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Bec11

Confused

43 posts in this topic

huski   

I understand why people with a good relationship with their breeder trusts them to decide on a pup for them, and I think that's great if you trust the breeder and feel it's right for you especially when you understand what you want and what to look for.

Personally while I would ask the breeder for their opinion I am not a person who would buy a pup unseen or just take one assigned to me without first seeing it with the litter and agreeing it is the right choice. It is just something I like to do to be certain.

Many breeders and puppy buyers ask us to temp test litters for them, it doesn't mean the breeder doesn't know what they are doing but they also aren't often experienced or qualified trainers nor do they need to be. Some breeders get worried they won't test the litter objectively and that's fair enough too. Some just want another opinion. You have to do what feels right for you.

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Thanks for everyone's input :)

The puppy aptitude test was very interesting. I can't imagine doing the whole thing while we're there but it gives us a good starting point to discuss with the breeder and an idea of where we would like our new dogs temperament to sit amongst the wide range. It's also reassuring to hear that most breeders will be approaching this the same way we are and trying to match the right dog for our family (and if they don't then I'll consider it a red flag and look elsewhere).

I asked the breeder of my latest pup to run through a modified test, she didn't do anything that would adversely affect the pups (scary) as they were older than the usual testing age and may have been entering a fear period.

The breeder emailed the scores, and even with the modified test it was clear to see which of the pups had more pack drive and resilience than the others.

I didn't get to see the pups until pick-up due to being interstate but I'm very happy with my choice. :)

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Bindo   

Hi Bec. Great choice of dog!

I've read all the replies in this thread from breeders and others but from personal experience, I think it's still a bit of a lottery. We were inexperienced dog owners when we bought our first MS, but had had kelpies and working dogs as kids (when Mum did all the work!) We were offered the last little boy in a litter, met him once when all the others had been picked up, and of course fell in love. He was a gem, the best dog one could hope for with a young family, and so easy to train.

Our next MS, a female as suggested by the breeder (different breeder, the first one had retired) so we wouldn't compare, couldn't have been more different. We raised her in the same manner as the first, but she was very nervy and highly strung, and nowhere near as affectionate. Still gorgeous in her own way, but thank God she wasn't our first family dog. A similar thing happened to my sister in law, first staffy just perfect, second one chosen by interstate breeder (of course this makes it more difficult for everyone, owner and breeder) and he is reactive and dog aggressive. Luckily she is very experienced and spending lots of time and effort in overcoming the issues.

Our current girl is like our first boy reincarnated! However, she is a rescue from the wonderful Schnauzer Rescue NSW, we got her she she was 6, and I have no idea of her origins, whether breeder or backyard job. We couldn't have a better dog!

Just our of interest, a question for the breeders in this thread. What do you do, if you recognise a nervy, fearful pup in the litter? What happens to this dog if the right owner doesn't come your way? Not trolling, a genuine question.

Good luck with you research Bec and hope you enjoy your MS puppy when he/she arrives! :)

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That's very reassuring! The breed we're looking at is Miniature Schnauzer. I'm trying very hard to not get too excited because I worry that it won't work out for some reason.

I love kelpies (my relatives are farmers and have always had kelpies) but we really, really don't have the lifestyle for a kelpie. Miah looks beautiful - I just want to scratch her under her chin.

Thank you Bec, I've only just seen your reply in here. She's not that tiny anymore. She will be 2 this Nov ! Still beautiful heart.gif

I do hope your search works out and you find a lovely MS . It's all in the timing I believe :)

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Use your head, not your heart. A lot of people rely on the "the puppy ran up to me and licked me so I knew we were meant to be!" Hallmark moment, and it could just mean that puppy smelled last night's dinner on your jeans first or the puppy has done that to each and every visitor because it's fun. Whichever puppy you take you will fall in love with.

I agree with both Huski and the people saying let the breeder pick one for you. Basically as I see it, if you have chosen the breeder correctly, then letting the breeder choose is the best course of action if you have been honest about your family circumstances. If you have not chosen the breeder carefully, then I would be looking for some help to sort out which puppy you would take - but honestly if I wasn't confident about the breeder's recommendations I'm not sure I'd be giving them my money. It's a big investment - and I'm not talking about the initial purchase price, I'm talking about 15 years of life together.

