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This discussion is a natural follow-on from choosing a breeder and puppybuyers...so how do you choose the actual puppy you are going to keep in a litter, or the one you want to buy?
I started out getting tons of help from judges I know and I looked at angles top-line etc but now, many years and dogs later, I have skipped all that and choose with my heart.
All I want is a puppy without faults like a bad mouth etc. Having established that, I go for contact between me and the puppy and listen to my heart.

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Spending a few weeks holidays amidst of puppies provides a good insight in all aspects. Fills your heart and brain as well. Don't look at them on a table pulling a tail and head. We are not breeding a cup of tea....
To see a pup on a table(like a cup of tea!!!!) is only one very small part of picking a pup for showing!! We lookat them on the ground,interacting with litter mates,adult dogs, people!! Also how they play with toys, how they react to new situations etc, etc................I spend hours watching and playing with my pups before I make a final decision! And sometimes it can be so difficult to just pick one(which is why I kept Megan and Milo!!)
I like to look at the conformation of the puppy, the pedigree , the tempermant of the sire and dam, and also the personality. My problem is I fall in love with all of them for various reason and it makes it very hard to decide. My first few show dogs were choosen for me by the breeder as she knew the personalities of the pups and which would be more suited.

I really like dark dark eyes, a good head and a balanced body, nothing extreme but a good honest puppy. I like the one that runs to me, but also likes to be with the other dogs, one with a look at me attitude that is proud when it moves, and has a good bite.

We all take chances when we choose that puppy because Mother Nature has a way of ruining all our plans, but at my house, if the pup doesn't turn out it usually still lives with me. My heart goes in to every puppy I bring home and its easier to live and learn with them than to place them.

I'm not saying I've not placed one, as I just did a one year old two months ago, but a super home came available and it was a good move for him. Sometimes its best to let them go. Choosing a puppy is hard work and we need all the guidance from other breeders to make the right choose.

Sometimes we have a "grading party" for the litter and everyone says what they like or dislike about the pups and you have to be ready for hearing things you've not noticed. Good way to learn from other breeders.

I've been through the same story, assessing on the table, picking first this one, then that one - but in the end, when the choice has been narrowed down, it has to be the heart that decides.
My most recent dog, my first male, won his way into my heart when he was 6 weeks old - he was so cheeky and always the first one for new adventures. I'd had no plan whatsoever of keeping a male, but thought: if one stays, it will have to be this one - and he stayed! He still has the lovely outgoing character and as a bonus is good looking too;-))
Except the personality on the puppy a important thing for me is carrige, movements, croup and tailset. I cant stand high tails. Sometimes I have seen real nice setters standing, but when they move its like the whole dog is falling apart. Depressing. A Irish setter just have to move OK.
The more I think about it, I'd have to say the presents the puppy makes on the ground with its movement, free stand, carriage of the head and tail are very important to me. Putting a puppy on the table you can just about stack any fault out of it and you can create a stand that would not be seen on its own.

What's funny is in my last litter I had a bitch picked out that I wanted to keep, but my husband had fallen in love with Purple girl and ask that I keep her. Well of course she turns out to be the best one .

^That`s excactly how it goes. In my C -litter I loved one of the bitches from 4wks on but on the table she refused to stack and was standing like a bag of rice. I didn`t pick her for myself cause I love to have the attitude even under "pressure" but she went to a very lovely showing home and is the bitch I like the most in that litter today - only thing is - she still lacks that attitude in the ring altough carrying herself correctly.
HAHA I thought about the answer to this one, and wanted to say - topline, nice angles, tail carriage, health, personality, etc...
BUT, when I strip all the "superficial" things I care about down *VBG* there is only one answer - the eyes of the puppy.
When I look at the eyes, I have to know that I can and will look at them for the next 15 years. It either grabs you or it does not, no matter how beautiful or not the puppy is.
So, for me it is in the eyes. :)
Well jelena, thats like choosing with your heart, is it not?
I do go for the eyes a lot, in fact the whole expression. That after all is what I will be seeing most during their lifetime.
Now that I have sort of started to look for a bordercollie, (and wanting one that does not look like ALL others) I am coming across those yellow, staring eyes...could I live with those for 12 years? Difficult to say.
Yes, Ursula,
I think it is choosing with your heart. Because it can be conformationally the perfect dog, but the "chemistry" is not there. And I think that is the basis for the successful dog, be it in the ring, field or the agility course - the connection between the dog and the owner, the "chemistry" if you will, has to be there. in my opinion. :)
I like that Jelena..........I've heard the eyes are the window to the soul...........we must love the dog for years to come and our hearts meet thru the eyes.

Loma, USA
Exactly what I wanted to say :)))




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