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So the time has finally come and I'll be getting a new puppy in approximately 2 weeks. The litter is just over 6 weeks old and I have visited a number of times. I'm soooo excited! However!! I basically have the choice out of 2 puppies that fit my criteria, both males, and I'm having a hard time deciding what I truly might want!

I know there is only so much you can tell from a puppy, but one is described as lower energy and more laid back, the biggest in the litter and sleeps a lot compared to litter mates. He will run up with his litter mates to the front of the pen, seems healthy and happy, but when I put my hand out he doesn't seem interested and will usually go lay back down!! I don't want to be overly harsh judging him just because he doesn't instantly "like" me, do you think this would probably grow with time? I am not an expert on puppy behavior. My girl is full of life, and is totally overjoyed every time I get back from being gone for even 2 minutes, but honestly, she's a bit too hyper (I wanted a calmer second dog, but not a disinterested dog!).

The other puppy will jump up and paw at the cage, and will bite at my hand a lot! He is described as being playful, but not overly needy for attention. He's the smallest, but seems very happy and healthy. What am I to think? Is this behavior really that telling right now, or does it potentially not mean very much?

Also, I had a question on coat color, both parents are Black & Red, but the first puppy seems to be the only one in the litter that is Black & Cream almost? So much lighter! Is there a chance the cream would darken or turn back to red, or is this out of the question? Thanks so much!!
 

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My first question would be what was your criteria and how do they both meet it? The way you described them, they are polar opposites. Now in my experience, the larger puppies mature a little slower and show less at the younger ages.
 

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Personally I'd go with the first pup if it was my choice.

When I was choosing a puppy he was similar to the first puppy described. He was calmer. He would sit back and watch but wasn't crazy all over the place. Would come say hi but wouldn't be jumping at the baby gate full of energy. Was the only one who wasn't biting at me.

He has retained that calmer energy and has bonded very strongly to me. I wanted a calmer dog and got that. His other siblings were clearly more excitable and not what I wanted.
 

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Sabs was so quiet as a puppy I thought she was broken! Took her to the vets a few times over it. She grew up to be a thoughtful, highly intelligent, very discerning girl. She was not the dog that would fawn over me and beg for attention, but she watched. Everything. All the time.
You offered a very general description. It is impossible to tell without actually laying eyes on a litter what the dynamics really are. And what exactly are you looking for? The breeder really should be picking for you and I cannot see how such opposite pups would both meet your needs.
 

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My guy is 5 months now. When we engaged with the breeder all the pups were 5 weeks old. Three females and two males. My breeder picks the dog for you after he gets comfortable with you that he even will award you a dog. He does let you pick the sex. We wanted a male, so there were two. I know what you are going through! In my case, I have to speculate on what male he was going to assign to us. He would not give us a clue and we didn't find out until two days before pickup. He also required us to visit every weekend for a total of three weekends. I was beside myself trying to figure out which one I wanted even though it was not my choice and also trying to read his body language to tell which one he was thinking was for us.

One male was the largest in the litter. Noticeably big paws, the other male wasn't far behind. The weekend visits were for all prospective owners, so I had to analyze the other Male buyers as well. I thought for sure I was getting the smaller male, so I focused on him the most. I can tell you that their temperament was completely different each time I visited. I originally thought the smaller male was more engaging, the next weekend it was the opposite. It depends on how tired they are too at that age. My point is you don't know at this point.

Whatever pup you get, he WILL like you lol. It's a GSD, a few days in your home and he will be like super glue. In terms of coat and coloring, my guy looked black and tan as a pup. His parents are black and red. He was registered as black and red by the breeder. Guess what? He is black and red. Don't put much stock into his coloring now. He will most likely look like the Sire if you met him.

Now, based on your post, which one would I pick? I would always go with the larger male, especially if the other male is the overall runt. If I didn't say it explicitly, I got the big dog. Males in general are more chill vs. females. You may have got him in a chill moment. Frisco was chill and not into the people around him the second time I went up. The first time is was the opposite between the males.

Good luck and post pics!
 

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When I went to pick Koda out I had a similar situation. Two puppies seemingly the same. Both females and both sable. They differed in temperament only. Puppy number 1 greeted us and interacted for 10ish minutes then went over to the corner and went to sleep. Puppy number 2 interacted with us for the entire time we were there which was several hours. I picked Puppy number 2 because at the time I was in highschool and also homeschooled so I had PLENTY of time to spend training and entertaining a high energy puppy on a daily basis. I would not trade her for the world because she has matured into a very even-tempered and well-behaved dog. That said if I had been working or in school at the time it may not have gone so well with her. At 10 years old she still keeps me on my toes. In the house she has an amazing off switch but that took daily training and her natural maturity.