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Just our of interest, a question for the breeders in this thread. What do you do, if you recognise a nervy, fearful pup in the litter? What happens to this dog if the right owner doesn't come your way? Not trolling, a genuine question.

Firstly, as a breeder, if I identified such a temperament when they first start to show generally around 2-4 weeks or even later, I would be spending much more time with that pup making sure it is socialised and build up its confidence. My pups are generaly well socialised from birth with family and close friends whom I trust. Once their eyes/ears open, they are further socialised with friends, carefully supervised puppy buyers. At 6 weeks, they start to go for short drives and also carefully supervised outings to the local shopping village where they stay in the car with mum while I sit on the tailgate sipping coffee. Here they learn about loud noises, shopping trolleys and other stimilii that you just cannot replicate at home. Just before they go at 8 weeks they are taken down to a local puppy class held at the vets where they are again carefully supervised.

Secondly, I would wait for the right buyer. No use selling a puppy to the first person who comes along who falls in love with it if the puppy is not suitable for their lifestyle. Three things will happen; it will be returned to you soon after (if you are lucky - as many will not want to admit defeat to the breeder), it will be onsold to an unsuspecting buyer (often unbeknown to the breeder) or be taken to the pound where in good likihood it will be put down.

When a new home is found for the pup - I fully disclose their temperament and things they should and not do and suggestions on how to socialise the puppy - especially during the fear periods.

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Steve   

If your looking for behaviour then I dont believe its possible for anyone on a visit to be able to judge

Every puppy will present itself differently every day of the week to someone visiting.

Its so affected by how long ago it ate, how long ago it slept ,how tired it is etc the puppy that seems eager to smother you with love and licks tomorrow may be the one thats full as a goog and cant be bothered to run and play because its just done that before you got there tomorrow

The breeder is observing them all the time - watching them and taking all of that into account as a puppy buyer you dont stand a chance of being able to see which one is best suited to you over any other - let the breeder choose.

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huski   

Every time we have temp tested a litter, the pups matured and have been exactly the same as how we tested them that day. So I do believe it is possible to test temperament accurately, I have done it and seen the results so many times.

wanting to select a pup myself isn't about not trusting the breeder at all, but for me, I just don't like to buy a puppy unseen and I want to see how it interacts with it's litter mates etc. Even if my choice aligned 100% with the breeders suggestion I would still want to test it for myself.

I understand puppy buyers who trust the breeder to make a decision and I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but for me I like to see the pup first.

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Steph M   

I see your point, Huski and admit you know miiiiiles better than I do. So someone with lesser experience, like me, might be better off leaving it to someone who knows. I would have picked the cute one that runs up to me too, everyone gets blinded by puppy cute and logic can go out the window. Its what you do, but for me I'm happy to let the breeder take the reins a bit there

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huski   

If you have a good relationship with the breeder and trust them 100% there is nothing wrong with that. All of our puppy buyers trusted and wanted Steve to choose for them, they were given very in depth detail about why x pup would suit them best. I don't agree with breeders who say all the pups are the same, there is always some variation even if it's only very minuscule differences.

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Mal1   

Read an interview with a IPO trainer who always tests pup on unfamiliar terrain, often just the reaction to the new environment will indicate if he will even continue the test.

He has taken two pups to multi world Championship wins.

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benshiva   

If your looking for behaviour then I dont believe its possible for anyone on a visit to be able to judge

Every puppy will present itself differently every day of the week to someone visiting.

Its so affected by how long ago it ate, how long ago it slept ,how tired it is etc the puppy that seems eager to smother you with love and licks tomorrow may be the one thats full as a goog and cant be bothered to run and play because its just done that before you got there tomorrow

The breeder is observing them all the time - watching them and taking all of that into account as a puppy buyer you dont stand a chance of being able to see which one is best suited to you over any other - let the breeder choose.

I completely agree with this. One visit cannot possibly determine the correct temperament of a puppy in my opinion.

