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how to pick a puppy

davenlib

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We have finally decided to take the leap and buy the family a puppy. A friends dog is having puppies anyday and we will have first pick. The mom is a yellow labrador and the father is half black lab and half golden retriever.. any suggestion on the pick. What are the benifits of a boy dog versus a dog??
any suggsetions would be great...
 

Keitht

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The advantage of a boy dog over a girl dog? Boy dog's don't have puppies :)

When it comes to choosing I would recommend sitting with the pups and see which one chooses you! It can be very tempting to go for the quiet little one sitting in the corner, but the inquisitive one tends to be the better bet long term.
 

Linda74

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What a wonderful combination. Our dog was a golden lab (half yellow lab, half golden retriever). They are very smart and very loyal. We just put ours down three weeks ago at the age of 13.5. Anyway, look for a friendly puppy with lots of spunk. Don't pick the shy one. Look for a puppy that comes to you and seems really socialized. Congratulations. You will have a new, wonderful addtion to your family.
 

ouaifer

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As a long term trainer of dogs, here are some points to look for.

1. Watch the pups interacting with themselves. The ones that play together are the ones to include in your decision. A loner should not be one of your choices. You want an animal that will become a member of your family.

2. The one that keeps biting or being a bully might not be the one for you. That one might be too strong willed for you, and might want to be the alpha. As a first pup, you should choose one in the middle.

3. Pick up the pups that you are interested in, one at a time. Take the pup in your arms and turn it upside down, resting its head in the crook of your elbow with its butt supported in your hand, and the belly up. If the pup is calm, and not crying, and will stay in that position for a few seconds, that will be the easiest pup to train. In that position, it is accepting you as its leader, and submitting to you as its superior.

4. Take your keys (noise) and toss them into the center of the pups onto the floor, without hitting them, of course. Those that run away, you do not want. Those that stay, and are not frightened by the noise (act), and are curious and sniffing at the objects, should stay in your consideration pool. These pups will grow with little or no fear (especially of storms) of noises...and with good training, will grow as a confident animal.

5. Subject yourself to the group of pups, and be attracted to the one who follows you where you walk...again, another sign that it will be easier to train. (When I mention training, it's primarily obedience. Any animal can be easily house broken.)
 

grest

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Don't worry...you'll know the right one, just wait and see.
Connie
 

Keitht

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ouaifer said:
3. Pick up the pups that you are interested in, one at a time. Take the pup in your arms and turn it upside down, resting its head in the crook of your elbow with its butt supported in your hand, and the belly up. If the pup is calm, and not crying, and will stay in that position for a few seconds, that will be the easiest pup to train.

My SIL has a Border Terrier who spends all his time in that position on my lap every time we visit. He was superb at getting his humans trained :D
 

ouaifer

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Keitht said:
My SIL has a Border Terrier who spends all his time in that position on my lap every time we visit. He was superb at getting his humans trained :D


I have an 80+ pound GSD that lays on part of my lap that way also. Aren't dogs GREAT! I'm looking at a new puppy tomorrow morning. My pooch needs a friend.
 

Rose Pink

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I understand why you say not to choose the shy one but I do feel sorry for it, having been the shy one once myself. I grew out of it with lots of determination, though. :D What happens to those little pups that no one judges to be "perky" enough?
 

Hoc

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FWIW, Booker was quite afraid of loud noises (still is to this day), and that is what made him so easy to train. In addition to having a huge positive reinforcement of wanted behavior (he particularly likes Lox and Cheetos), I had a huge negative reprimand (snapping a belt together, hitting a table) to stop unwanted behavior.

He is today one of the best trained, most affectionate and friendliest dogs I have ever had. When I first got him, he used to throw tantrums (especially when I first took him to the groomer -- he did not like that cage).

My advice is to play with each of the puppies, and in addition to the above, get one whose personality "clicks" with yours. Of course, I have always gotten pound puppies, so they usually are 4-8 months with a developed personality when I get them. It might be a little tougher with a young puppy.
 

glenn1000

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grest said:
Don't worry...you'll know the right one, just wait and see.
Connie

That may be possible but I would take ouaifer's advice! :eek:
 

Denise L

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I love puppies!

All of our dogs have been girls. We just like them, maybe they are less wild.

Our first puppy was from SoCal...we bought her sight unseen. She was the last of her litter, shy & sweet. She was the easiest to train and very docile, but as a siberian husky, she had her wild & stubborn sides. On the last day of training class, she ran across the field and all the dogs ran after her :eek: . When we got our second puppy, also a husky, she was proud to be the alpha dog and always looked after the new addition. We actually chose the second one based on her joyful eyes and playful jump (trying to get out of the area she was in with her siblings). Turned out that she had the same birthday as me and was truly my soul dog. She was more human than dog-like, got into more mischief than the 1st, but could understand everything I said and knew how to comfort me when I was down.

Our third husky was a shelter dog, maybe 2-3 years old at the time. She is the only dog in the house now. Crazy, runaway streak (thus the pound), named her Nickel but she's cost us over $10K in expenses over the years. Attacking the other dogs, digging out under the fence, running away 1000 times, etc. She's mellowed in her old age finally, at 10-11 years old.

Best of luck and have fun!
 

Linda74

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I did choose the shy one!!! Special ed teacher in me. She was still a wonderful dog but she did have difficulty with other dogs and some people. I learned after the fact that the socialble ones have less personality issues.
 

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Excellent advise. When we got Monkey Dawg ( the first Kelli has ever owned) she sat on the floor and that little stinker went straight to her and started licking her face. it was love at first sight. shaggy
 

taffy19

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ouaifer said:
As a long term trainer of dogs, here are some points to look for.

1. Watch the pups interacting with themselves. The ones that play together are the ones to include in your decision. A loner should not be one of your choices. You want an animal that will become a member of your family.

2. The one that keeps biting or being a bully might not be the one for you. That one might be too strong willed for you, and might want to be the alpha. As a first pup, you should choose one in the middle.

3. Pick up the pups that you are interested in, one at a time. Take the pup in your arms and turn it upside down, resting its head in the crook of your elbow with its butt supported in your hand, and the belly up. If the pup is calm, and not crying, and will stay in that position for a few seconds, that will be the easiest pup to train. In that position, it is accepting you as its leader, and submitting to you as its superior.

4. Take your keys (noise) and toss them into the center of the pups onto the floor, without hitting them, of course. Those that run away, you do not want. Those that stay, and are not frightened by the noise (act), and are curious and sniffing at the objects, should stay in your consideration pool. These pups will grow with little or no fear (especially of storms) of noises...and with good training, will grow as a confident animal.

5. Subject yourself to the group of pups, and be attracted to the one who follows you where you walk...again, another sign that it will be easier to train. (When I mention training, it's primarily obedience. Any animal can be easily house broken.)
What great advise so will save it. :) One day, I want a dog again but after we are through with traveling and it will come from the shelter. Once we bought a dog and I wanted to buy the shy one as she cuddled up to me immediately but the breeder and our friends recommended buying the spunky, curious one so we did. She was a happy, wonderful little dog and so loyal and smart and loved our cats and all people and everyone loved her. We had her for almost 17 years and I still think of her often.
 

ouaifer

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Boy or Girl?

I forgot to address this question.

Boys are usually more lovable, and restrained. They have a tendency to be more dependent. (Surprise? I think not.)

Girls are more independent...by nature...and nurturing. Hmmmm...sound familiar?

Males will have a tendency to eliminate on all of your plantings...if that's a problem, you can teach him not to lift his leg...it's a very easy concept that we use with the dogs we train for service dogs at Guiding Eyes for the Blind and Puppies Behind Bars. This has to be started right away as soon as you get him. It simply takes a discouragement of lifting his leg...and he will get it. Males will mark territory.

Females are usually not territorial...in that they usually do not mark their territory. They are possessive. Although some females do mark.

Something that most folks do not know...unless they have had animals in the past...is that dogs go through 2 fear imprint periods in their lives. The first happens around the age of 9 - 12 weeks; the second, 7 to 9 months old. What this means, is that you need to be careful not to spook the animal, and no strong hand or punishment. The fear will be imprinted for the rest of its life during this time...as will any other behavior.

Puppies also exhibit something called FRAPs . This stands for Frenetic Random Activity Periods. I like to think of them being possessed. Usually in the evening, they start to go crazy...maybe running around or suddenly barking or some other strange behavior....all normal.