My point is that if it were me I would go with the one that fits with the lifestyle that you have now. If you are gone 8-10 hours a day to work then it may be better to go with the calmer one. If you stay at home all day and have nothing else demanding time then maybe the higher energy one would fit for you. Maybe you could describe your daily schedule to the breeder and they could choose which they think would be the better fit for you?
 

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The smaller pups sounds like he will be more social, have a more open temperament and will be more likely to want to engage with you, which is a good trait for training. I doubt the cream color will turn to red.
 

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So the time has finally come and I'll be getting a new puppy in approximately 2 weeks. The litter is just over 6 weeks old and I have visited a number of times. I'm soooo excited! However!! I basically have the choice out of 2 puppies that fit my criteria, both males, and I'm having a hard time deciding what I truly might want!

I know there is only so much you can tell from a puppy, but one is described as lower energy and more laid back, the biggest in the litter and sleeps a lot compared to litter mates. He will run up with his litter mates to the front of the pen, seems healthy and happy, but when I put my hand out he doesn't seem interested and will usually go lay back down!! I don't want to be overly harsh judging him just because he doesn't instantly "like" me, do you think this would probably grow with time? I am not an expert on puppy behavior. My girl is full of life, and is totally overjoyed every time I get back from being gone for even 2 minutes, but honestly, she's a bit too hyper (I wanted a calmer second dog, but not a disinterested dog!).

The other puppy will jump up and paw at the cage, and will bite at my hand a lot! He is described as being playful, but not overly needy for attention. He's the smallest, but seems very happy and healthy. What am I to think? Is this behavior really that telling right now, or does it potentially not mean very much?

Also, I had a question on coat color, both parents are Black & Red, but the first puppy seems to be the only one in the litter that is Black & Cream almost? So much lighter! Is there a chance the cream would darken or turn back to red, or is this out of the question? Thanks so much!!
My puppy wasn't overly shy but was the reserve one. He turned out nice. I mean, I can leave him alone for hours and he plays and doesn't whine. I usually pick male ones because of their structure and fur pattern. I don't get a puppy thats overly energetic because I don't hike or do activities with my dog that requires energy. I picked mine with low-medium energy, medium confidence, medium size and colors change in puppies a lot unless you have full black or full white puppy at 8 weeks (even then they may change into something else).
 

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Maybe the 7 week mark will give you a clearer picture. The Campbell puppy test is done at that age. It has proven to be pretty accurate for me in several litters. One litter, Bull Mastiffs was pretty even and the breeder asked me to test them. The differences in the pups was minimal to the "naked" eye but I called her a year later to see if the test predictions were accurate and they were.
Make sure to take each pup to an unfamiliar area and see how they respond to you without the breeder, their mom or litter close by. You can test the pups yourself.
You can also go by your heart. That has proven me pretty well in choosing a pup.
 

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Ellie is like puppy #1, quiet, reserved, not excited about things even as a puppy and has been a PERFECT service dog. Perfect, steady, ignores distractions. Never hyper, never silly, sleeps a fair amount, would wait for me all day before I needed her help.

My puppy Daisy, her hoped-to-be-successor--is like puppy 2. Super social. Hard to tire out. If I'd had a lot of choices, I would have picked a quieter puppy, but she's the dog I got and she's often a handful. We love her to death but she's trying to kill me! Took me down twice this week, wrapped leash around my legs and down I went. If we don't do a decent amount of busy work in the daytime, I'm out at 3:00 am, trying to tire her out with a ball. I'd have liked more couch potato, less social butterfly, but she's still only a puppy, not quite 6 months old, hopefully she'll settle with time and work. Will she be my next service dog? Jury's still out, she's smart enough, knows a lot of commands, works hard but loses her mind when people come. She has to greet and love everyone, while Ellie sees nothing except me--not people, didn't dislike them, she just ignores them. Same with farm critters, she'll help me move the geese but never touch anything. Daisy killed a pet chicken when she was 12 weeks old...so 2 very, very different dogs.
 