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Steve   

It may be a breed thing too to some degree - I think it would take a very experienced person in Maremma pups to be able to determine which one is more suited to one thing or another at a few weeks of age.

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I think a lot comes down to your own experience with the breed too. If you know relatively little about the breed, especially with the breed as pups, you are best to take the advice of someone more knowledgeable and trust their instincts for what will suit you best. In most cases, one would hope that is the breeder, but it can also be a friend or colleague who happens to know the breed well. Don't be afraid to take them along and get their insights. Otherwise, if the choice falls into your hands you are left with nothing in your toolbox but "cuteness", " this puppy rushed to me we have a connection" and "what pretty markings". That isn't to say you would be unlucky enough to choose a pup that doesn't fit into your lifestyle, but they aren't exactly the most useful tools to have at your disposal :)

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Steve   

Well Ive had Maremma for around 23 years and Ive bred a lot of puppies over that period of time and I would not be able to visit someone's house and select a pup unless I stayed there and watched it for days. You may be able to pick the prettiest, the biggest, the smallest, the cutest etc but I give about a 1% chance of anyone picking the best pup for their purposes by visiting when they are babies here.

Personally Id rather look at the parents and trust the breeder.

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For those who say "let the breeder choose" - Just to throw it out there and for a minute think outside of the box

Would you say the same for a new breeder on their first or even second litter with an introductory insight to the breed and/or behavioural training/experience to be able to accurately choose the right pup for you?

Would you let a breeder who may have a bit of experience in the breeding (and raring pups) but not a lot of experience in behaviour/training and/or complete breed traits. Eg: pups are rared by mum with limited socialisation and stimuli to various experiences to be able to confidently choose a suitable pup for a new puppy buyer?

Would you be confident in allowing an experienced pet based breeder who does not fully interact or know much about training or behavioural issues choosing a suitable pup? They breed because they love puppies and breeding?

Not every new puppy buyer is lucky or goes to the best or experienced breeder for their pup who knows about temperament, socialisation, and can identify behaviours in animals. I have seen some puppy buyers choose their puppy based on a photo on a breeder website and due to distance not be able to see the pup and interaction to the litter mates etc. Only to find when the pup comes home, it is not suitable temperament to their lifestyle. I have seen and spoken to other new puppy owners who were allowed to choose their puppy from a whole litter where the breeder (both pedigree and BYB) have not been able to or willing to assist to choose which puppy would best suit.

Anyone looking to add a new pet to their home, needs to research basic behaviours, traits to know at least a basic understanding of what to look for. If you know of nothing, how to you know the breeder is really knowledgable and not telling you what they think they want you to hear? At worst, take a friend if you are looking at a litter who either knows the breed or something about behaviours. At least to possibly stop you from buying on impulse. One reason why I always recommend puppy buyers to not put a deposit down on the spot and walk away for five, think with the brain not the heart as the saying goes.

There are some great breeders out there who I would trust 110% to make the decision for me and have done this for me. Unfortunately there are some out there who are only interested in making a sale

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OSoSwift   

Every single person that visited my puppies fell in love with the same one. She was totally suitable for one of them, totally unsuitable for the rest. I adored her but didn't keep her for myself as her temperament wasn't what I needed and wanted.

So because this was my first Whippet litter I am unqualified to know my pups and help owners get the right dog for their circumstance?? Must have got lucky then.

Edited by OSoSwift

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Steph M   

Mystiqview, that sounds like a lesson.in not picking a dodgy breeder, rather than who knows the puppies best.

Most people saying trust your breeder are running on the assumption they're a breeder who does the right thing and that's been pointed out in many posts.

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Every single person that visited my puppies fell in love with the same one. She was totally suitable for one of them, totally unsuitable for the rest. I adored her but didn't keep her for myself as her temperament wasn't what I needed and wanted.

So because this was my first Whippet litter I am unqualified to know my pups and help owners get the right dog for their circumstance?? Must have got lucky then.

There are good breeders and bad breeders. Some know a bit more, and some know a bit less. Some are really good at picking temperaments and I know some breeders who do all the right things, but are also not good at picking traits.

But hey, if people want to 100% blindly trust their breeder without doing any research before, then good luck to them.

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