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unclebass made a comment about how hard it was to pick out his new pup. I will have to take on this very same task soon as Bruce's setter litter that I am getting a pup from was born on Monday.

So it got me wondering....what things do you guys look for when choosing a pup??? Does it depend on whether you are after a trial prospect or a hunting companion? I've read a lot on the subject but would like to hear what some of you experts have to say.

By the way...I'm an equal opportunity dog guy, and will accept advice from owners of any breed. I've been scared to post lately in fear of being labeled as one of those setter guys :yikes: yup I said the "S" word.

Brad
 

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Hell nothing wrong with being a setter guy---Hell Right now I'm a setter and pointer Guy..2 setter and 1 pointer.

Brad you asked the million dollar question its a coin flip

But I hold my hand close to a litter of pups if a pup smells my hand it can smell,,I don't like to pick a pup that hides in the corner or one thats a bully.I like one that somewhere in the middle in behavior....I also like one that will look at my hand when it being move above the pups...Just what I look for

Old saying goes that pup thats left over from the litter will be the field champion:bash:

Of coarse check it for any visual defects
 

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Brad,

First,I don't consider myself an expert, but I've owned and trained several types of dogs over the last 52 years. Next, you don't pick a puppy you pick his parents. You have to make your mind up as to what you want to do with your pup. Is he going to be just a gun dog/family pet or do you plan to play the "Dog Games" with it. Once you've made that decision, you start looking at what some of the breeders around are producing. Since you've already picked the parents, now its Male or Female. I have owned and trained both, but I have preference for females. Every male dog I've ever known has gone through the "Who's gonna be the Alpha-thing". The females I've seen (this doesn't mean all will be) have been more willing to please their handlers. They also seem to get along better with kids.

I've heard and read alot about how to tell how a certain pup will turn out by watching their interactions in the litter box. I really don't buy it. Given the fact that this pup might be tired right now, or this one is hungry and aggressive and picking on its littermates in frustration. Alot of factors that you can't see may be going on that could confuse the issue. In my opinion at that point you look at them and pick the one that pleases your eye, take'm home, and Love'm for the rest of their lives. This all ofcourse is IMHO. FRANK
 

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All I know is when I picked out my GSP a year ago, I had some ideas in mind to look for. Such things as mentioned above. The pups seemed to go in cycles...the ones that were playful-went to sleep, and vice versa. All I know is it took me around 1.5hr to pick him out. People didn't mind though that I stayed for so long looking and interacting with the litter.
 

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What ever method you use be sure to take your time!!!! A good breeder like Bruce should be more than happy to help you too. They want you to have a good dog, one that fits you. Many breeders want a happy owner, it only enhances their own reputation as quality breeders. I know it doesn't really mean much but see if you can get a wing from someone, just to see what the pups do, if nothing else you can amuse yourself and them for a few minutes. Good luck, and keep the site posted, both with pics and stories.
 

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I have placed the majority of pups from my litters with their new owners. The breeder will have spent much more time around them and if you have told them what you are looking for, they can probably do a better job in picking the pup.

My last litter I had a couple that had purchased a pup from a previous litter. After talking about what they liked about the first pup and what they were looking for in another, I made a recommendation. At first they were not sure but after spending some time with all the pups they went with my suggestion and absolutely love the dog.

If nothing else seems to work, let the pup pick you. My lab picked me. I went to look at the litter thinking I wanted a female. Everywhere I went at the breeders place he followed me. I would be trying to look at and play with the others and he would be right there. 6 years later and he is still laying at my feet as I type this.
 

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stratos17 said:
All I know is when I picked out my GSP a year ago, I had some ideas in mind to look for. Such things as mentioned above. The pups seemed to go in cycles...the ones that were playful-went to sleep, and vice versa. All I know is it took me around 1.5hr to pick him out. People didn't mind though that I stayed for so long looking and interacting with the litter.
So how did you ultimately end up picking "the one"; was he more active than the others, more or less dominate, hung out with you more than others, etc...just curious?
 

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Bmac said:
If nothing else seems to work, let the pup pick you. My lab picked me. I went to look at the litter thinking I wanted a female. Everywhere I went at the breeders place he followed me. I would be trying to look at and play with the others and he would be right there. 6 years later and he is still laying at my feet as I type this.
Bmac, that's exactly what happened to me. I went for a black female pup and ended up taking a choc. male. It helped that he was extremely nuts over the wing I was carrying, but the pup also velcroed himself to me.
 

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How to pic a pup?? Hmmmm.......

I'd say pick the breeder veery carefully..........

Then pick the litter very carefully, as well........

Then just reach in the nest box and grab a pup and go.;) Good Luck- Its a great time in both yours and that new pups life!

Natty B.
 

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Bmac said:
The breeder will have spent much more time around them and if you have told them what you are looking for, they can probably do a better job in picking the pup.
That really makes sense to me.


I have heard the many tricks and little things to look for and was really just curious if it all mattered that much. Going by what you are saying there is just way too many factors involved to really worry about it. I'm sure I will be more then pleased with what ever little guy I pick out (already decided on male...I guess that's a whole different discussion).

Brad
 

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contractor said:
If your family is anything like mine, dont let the wife and kids go with you, they pick out the first one they see.:lol:
Too late, the girlfriend has already decided she gets to help. In all fairness it is our dog so I can't blame her. I'm just glad she likes dogs as much as I do.:D

Brad
 

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I was only able to pick out the litter I wanted. The breeder I went with spoke with me about 4 times asking questions and going over what I wanted in the dog and then at 7 weeks sent over pics of which one was mine and we scheduled a pickup date for the 9th week. I had no say in which pup I got and actually didn't even look at the other pups even though I picked mine up first. They do have a great reputation and it was the breeding I really wanted so as long as he didn't have physical defects I wasn't real worried about them selecting for me.
I guess I can't really add anything about picking pups then....:)
 

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Bmac said:
If nothing else seems to work, let the pup pick you. My lab picked me. I went to look at the litter thinking I wanted a female. Everywhere I went at the breeders place he followed me. I would be trying to look at and play with the others and he would be right there. 6 years later and he is still laying at my feet as I type this.
:yeahthat: best best advice i read,my pup picked me, and with a little luck we both hope he made the right choice. :lol:
 

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Bmac said:
If nothing else seems to work, let the pup pick you. My lab picked me. I went to look at the litter thinking I wanted a female. Everywhere I went at the breeders place he followed me. I would be trying to look at and play with the others and he would be right there. 6 years later and he is still laying at my feet as I type this.
That is how my girlfriend and I got our 1st lab. There was a set of circumstances that led us to the place where we were to look at a couple of puppies. There was only 2 yellow males left out of the litter... and out of the back barn they came running. For myself... I saw those 2 little balls of yellow fur and right away I felt like we couldn't separate them. I was useless as far as deciding which one. :rolleyes: :lol: But my girlfriend kept kneeling on the ground and would gently clap her hands... and it was always the same puppy of the 2 that would come running over to her. So... it was like she let the puppy pick her.

Here it is some 4 years later... and we would not trade PJ (see avatar) for anything in the world. He is basically just a family pet... but I know that we could have trained him to be one h*ll of a hunting dog.

Like the others have said... take your time... and let the whole decision process be fun for yourself and everyone else involved. I wish you the best with your choice!! :)
 

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well i started looking for a new puppy about deer season.
i want a squirrel hunting dog and their not that easy to find in michigan.
ive reasearched the fiest breed, the curs, and the rat terriers.
i finaly settled on the rat terrier as the breed that best suits me in hunting and companion temperment. their the right size and i've always enjoyed the terrier spunk.
so for a month or so now i've been searching and comunicatng with every breeder in michigan. finaly last week i found a dog. she's down river and six weeks old. out of champion stock and a family of dogs that love chasing squirrel.i hope to pick her up in about two weeks.
the best advice i can give is be patient. do lots of readiing and research.
decide what you want your dog to be like, and try to find a breed and breeder that can match what you want.
remember your going to have this dog for 10 to 15 years and you don't want to get stuck with a dog you can't live with.thats how the rescue kennels get so full.
and buy from a breeder not a pet shop. you'll save money and know your buying from someone that truley cares about the dogs they sell.
do not be surprised if the breeder asks for consessions, such as proof of sterilization before they will register the dog. this is common with good breeders. they understand that just because you have a good dog doesn't mean it should be bred. good luck on finding a great hunter and best buddy.
 

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I haven't picked enough pups to offer a qualified response. Obviously you pick the breeding before the pup. My girl was pick of the litter and she really stood out. There were only two girls but I looked at the boys too. While the other puppies played around and tugged at my shoe laces, she was trying to get out of the room. When I picked up the other girl and took her away from her litter mates she started to cry. My pup just looked excited to be going somewhere so I decided to take her home.
 

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The first time I picked out a pup I chose the one that wanted to get out of the box the most. That dog was an excelent hunting dog. This time I didnt have my pick of the entire litter. Three pups were presented. All great looking healthy boys. I chose mine because he was inquisative but not ovely energetic. He wasnt tearing things up (until he got to my house:lol: ) but he searched out every nook and cranny of the room we were in. Hard to pick puppies but If you have a good breeder then they are more than likely all going to be great dogs.
 

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Inee - Minee- Minee - Moe.....

Seriously though. I have only picked 1 dog out, so I am no expert. But what I did was research the line. Then the breeder. Then the litter.

THen when I watched the litter I picked a few out in my head. always coming back to one paticular pup. I purposly ignored that pup. I played with a few of them. but not knowing what I was looking for I told the breeder what I was looking for and I almost fell over when she picked up the pup I was thinking of.

This has worked well for me. But the most important thing I found waaas to research the line and the breeder. after that, it is hard to go wrong.
 
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