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Old 09-29-2015, 10:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to choose the best puppy in a litter

I am wondering how to choose the best puppy from a litter?

Of course the breeder has insight on personalities that would suit our household the best but I am referring to health...

I read you aren't supposed to choose the largest or smallest of the litter but haven't read why.

I read you aren't supposed to choose a runt, but then I couldn't get a definitive definition on actually what a runt is, and how valid it is to think you aren't supposed to choose the runt and why not?

And how do I know it is a healthy pick. It hasn't been to a vet yet, I am supposed to do that within a timeframe after buying it. So how do I know the one I am picking is healthy?

And finally, at my first vet check what is the vet supposed to "check" at this appointment?

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Old 09-29-2015, 10:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just brought our puppy home about 2 weeks ago. She was the largest of the litter so I am interested to see what others say about that. The next day after I brought her home I took her to the vet. The vet gave her a thorough check- eyes, ears, mouth... also checked for heart murmur, and checked the stool for parasites.
It isn't a "necessary" appointment as she didn't need to be seen until 10 weeks, but I wanted to take her in to ease my mind.
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Bumping your post...anyone with any insight?

I was wondering this the other day...hope someone can help!! This is where the great minds collaborate...

I think runt means smallest? My friend has a runt who is healthy and easy maintenance and I know someone else who got the runt who ended up being the biggest of the litter. Not sure how health plays into it.

Last edited by Isle2; 10-01-2015 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're getting a puppy from a "Breeder" with a "Health Guarantee" I believe it's 24 to 48 hours to have the contract in force?? Good idea to do that in any case.

My experience with puppies "I" chose is I always end up with Dominant males?? Not quite sure how that happens but it works for me!

With "Struddell" my first female (not what I wanted) and my first Balanced Dog?? I wanted the male puppy standing on top of the pile of his brothers and sisters (save for one!) and barking his head off!

But when I got there "Struddell" walked over to me climbed in my lap and fell asleep?? Her mom sat next to me and never moved?? I talked to the owners and they said all the Boys were spoken for so it was a girl or keep looking!

So girl it was and clearly I had been spoken for! I thought well this one is a bundle of energy ...little did know what was to come!

And I do believe she was the runt of the litter?? In any case she topped out at 65 lbs full grown so definitely not a runt!

Don't know if any of this is helpful but it's how it worked for me. If your working with a breeder you tell them your plans and they can tell you which pup they think will be the best fit for you!

Gunther Mastiff/Pit Mix 2000-2010
Heidi Brindel Boxer 2000-2000
Struddell White Boxer 2003-2013
Stewie Boxer/Pit Mix 2000-2001
Rocky BLK Over Size Wl GSD 2007-2017
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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From what I've read most of the puppy choosing tips that have to do with size, etc. are pretty much bogus. Uhtred was the biggest in his litter, his dad was 100 lbs, and he appears to have stopped growing at 50 lbs. I don't see how size would have anything to do with health, either. Doesn't make sense. When you buy a horse you always make an offer contingent on a "vet check" -- you have your vet come and check it out, and you're only bound to buy if he gets a clean bill of health. Of course, horses cost more than dogs. But you could do that. Or make sure to buy from a breeder who does genetic testing.

For temperament (I know you said you weren't interested in that) I personally used Cesar Milan's advice and it turned out exactly as he said. He says that if you want a balanced dog you should choose the calmest dog in the litter. Not the one trying to escape (that will be a handful to train) and not the one trembling in fear, but the one that's chill. I chose our Uhtred on that basis, because his brother was a timid wreck and Uhtred would come up to me and also go over and comfort his brother. And Uhtred has so far proven to be exactly that. He's fun, happy, playful, doesn't scare easily and is neither dominant nor easily dominated.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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First of all if you go to a reputable breeder they can tell and show you what health testing has been done. To begin with you want healthy parents. The breeder also may have a good idea at personalities, of course there is no guarantee. When we bought Kai we wanted a more laid back guy, thats what we got. One time when I purchased a hottie, I also told them what I was looking for and about our home life, and I got a dog that fit in perfectly. So I have been pretty lucky on that part. I never pick the dog that is submissive and will pee when it gets excited to come over to me. In my experience I find that sometimes does not go away (and it does depend on the dog how excited its gets) I once took one because I gave in to my daughters whims a black lab, that girl would pee the minute you looked at her and it never changed, it wasn't just a little tinkle ever....Always spend some time with them and see how the pup interacts with you. When I go to a good breeder I am pretty lucky that they know there dogs . Here is a link that will help too.
Choosing a Healthy Puppy: What to Look for
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I like the Vollard test. There are two puppy tests.

Australian Shepherd Puppy Personality Test, Evaluating for Dominance and Independence - Pure Stock Aussies
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Old 10-03-2015, 07:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You could read the Monks of new skete, many good tips. there gsd but a pup is a pup.
good luck in your choice.
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