How to choose a puppy

I have been struggling with this for two weeks now. I am getting a Small Munsterlander female puppy, but the problem is that I have two to choose from. Parents have papers and are both hunting dogs with very good pedigrees.

One puppy is very independent, doesn’t really spend a lot of time with other pups, but is always at the side, exploring their playpen. She has lots of energy, will start to squirm soon after you start holding her (unless she is tired, then she’ll snuggle and sleep). She isnt overly dominant. Breeder said she will be motivated with excercise instead of food.
Second one is the heaviest of all girls (and same or almost the same as boys) and is always relaxed and calm. She will be the first to start eating and is not dominant (all pups dominate her). Breeder said she will be motivated with food.

I am leaning toward the first puppy but am a bit worried that she would be too energetic or that she’d be stubborn and rather explore than listen to me. Second one is a bit more interestingly coloured, but I am concerned with her calmness. We are looking for a hunting dog (but also a family pet) and breeder assured me all pups will be good hunters.

How do I choose? I used to have a dog (shepherdxhusky mix) who was very stubborn and rarely made eye contact, so I do not wish to repeat the experience.

Also I should mention I am pretty active (I run 3-4 times a week - 10km+/run), we also go on hikes and he hunts.

I don’t know anything about this breed of dog so can’t be of much help. I think it is down to personal choice and lifestyle. As an older person I would be happier with the quieter pup but you are energetic so the livelier one might be the better choice.

One thing I would caution you about is over exercising the pup. Large breed dogs grow rapidly and need their joints protecting in puppyhood. The breeder will hopefully advise you on the correct exercise regime. As adults exercise is good but IMHO it’s best to not overdo it because the dog could become too hyperactive and find it hard to settle down. I sometimes think we underestimate the need to teach dogs to be calm.

Great point. We have actually been advised to not do any hunting stuff (in the field) before 6 months as well as how much exercise pup should have (10 minutes for each month +10minutes) per day.

But you have a good point about being calm. I would like to look more into how to teach the pup to relax. If we end up taking the more energetic one, this might be a good thing to teach from the start. Can you direct me to any pages or other sources about this?

I am not an expert on canine behaviour but my experience is that it is all about routine so the dog knows what to expect, and when. Also, taking care not to overstimulate. With my pups they would have play time and/or walk then they would go into their crate for a little while in order to wind down and sleep. I would take them out of their crate and approve them when they have had a rest and are quiet, not when they are showing off so they learn that quiet behaviour is rewarded. If there are children in the home it’s really important that they are taught hands off during the rest hour. The crate needs to be sited somewhere that is away from activity. There is probably lots of information on the Internet about teaching calmness.

Check out Absolute Dogs on FB. They adopt a novel way of training all types of dogs and of all ages. This involves play and food rather than the conventional way of obedience & reward based training. I had my doubts but my WCS who preferred sniffing and chasing rather than anything else started to change when I took their advice. I just wish I had discovered them when he was a pup and used their dvd for puppies. I’m sure I wouldn’t have felt so much of a failure as his new “mum” in the early days if I had. They offer advice on how to incorporate food rewards into every day activities, whether you feed raw, kibble or wet. It might make the choice of which pup to choose easier as they show you how to teach your dog calmness and or optimism and excitement in life.

Not always easy to choose a puppy, our red setter was chosen for us,( as they were like gold dust and this litter was very sort after) as we wanted a flat coated setter, and the others had curly coats. When we went to see him, before he came home he seemed to have lots of energy, he was independent , but when he was tired he wanted to be on his own, this was a good thing as he settled down at night fairly quickly and is very good at night now. My boy is very motivated by food but when he was learning the recall he decided that being off the lead was better than coming back for food, so I had to think of different ways to recall him back. He is very good at recall now.
Even if they are food motivated this may change when they are in the big wide world, like my boy. :slight_smile:
I hope that you enjoy your new puppy which ever one you go for. :slight_smile: