How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?
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Thread: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    DefaultHow to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    I believe there will be 3-4 to pick from and I have never picked one out before. From what I have read so far, I don't want the most bossy, playful one or the one hiding in the corner. Anything else I should look for? I just want a good family dog!

    I am so excited and this is our first lab. I know many people who have them. We have owned dogs before and have a Lhaso. Had a bad experience with our Border Collie X. I will be crate training and do obedience classes when the time is right.

    I have been lurking on here for awhile and we are all now ready! YEA!!!

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  3. #2
    Scout and friends Guest

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    I can imagine how excited you are.

    The breeder helped us pick. She spent 8 weeks with the puppies and knew them very well. We told her about us, about our lifestyle - she pointed out girls she thought would be well suited to our family. We spent time with the ones she suggested, and Scout was our pick!

    Scout is our second girl. Her breeder suggested a boy for our next lab - she said they can be very lovey and adoring. (Scout is as well though.)

    Looking forward to pictures!

  4. #3
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    What an exciting time! ;D Oh, the puppy breath. Makes me want to go pick out a puppy! :P

    You're right about a middle of the road personality. Outgoing, bossy, dominant puppies are best left to those with experience, perhaps even those who wish to compete in dog sports or field trials. The shy type can be just as troublesome in terms of socialization.

    But those are really blanket generalities You get the picture, though.

    I'm not a professional puppy picker but I'll tell you about the best puppy I ever picked:

    Crash (in my Avatar, to the left) was beyond perfect, for me. I never had a single complaint about him, and there was never a day when I didn't think I was the luckiest person in the world to have him in my life. He was just wonderful.

    There were about 10 or 11 in his litter. They were Pit Bull/Rottweiler/Golden mixes. When we went to see them, all came running out from underneath the house ( :-[ ) to greet us. Most of them looked exactly like little Pit Bulls. And boy did they have personalities to match. They put the terror in terrier, those puppies. Nipping at my nose, fingers, clothing, jumping over each other...they put on quite a show. Kevin and I were thinking, "Oh boy, we're just not seeing it." A little too high-energy for our liking.

    Then we saw him. He wasn't hanging with the other puppies, and he wasn't particularly interested in us either. He was sniffing around under a truck in the front yard. He was at least twice the size of the rest of the pups, with a bit more fluff about his coat. I was intrigued by this independent, aloof character. Maybe it seemed like a challenge to try and win him over.

    I went and picked him up and brought him over to the grassy area. He was very agreeable, no quarreling about it. I rolled him over on his back, and he was very agreeable to that too. And then he did the thing that is probably the most foolproof method for a puppy or dog in finding themselves a heart to wrap around their paw: He lifted his eyes and gazed into mine. Oh boy, those deep, dark eyes, so inquisitive, so soulful. We connected in that moment, I really feel like we did. There was no question about who was going home with us.

    We had him for another 10 1/2 years, until a sudden illness took him from us in 2004. He was always a bit aloof like that. He never sought to cuddle, but was agreeable if you went to him. He didn't really change that much from the puppy I saw under the truck. But oh, how that boy had me. He was always so calm, so confident. He was born with perfect manners. He never rushed through doors, but insisted on being formally invited to go in or out. He would carefully, gingerly, pick his way around any items left on the floor so as not to disturb them. If he had no clear path, he would patiently sit (looking very regal) until you cleared it for him. He never stole an item of food or clothing, and would have never dreamed of threatening any visitor. He was gentle to his very core.

    I could go on about him for pages and pages and bore you to pieces. Sorry! Your post just made me think of him and smile, and I felt like sharing. Maybe some other people will share their puppy picking stories too, and reading those will help you get an idea of how to pick.

    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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  6. #4
    Baloo317's Avatar
    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    Basically, we had a reservation in for a black male, and Baloo turned out to be the only one, so our picking experience was fairly easy.... 

    Having said that, We still filled out an extensive questionnaire regarding our lifestyle, activities, what we expected from the puppy, etc. etc.

    Baloo's litter were all temperment tested using the Volhard puppy aptitude test.

