Hunting Washington Forum

Other Hunting => Bird Dogs => Topic started by: WSU on February 07, 2018, 03:16:43 PM

Title: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: WSU on February 07, 2018, 03:16:43 PM
What do folks look for?  Things to stay away from or that would concern you?
Title: Re: Selecting a pupply from a litter
Post by: DOUBLELUNG on February 07, 2018, 03:26:39 PM
I've only picked two from litters but their personalities carried over into adult traits.  First time we picked the female that ran across the yard to us while the other pups watched.  She was very much an alpha dog her whole life.  The second was a shy pup while most of the others were jumping on their back legs trying to get at us from the play pen.  She was sweet and shy as an adult.  Depends what you are looking for, but their traits with the litter are much more indicative than when you meet them alone. 

All I would stay away from would be sickly pups - thinner than the others, listless, duller eyes/coats, diarrhea.
Title: Re: Selecting a pupply from a litter
Post by: vandeman17 on February 07, 2018, 03:31:41 PM
What do folks look for?  Things to stay away from or that would concern you?

Looking for a working dog or family dog? Like double said, depending on what you are looking for, there are hints you can find while watching them.

My last dog we watched the litter and also brought a bird wing to test their attention to it. My dog was first to it and that is all she cared about. Once it was gone, she was sweet and just wanted love so it was an easy choice and she has been an awesome dog .
Title: Re: Selecting a pupply from a litter
Post by: cougforester on February 07, 2018, 03:32:16 PM
I technically had second pick of the litter when I picked out my pup, but I knew I needed a dog with high drive and even some stubbornness and toughness. The family that had first pick of the litter was a Seattle family who wanted a couch pup. So the breeder separated the two males into a pen and let me come choose which one I wanted.

I brought a handful of pheasant tail feathers and set them down in between the two pups. The I ended up with immediately ran over to the feathers, picked them up and started running around the enclosure with them. The second one barely lifted his head up when I first entered the enclosure, and had fallen back asleep almost immediately.

Those traits have translated almost perfectly to the dogs as they've aged as well.
Title: Re: Selecting a pupply from a litter
Post by: WSU on February 07, 2018, 03:52:10 PM
The dog will be a hunting dog and family dog.
Title: Re: Selecting a pupply from a litter
Post by: Old Dog on February 07, 2018, 07:27:50 PM
I thought this had some good info.

http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-z5edn-7ee0e4
Title: Re: Selecting a pupply from a litter
Post by: lokidog on February 07, 2018, 08:31:09 PM
As a breeder, we have chosen which pup goes where based on what we know of the pup's personalities and the desires of each new owner.  It has worked really well so far for three litters. 

We've noticed puppies acting one way then a few days later they will be completely different.  I guess you can get lucky with just a few minutes of observation, but more would be better.  :twocents:
Title: Re: Selecting a pupply from a litter
Post by: bearpaw on February 07, 2018, 08:53:02 PM
 :yeah: I agree Loki, I used to breed and sell hound puppies all over the US, breeding and raising pups helped me keep good young dogs coming up for my own needs and the sales of the other pups helped me raise my family. You can definitely judge with a pretty good degree of accuracy what pups will fit the buyer's need based on what they say they are looking for. However, at least with hounds, every pup is quite dependent on the quality of training that is provided by the new owner.

The dog will be a hunting dog and family dog.
I agree with what others have said about picking pups, given your two desires, if you have a choice, I would pick out the two or three pups which are the most outgoing adventuresome and aggressive with a training item, and then pick the puppy out of those that is the most people friendly and loveable. Confirm your thoughts with the breeder and that's your pup!
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: jagermiester on February 08, 2018, 06:16:11 AM
I filled out a questionnaire and had multiple conversations with the Breeder telling him my plans and desires before driving to Boise to pick my last pup up. When I got there I was focused on another dog because he was better looking and playful. The breeder told me that dog was going to Jackson hole Wyoming to be a house dog for an old man that will probably never hunt him. Thatís your dog he said, 8 months later he scored a perfect 112 in a NAVHDA test and Iím no dog trainer. He is a loving dog to the family and we all love him, because heís our dog. He has no quit and hunts hard in cold weather and with tore up feet because of his prey drive. Thatís something that is hard to see in 15 minutes.

Depends on what you want. But if you are getting a good dog from a good breeder thatís going to spend 2 months with all the puppies you may want to ask him/her what he thinks. Or more ideal find a breeder that places the dogs.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: Netminder01 on February 08, 2018, 07:52:48 AM
I'm on my second chocolate lab from the same line and the two dogs couldn't be more opposite.

