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"Laid back puppy" - is it naive to ask for one?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Alice Childress, Nov 19, 2012.


  1. Alice Childress

    Alice Childress PetForums VIP

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    I'm finding myself very wary of putting off my *fingers crossed* breeder. I have read people advising to let the breeder know if you want a laid back pup within the litter. However, I'm really aware that I could come across as naive, almost as though I am saying 'laid back' = easy.

    If you were/are a breeder would you mind someone saying this is what they hope for? And or as the prospective puppy "owner" did you ask about things like this?

    I know no pup is easy, but as a first time dog person I'd rather go for the most laid back character in the litter rather than the cheekiest! (even though I know they won't necessarily stay this way as they grow up).

    I already asked the breeder if her line was more or less energetic than the "typical berner" as advised by someone big in the breed, but I'm not sure she appreciated it as she came back saying that doesn't agree with the idea that one line is magically calmer than another and that really it is about how you bring up a pup :eek:
     
  2. Phoolf

    Phoolf PetForums VIP

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    Hmmm, tough one as some pups are more laid back than others, my breeder knew Kes was the biggest nightmare of them all even if she was gentle and quiet when we visited. I would maybe be tactful and say you have a quiet, chilled out home environment and which one would suit your house best? Kinda of a nice way of asking for a calm one I think. :D
     
  3. terencesmum

    terencesmum PetForums VIP

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    Well, I wouldn't feel too bad about asking for a specific character. I am doing just that with our next pup, although I have asked for a confident pup to be able to cope with Terence. :)

    Maybe you should explain what your concerns are and then your breeder can choose accordingly. :)
     
  4. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

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    Rather than asking for one, when you go see the pup's maybe bring up in conversation that you're a laid back, chilled out person and you'd like a dog to match.

    But it is a little naiive IMO to think laid back = easy first time dog

    My Charlie is laid back, but he can still be a right little tinker when he want to be.
     
  5. emmaviolet

    emmaviolet PetForums VIP

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    Thats interesting what your breeder says.

    Some will advise you on the most laid back pup of the lot.

    When I got Billy (the most placid dog I have ever known) he was 13 weeks old and calm as you like. Strolled in sat down and was quiet. His litter brother, a tri, was like alfie is/was and ran everywhere, kept fetching all his toys and stealing the kc papers and bags that she was putting it in.

    The more active pup was known to her to be as his kc name was sylps super sonic!!! I think that name said it all!!;)
     
  6. The breeder is meant to be the person who knows the pups best and so it is fine to ask for a specific temperament. Some breeders will happily pick the 'right' pup for each specific new owner. Others may prefer the owners to choose.

    I don't think you should worry too much about 'putting off' the breeder. She should be glad that you are thinking things through and seeking her advice. Remember that just as the breeder has to be happy with you as an owner, so too YOU are entitled to be happy with the help and advice you get from the breeder...:)

    Maybe just tell the breeder that as she is the expert on the litter, you would like her guidance as while you fully understand that pups are hard work, you DON'T want the most excitable pup in the group, assuming there is one :)

    Let us know how you get on :)
     
  7. ballybee

    ballybee PetForums VIP

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    I wanted a puppy that was confidant enough to work but not so overconfidant as to be independant when out....our breeder was happy to give us her opinions on which puppy would suit us best and Dan has been great, he's an excellent working dog but will still listen to us and is happy to do what we need him to.

    As others have said, don't expect laid back to mean easy(Dan was very chilled until he hit puberty and now he's quite energetic).
     
  8. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    I would think a decent breeder would be happy to help someone choose a puppy that fits their lifestyle and personality. After all they dont want to have to take them back or have them end up in rescue if it doesnt work out.
    When I chose my boy I said I wanted a nice laid back pup who would integrate well with my current (laid back) lot. Im hoping Ive picked right!:eek: Alfie def seemed like the most chilled out pup of the litter, unlike one of his brothers who was running round like a maniac biting his brothers faces over and over again.:rolleyes: (when he bit Alf on the nose he just kinda sighed and licked his face back! awwwwww:)).
     
  9. Alice Childress

    Alice Childress PetForums VIP

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    I agree! Which is why I don't want it to come out as though that is what I am assuming. Obviously in a perfect world the pup would be perfect and easy in every way :D realistically though, it's more a case of.... If one is obviously more full on, while another is a bit more laid back, I'd imagine going for the more laid back pup would increase my chances (although no guarantee) of a slightly, relatively easier time. Although typing that out maybe I am being naive after all! I know all pups grow up into boisterous teenagers!

    I suppose it comes down to how much a pups character really is formed at such a young age. What do people think? How much can you tell from a pup what sort of adult they'll be?

    I think you are all right and instead of specifically stating it, when the time comes, just asking about individual characters is the best way to go.
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I would have thought that, even if a puppy is laid back within his litter, he may not be laid back when you get him home. You must also be careful that a quiet pup among the rest could be ill.

    I think I am inclined to agree with your breeder. If it is a Bernese you are going for they are fairly laid back dogs anyway and as long as he gets enough attention and you don't wind him up rolling about on the floor with him, he should be laid back anyway.
     
