There are certain things to look for when choosing a puppy from a litter, which will ensure a happy and healthy pup, as well as one that will be easier to train and make the best family pet. While looking at a litter of puppies, always go for the one in the MIDDLE… allow me to explain.
To do this, first pick out the boss or bully of the pack. Also find the most shy of the pack. Do NOT choose either of these puppies. Go for a happy playful one in the middle.
On the same token, find the biggest puppy and the smallest puppy; choose a puppy in the middle.
You want the puppy you choose to be curious and friendly towards you. For example, when you sit down, the puppy should come up to investigate. Avoid the ones that run away or bark at you. These are the extremes. Again, go for the one in the middle. If they all bark or run from you, find a new litter.
Look for a puppy with ears held high and tail wagging. These are signs of a happy pup.
Pick up a puppy, cradle it in your arms and look for the one that settles down quickly. They may struggle a little initially, but note the puppies that calm down sooner than later. Avoid choosing a puppy that continues to struggle until you finally just put him down as well as the puppy that is shy towards being picked up in the first place.
Drop your keys and note the reactions of the puppies. Take note of the puppies that go to investigate the cause of the noise. Steer away from the ones who run away.
Handle each puppy on their paws, ears and mouth. Puppies who are use to being handled won’t mind you touching them in these areas. That’s a good thing.
Healthy puppies have bright shiny coats and eyes, clean ears, gums and teeth. Avoid puppies with discharge in their eyes or overall dirty appearances.
Test vision and hearing one puppy at a time by clapping your hands and then rolling a tennis ball along the floor. Note each puppy’s reaction. Make sure you choose one who shows signs of hearing the clapping and can follow the rolling ball with their eyes.
Note that just like humans, puppies have their good and bad days. If possible, visit the breeder more than once to evaluate the puppies on different occasions. These tests are after all just guidelines to help you and are not guaranteed to give you the best puppy every time, but they definitely help!
After all of that, there is most likely more than one left to choose from so at that point follow your heart and pick the one who speaks to you. After all, you’re going to be together for a very long time – you want to pick the one that you love and definitely loves you back!