This last time, I visited the pups 4-5 times before I picked my pooch and spent time watching them. I also took a GoPro and videotaped their interactions so I could see which dogs showed early signs of dominance, aggression, timidness, etc.  It was a valuable tool and greatly informed my pick.

I'm not experienced knowing what to look for in dogs so I read a bunch, talked to quite a few breeders, hunters and lab owners to help shape my own important traits. The video helped a bunch and now I look back at it and see some of the traits I saw then in Benelli today.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: bigdave on February 08, 2018, 09:01:25 AM
I do not pick the alpha pup......I usually choose the one right below the alpha best i can discover. Its worked out pretty good for me.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: tlbradford on February 08, 2018, 09:11:16 AM
I agree with breeder recommendations to an extent.  You are usually buying a pup based on the parents.  Meet the parents, interact with them.  You have no idea what the pup has been doing the past few hours before your visit.  Maybe one just woke up from a nap, maybe a different one just played for an hour straight. 
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: jagermiester on February 08, 2018, 10:17:22 AM
I agree with breeder recommendations to an extent.  You are usually buying a pup based on the parents.  Meet the parents, interact with them.  You have no idea what the pup has been doing the past few hours before your visit.  Maybe one just woke up from a nap, maybe a different one just played for an hour straight.

 :yeah:

Probably the most important thing to consider. Good responsible breeding is the key.

FYI:
Speed Train Your Own Bird Dog
By: Larry Mueller
Awesome book and the beginning of it has some great tips for picking the pup out of the litter.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: andersonjk4 on February 08, 2018, 11:06:12 AM
You pick the parents (litter) you want and then let the wife and/or kids pick the pup from the litter. 

I read this several times while I was researching how to pick pups out of a litter.  I pretty much subscribed to this for the 3 pups I have brought home and it has worked out pretty well. This works great if it is going to be a true family dog and helps get other members of the family involved.  And you can always sway their decision or narrow it down if their are pups you absolutely don't want for reasons stated above.       
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: BD1 on February 08, 2018, 11:21:27 AM
You pick the parents (litter) you want and then let the wife and/or kids pick the pup from the litter. 

   :yeah:
I didn't read any research about this...it just happened. The other dog was doing all those things people suggest (using it's nose, looking for the wing and playing with it) The one we chose, my wife picked up, it licked her face, snuggled up and basically fell asleep. I looked over at her and knew the decision was made. Told the breeder (Warren from I.F.) to just put the other one away  :chuckle: It was the best decision...couldn't ask for a better dog in the field and in the home. Basically our 3rd kid and the best thing is...when she has done something that makes the wife upset, I say...you picked her!!! She (both my wife and Cedar) are the best.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: follow maggie on February 08, 2018, 03:09:20 PM
I let the breeder pick Maggie out of the litter for me. Ther wasnít a choice, since I was in Iraq at the time. We never met personally until I got home & picked her up. We only talked in email 12 time zones apart, and I have to say the breeder did a good great job picking a puppy for me based on our emails only. Weíre a perfect match for each other- low key & mellow around the house, but when itís time to hunt, itís time to get after it hard and fast.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: runamuk on February 08, 2018, 04:34:25 PM
Unless you have a ton of experience, I say let the breeder decide.  This asdumes you did your homework and oicked a good breeder.  Make sure you share your desires,  hunting, family, lifestyle. I have placed dizens of dogs and used to get paid to help people buy horses.  Puppies change fast, breeders get to know what those changes mean.  Most people should not own the most dominant pup or the most submissive those can be really challenging in the home. 

Health, papers, guarantees, after purchase help are way more important to me than being allowed my pick of a litter.  Pickna good breeder you will get a good pup.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: BD1 on February 08, 2018, 08:03:44 PM
If it is any consolation...nearly every member on here who has had a dog from the breeder I used could be describing my dog when talking about theirs. The only real difference in them has been colror and size. Have fun and, in my opinion, as long as the breeder is good, you will be fine (or I have been lucky????) The dog really picked us as I said above. I can't imagine life without the one who "chose us".
Good luck
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: Netminder01 on February 09, 2018, 07:40:40 AM
Don't forget to post a pic of your new pooch!!
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: Colin on February 09, 2018, 07:45:03 AM
Just pick from the best litter you can find and afford for what you're looking for. Health clearances, parents lineage etc and close your eyes and pick one or whichever one picks you.

I heard a pod cast where Chris Akin said he routinly picks the last pup in a litter just to show that it's more about picking from the right litter and how you train them.

