means they can be brutally picked on by their littermates. So that shy retiring pup doesn't necessarily mean the pup is truly shy. This is why the breeder knowing and picking out the puppy for you is usually the best option. Plus, some puppies are more reserved with strangers, just like people. Once they get to know their people, they're usually fine.
♣ Laura ♣
Thanks so much! Just what I wanted to hear
There are also some tests to see the pups reaction to several things, that let you know their personalities, like what they do when they are in a new environment, how they react to a noise, if they like to be held belly up, if they follow people or wander around, etc.
When I picked Misha, she was the only puppy left in her litter with her brother, which the breeder kept. But he let me interact with both puppies, first each one on their own, then together so I could see her personality. I wanted an independent dog and she indeed was. Not so more anymore, but she´s still and independent thinker.
With Homer I was offered two pups, same method (pre-selected by the breeder). I met the puppies individually and interacted with them. Homer immediately came to me and stayed with me instead of wandering off to investigate the place. He´s been my black shadow ever since. His yellow brother was more intense, more playful.
The good thing about Labs is that WELL BRED ones have all great temperaments.
I'm amused about the "well" bred thing. Yes, you have a breeder who cares about the breed and probably shows them, and does all of the proper clearances, etc. The whelping box is probably not out in the garage, they do a good job at properly socializing the pups, and they dont' go home until they are 8 weeks. The thing of it is, IMO, is that puppies in ALL litters have varying personalities. And while the basic personalities do exist when they leave a breeder's home at 8 weeks, the remainder of the dog's personality is going to be shaped by it's environment, training and people. I know of "well" bred puppies going to certain families with one personality and them becoming something totally different. Same goes for when I send out rescue dogs. A dog will leave my house exhibiting certain traits, but will do things in the new home because the new owners allow them to do so. A majority of behavioral issues come from the owners themselves, not the breeding of the dog.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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I've said it (many) times before...but our breeder matched Dinozzo and our family. She asked about the family set-up, why we wanted the dog (would he/she be for show/pet/working) among others things. She was so good at it, I only realized I was being assessed for suitability months afterwards.
Trust your breeder, they know the pups' temperaments better than anyone else and will do their utmost to match up pup and family. Ours did an excellent job and simply couldn't be faulted.
"A majority of behavioral issues come from the owners themselves, not the breeding of the dog."
I am an experienced dog owner, and certainly plan on obedience...in fact, the pup is already enrolled for kindergarten after he gets home! But I DO think you have a much better chance to get a "stable-temperament" dog from a person who truly cares about the breed and is socializing them properly before they go to their forever home than an irresponsible breeder who probably does neither.
My question was regarding the "basic personality" you suggest is already shaped by 8 weeks of age. I more than realize that the rest of it is up to me.
I wanted a mellow quieter dog and my breeder selected Blaise - and that is exactly what he is. He was pretty vocal in the litter, but also quite a slug - not the most active of the puppies - liked to lie there and complain.
As an adult he is mellow, sweet, very affectionate, active when we go out - still a slug at home. His favorite thing is to snuggle up next to me on the couch - where he is right at the moment.
Dani is right about temperament problems usually being caused by owners. Genetic temperament issues are exceptions - even in "not so well bred" dogs.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I'm reading a new book by John Bradshaw called 'Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet'. In this book Bradshaw talks about how puppy personality tests conducted at 7 or 8 weeks of age don't really predict the puppies future personality and how at 7 or 8 weeks of age a puppies personality is at it's most malleable.As long as your comfortable with the breeder in general and how they socialize and raise the puppies you should not go wrong with any of the puppies. Their personality will still be very shape-able at this age it and be more dependent on how the breeder and you socialize and raise the puppy and how many new situations you introduce it to in a friendly manner.Numerous scientific studies have failed to find any validity in "puppy testing" as a predictor of future character.