Picking A Good Puppy
Assuming you’re a rookie at this and are looking strictly for a nice pet. These are only guidelines; taking a more experienced person with you is also a good option.
Let’s start with what puppy NOT to pick. NEVER take a sick puppy. A good breeder would never sell you one anyway, so right away you know that one who would doesn’t care about you, the puppy or the financial and emotional investment you make. DON’T take a puppy that growls at you. That DOES NOT mean they will make better watchdogs! The growling is either dominance or fear induced, neither of which is easy or acceptable to live with. These are the dogs that bite for all the wrong reasons. Don’t take the puppy that cringes from your touch, won’t come to you or avoids involvement with the rest of the litter and/or owner. If the whole litter is like that, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. There are many good puppies out there, be patient.
You may pay more for a correctly bred and socialized pup, but it will be cheaper than paying for behavioural and health problems later on. The pup you pick should not be afraid to climb on you, should try to lick you (not bite!) and be willing to follow you around. When you pick him/her up he/she may struggle but should soon settle down and try to lick or paw you. A pup that bites and/or violently struggles, who freezes and/or avoids eye contact is unsuitable as a pet. Avoid pups who run away from loud noises and won’t come back to investigate. Toss a piece of paper or ball; a puppy that brings it back to you will be a joy to train. Pick up your pup at 10-12 wks., the optimum age. Of course meet the parents; the puppy cannot be anything other than the genetics dealt to him, modified and enhanced (for good or bad) by the environment and socializing given to him. Pick the GOOD puppy that LIKES YOU BEST!