Many years ago, we allowed folks getting one of our puppies to choose from the litter in the order of their deposit. We soon noticed that people coming into the process later didn’t want the ‘last pick’ and even looked at the remaining puppy as ‘left over’ . They assumed it was somehow it was defective because ‘nobody picked it’. By going in order of deposits the unintential consquences were, we had established a rating system in the mind of the new family and it wasnt fair to the families or the puppy.
We noticed that families had no rhyme or reason on how they would choose the puppy. Some picked the one that first approached them, sometimes they would turn to young children and tell them to “pick one”. Sometimes, they would pick by the color of the coat.
Overwhelmed with the choice of many, most of the time those folks would turn to me to enlist my help on which puppy would best suit their family and I would end up choosing for them.
We determined we had to put an end to the unintentional rating system. Since most families entered into a puppy picking situation once every 10-15 years they were not very good at choosing a puppy.
All the puppies in a litter are the same quality. Some might be a little bigger, some may be a shade or two darker or lighter, but basically they are the same. They have the same dam and sire, they are all born on the same day, they are all the same quality…the ONLY difference besides gender is their PERSONALITY. Some puppies may be more dominant, some more laid back, some the middle of the road.
Something had to change. During a discussion with a fellow breeder the the topic came up, after brainstorming we settled on a solution to the problem. We decided to use the same method that training schools for the blind used to match Guide dogs to blind persons. It was a more scientific approach it had a specific protocol and it was suited perfectly for our needs.
Using those same methods, armed with a Family Bio from the family, we applied the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test. Combined with our own observations of the litter we then matched the puppies to the individual Families. Simply put. It worked beautifuly! The families were relieved of the pressure of picking from the group of frolicking puppies and we were happy because we knew the pups would blend in great with their new family.
In the 17 years + that we have been using the system it is our experience this is the ONLY way we can insure a long and happy relationship and compatibility with the pup. We learned that when we matched a puppy to a family based on their PAT profile, the match was “made in heaven”. We have had fewer training and compatibility problems with family members or other pets in the household.
Our job is not just the health of the puppy and raising it to 7 or 8 weeks. It is to make sure that this is a relationship that will last a lifetime. As your breeder, we also offer support for years after our pup is in your home.
By making sure the right pup ends up in your home from the beginning the relationship we develop with our families is one that is successful from the start.
For those who are interested in Performance, your home requires a certain type of dog, they are dogs that have unique personality characteristics necessary for the competitive obedience, conformation or hunting venue…while all dogs can be obedient, some of them can be taken to the next level. The same is true for hunting prospects, they can all do it, some will just be better at it.
Boy or Girl?
A family may choose what gender they prefer, from there it is up to us. However, we recommend that you keep the gender flexible. I often hear from prospective owners that some people prefer females over males. Following is information about some misconceptions regarding gender.
When asked why they preferred one sex over another, folks consistently related experiences from their childhood. Mostly about “roaming” males, “marking territory” or inappropriate behavior commonly referred to as “humping”, which is incorrectly labeled a “sexual behavior” issue, rather than what it actually is, which is a dominance issue. An unaltered female will display the same behaviors, she will also “mark”, and display the same behaviors related to the “undesirable” male.
Please keep in mind that back 35 years ago spaying and neutering of pets was a rarity. Now it is the rule rather than the exception. While we have changed our opinion over spaying and neutering and recommend the procedure later rather than sooner. We are still of the opinion that altered dogs make for a more manageable pet.
Our policy is altering between the ages of 18 and 24 months. There is more information on this page To Spay/Neuter or Not?
I estimate that 99.9 percent of the pets in homes, are altered (Spayed or Neutered). Once a pet is altered it is rendered sexless. Any undesirable characteristics mentioned above that are displayed by both sexes, become virtually non-existent. Making both sexes equally fine pets.
The only true difference between the sexes are:
- Males are usually 1/2 to 1 inch taller at the shoulder, not a huge difference in any breed, they usually weigh 5-10 lbs more, mostly the difference in the muscle weight and bone weight.
- Males are usually better examples of the breed, fitting the description more accurately the breed standard describes. They have prettier breed type and coat
- Males are generally less expensive to neuter than females are to spay, in addition the procedure is less invasive.
- As far as temperament goes, I find them equally if not more affectionate and better all around pets.
So please don’t discriminate against a pup because of its gender. Personalities of the individual puppy carry far greater weight. You may be ‘passing’ on the puppy that is most suited for you.