Help Picking Top Pup
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Thread: Help Picking Top Pup

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2017

    Default Help Picking Top Pup

    Warning lengthy, but need expertise. I know there are some threads already on similar topics, but want to get professionals with lots of years of experience opinions on my specific topic so throwing it out there and just looking for answers. They are 8 weeks right now.

    I have a very well bred litter with top FC pedigree. I am having the hardest time picking the puppy I am going to keep. Please help me know what pup you would pick and why. I am looking for a pup to train to run field trials is my biggest goal and having the hardest time with this decision. Both are the top picks in the litter and go getters, one is more independent and the other close but not quite as much drive but seeks to be with you and loves to be loved.

    Puppy A: The first to do most developmental milestones. More boisterous and barks the most in the litter especially if left in a kennel. Very birdy and goes after pigeons and will carry them around. Will jump in a kiddie pool and just play. Has jumped in water and brought back a bumper. He is more independent and will sometimes wonder off and do his own thing when out in the yard playing with the pups. Likes to be loved, but good with leaving attention and doesn't always seek it. Volhard Test: 1's: 2, 2's: 1, 3's: 2, 4's: 2, 5's: 0, and 6's: 2.

    Puppy B: Was one of the biggest in the litter. A go getter, but not an alpha. He loves attention and will follow you around the yard. He loves birds and will chase after them and bring them back. Gets in water, but usually when he is wanting to be with me. Threw bumpers and will bring back until it is thrown in the water and then stops with his feet getting wet. Volhard Test: 1's: 1, 2's: 0, 3's: 4, 4's: 3, 5's: 1, and 6's: 0.

    Volhard Interpretation:

    • Mostly 1's A puppy that consistently scores a 1 in the temperament section of the test is an extremely dominant, aggressive puppy who can easily be provoked to bite. His dominant nature will attempt to resist human leadership, thus requiring only the most experienced of handlers. This puppy is a poor choice for most individuals and will do best in a working situation as a guard or police dog.
    • Mostly 2's This pup is dominant and self-assured. He can be provoked to bite; however he readily accepts human leadership that is firm, consistent and knowledgeable. This is not a dog for a tentative, indecisive individual. In the right hands, he has the potential to become a fine working or show dog and could fit into an adult household, provided the owners know what they are doing.
    • Mostly 3's This pup is outgoing and friendly and will adjust well in situations in which he receives regular training and exercise. He has a flexible temperament that adapts well to different types of environment, provided he is handled correctly. May be too much dog for a family with small children or an elderly couple who are sedentary.
    • Mostly 4's A pup that scores a majority of 4's is an easily controlled, adaptable puppy whose submissive nature will make him continually look to his master for leadership. This pup is easy to train, reliable with kids, and, though he lacks self-confidence, makes a high-quality family pet. He is usually less outgoing than a pup scoring in the 3's, but his demeanor is gentle and affectionate.
    • Mostly 5's This is a pup who is extremely submissive and lacking in self-confidence. He bonds very closely with his owner and requires regular companionship and encouragement to bring him out of himself. If handled incorrectly, this pup will grow up very shy and fearful. For this reason, he will do best in a predictable, structured lifestyle with owners who are patient and not overly demanding, such as an elderly couple.
    • Mostly 6's A puppy that scores 6 consistntly is independent and uninterested in people. He will mature into a dog who is not demonstrably affectionate and who has a low need for human companionship. In general, it is rare to see properly socialized pups test this way; however there are several breeds that have been bred for specific tasks (such as basenjis, hounds, and some northern breeds) which can exhibit this level of independence. To perform as intended, these dogs require a singularity of purpose that is not compromised by strong attachments to their owner.

    The remainder of the puppy test is an evaluation of obedience aptitude and working ability and provides a general picture of a pup's intelligence, spirit, and willingness to work with a human being. For most owners, a good companion dog will score in the 3 to 4 range in this section of the test. Puppies scoring a combination of 1's and 2's require experienced handlers who will be able to draw the best aspects of their potential from them.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019


    Flip a coin

  4. #3
    Senior Member Tobias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015


    Put both puppies in a box, Put a blindfold on and reach down and grab one.

    When you get home and have had your pup for a month, you will think you got the best one, no matter which one you pick.
    The way I look at it, every dog is an opportunity to be a better trainer, and every day is a new day to be a better trainer to the same dog we trained yesterday.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Lake Winola, Pa


    puppy B because I don't like noisy demanding puppies
    Sight To Sea Labradors
    Southern Cross at Sight to Sea MH QA2 "Crosby" (by NAFC FC AFC Cody Cut a Lean Grade)
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    Tealwood's Willing at Sight to Sea JH ( by CH I am Able) king of the couch

    Sight To Sea's Take Aim SH (by Sight to Sea's Southern Comfort SH )Aug 23 2003-Feb 2013 Go get em , Man!
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  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Crownsville MD


    Temperament testing is only valid for the day on which it is done. It was more popular some years ago as we now know that it often does not correlate with the dog as an adult.
    Environment has an extreme impact on a dog's personality as it grows into adulthood. There is a very good article on

  8. #6
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Golden, Colorado


    I stopped picking puppies and started letting the breeder pick mine. As for personality, if you want to succeed in FT, you need a compliant dog. I will leave it at that
    Competition does not build character - It reveals it.

    Home of:
    FC/AFC Freeridin Wowie Zowie (2003 NARC Finalist)
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  9. #7


    I look at a bunch of little things like who goes up and down stairs first, one that sneaks under the gate to visit the big dogs going in and out of the slamming dog doors and then under the kennel fence to go through the dog door him or herself, one the likes to be loved on by climbing into your lap while you sit on the floor but isn’t afraid to explore when outside, not afraid of the garage door opening or the shop vac running. I have an elevated shower and I had a ramp up into it I had puppies climb up the ramp to take a nap all on their own at 6 weeks old. The ones that retrieve a live pigeon back to you at 6 weeks old is never a bad bet either because it shows a willingness to please. If these are labs I personally wouldn’t look at the biting portion of your evaluation as a real concern I’m not saying it can’t happen but if the sire and dam aren’t biters then you are probably safe if they are biters then they probably shouldn’t have been bred. Good luck with your puppy they grow up fast!

  10. #8


    The best way to pick the best pup is open it's mouth and see if it's roof is black. That will be the one!
    Or just reach in and grab one. No one can tell which is going to be the best pup

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Cody, WY


    Since it's your litter, keep both and make the decision later....

  12. #10
    Senior Member JamesTannery's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Dallas, TX


    Quote Originally Posted by taeicher View Post
    Since it's your litter, keep both and make the decision later....
    This is what I'm doing with my two picks from my litter.
    HRCH UH Night Owl's Black Diamond MH "Homer"(500 Point Club)(5/9/04-5/7/19)
    HRCH Iza-Gotsa-Lotsa-Go-Go MH QAA "Streak"(1/28/08-11/21/18)

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