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When I went to choose out of the three males I picked Rio because he was chill, not a dud, but totally cool with his surroundings. He’d romp around with the other pups but he’d also come say hi and roll over for belly rubs. All the pups were sable and hard to differentiate to a newcomer based on color alone. He’s been so wonderful, playful and engaging but not over the top. My Dobe gsd mix was the runt and quiet, he grew to a very healthy 90+ pounds and has more energy than my full gsd. Love them both.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My first question would be what was your criteria and how do they both meet it? The way you described them, they are polar opposites. Now in my experience, the larger puppies mature a little slower and show less at the younger ages.
So I suppose my criteria is that I have a large acreage here and just want a dog to be out on the land and be my companion. Preferably not do stupid things (like chase deer), follow me around, and stay generally by our buildings. I do worry that males in general will wander more than a female, and not be as interested in sticking by me / our house? I've never owned a male before! I suppose my worry that although I like the more calm nature of the first puppy that he won't be interested in following me, won't bond as well to me and therefore wouldn't be interesting in sticking by, or generally guarding the property. I have this image of a slug dog who won't get off the front deck, or who just roams away because he's not bothered, but I might be over thinking it haha!
 

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Your goals are a bit lofty... at least anywhere in the near future (couple years), at least the way I’m interpreting what you’re saying. Young dogs will do stupid things. If opportunity presents, they’ll probably chase deer. Also, if you plan to keep your dog intact - a female in or approaching her season will wander just as much as a male.

All of that said.... young puppies change week to week. Try visiting a couple more times and at different times of day. If chill pup turns into a chill adult - I wouldn’t mind that at all for your lifestyle. If training is your thing - then yes, a more active and engaged pup will likely be more fun. If a higher energy dogs needs aren’t met.... basically, look out deer!
 

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There were two males that "fit my criteria" from my breeder too. But they were incredibly similar. Your two proposals don't sound incredibly similar.

Uhm, in my limited experience I can say they change a lot week to week. I have heard that the bigger pups are often more insistent at getting the nipple. Who knows. Mine was the smallest male and now he is on par with the rest of the siblings at 8 months old. Out of the two choices, I really wanted to focus on handler focus and environmental soundness. Had him crackle bottles, make loud noises, blow of M80s (kidding)When they were 7 weeks old I was between blue collar and green collar. The breeder sent me a video where blue collar left the pack to go follow him out to get the mail. He was the only one who did that on a regular basis..left the litter to go follow the breeder. Did it mean anything? Who knows. All the "inferior focused (lol)" pups are doing fantastic now with that. But if you have to choose or a breeder has to choose at 7 weeks of age before packing them up and shipping them out, what else do you go by when it comes down to not the big stuff like obvious drive, but minutia?

My only concern here is that you are left to choose between two very dissimilar pups. Is he giving you a "pick" deadline? I'd let them bake a little more if possible.
 

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My boys are so far up my bum I can’t pee without them. My female is the more independent one. They chase stuff all the time through the woods - I let them because I know they’re having fun and they only go so far. They also come when I call them, even in a chase. I also have ducks that they know are off limits and I’ve never had an issue from any of the dogs, they’ll literally come within feet and not bat an eye. Any dog can be taught, especially exposed from an early age and (if possible) an older stable dog to emulate helps too.

I was watching videos earlier today that I took of Rio when he was little, 9-10 weeks old. Even then off leash walking around the property he would bound ahead only so far then stop, look at me and wait for me to catch up or come running to meet me. Not much has changed except he’s a little bigger. I think either pup may suit you, depending further on how active you are and how much training you want to participate in routinely.
 

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I have heard that the bigger pups are often more insistent at getting the nipple.

I think the opposite is more often the case. The larger pups tend to be more aggressive feeders, often indicating they have strong food drive accompanied by strength in other drives. I am talking about working lines. I don't know that there is any science to support either theory.
 

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My boys are so far up my bum I can’t pee without them. My female is the more independent one. They chase stuff all the time through the woods - I let them because I know they’re having fun and they only go so far. They also come when I call them, even in a chase. I also have ducks that they know are off limits and I’ve never had an issue from any of the dogs, they’ll literally come within feet and not bat an eye. Any dog can be taught, especially exposed from an early age and (if possible) an older stable dog to emulate helps too.



I was watching videos earlier today that I took of Rio when he was little, 9-10 weeks old. Even then off leash walking around the property he would bound ahead only so far then stop, look at me and wait for me to catch up or come running to meet me. Not much has changed except he’s a little bigger. I think either pup may suit you, depending further on how active you are and how much training you want to participate in routinely.


Same experience here with my guy.
 
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