Pick the Right Puppy Out of the Litter
You’ve found the perfect puppy breed and breeder. Now you need to pick one pup out of the litter. How exactly do you go about doing that? Let’s take a look.
While dogs of the same breed share many of the same qualities, each one is unique in their own ways, including their temperament. It’s important to match a puppy’s temperament with what is best for you and your family.
There are typically three different types of temperaments a puppy can be classified as: active, neutral and passive.
Active pups are smart and very interactive. Smart dogs generally mean more time and attention to training. Raising an active pup will require concentration and consistency. However don’t let the extra effort put you off. Most owners find the time spent working with their dogs creates a fun and rewarding experience.
Neutral puppies are easygoing and relaxed. They tend to be undemanding and are appropriate for just about owner. Keep in mind, raising a neutral puppy will be a pleasant experience, but he may not be terribly motivated to follow your commands or agendas. Especially if it conflicts with his.
Passive pups are shy and easily frightened. Their weak self-esteem requires constant reassurance. They dislike change and need a consistent environment with a regular routine. Early socialization is necessary. They appreciate ample amounts of love and enjoy being pampered.
Keep in mind we are not talking about specific breeds here. We are looking at each individual dog. Yes, there are passive Shiba Inu puppies and aggressive Golden Retrievers. You might not hear much about them, but they are out there and you need to be careful about getting a pup you aren’t expecting.
Now that you know the temperament types, we’ll help you identify puppies in your preferred category with the help of 11 simple tests. Keep in mind you are likely to get mixed results. Excepting the first test, they are best performed in a quiet or isolated area to eliminate distractions.
Keep in mind, it’s important to pay close attention to the outcome of these tests. Choosing a puppy is a long term commitment. Make sure his personality matches yours.
1) Watch your dog and see how it interacts with other puppies.
Active – He continues to jump into the most active areas of play and snatch up toys.
Neutral – He romps around in the midst of the activity and submits when approached.
Passive – He is hanging out on the sidelines away from the crowd and shows submission when approached.
2) Use toys to play with your puppy.
Active – He is hyper and instigates tug of war.
Passive – He just wants to snuggle and get pets.
3) Cradle the puppy in your arms like a baby.
Active – He fights and kicks like crazy.
Neutral – He wiggles around a little but then relaxes.
Passive – He relaxes right away.
4) Call the pup while backing away, enticing him with a squeaky toy.
Active – He races toward you, jumping and nipping.
Neutral – He happily follows you.
Passive – He hesitates and needs some extra coaxing.
5) Nestle the pup between your legs while kneeling or sitting in a chair. Pet him with long strokes and praise him softly
Active – He insists of wiggling free while nipping and fighting.
Neutral – He wiggles around a little and then relaxes.
Passive – He melts in your embrace.
6) Stand up, stretch and relax. Lean over your puppy and pet him. This action can seem overwhelming to a small pup.
Active – He jumps at your face.
Neutral – He cowers from the confusion.
Passive – He relaxes as you come in for a rub.
7) Cradle the pup’s head in your palms and kiss his nose.
Active – He bites are your face.
Neutral – He accepts the smooch and gently nips or licks back.
Passive – He pulls away in confusion.
8) Pet the puppy and gently squeeze the skin between his toes.
Active – He lunges at your hand in an attack.
Neutral – He licks or mouths at his paw gently.
Passive – He cringes in fear.
9) Make a startling sound. Rattle your keys above the puppy’s head.
Active – He attacks the keys.
Neutral – He glances nonchalantly at the keys.
Passive – He demonstrates fear by cowering or withdrawing.
10) Wait for the puppy to become uninterested in you. “Trip” and fall onto the ground exclaiming “ouch!”
Active – He races over and pounces on you.
Neutral – He comes over to sniff or lick your face.
Passive – He tucks tail and runs in the other direction.
11) Cradle the puppy’s abdomen and hold him 4 inches off the floor for five seconds.
Active – He wiggles around like crazy fighting to reach the floor.
Neutral – He relaxes and looks around calmly.
Passive – He looks fearful with tight body posture.
If your results are mostly a mix of active and neutral, he’ll likely be in the middle of all the action. He will have a bit more impulse control than a strictly active pup. Mostly neutral and passive results mean the puppy will be self-assured, easy going and gentle. He will be ideal for a calm household with children of any age.