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Puppy personality at 5 weeks

(20 Posts)
bzzbeebzz Sun 24-Jun-18 07:52:41

We recently met our potential puppy and everything was perfect- the mother, the breeder, the parentage on both sides...but... he was the quietest or certainly one of the quietest of the litter of 6. Unfortunately all of the others have been assigned owners already. We are a family with young/energetic children and I’m worried that the quiet, subdued puppy won’t be the right personality for us. I felt sorry for him but I wasn’t charmed by him, whereas a couple of the more typical puppies (playful, curious and interactive) were just lovely and my son made friends with them very easily.
So my question is, how indicative of their personality and suitability is a puppy at ~5 weeks?
And are there benefits to having a very calm, chilled, possibly subdued puppy?
He is a lab in case that matters.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sun 24-Jun-18 08:42:53

And are there benefits to having a very calm, chilled, possibly subdued puppy?

Look at it this way, if he is quiet and a bit fearful then socialisation will involve experiences to build confidence. If he is over confidence and bouncy then your work will involve managing that and getting him to settle and be quiet. Personally I would pick quiet over bouncy but that is because I am grateful my dog naturally knows how to chill in the house (although he is a loon outside grin)

MargotLovedTom1 Sun 24-Jun-18 08:47:58

Sorry I don't have an answer to your specific question, but what did the breeder think? They should be determined to ensure their puppy goes to the right home. Any chance you could see him again at 7 weeks or something?

PintOfMineralWater Sun 24-Jun-18 08:54:48

Our pup is very similar, people (like vet, trainer) tell us how lucky we are. He is easy to train, and very tolerant of noise/excitement. However he is still a baby and definitely has his moments of madness. Five weeks is teeny, plenty of time for pup to develop and gain confidence as you socialise him.

bzzbeebzz Sun 24-Jun-18 15:06:20

Thanks everyone - I’m going to speak to the owner and see if I can go back in one week (on my own so my children won’t be distracting me) to meet the puppy again and make a decision then. If the puppy is snapped up in the meantime then it wasn’t meant to be.

OP’s posts: |
CleverQuacks Sun 24-Jun-18 15:27:18

My pup was very quiet at the breeders and I was a bit unsure how she would be with my children. On the first day she hid under the coffee table for hours and I was really worried but since then she has been great. She has really come out of her shell. She is playful, has her mad 5 minutes where she zooms round the place but also isn’t to boisterous that she scares the kids. She really is perfect.

bzzbeebzz Sun 24-Jun-18 15:35:21

Thanks CleverQuacks that is exactly how I am feeling now. I don’t want a crazy puppy but I don’t want the puppy to be unhappy either. Fingers crossed..

OP’s posts: |
CleverQuacks Sun 24-Jun-18 15:54:27

Visit again and spend some time with your puppy. In the end though it is a huge decision and if it doesn’t feel “right” then maybe it’s best to wait.

Ylvamoon Sun 24-Jun-18 18:45:40

I think when go again, you need to find out if he is calm as in a quiet confidence and not really faced by anything manner? Or a bit shy and nervous, needing a bit of help to be drawn out manner?
Once you know, you can decide whether the puppy is right for you.

missbattenburg Sun 24-Jun-18 21:21:31

I remember reading a science study that showed absolutely no reliable correlation between puppy traits observed at 8 weeks and the eventual traits the adult dog displayed.

I also think there are multiple benefits to a calm, quiet puppy (and dog). Quiet is not neccessarily the same as under confident. He may end up reserved (note, not scared or agressive) with strangers but happy and bonded to his family. This is a much easier dog to train than one that wants to play with everyone and ignores you (looking at you... battendog!).

Despite that, it's a big decision and raising a puppy you were 100% about getting is hard enough. Raising one you have a nagging doubt about will be even harder. If you have doubts, then maybe waiting for a puppy you ARE sure about might be better.

OrcinusOrca Sun 24-Jun-18 21:25:39

My eldest was a playful fun puppy. He was an absolute bastard growing up at times. We were very good friends from when he was 2 years old +, but he was HARD before that. What breed is he? I have golden retrievers. My youngest was very independent and the breeder described her as 'sweet'. She is sweet, but she is not one for going off on her own now! She has no interest in wandering far at home especially and likes to lie right by your feet. She's rather timid to be honest, her litter were born in glorious countryside in the middle of nowhere and it was so quiet, I'm not sure that set them up too well. She's been exposed to a lot and had improved but she's a different kettle of fish to my eldest. I find boys always cheekier too, a more reserved boy I think will always be less reserved than the equivalent girl.

