Soon, hopefully, I'll be choosing a chocolate male puppy to be a companion for me. I need to get a low-to-medium energy dog (with a loving temperament, too ). I'm chronically ill and housebound for the most part. I'll be training him myself, and need to find the best way possible to see at the age of four weeks how the puppy's energy level and temperament will be.
I've been told that at four weeks, a good way to check the energy level of a pup, is go make the appointment with the breeder to be at the time they would normally be nursing. Then, to have the breeder bring the puppies out without the mother; have you go in, and then bring the mother out. You can then tell by the way the puppies go to get their milk how their energy level is. If they rush over all the others, they have high energy; and if they finally make it over, then they have low energy. So, to get one in the middle, find one who isn't in so much of a hurry, but does try to get there. (got this from Cesar Millan, BTW). He says this works for him every time. The breeder I'm going to says she doesn't believe in the "energy" thing, but I'm going to tell her to humor me, and do this so I have [I]some[I] chance of getting a dog that isn't super hyper.
Does anyone have any other ways to check? I'm open to suggestion.
That's a really tuff age, because one might be gung ho for one meal then not so much the next. They're just not consistent at that age. How are the temperaments of both parents? older siblings? grandparents? What kind of bloodlines do they come from? Some tend to be super mellow, while others not so much.
It is VERY hard to pick a puppy based on a short visit.
The breeder sees them every day, day in and day out for 8 weeks and should be the one recommending the pups that are best fit for each puppy buyer (based on their needs and lifestyle).
I think anyone saying you can absolutely tell the personality of a puppy based on one visit and those kinds of exercises is full of themselves.
Even with the volhard test (I think that's what it is called) you normally do it like once a week and see how the puppy does, not just once.
And you always hear stories about picking the puppy that was lazy and cuddly during the visit who, as it turns out, just happened to be particularly tired at the time of the visit and was actually the little shit disturber of the litter
Ain't happening that young. Believe me. They are all cute at that age, but temperament is NOT something you can determine until at least 7-8 wks and that only assumes you are dealing w/ a breeder who knows what they are doing.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
i was under the impression that the breeder helps choose the right dog for the buyer.
Boy, that's a hard one. The puppies are chosen at four weeks, so I'll have to let the breeder help me. I wish I could wait until the 7-8 week age to choose for that reason.
I'm glad I asked about this, since I hadn't thought about seeing them only the one time, and that isn't enough as you have said. Thanks. I appreciate the input.
When she calls me to let me know when they are born, I'm going to ask her to keep an eye out for me. I'll let her know the reason, and maybe she'll take the extra effort. Who knows? Hopefully she isn't as busy this time of year training the hunting dogs since it's so hot, and will have the time...we'll see.
8-9 weeks of age will give you an indication of the pup's true personality. At 4 weeks, it's just appearing and you can't tell anything.
you said this breeder competes in conformation? neither they nor the studs owner are keepin a puppy?
No responsible breeder choses or allows others to chose a puppy at 4wks... so if that's the case here, I'd move on. Although I will ask with you being "chronically ill and housebound for the most part", is an 8wk old puppy really the best decision for you?? Lab puppies, even the mellow ones, need plenty of outdoor playtime and exercise. They need tons of socialization and exposure to things in the neighborhood, around town, classes, parks, etc... Perhaps and older or formally trained therapy/service dog would be more appropriate for your situation.
As noted by folks already, it is near about impossible at that age. What I did when I picked out my puppy from a breeder at 8 weeks was to place each pup in my arms
upside down like a human baby in it's mothers arms. This is an un natural position for a dog so most will kick, struggle and try REAL hard to get turned paws down.
When I did this mine was the only one that did not struggle so I see that as a sign of trust in humans not to drop them. Worked for me.......Good Luck