    His results and ours (and the breeders opinion, obviously) all stated that we would be a good match!

    If the results had turned out differently, we probably would have ended up with a black female, or a chocolate male. 
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!

  7. #5
    myfavoritedog's Avatar
    myfavoritedog is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    The first time I ever saw Tal he was 3 weeks old. The day I went to the breeder to pick him out, I wanted a black male and the litter had 7 black and two chocolates. Only one of the males was black. I decided on the way that I would make sure it was the personality and not the gender or color.

    So when I held each one. Tal, the only black male, was the only one that would allow me to turn him over on his back. He never kicked up a fuss. To this day he will let me roll him over on his back without any protest.

    All the others were well behaved and I really didn't see any I thought were extreme one way or the other. And like Connie, when he looked at me, well that did it.

    Tal and I fit together perfectly. The breeder helped me pick him out.

    Just make sure you have a good breeder, one who is interested in the betterment of the breed, who can provide health clearances and who's dogs have some titles in their backgrounds.

    Good luck, post lots of pictures and congrats!

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    Hearing the story about Crash takes me back to when I picked Jake. We had our "place on the List" waiting for a Male. I had waited 7 months for my Breeder to have a boy available, so I was very excited. I told the Breeder about my family and what I wanted. I did lots of research and of course, thought I knew exactly what to look for when I picked him. My Breeder had an eye on the pups and knew who she thought was for me.

    On picking day, I walked into the Puppy House and picked up every single boy and snuggled and inspected them. Another lady was there at the same time for a boy. We each had a boy in our arms, checking them out. Neither pup really cared much about what we were doing. We traded puppies and that was it! My puppy started kissing me and chewing on my hair. Her puppy crawled up her shoulder and went to sleep in her hair. Those two became Jake and Tucker. We still see Tucker and he is the love of his owner's life. I am so thrilled with Jake. He ended up picking me and he is exaclty what I wanted. Of course, I found out later that Jake was the puppy the breeder had picked for me as well. She always told me, don't worry, your puppy will pick you! She was exactly right and I have loved him every second of every day since!

    So....ask your Breeder who they think fits your family, they spend lots of time with the pups! Good luck and enjoy!

  9. #7
    Dawson Creek Girl's Avatar
    Dawson Creek Girl is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I'm an Alberta girl

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    Our choice was for a black female and there were three in the litter. But the owner of the dam got first pick ....then the other went to a show breeder home.... so our choice was pretty easy.. we got what was left.... Rowan.

    I don't think we could have gotten a better behaved dog though. She is beautiful inside and out and the breeder has joked that maybe they 'kept' the wrong ones.... LOL!

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    My first two I found by word of mouth and were from litters where both parents were good in the field on birds. I wanted a black male, I sat down and I took the first one of them that crawled up in my lap home. Not very scientific, but was very pelased both time.

    Rowdy was from an accidental litter my BIL had with a yellow female he took on at about 6 months when a co-worker had to go to Iraq. His father is unknown but 99% sure it's one of three chocolate males. All the puppies were black and 6 males to choose from. Third time, heck we picked the biggest, most active and dominate one, we love our "Hell on Wheels" and I know he'll be great in the field, glad I had two before him though.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    Our breeder chose for us for all 3 labs. most breeders really know their pups well by the time they are ready to go home and can do a great job matching them with families. Ours did!

    Anyway...congratulations and best of luck with your lab! You really can't go wrong as long as you used a reputable breeder.

  12. #10
    AbbyandMolly's Avatar
    AbbyandMolly is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: How to best pick out a puppy from a litter?

    Both our dogs were for the most part picked out for us. Our yellow girl (Abby) was picked between 2 girls that the breeder thought would suit our family best. I instantly fell in love with her when she stopped whining when I picked her up and snuggled her so she came home with us :P

    With Molly, we wanted a black female and she was the only one in her litter (the only female of any color actually lol). We told the breeder what we were looking for and she kept an eye on Molly for us for 3 weeks (we first met Molly at 3 weeks old). She decide that Molly would be a good fit for us I'm glad she decided lol
    ~Abby, Molly, and Penny (the honorary lab)

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