  11. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Are you going to see all the pups together with Mum? if so you really need too. Some breeders will help you chose depending of course how savvy they are and how well they know the breed and individual pups. Ive got a friend and helps match the pups to the best owners if they have differing personalities and I know the breeder Dogless went too, has helped pick the best match both with Kilo orginally and with Rudi new pup also to make sure Kilo and the new one have complementing temperaments and personalities, so some breeders will help and advise.

    If you see all the pups with Mum anyway and spend time interacting and watching them as a litter you can often get a good idea. With Nanuqs RSPCA litter there were two shoving everyone out the way to get there first, where as Nan and the other brother were more laid back took their time, and although friendly and curious and come forward and wanted interaction, were not fiesty and pushey either and geneerally more laid back. Watch them interact as well with each other. In Nans litter the two pushey boys would play and bite and be really rough, one nipped the other one he yelped and the other still carried on until the Mum sorted him out, where Nan and the other boy were a lot more gentle and not so wild in their play. Handle them too and pick them up, see if they come to you, and how they come to you, and if they will follow you about, obviously ones that are diving at you, and biting your feet and swinging off your clothes are ones that are going to be more of a handful.

    If its a good breeder though they should be happy to help you choose, if you tell them what sort of personality you are looking for. Obviously if they are very timid and dont want interaction or are not interested in you either then something is up.

    Make sure you meet mum too and see what her personalities like aswell and try to interact with her, because if you dont like the Mums personality there is a good chance the pups could be similar, obviously if they have Dad see if you can meet him too and see what his temperaments like.
     
  12. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

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    Wolf was the most laid back puppy in his litter. We used to laugh at him because he seemed to do nothing but eat and sleep. He didn't change much as an adult although he did love his walks and to meet other dogs and people. He lived to eat and when he wasn't out on a walk he was curled up in front of the fire asleep.

    The most active pup in the litter on the other hand, the one who at 4 weeks old managed to escape and go and visit the neighbours (don't ask) grew up to be a real handful. Pushy, always on the go, highly intelligent and always getting himself into trouble and he ended up rehomed at about 12 months old because his owner couldn't cope.
     
  13. Alice Childress

    Alice Childress PetForums VIP

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    Which is one of the reasons I think they are the right breed for me - I love their chilled out yet clownish personalities. It's just I keep hearing about "really high energy lines" and freaking myself out that I'll end up with a berner come collie wannabe! I'm probably just over thinking things though.

    It's another month or so until I even know if there are enough pups for me to have one anyway so I shouldn't jinx it by over thinking so much really!
     
  14. Luz

    Luz PetForums VIP

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    I would say that 'laid back' doesn't necessarily mean shy and quiet.

    Bruno's breeder told us that he was a happy puppy and very placid. He is. Of the 4 that were left when I got there,she told us one was bossy, one was nervous, one needed lots of cuddles and Bruno. I didn't have a choice of pups, we had already chosen before going, but he is so amenable and lovely.

    Abi was described as a real livewire - always the first and the ringleader and she is! I am sure that in a litter they all have their own personalities and the breeder should know where you are coming from.
     
  15. Alice Childress

    Alice Childress PetForums VIP

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    The pups are not more yet :eek: but yes I shall be if and when there is a pup available for me.

    I haven't met Dad as he lives in Holland, however I have seen a video of him passing his temperament test (achieving "excellent"). Mum too has passed with an excellent rating. Although I haven't met her yet as me and the breeder keep missing each other at shows and she lives a long way away so I'll probably have to wait until the pups are here before I get to meet Mum - which is a real shame as I think I'd feel much more relaxed about it all if I knew Mum personally!

    Edited to add: Oh and yes, the breeder says she helps the owners and matches the pup to each person rather than a "first come, first serve" basis.
     
  16. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Thats great then, by watching and interacting with the pup and spending time, plus the breeders help then you should be fine.
     
  17. Catz1

    Catz1 PetForums VIP

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    I asked for a puppy with an off switch as apposed to laid back. I wanted a confidant puppy with good food and ball drive but who could settle in my home after a decent walk and stimulation.

    Rio was very energetic as a puppy as all dogs are but she wasn't manic and has grown into a lovely even tempered dog. I don't think its wrong to tell your breeder the type of character your looking for as long as you are realistic, they should know what pup will suit your needs. :)
     
  18. comfortcreature

    comfortcreature PetForums VIP

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    I like confident but also laid back puppies.

    I was able to score that from one breeder and it was important to ask the BREEDER for that information instead of trying to assess it yourself as well as sometimes a pups behaviour might be a bit off when visitors are there.

    When we went to visit the litter the person I took with me (another breeder) told me I was advised toward the wrong pup. She ended out being the wrong on that as I know the full litter now grown, but the pups were hard to assess with the commotion of people 'visiting' so I can't fault my friend too badly.

    CC
     
  19. This is just based on personal opinion and my own experiences, but I would never go for the most 'shy' puppy in the litter. I walked away from a Lab puppy because after three visits it became painfully clear that this 'shy' puppy was in fact either fearful or unwell - he actually hid in order to avoid interaction with people.
     
  20. Alice Childress

    Alice Childress PetForums VIP

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    I hope so. I just have a habit of over thinking things and worrying over getting it all right :eek:

    No, I agree, I wouldn't go for the 'shy' pup either. If I've chosen the right breeder, hopefully all the pups should be pretty bomb proof in terms of socialisation. As Comfortcreature, 'confident but laid back' is the ideal.
     
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