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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
does one evaluate a litter for performance? What do you look for when determining your pick puppy?
 

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Are you talking about your choice from a litter or choosing a litter?

IMO it's not possable to look at 8 puppies from a litter and know what the best pup is.

Bert
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am talking about evaluating a litter
 

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Are you talking about your choice from a litter or choosing a litter?

IMO it's not possable to look at 8 puppies from a litter and know what the best pup is.

Bert
x2....pick the breeding, pick the pup that appeals to you. I don't think there's any real way to tell who'll be the stars and who will be the duds, no matter how many 'tests' and expert opinions you seek. Too many stories of how the last one no one picked turned out best for anyone to worry over what order of pick they have.
 

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I think you could tell a lil more if breeders would hold them till 9-10 weeks before making pics but who wants to hold on to all this pups that long. Lol
 

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Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've had a pretty good read on mine by 8 wks. I watch how they approach new situations/scenarios--- whether it's outside for the first time, and who is eager to go explore in the garden (cover), under the deck, under the shrubbery, to the field, the front steps (my nightmare, actually) etc.. I watch how they respond to new rooms in the house, and may have a temperament test done by a stranger in a new environment at 7 wks. I have a friend help me test them on live pigeons at 7 wks. I won't pick my own until after vet well checks and CERFs as that's another evaluation opportunity (and what if a problem were to be found?). I start looking at movement and structure as early as 6 wks, but watch to see who stays together thru 8 wks when we do the final evals for conformation. I want the whole package and honestly think it can be done. I also narrow the choices down for my buyers and so far, so good. So I think it depends in part how much time the breeder is spending w/ the litter actually watching the pups and trends.
 

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Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've had a pretty good read on mine by 8 wks. I watch how they approach new situations/scenarios--- whether it's outside for the first time, and who is eager to go explore in the garden (cover), under the deck, under the shrubbery, to the field, the front steps (my nightmare, actually) etc.. I watch how they respond to new rooms in the house, and may have a temperament test done by a stranger in a new environment at 7 wks. I have a friend help me test them on live pigeons at 7 wks. I won't pick my own until after vet well checks and CERFs as that's another evaluation opportunity (and what if a problem were to be found?). I start looking at movement and structure as early as 6 wks, but watch to see who stays together thru 8 wks when we do the final evals for conformation. I want the whole package and honestly think it can be done. I also narrow the choices down for my buyers and so far, so good. So I think it depends in part how much time the breeder is spending w/ the litter actually watching the pups and trends.
DITTO!

Maybe we're kidding ourselves, but I think I have a good take on my pups at eight weeks, but it takes a lot of time with the pups!

A puppy buyer who thinks they can spend an hour watching a litter and make an educated choice is really kidding themselves. Best to tell the litter owner what you are wanting from the pup and let them direct you to the couple of pups that best fit your needs.

Swack
 

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I want the whole package and honestly think it can be done. I also narrow the choices down for my buyers and so far, so good. So I think it depends in part how much time the breeder is spending w/ the litter actually watching the pups and trends.
The original poster was looking for performance evaluation in the litter. I guess it depends on what the phrase "whole package" means to the breeder. To me it means a field champion that is structurally sound and pleasing to the eye. To some people it means an obedience or agility dog. IMHO, it is usually impossible to pick out a future field champion from an 8 week old litter, even though I did once, it had a lot to do with the strong pedigree, owners, training, and knowing they were knowlegible enough to give the dog every chance to succeed. The characteristics you are looking for in a high end performance litter aren't determined by just throwing a pigeon. If it were that easy we could all have field champions which the breeder picked out. Outcrosses especially involving field and conformation lines are going to yield less predictability, especially if the dogs were not competed in that venue to begin with. Pick a litter with the most talented dogs that are proven producers and then cross your fingers you have a player.
 

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Well, If just "spending time" with a litter means, one can pick high level performance, then, I should be an expert..
Unfortunately though, I have kept ones that can't play, and sold others that can..

OP, I wish there was a way to predict talent, brains, team player.
I haven't found it.
 

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Nancy, it sounds as though Nicole has picked a litter already to work with. I shared w/ her what I have done over the past 17 yrs or so, and it's been a very predictable experience for me. And no, not all my pups have been selected first and foremost for performance since I keep a blend here w/ an eye toward future breedings, but their temperaments/abilities have been quite predictable.
 

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Nancy, it sounds as though Nicole has picked a litter already to work with. I shared w/ her what I have done over the past 17 yrs or so, and it's been a very predictable experience for me. And no, not all my pups have been selected first and foremost for performance since I keep a blend here w/ an eye toward future breedings, but their temperaments/abilities have been quite predictable.
Apples and oranges Anne. We are speaking about performance and not just temperament and obedience titles.
 

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You are assuming I only look at my own litters... incorrect assumption.
So you are evaluating FC sired litters now and are determining the top performance pick by what you see in your dogs? You will have to let us know how that goes as being "very predictable."
 

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(Simple?) Conformation evaluation for performance:

Let's assume you are unable to stand the puppy on a table and have an experienced structure evaluator check out all the pups angles, length of parts, etc.

Even if this IS possible, you still do the following:

At 7 - 8 weeks, look for a pup that will gait (trot) with the feet moving independently, not just bunny hop like they do at 5 weeks.

You DON'T want to see very much loosey-goosey in the skin rolling or in the major joints.

You DO WANT to see both the front and rear legs landing straight down. No twisting in or out, no elbowing out. If it looks 'odd', it probably is!

I'm trying to keep terminology simple - for the inexperienced 'puppy picker'. And this is strictly talking about conformation, which for performance dogs, does help to keep them sound - at least in theory. Sometimes their brain/desire is too much for their body to cope with over long periods of time.

Debbie
 

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The best way to stack the deck in your favor:

1. Pick the parents. If you like their talent...and structure...your odds are good that a pup will be similar.

2. Pick the sex you want.

3. If there's a color preference (which may well lessen your odds of getting the performance you want...choosing based on color may rule out the best pup) then add that.

4. Just watching the pups play, are there any really funky structural abnormalities (like really toed out, toed in, etc.)? Count that pup out. But don't sweat the little stuff.

5. Close your eyes and grab one.

6. Take it home and do a good job training it.
 

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(Simple?) Conformation evaluation for performance:

Let's assume you are unable to stand the puppy on a table and have an experienced structure evaluator check out all the pups angles, length of parts, etc.

Even if this IS possible, you still do the following:

At 7 - 8 weeks, look for a pup that will gait (trot) with the feet moving independently, not just bunny hop like they do at 5 weeks.

You DON'T want to see very much loosey-goosey in the skin rolling or in the major joints.

You DO WANT to see both the front and rear legs landing straight down. No twisting in or out, no elbowing out. If it looks 'odd', it probably is!

I'm trying to keep terminology simple - for the inexperienced 'puppy picker'. And this is strictly talking about conformation, which for performance dogs, does help to keep them sound - at least in theory. Sometimes their brain/desire is too much for their body to cope with over long periods of time.

Debbie
I appreciate what you're saying.

Now how do you tell which one has desire and can mark?:p

Kind of like the way bumblebees are built they shouldn't be able to fly. Yet they do.

I don't know how an FC can do a 400 yard mark when he has poor conformation which would prevent it...
 

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I don't know how an FC can do a 400 yard mark when he has poor conformation which would prevent it...
Conformation has no bearing on marking ability....but it does have bearing on long term soundness. ;-) The worst built dog in the world may still be a great marker...but will that dog stay sound enough to fulfill its potential?
 
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