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what do people mean when they say pick of the litter? the most energetic pup? the one that pushes everyone away to get to the food first? the biggest? the one that is attentive and comes running? the ones that play fight while the others sleep? what makes a pup the best dog of the litter? thanks!
 

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It all depends on what the litter was bred for. In a show-line litter, it would be the mostly likely show prospect. In a working-line litter, it would be the most promising working prospect. In a BYB litter, it could mean anything from the biggest puppy to the one with the most unusual color to the friendliest one.
 

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Pick of the litter simply means they get first selection of the puppies. What puppy I would pick may not be the same as what person B or C picks.

People assume pick of the litter means the best puppy, but the pups will have different temperament, drive, and conformation. What is best for your or I isn't necessarily best for someone else.


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If I were the breeder, the "pick" for me would be the pup(s) that I would keep to further my breeding program. I'd look at the conformation, confidence, drives among other things
 

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Back when I was a kid and my family bred and showed dogs in AKC conformation, the term "pick of the litter" meant the puppy that the breeder considered to be the best example for what ever purpose that litter had been bred for. In a conformation litter, the pick pup might be the one with very symmetrical markings and a very engaging, charismatic personality that "turns on" well.

Sometimes the pick puppy went as full or partial stud fee payment. Really experienced breeders "grow" a very good eye, and can spot things that make a pup the pick of that litter.
Sheilah
 

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Pick or pick of the litter means they get to pick first. Like when I bred Nikon I had the right to "pick male" meaning I got to pick whatever male I wanted before any of the others were assigned. My criteria might be different than someone else's but I'd get to pick first.
 

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I know for me, when we got Finn, POL just meant that, after the breeder picked the dogs that met what we were looking for, we got to pick which pup we wanted. We only got POL because we put a deposit down first. Personally, POL means nothing to me...I just want the dog the breeder think is best fit for me and what I want to do.
 

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Fiona was pick of the litter. She is WL and she had an easy going calm, temperament and was spooky smart. She escaped the breeder's yard 2x and her crate 3x until I gave up on the crate. Breeder is her trainer and sees her weekly. Even though she is a year old he still laments letting her go.


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my experience when people ask if they can have pick of the litter is that they are the first to view and the first to choose for themselves the pup that they like.

Don't do that . I spend bundles of time trying to find the pup most suitable for them . It would be my pick , if any, no matter if the entire litter was available or from some not yet spoken for.
 

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Under most circumstances I give a breeder my "shopping list" of what I want in MY dog and then let the breeder decide which pup meets my requirements ... this has worked great for me for many years.

I bred Slider once and had my choice between a stud fee or first pick puppy. I wanted a stud fee UNTIL the breeder called me when Bruiser was born and I fell in love with him sight unseen (she called me as each pup was born). When I went to visit the litter several days later he was by far my favorite puppy ... it continued that way until she was ready to sell them and I choose him as my final pick for the stud fee ... he was 7 years old in April and it's a decision I have never regretted yet it remains a mystery why I immediately bonded with him.
 

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Pick or pick of the litter means they get to pick first. Like when I bred Nikon I had the right to "pick male" meaning I got to pick whatever male I wanted before any of the others were assigned. My criteria might be different than someone else's but I'd get to pick first.
nikon is a cool name :)
 
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