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Going to look at a puppy.....

(30 Posts)
HotPanda Fri 03-May-13 12:54:20

I'm going to look at a puppy on Monday. Actually that is a lie, I am going to look at 6 puppies, but somehow need to decide which one I want to bring home.

How would you choose? DH says we will just "know" which one is for us. I think I will want them all!

lurcherlover Fri 03-May-13 13:02:12

Firstly, make sure you're happy with the breeder. Do this BEFORE you see the puppies as you won't want to walk away from them once you've seen them. As a minimum expect the following from a decent breeder:

- puppies should be with the mother and you should be able to meet her (walk away immediately if this is not possible).
- all relevant health tests for the breed should have been carried out and the breeder should have certificates to show you, for both mother and father (do you know what health tests are relevant to the breed?)
- breeder should ask you questions about your lifestyle, how prepared you are for the pup etc, and should offer support and advice for the life of the pup. They should also offer to take it back if there are any problems.
- pups should have been socialised in a family environment. They should be used to household noise and activity and should preferably have met children.
- be wary of a breeder who offers lots of different breeds or who has lots of litters on the go (both signs of a potential puppy farmer).
- pups should have been wormed and possibly had a vaccination depending on their age. Thebreeder should send you home with some of the food the pup is used to eating to avoid upset stomachs in the early days.

If all that's in order, then you can meet the pups and fall in love with one. Conventional advice is to not go for either the most bolshy or the most shy of the litter, but one in between. Have you a preference for a dog or a bitch? Depending on the breed, bitches can be easier for a first-time owner, but this isn't always true. I'm inclined to agree with your dh that the puppy will probably choose you!

lurcherlover Fri 03-May-13 13:02:55

Oh, and don't pay any attention to a breeder who makes a big fuss about being "KC registered". It doesn't actually mean anything. The list above is much more important.

flowery Fri 03-May-13 13:04:18

We got the one that looked at me then climbed in my handbag...

HotPanda Fri 03-May-13 13:10:33

Oh I've been in discussions with the breeder for weeks. I posted on here a while ago about finding a decent one and got loads of good advice. Mainly from you actually LL!

We are going for a bitch - we already have a 5 year old dog so have been told this is the better fit than getting another dog.
We didn't choose our dog as such though, so this bit is all new!

flowery I wasn't going to a handbag, but that sounds so cute. I'd be screwed if one of the boy pups I am not meant to be looking at climbed in though.

Bunnylion Fri 03-May-13 13:12:43

Have you though if you want a boy or girl? Other than that, pick one that seems awake, healthy, calm, good weight etc.

It's better to get the puppy on second visit. Take a tea towel to leave in the mums bed on the first visit when you choose the puppy, then when you collect the puppy put the mummy smelling tea towel in the puppy bed to reduce its stress in its new home.

Taking a puppy on the second visit will also give you time to think and will stop you taking a puppy home out of sympathy if you get there and the breeders don't seem responsible.

My friend bought one off a guy who had 7 labrador litters at one time in a one bedroom flea ridden high rise flat. She said she just felt so sorry for the puppy. Her buying one has fed his business and hurt more dogs in the long run.

So please organise a visit, just a few days before, so you can meet the breeder and they can ask you about your home to ensure its all suitable for both you and the puppy.

flowery Fri 03-May-13 13:17:59

It was v cute! grin He jumped up my leg tail wagging, then climbed into my bag and turned round to look at me, as if to say "I've chosen you to take me home please"

[ridiculously soppy emoticon] blush

He chose us We chose him first visit then arranged to pick him up a week later.

HotPanda Fri 03-May-13 13:27:28

They aren't ready to come away from Mum just yet, so no fear of taking one home. Good idea to take a cloth though, last time we were given a scrap of Mums blanket which didn't last long!

happygardening Fri 03-May-13 14:24:47

We have always let the breeder chose the right one us and the easiest way once you've decided on the sex of the puppy. The last puppy we bought all looked identical we couldn't have chosen one. We've never had a disaster every one has fitted effortlessly into our unconventional outgoing busy lives. She's the one who knows all about the puppies because she's with them all the time. Most good breeders will try and organise you and the puppies when they are awake for the visit but obviously it cant be guaranteed so the right puppy for you could be fast sleep.

Bunnylion Fri 03-May-13 16:19:21

What breed are you planning on getting?

I've always preferred to get new puppies in the beginning of the summer, makes house training a lot more comfortable if its not freezing and raining out!

HotPanda Fri 03-May-13 16:34:29

A Weimaraner. I have a dally already so it would be a good match exercise wise when she is bigger. If we do get one from this litter then it would be ready in 2/3 weeks, as we agree on the getting one in the summer.

Spotty dog was born late May, so we didn't get him til the end of July.this gives us an extra couple of months of training before the dark evenings set in and all walks are by torchlight!

