Picking a Peck of Precious Puppies

Say THAT three times fast! So, you’ve decided to get a pup. You’ve found a litter of puppies that match the breeds you’re interested in. You’re head is spinning because everyone is telling you what puppy never to pick, what puppy to always pick, what puppy does this, what puppy does that…. You get the idea!

Well, I’m going to offer some sound advice. PICK THE PUPPY YOU LIKE! Sound simple? Let’s break it down…

A litter of puppies can be broken down, personality wise, into three basic categories – Strong, Weak, and Neutral. The puppy you pick should depend on what you expect from the dog!

Puppies with strong personalities are the ones who push the others aside to get to you, to food, to Mom or what ever – they’re the first ones out of the gate. They can be referred to as “Alpha” by many. These are the “working” dogs – Whether it is working as in search and rescue or working as in agility champions, these are the go-getters. These will challenge you with their intelligence and drive. If you’re not ready for this, pass.

Puppies with weak personalities are not recommended for families with children under five years old. These pups are the wimps of the bunch. They get pushed around and are easily antagonized. They can scare easily when there are children running around, making quick moves and loud noises. These puppies CAN be brought up to be neutral puppies, though, when taken away from the strong willed ones who often are the ones bullying them. These pups are generally the ones in the background with that deer in the headlight look! They’d be best with older kids but as far as activity goes, they’re fine with just about any level. They do great with other dogs, too (hint, hint!) as the other dogs tend to help them out of their shells.

Puppies that are neutral are the ones just hanging around. They’re the middle children! They’re comfortable in their own skins and with their own level in the pack. This is the all around, good natured pup you hear tell about. BUT… Don’t let their neutral-ness fool you! They can be as mischievous as the next group! These are the pups that generally do well at soccer games, etc., where a lot of activity doesn’t bother them. They do great with other dogs as well.

Now, to throw a wrench into the mix… Once you take the alpha (or strong willed) puppies out of the mix, the neutrals can become alpha! Understand, if you will, that dogs operate in packs. It’s a dog’s (or puppy’s) job to climb the ladder of success until they become the alpha. In each litter there are one or two Alphas. So how do you know which is which? Ask the owner of the litter which one is the Alpha. They should know!

Now, male or female? Depends on the breed. Males tend to be a bit more laid back than females. Not a firm rule, though. But two females get along LESS WELL than two males. (Bad grammar, I know!)… Two males (unless it’s a husky type) generally get along better. Best bet? If you have a dog already, bring it with you and let THAT dog pick out its new best friend. Truly, your established dog should be the one to pick out the new best friend – After all, THEY are going to be spending most of their time together so THEY’D better like each other!

Oh, and remember one more thing. A puppy is a cute, fluffy puppy for about 5 months. It then becomes an awkward teenager for a while and then an adult. The point? It’s only a cute pile of fluff for a short time – It spends much more time being an adult – So pick according to what the dog WILL be, vs what the puppy is now (looks wise, I mean).

Still confused? Hey…I tried!

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