Picking A Puppy  By Jane Russell

 Puppies do go through some radical personality changes up until they are about 18 months old.   Some are more radical than others.


Some absolutes are:

You cannot correctly assess a puppy’s personality in one visit.   The puppy that is asleep in the corner, and doesn’t come running up to visit, isn’t necessarily the wrong puppy to choose.  He/She may be the pearl of the litter.   He may not feel good that day.  It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with him.   He may be tired and often the big puppies in the litter, especially the big males, get tired quicker.   Sometimes these puppies are just very laid back.   And this makes a very nice pet.


The puppy that is off investigating things may also be a wonderful puppy. Rarely will you see a puppy that is shy, hang back when he is with his litter.   He draws confidence from the litter.  The only real way to tell if the puppy is a shy puppy is to take him by himself to a brand new place and see how he reacts in that situation.


And shy puppies, although requiring some special attention socialising and training, can also be wonderful pets.   I have never known a shy puppy, who was properly trained and socialised, to have any aggressive tendencies.   I have had two and they both were extremely easy to live with.

 Dogs are like people; in any litter there are a variety of personalities.

 The leader of the pack may be very aggressive and dominant.   This can be as big a problem as the shy puppy.

The independent puppy can be a challenge as well.   He is the one off investigating while his brothers and sisters come running up to you to play.   He will probably be more stubborn and less co-operative than the others.   My best boxer was just such a dog.


A very busy hyperactive puppy can be one of the biggest challenges.   This puppy makes a wonderful working dog.   But as a pet, they can really try the patience of a saint.   He will probably be the puppy jumping at your feet trying to get your attention.  He often has the most dynamic personality in the litter and will draw your eye.


The biggest puppy in the litter may be of normal size as an adult.   The smallest may be the biggest as an adult.   I have kept two small ones that turned out to be very big boxers.


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Please be a sensible puppy buyer.   It is common for a knowledgeable reputable breeder to steer you toward one puppy of the other.   If you have done your research you should count on the breeders knowledge of the breed and what they feel fits with your family.    THE PUPPY YOU SEE IS NOT THE DOG YOU GET.   I rarely use size, colour or sex to determine which puppy is best suited to which family.    And, here you should note that I generally pick the puppy for my puppy buyers.    As the breeder, I have just spent seven to eight weeks with the puppies.   I have assessed their temperaments and personalities pretty correctly.  Because I am a professional trainer and have been working with families and boxers for over twenty years I pretty much know which puppy will work out best with which family.


I always tell people; whatever puppy they take they will think is “The Best” after they have had him/her for about five minutes.   Regardless of colour, size of whatever other criteria they have used to determine the perfect puppy, I have rarely been wrong.

Puppies are wonderful.   But everyone seems to think this puppy hood lasts.   It lasts for about two months.   When they reach the five-month age (if they haven’t had the appropriate positive puppy training) they start to run amuck.   From six months to a year of 18 months in the case of the male, things can be real exciting and the puppy is a puppy only in the brain.   The cute, cuddly, sweet, sensitive little thing you bought is gone forever.


A dog is what you make it.   There are no bad dogs.   You can get a really nice puppy and ruin it by incorrect or no training.   And, you can get a real precocious puppy and make him a star.  The puppy is 25% a product of his genetics and what he is, and 75% (training, socialisation and environment) what you make him after you get him.

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