OrcinusOrca Sun 24-Jun-18 21:32:24

Doh I just saw, a lab. Not wildly dissimilar to mine. Personally I would have a calmer looking lab in a heartbeat. They're all a bit loopy and crazy and sometimes they're soooooo desperate to pleas that they're brain fails to engage. Golden retrievers can be too, but they fake the cool calm exterior that they are wise and sensible (which is a load of tush, people are shocked that my eldest is nearly 10).

When we picked my youngest up at just shy of 8 weeks we had barely spent time with her, her siblings were playing and cuddling us and she kept pissing off across the garden by herself and had no interest in us at all. It soon changed, and like I said I can't get rid of her now! Nearly fell over earlier getting off the sunbed in a stupid way so as not to tread on her blush

villainousbroodmare Sun 24-Jun-18 21:53:10

Male labs are often annoyingly boisterous. I would definitely welcome a bit of reserve.

Labradottie Sun 24-Jun-18 22:48:52

Hello, we had a similar dilemma when meeting our boy with his litter. We had two puppies to choose from, breeder was steering us towards the quieter one, and I was worried he’d be timid. I don’t know how his bolshier older brother got on, but we took care to fully socialise our boy and he is fabulous. He’s calm around the house, doesn’t jump up, not usually interested in other people or children when we’re out on walks but loving and loyal to his human family and welcomes our friends. How much of this could have been predicted when we met him at 5 weeks, I don’t know. He’s certainly not timid or fearful though.

Cath2907 Mon 25-Jun-18 11:54:44

Mine was a very quiet puppy even when we picked him up. He was very scared when we got him home and hid in the crate I had ready for him. We eventually manged to cox him out for food before bed but he was really unsure. He was a little better the next day but seemed scared of everything.
He is now a confident and boisterous 6 month old who has been sitting outside Tesco with me today being stroked by random people. We did lots of socialisation with him and when I find something he is scared of I then take it as a challenge to find repeated instances of that thing we can do until he gets used to it. He is foolish, playful, loves kids and walks and is not scared of livestock, cars, buses, stairs, JCBs and builders, wheelchairs, people on crutches, rivers, the beach, etc... But each one of these took a few meets before he was comfortable with them. I found on a new walk this morning that he wouldn't cross a bridge - I'll now take him back every day this week with tasty treats and convince him the bridge isn't scary - once done he'll be fine.

He travels well in the car and enjoys caravan holidays with us and DD. He attends puppy class where he behaves terribly jumping all over the other dogs and having a wonderful time!

Perhaps a naturally cautious dog will take a little more effort but ours was well worth it and he is now less scared than many of his puppy class compatriots. Do you have the time needed to help a puppy learn and to accept new things - if so then I'd not be put of by a timid one!

bzzbeebzz Mon 25-Jun-18 12:52:31

You are all wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your stories.
I spoke to the owner and she suggested another visit even before I got to asking, which is perfect.
When we do get a puppy, whether this one or not, I look forward to hanging out in the doghouse with all of you smile

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Mon 25-Jun-18 12:55:28

Good luck. Was this based on one visit? Could pup have been tired rather than reserved?

Tinkobell Mon 25-Jun-18 13:01:11

I think what you observe at 8 weeks of age can at best only be indicative. They change a lot!

padfootprongs Mon 25-Jun-18 17:25:02

My childhood dog was like that when we went to visit him. Sitting at the back, hiding, whereas all the other puppies were jumping up all excited. We still got him and it was the best decision. We were four young children and he very quickly came out of his shell and became our best friend! You wouldn't have known he was the shy one when we visited. Enjoy your puppy whatever decision you make smile

SpanielsAreNuts Tue 26-Jun-18 10:28:11

Definitely depends on whether the pup is timid quiet or chilled quiet.

Timid can easily be frightened by DC. The very confident and forward pups can be too bolshy around DC. Neither of which you want if you've got young DC.

If he is the quiet but confident type then he is perfect balance for younger DC. My cocker was/is like that - he didn't push to the front of the litter trying to get to people but sat at the back looking all chilled and happy. Once he was out with us, it was clear he was just a very confident but chilled puppy. Nothing has fased him and socialisation was easy. He is energetic and full of life (he is a spaniel after all) but as his breeder put it "is a puppy who thinks before he acts". He is fantastic around my young DC and is actually very people oriented despite not being the pup who clambered over the others to get to us. He is a year old now. Also he has always been very good at not destroying things.

Labs are hard work as puppies, so a quieter one will probably still be very energetic and confident around young DC.

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