I had 2nd pick of a litter in Iowa. I told the breeder I was gonna train him to hunt and run some hunt tests. Sight unseen he sent me a pup. Lots of success in the HT game and the boys everything I could dream of in the field.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: wildweeds on February 09, 2018, 12:30:11 PM
In a properly thought out breeding , your picking for color pattern. That's what linebreeding does cements good traits as well as bad, the trick is to weed out the bad. And strive to produce cookie cutter litter. In a well bred litter you can close your eyes and grab and come up with a good dog. It's the haywire training methods that get used that knock holes in them.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: Bluemoon on February 09, 2018, 02:06:34 PM
This is one comment where I am going to disagree with you Wild, you said " Strive to produce cookie cutter litter".
You breed to produce better then what you already have.. It has been the "Cookie Cutter" breedings especially in the conformation circles that have destroyed many of our sporting breeds.  They breed for what ever wins in the ring not giving a darn about health and temperament.  Then when they finish their coveted Championship they
"Rehome them" because there is nothing else they can do with them.   Then as the dogs get older and have issues they blame the people they have rehomed to.  Seen it happen way to many times.
Bluemoon
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: jetjockey on February 10, 2018, 09:49:56 AM
I think what Wild was saying is that through careful line breeding, you can produce a litter where all the dogs are ďcookie cutterĒ in that they will all be very good bird dogs. In other words, you can close your eyes, grab a pup, and you will end up with a great pup.  Some will be better than the others, but all will be very good. I agree that you are always trying to produce better than what you had before, but at the end of the day, a slight improvement in all the dogs is a successful breeding.

When picking a puppy, pick a good liter, close your eyes, and grab a pup.  At 7-10 weeks of age puppies are changing so fast there is no way to know what you are picking.  In the AF world, Pros go through a TON of pups to find that one special dog that has what it takes to be a NC.  And they often donít know if the dog is really special until they are 12-16 months old.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: wildweeds on February 10, 2018, 08:20:49 PM
Jet has exactly what I meant Richard, im not good in type, remember that dog of mine that did all the winning? He was linebred, his daddy was really linebred by Barbara Robbins, I had a buddy with a fantastic winning Nstra setter, both dogs had the same great bird finding qualities and full choke noses, they also had alot of the same ancestors, but it was an outcross on the sires side of the dams line. Those pups were cookie cutter in their own right as either one was equal in their abilities, but better than both parents.  The litter I had with my dog, bred to another dog with ancestors the same, plus a splash of linebred Tekoa mountain sunrise and BozeAnns Mosley on her sires side produced 9 pups, of the 9  7 were all about the same, 2 were wingnuts. I still have a wingnut. It's pretty satisfying to get a call from a guy and have him say" You know,I've had setters 40 years, all from the biggest famous kennels, and I'm not just saying this, this one I got from you is doing better at 6 months old than any of the others I've ever owned did at close to 2". My dog placed in his first broke stake at 17 months old. I think he had 35 placements total in 3 years of trialing. I was striving to produce, smart,birdfinding, stylish easy to live with dogs that matured quickly and naturally retrieved ( my male wouldn't retrieve, and neither did his sire). Pretty sure I got that done with 7 of 9, can't get all the coons up the tree. I flat out gave one away this last summer, he was 5, had minimal work done, I heard nothing from the fellow, then one day he called and gushed about how thankful he was, he took the dog hunting in Alberta and the dog found and pointed alot of birds, and he retrieved 21 birds for him to hand. That was all natural ability, I bet at most that dog only had a couple hours spent with him. Hell I tried to give that dog to a few guys on here. Everybody's question is always the same" What's wrong with him?" Nothing I'm what's wrong I have a job that takes up more time than 6 dogs need.
Title: Re: Selecting a puppy from a litter
Post by: pens fan on February 14, 2018, 10:13:07 PM
As a breeder, I check for traits that I feel are important. At about ten days, before the eyes open, I do a scent test. We weigh the pups every two days to ensure proper weight gain and growth, and while doing so, I put two paper towels near the pup. One has quail scent, the other duck. I watch the reaction of the pup. Quail is subtle. Duck...not so much. If the pup doesn't notice, no big deal. But I have observed most pick up on the duck. A few key in on the quail. I do this again when they are about three weeks old. If they never seem to notice or care...probably a family dog. But the ones that observe acutely, they have the better noses. But, I also take in their reactions to wings and live birds later on.
I also run the pups around 5 weeks old through the woods. Over stumps, logs, weeds, through brush. And for about 150 yards. I observe those that stay right behind me and those that drop off. I notice the ones that have no fear to go through or over obstacles. Some get better. But the yound ones, those that are on it early, those are the top ones.
I know these pups and suggest them to the prospective owners. I have really never been wrong except for the energy levels that people themselves are not prepared for.
Not all breeders do what I do.