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Choosing a puppy from a litter

(17 Posts)
spotlighton Fri 22-May-20 23:19:39

I am off tomorrow to choose a puppy from a litter. They are 4 weeks old, and I have first pick.
They are pure labradors.
What do I look for, assuming they are all healthy, temperament wise?
I have 2 loud exuberant young kids so should I be going for the most confident pup?
I have had labs before, 2 in total, from pups, but I've never been the one to choose!
I have to go alone because of SD and will see them in the garden of the breeders house (it's a friend of a friend - but I don't know them) it's the breeders first and probably only litter, so they are not massively experienced either.

suggestionsplease1 Fri 22-May-20 23:26:46

There will be more experienced people than me offering opinions, but with 2 young kids I would be looking at one lower down in the pecking order in the litter, as it were, rather than the top dog. I got the 'top dog' and although he has evened out now that he is coming up for 5 , he was a handful as a pup, very challenging and I still wouldn't trust him with kids now (but that is also because of other things, he has guarding tendencies, as do most of his littermates, and I think that can be genetic in cocker spaniels)

Try to see and interact with both parents to get an idea of their temperament before commiting to get a pup. You want gentle, quietly confident, friendly dogs as parents rather than skittish, nervous types.

DramaAlpaca Fri 22-May-20 23:32:32

DH and young adult DS went to choose our most recent pup. They didn't go for the most confident or the shyest. They picked the one who sussed them out for a few minutes then came over to them to say hello. They came home with a gorgeous male pup, who has proved to have the perfect temperament.

MissShapesMissStakes Fri 22-May-20 23:36:47

How exciting!
I had first pick from a litter of five male mini poodles.
I asked the breeder to help me choose. I explained my family dynamics and what I ideally would love the dog's role to be in our family. One of my kids is socially anxious and very shy. They picked out the perfect pup. He's now almost two and is so valued in our family. He is amazing with my child and has helped massively.

Anthilda Fri 22-May-20 23:39:46

I always believe in these situations that you will just know.
When we collected our pup the one we ended up with was the one who kept coming towards us for affection and attention, or maybe just curiosity.
Our pup was like a magnet to us compared to others who weren't as interested.
Another dog I had when a child, I chose, he was sitting alone looking sad, which is how I felt sometimes as a child. So when he looked at me with his sad eyes i just knew he was for me grin and he was the best dog i ever had, such a friend and protector.smile
I would probably go with your gut and chose one that may get along best with your children, he will tire them out grin

YummyVeggie Fri 22-May-20 23:41:22

Never go for the most confident or the one hiding away in the corner! Go for one that just ignores you and interacts with littermates

krispycreme Fri 22-May-20 23:44:22

@suggestionsplease1 that's interesting, our cocker was the runt of the litter and is amazing with children. Obviously she has plenty of crazy moments.

Op, I agree with asking the breeder to help choose, especially as the viewing may be a little less hands on due to social distancing perhaps. Although I have had moments where I'v just clicked with a certain pup so you may just know when you see them.
Do you want male or female as that could obviously narrow it down.

spotlighton Fri 22-May-20 23:52:27

Don't mind M or F or which colour.
The last pup I had was the runt, as I got the last of the litter. they were very healthy and strong, but definitely retiring rather than forward going. I have no idea if it was nature or nurture as I was a chilled out person with a quiet house and lots of time for dog training before I had kids!
I have always thought go for the 'middle' one, but I don't know why? I don't like pushy over-confident dogs!

Barryisland Fri 22-May-20 23:53:40

I would definitely take the children with me if choosing a pup. Im surprised the breeder isnt insisting on meeting the whole family before committing to allowing you to buy a pup from them.

suggestionsplease1 Fri 22-May-20 23:57:00

@krispycreme my uncle and aunt got a 'runt' cocker spaniel too, on the advice of the breeder, for their young family and that worked very well for them!

I think we made mistakes because we fell in love with the particular pup. We overlooked skittish behaviour in the mum, who was a working dog and weaved aroud us to sniff but would not be handled, and barky, territorial behaviour in the dad. Lesson learned!

That said I have an awesome dog who everyone marvels at in terms of his understanding and application of commands, loyalty, and his ability to sniff out the particular tennis ball I ask him to out of 20 that are hidden. But he is also a guarder and has bitten drawing blood in the past, and can not be fully trusted unfortunately.

borisboy Sat 23-May-20 00:06:22

Lot's to think about.Do you like the breeder? Are the puppies healthy? Is it clean etc.
Some good info around online including this article, deals with spaniels but the principles are the same. Good luck.
www.easyspanieltraining.com/choosing-a-spaniel-puppy/

dontdisturbmenow Sat 23-May-20 13:54:52

I always believe in these situations that you will just know
Just that. We had 1st choice of 7. They were all happy, confident puppies, all of them came straight to us, nibbling at our shoes. I picked one, they looked at me, settled in my arms and fell asleep. There was no going back, it had to be that one!

Poniesandgin Sat 23-May-20 14:56:56

Lots of good breeders now assign puppies to the right families. For example the most active with a family who wants an active pet and a shy pup with a quieter or more experienced family etc.

I think this is way better than selecting one yourself, the breeder knows the puppies better than anyone!

SunbathingDragon Sat 23-May-20 15:05:02

I’d go along, see which puppy comes up to you and I think you will know which is the one that you want.

spotlighton Sat 23-May-20 20:14:35

Barryisland.....normally yes, but we live in a Co-vid world currently!

spotlighton Sat 23-May-20 20:17:35

I'll made my choice, with the help from a breeder. She is a friend of a friend and not a professional breeder, so no grilling just a few long telephone conversations!
I am a fairly experienced owner, having had dogs my whole life, and my kids very very gentle and respectful around animals, so I went for the one who the breeder and I thought was a good match.

Anthilda Sun 24-May-20 06:39:38

Aww lovely. I hope the pup settles well.

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