ILikeToClean Fri 03-May-13 17:46:57

Agree with letting breeder help with choosing, they know the pups and also what you are looking for, lifestyle, family set up etc. We chose fairly easily, only 4 pups in the litter, 3 boys and 1 girl, we wanted a boy, 2 chocolate boys who were craaaazy, and our black boy who was noticeably calmer, so we plumped for him!! Think if there had been more pups it would have been impossible, so let breeder help along with your own heart!! whoever you choose will just then be "yours" iyswim! Good luck grin

Turniphead1 Fri 03-May-13 19:08:46

A trainer told me a (condensed) version of a longer test to get a good pup. Get all the girls (or boys) in a little huddle where they all awake. Bring pieces of liver cake or something really good in a small metal bowl. Make sure they can all smell it. Then drop the bowl with the treat in so it makes quite a big noise. The dogs will scatter. First one back to the bowl - that's a trainers dog, way too bolshy for a family pet. You are looking for the third or fourth back. And definitely don't go for the one that's wet itself with fear/still cowering somewhere.

Obviously you'd have to have the breeders consent for this.

idirdog Fri 03-May-13 19:39:54

Bloddy hell if people started dropping metal bowls near my puppies they would not get to take any of them home with them shock.

There is no real test of working out a puppies character at 5 weeks, some may be sleepy because they have just fed, some may be playful etc. Police dogs are chosen at a young age along with guide dogs and a lot of them are refused for training at a later date.

Agree listen to the breeder who sees the puppies 24/7 and usually it is not hard they do tend to choose you as Flowery says

HoneyDragon Fri 03-May-13 19:47:09

I listened to the rescuer of the puppies

She said

"That ones lovely but totally nuts, she'd suit you and she'll be hard work"

My dog is indeed lovely, totally nuts and hard work grin

HotPanda Fri 03-May-13 20:58:13

I'll speak to the breeder then. Thanks.

Any good book suggestions? Last time I used "a perfect puppy" but I lent that out so would have to buy it again anyway. I wondered if there was something else as that was a while ago.
It seemed to work ok with the spottydog, so am leaning towards simply buying it again.

Mama1980 Fri 03-May-13 21:04:00

I got my dog from a accidental litter heading to rescue. Walked in room with ds1 who was then 2 dog walked over ds1 sat down dog climbed into his lap, and has pretty much stayed there for the last 2 years! grin They are totally inseparable, decision was nothing to do with me I just buy the food grin

Abra1d Fri 03-May-13 21:08:05

I would go for one of the pups that wasn't the very first to run towards you, but not cowering at the back. That said, my husband chose the one who ran towards us: the really bossy madam. We have had some moments with her but have managed to persuade her that our ways should be hers. It would have been easier with one of the less forward pups, though. We are quite experienced with this breed and that did help.

lurcherlover Fri 03-May-13 21:09:58

Jan Fennell's "the seven ages of your dog" is worth a read. Good luck, am v jealous of your puppy snuggles to come (although currently have three-week-old dd snuggled on my chest so can't grumble too much!)

Abra1d Fri 03-May-13 21:11:42

Oh, if you have a three-week old DD we have no sympathy for you at all. Can't you pass her round for virtual holding sessions? ;)

lurcherlover Fri 03-May-13 21:21:59

She is v snuggly and does make whuffly puppy noises!

topbannana Sat 04-May-13 11:47:18

Oh yes idirdog no correlation between the pup you see at 4 1/2 weeks and the one you bring home at 8 weeks grin
We chose a pup a few weeks ago from a litter of four, two of each. Open minded about a dog or a bitch and ended up choosing a sweet natured, friendly little dog, outgoing but not overly bolshy. Fast forward to bringing him home last Saturday....
He is fearless, and I have had a lot of experience of pups and never known one like this. He is a dedicated climber, which was clearly not apparent at the first viewing. He is uber-confident to the point where I fear for my sanity on occasions. All in all he is the dog that i would have chosen if I had not got my legion of males, canine, human and feline to take into account grin
So yes, pick the puppy that you like and that likes you but be aware that it may well be a very different pup you end up bringing home grin

CalamityKate Sat 04-May-13 11:57:30

God I wouldn't take any notice of anything Jan Fennel writes or says. She's absolutely bonkers bless her.

ginauk84 Mon 06-May-13 08:38:32

Personally I think you will know and let your heart rule. First pup I picked (had had 2 rescues before) I went by all the things peo

ginauk84 Mon 06-May-13 08:44:00

Stupid iPhone!

I took everybodies advice and looked for this, that and the other in the pup an picked the one that ticked boxes. As a result we never really bonded, she's a fab dog and we've done well in agility but just not ever connected.

So pup number 2 I threw away checklist and chose the one I fell in love with, he sat on my foot & held my trouser leg and didn't let go. When I picked him up he came straight to me & snuggled on my lap. We have a really strong relationship - best out of all my dogs smile

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