And 2 more very important issues. Get yourself and crate, and train it to stay in the crate...not forever...they need their den...a place they can call their own. And, no, this is not a punishment! It's a good thing.

And, enroll in an excellent obedience class. Puppy class is ok...obedience should be started in earnest from day one...a little at a time. Obedience class should be started at 6 - 8 months old.
 

Jan

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I picked 2 out of a litter of 12. One boy, one girl. I picked the two whose tails never stopped wagging and seemed social. They were only 4 weeks old and Mama dog couldn't cope with all 12 at that age. Barney is much more playful than Heidi and I think really uses his brain more. Both were easy to housetrain. Heidi likes stuffed animals--a girl thing --and Barney loves to play ball and loves squeeky toys. We love them both equally.
Jan
 

JudyH

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I think female dogs are more protective than males. They are usually smaller, which in Labs can mean 70lbs vs. 90lbs.

The shy pups may very well grow to be fearful adult dogs, who do not socialize well with adults or other dogs.

If all the pups have been well socialized, that is, exposed to scary stuff at ages 6-7 weeks, then there may not be shyness issues.
 

Cat

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We've always had females, for no reason other than I grew up with them. One advantage of females over males is that males spray, so any accidents (when they're older, of course) are harder to clean up. In our experience, even if a dog is house broken, occasionally, when they're ill for example, it's possible that they will urinate in the house.
 

Judy

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My advice is don't take the puppy home too soon. IMHO, most puppies are taken from their mothers too young. It causes them to be hard to train and sometimes neurotic. Circumstances caused us to leave our first puppy at home with her mother and her mother's human family until she was 12 weeks old. Her mother was a very nice, well trained dog. She trained her daughter. By the time we took Frances home, she was almost housebroken and would come when called. She turned out to be a wonderful dog. She died of old age many years ago and I still miss her.
My point is that even though you might want to take your puppy home as soon as possible, in the long run it will be better for the dog and for you to let it stay with its mother for a while. 12 weeks miight not be necessary, but IMHO, 6 weeks is way too little.
 

Malibu Sky

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Get down on the ground and get eye to eye with the puppy---look into his/her eyes...then you will know!!!!! :D
 

ouaifer

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Malibu Sky said:
Get down on the ground and get eye to eye with the puppy---look into his/her eyes...then you will know!!!!! :D

Actually, the worst thing you could possibly do, is to stare at the puppies in the eyes. This, in canine language, is a sign of agression, and the pup might become too frightened and be imprinted. You should never do this to a dog you do not know, unless you want to be bitten.
 

maddaug

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Davenlib
We have the exact same doggie mix that you will be looking to get. She is the absolute best dog ever. Now I know you all think I am biased but I'll tell you what, she will be our last because they broke the mold with her. We got our Rosie when she was 4 months and she was a crazy puppy. She was crated because the other owner hadn't had a dog and didn't know what to do with her energy.
Do understand these dogs need exercise and a fenced in yard is ideal. They love to run and play fetch till they drop. That is why the fence and fetch is great with a puppy. WEAR them out. Rosie is now going to be 10 and she still thinks she can fetch like a young doggie girl.
I can't stress enough they need someone to play with and room to roam.
Best dogs, I don't think you will be disappointed.
 

Hoc

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ouaifer said:
You should never do this to a dog you do not know, unless you want to be bitten.

That was my first reaction, too!
 

Makai Guy

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I'm reminded of similar advice when choosing a parakeet - "Pick one that is active".

After burying our first pet, a wonderful parakeet that had more personality than I could believe was crammed into that tiny brain, we went shopping for another. One bird showed twice the activity of the others in the cage, and although it's color wasn't our favorite, we took it because it was the most active. I think that activity was just pure panic, as it never got over being terrified of everything that moved (or didn't) anywhere within view of its cage. It never developed into any sort of pet. So activity ain't always what it's cracked up to be ...
 

cluemeister

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Picked the runt once

About 18 years ago, we answered an ad for a group of pups, and when we got to the house, only the runt was left. We were discouraged, as the pup wasn't very active, and seemed kind of shy. Wanting a dog, we still took her home.

For the next 9 years, Coco was the best dog we ever had. Very loveable, obedient, and loyal.

So my advice is to not rule out the shy one.
 
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