How to Pick a Puppy...
***Here at KENRO I select the puppies our new approved owners take home, however the information listed below may help explain how the selection is made***
Picking by Breed
Too many people buy the type of dog that was originally created to have a purpose such as the Golden Retriever to hunt, or the Border Collie to herd without fully understanding the temperament, energy level or needs of an active breed. These types of dogs were developed to use their minds and their bodies as well as to be very active. Families wish to buy a Golden Retriever because these dogs are also athletic, beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, loyal and attentive however in the hands of an irresponsible owner the quality of life for a dog from this active breed could very well become a nightmare. Far too often rash, foolish owners take them home for the sole purpose of being a child's pet, give them very little basic training, stick them in the back yard, rarely interact with them on a regular basis and give them absolutely nothing to do. These dogs in such an unhappy position will create something to do, and it will be loud, destructive and difficult to live with. Golden Retrievers do make great family pets however they must belong to fair owners who will meet the demand for an active lifestyle in ways that will stimulate both their mental and physical needs. All dogs need on-going interaction with the family and regular training. Once these needs are meet then and only then are they the wonderful pet you've earned that is both welcome in the home and in society.
Picking the Gender
Golden Retriever females tend to be smaller than males. Females can damage the grass, males can damage your trees. Males say "I love you, I love you, I love you". Females tend to say " Love me, Love me, Love me". Other then that males and females can be both either submissive or dominate, active or quiet. Although some males may take slightly longer to mature then females it is the individual dogs temperament and proper training that will determine whether he or she will make a suitable pet for your home in the long run. Sex is really just a personal preference usually based on looks and size. Consider what do you want your dog to look like 2 years down the road, a strong masculine look or soft feminine features? In the past have you always had a certain sex? Do you feel comfortable with that or do you want a change?
If your family companion recently passed away do you want a puppy who when grows to be an adult dog is similar or completely different?
Spaying in females can be a bit more expensive as it is a major operation however it nullifies the chances of the dog suffering mammary or uterine cancer and pyometra, an infection of the uterus. Neutering cost less as it is a simple procedure that also eliminates the chances of testicular cancer. Both of these will not change the dogs temperament however if done early enough it will prevent unwanted behaviors associated with mating.
Picking for Temperament
Decide if a quiet submissive puppy, or a more dominant one is more suited to your family situation ie do you have young children? What expectations do you have ie agility, tracking prospect or perhaps a jogging partner? What is your activity level? What is your own personal experience with dogs. Even though temperament, size, and activity level is fairly predicable within a breed such as the Golden Retriever, there is a range of degrees in their individual differences.
Dominance and aggression are not the same thing. When referring to being dominate or submissive we are referring to the confidence level and ability to take over as pack leader if one is not provided. Dominant puppies can be a handful for inexperienced owners but can be perfect for active homes and for on-the-go owners who want their pet to accompany them through life or for large families who are consistent in their expectations and training. Submissive puppies are shy and likely to need special handling, not the perfect choice for families with young rambunctious children who may overwhelm the puppy but perfect for families who use positive training methods and like to take their pet with them on personal errands and family vacations to ensure proper socialization. An all round, middle of the line, bomb-proof puppy is the preferred temperament for families with very young children or who have members of the family with a disability but this puppy may not have the extra spark needed for that agility or obedience prospect. All types of temperament can have positive and negative associations. Training, socialization and complete family interaction is what will make any dog an animal that is a welcome member both in your home and in today's society.
Picking for Colour
This should be one of your very last criteria and should be a flexible preference. Picking a puppy by colour only is the biggest gamble ever. Although we are given clues to what colour the puppy might eventually grow to be quite often surprises are in store for us. We all have in our minds eye what our perfect dog looks like but your main priority should always be that your perfect dog matches your family needs and lifestyle.
Picking The First Puppy To Come To You
This is not always the wisest way to pick a puppy as there are too many outside influences that can affect a puppies behavior at any given time. That quiet cuddly puppy crawling into your lap may have been the most rambunctious one just prior to your visit or that puppy making a mess of your shoelaces may have just woken up from a nap and is looking for some playtime.