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When placing a puppy with a specific type of person, what can you really tell about the puppy, and at what age? (6, 7, 8wks?)

I sometimes see breeders advertising "show prospects" and working prospects, etc. What actual characteristics or physical traits make a puppy a prospect vs. a "pet"? I am familiar with some of the tests, is that all some breeders are basing these statements on?
 

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im no pro, but i'd have to say they "advertise" show or working prospects based on the titles held by the parents. If both parents are titled in Schultzhund for example, then the puppy would make a good prospect.
 

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Ailyn,
Many litters will have a range of pups so even if both parents are titled then there may be pups in the litter that aren't quite cut out to be on the field.

Personally I have no idea how they do it
that's why I trust the breeder to know!!
 

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When I was a whelp helper for Weims, I got to see the pups as they developed. One of the males that I said would be great with kids because he was a little more laid back is that way as a young dog. So breeders who spend time with the pups (not big commercial breeders) should be able to tell drives and which pup is physically better. The physical can change a lot, what many a breeder thought was the best pup at maturity wasn't always the best in that litter.
 

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I've never evaluated a litter for schutzhund potential but we raise lots of litters in rescue and you can actually tell a lot. They've got distinct personalities by about 3 weeks. You get a sense of who is pushy and who isn't, who is dominant and who is submissive, who is more needy and who is more independant. By 8 weeks you can see if those tendencies have been consistant so far. I try to make sure I'm not placing pushy puppies with pushover people or a very frighty dog with small kids, or a very dominant female in a home with a resident dominant female. It's not 100% accurate but seems to work pretty well. What I haven't ever done - but would be interesting, is to re-evaluate those dogs at a year or two old and see if they're still the way they were when they were little. I keep in touch with owners but I don't always see or evaluate the dogs again

ETA: And I guess some qualities might be muted or exaggerated depending on where we place them.
 

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When testing you can see environmental soundness (nerves), sound sensitivity (nerves), pain tolerance, resilience and overall soundness of nerves. You can also check for grip, fight, hunt/tracking drive, independence, attitude, pack drive, desire to chase and carry objects and get some idea of drive. Knowing your lines also comes into play since it isn't unusual for some litters to have "sleepers", usually males, that need a few more weeks to show their true drives.
 

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Show people develop an eye for pups and a feel for them...just like horse breeders can look at foals and know what they will mature out as. I have watched show people evaluate baby pups, and they have their own kind of expertise.

When you raise a litter, as stated above by a couple of people, you can tell alot about who is most dominant, drives, who is boldest, who is most laid back. Which ones retrieve and which are more possessive - who is the craziest for food shows up very fast too!Some are more cuddly and some are more concerned with beating up their littermates...
or shredding your jeans!

Lee
 

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Re: what can you really tell about a pre-8wk old p

Originally Posted By: ardavis324When placing a puppy with a specific type of person, what can you really tell about the puppy, and at what age? (6, 7, 8wks?)

I sometimes see breeders advertising "show prospects" and working prospects, etc. What actual characteristics or physical traits make a puppy a prospect vs. a "pet"?

I agree with the others. You really can tell a lot as they develop just by watching their general behavior, interactions with their littermates, playing with you, interactions with other people/dogs, exposing them to all sorts of different objects and sounds and environments and seeing how they react.

What makes a pup a prospect or a pet depends on the goals of the breeder. A show prospect is typically going to be the puppy that is the most promising in terms of structure, color, coat type, etc... Pups that don't appear promising in terms of having a successful show career are considered pets. Working prospects are based more upon personality traits: drive level, boldness, pain sensitivity, grip, dominance, attitude, etc... Pups with higher levels of those things tend to be in the prospect category, whereas the lower drive, more laid back, softer, more submissive personalities tend to be in the pet category.

Originally Posted By: ardavis324
I am familiar with some of the tests, is that all some breeders are basing these statements on?
Generally it comes from observation. Puppy tests may play a part, but often only a small part. We do puppy tests, but they're more to check to make sure the personality traits we see with us in familiar surroundings also hold true when the pup is put under the stress of a totally new environment and a totally new person they've never met before. Sometimes there are surprises, but rarely. And if there is, with the pup acting totally different than normal, that itself is very telling about personality. Most breeders I know who do puppy tests view them the same way. Not as a means of gaining significant insight into the pups or placing them into categories, more as a means of double checking what the breeder already suspected about the pup's temperament.
 

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Re: what can you really tell about a pre-8wk old p

I agree, raising a litter from birth to 8 weeks is the best overal evaluation of the puppy IMO. I do my own temperament tests, but there aren't any surprises. I've already seen the pups personalities, drives, pecking order in the pack, etc. As Lisa said, knowing the breeding pair & bloodlines well(plus being as honest & unbiased as you can about the strengths/weaknesses of your breeding stock), knowing what you wanted to produce in the breeding, and dogs that have produced for you before-you definitely have a feel for what will be produced. I've been able to place pups successfully over the years based on these evaluations and the owners needs.
 

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Re: what can you really tell about a pre-8wk old p

And don't people generally have the puppy tests done by a second person, who hasn't met the puppies? That way you have what you have seen, and what they see and have even more information to rely on-how they react with a known and in a known environment, then how they react with an unknown in a different place.

I still have evals done on fosters of mine, or my own foster that I adopted and it's creepy how predictive they are when a good person is doing the evals.
 

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Re: what can you really tell about a pre-8wk old p

Quote:And don't people generally have the puppy tests done by a second person, who hasn't met the puppies? That way you have what you have seen, and what they see and have even more information to rely on-how they react with a known and in a known environment, then how they react with an unknown in a different place.
Yes. Not necessarily so they can evaluate the pups, but so you, the breeder, can see how the pups react to the strange environment and testing when done by a person the pups not familiar with.
 

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I am wondering what type of GSD you are looking for. A companion dog that gets a lot of outdoor activity, an SCH dog, or a calmer dog.

My best hunch is find a good bredder and he/she will explain the personality differences of their pups. I selected a breeder that let me make the final decision, but ended up listening to her advice and I selected the pup she recommended.

One other note, if you are interesting in SCH training make sure you are totally committed.
 
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