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Semper Fidelis
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if I might be able to get a spot of unbiased advice.. (My friends have seen pictures and are now completely biased)

I had a reserve for a red boy in a litter for a while and sure enough, 3 red boys came out. I am looking to do agility with my boy and looking for high human focus and lots of play drive.

The pups are now 6 weeks and one of the three, though he has great focus, plays very rough with his littermates and is a bit of a bully. Seeing as I have two elderly rat terriers, this boy is now out of the running.

Here is my dilemma.. of the two boys left, the breeder tells me both would do well for agility. Puppy One is GORGEOUS, and has high show potential (I do not plan on pursuing conformation) but is a bit more independent than Puppy Two.

Puppy Two sleeps a whole lot when I visit, so its hard to determine what he's like, but he snuggles a lot, comes when called...and sleeps.

When I take them away from their litter mates, Puppy One is far more interested in his new surroundings (area he's not usually allowed to go to) than he is in me and Puppy Two listens well and even did a few sits (though its so hard to tell at this age)

My eyes tell me to go with Puppy One because he's beautiful and seems very bright and with his litter, listens quite well. My brain says maybe Puppy Two (who is no troll, but perhaps not as classically beautiful) who looks more to me when we are alone would be a better choice..

Thoughts?
 

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Semper Fidelis
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My breeder is not active in agility though a large number of her pups are or have been. One of the co-owned bitches does agility but does not reside with my breeder.
And as I'm just starting out in agility myself and do have friends in agility, I do not know the facility's owner to the extent where I would feel comfortable asking for this type of favour.
Though I might ask one of my friends who has 4 small dogs in agility to come by.
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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To an extent, both dogs have part of what I would want in an agility dog. I need a dog to have handler focus and for the to be able to work away from me and explore confidently. Is puppy two attached because he just likes his people or is he less willing to go out on his own? For me, I'd rather have a more confident dog that I can train to check in with me and work on impulse control with their surroundings and teach that *I* am the source of all that is fun and delicious than to try to build confidence in a dog that isn't. I've not had that dilemma before, so it's definitely something I'd discuss with my trainer.
 

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Semper Fidelis
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I would say that puppy one is definitely the more independent of the two, and perhaps a bit more confident. Puppy two just loves people, he sticks to people because he WANTS to be with them, but he still will wander off and go see things.. but not nearly as quickly as puppy one who will go off and not look back unless called.
(keeping in mind they only just turned 6 weeks)

I need to decide within the week since the puppies will be going in for their crop in about 10 days.
 

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Owned by Dobes since 1975
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I love a puppy that loves to explore!

Outgoing and not worried of the dragons that hide everywhere! :)

and he looks good too.............bonus!

I would think your breeder would know which one would suit you best, even if they do not do agility, they should know which one is 'built' for it, in mind and body. :)

Good luck!
 

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Well, I would say that puppy one is definitely the more independent of the two, and perhaps a bit more confident. Puppy two just loves people, he sticks to people because he WANTS to be with them, but he still will wander off and go see things.. but not nearly as quickly as puppy one who will go off and not look back unless called.
(keeping in mind they only just turned 6 weeks)

I need to decide within the week since the puppies will be going in for their crop in about 10 days.
My pick for you would be puppy #2.
I wasn't totally sure, until I read your latest post / the more you explained the differences, I eventually had my mind made up.

Lack of confidence in a 6 week old pup IMO, can be quickly turned around.
Daily puppy tug-of-war games, +1000 socialization's to people, places & noises will prepare this boy, to absorb and learn much.
- I want my furbaby to need or want family members, and not be happier wondering off and keeping a distance or happiest playing with other litter mate dogs
- the pup that takes great pleasure in focusing, its eyes on me & needs to be by my side...is a KSF
Obviously, one big guess here (on my part)...but which pup would be easier to bond with and show the need to please you, in agility training ??
- I would take a lower confidence one (with training, its only very temporary) over an independant pup, any day / I want the pup that crawls up on me and washes my face
 

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u mad?
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What does the breeder say?

When it came to getting my puppy I told my breeder EXACTLY what I wanted in a puppy and she picked one for me. A good, reputable breeder knows their puppies and knows how to place the right puppy with the right home.
 

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For agility, I want the bold one. They always love their mama so I don't care that he's not licking my face from day one. The relationship will come.
 

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Semper Fidelis
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the advice guys!

The breeder thinks that puppy two might be the better match, seeing as he's more of a "people pleaser". But ultimately, she is leaving the decision up to me and proposing them both as good, but different, matches.

Based on the videos the breeder had sent before I could visit, puppy one and the one that is now being a bit dominant were the ones that really stood out for me. So I guess my first impression was that puppy one would be the better choice.

I still don't know what to do.. Even the responses to my question seem to be reflecting my inner conflict.. to go with the bold one and train him to focus or go with the people pleaser and train him to respond.. both are viable options. Puppy one is FAST but puppy two might learn more quickly.

I guess I'll think on it for the week, weigh the pros and cons and decide on my visit next weekend.
 

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Owned by Dobes since 1975
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short story.. :)

when I went to pick my first Doberman pup, I sat on the floor as the breeder let them all out...they all came and piled in my lap except for one..............she took a snuff of me and then went off to explore the house.

I was going to pick a really cute little girl that just would not get off my lap, but, with my eyes, I kept checking out the one that was wondering around.

I went home with the one who loved to explore.

She turned out to be one of the best dogs I have had the pleasure of being owned by.
So smart, so wise, fearless, determined, loyal, obedient, energetic, watchfull, and always alert!
She would try to do anything I asked of her.

again, good luck with your choice!
 

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honestly i think you really need to have someone more experienced help with this decision. if the breeder isnt experienced in picking out performance prospects, and you aren't super experienced in training and know what you want, then i would approach one of your trainers and either ask if you paid for them to come see the pups (call it puppy testing), or if you could just email them or call them and pick their brains a bit. i think them seeing the pups are best.

that being said, puppies change quickly. what ends up being quiet one week can change a lot - and 6 weeks is very variable. my bc at 6 weeks was shy around people, the week after he became the most outgoing. he flunked the "greet and follow people" portion of the puppy test - he went first (since i knew i was taking him) and he had no interest in people whatsoever - now i cant keep him away.

i can train almost anything out of a puppy - except for irrational fear or aggression. if the puppy likes people and isnt super afraid or reactive, you can train it to be ANYTHING. pick the puppy your HEART tells you to take. i agonized weeks and weeks - i picked my puppy at 20 minutes old (i delivered the litter via c-section and raised them until they all were sold) and i bounced back and forth - did i pick my puppy based on color? i wanted a tri, saw him, and picked. the truth is, hes the puppy for me - i can make him anything i want, but he's the one my heart picked from the very start.
 

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Dober-DERP
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This may seem a little silly, but what I do when faced with a decision where both outcomes are good and I can't decide which to pick I have someone flip a coin.

It's not that I use the coin to choose, it's just that when the coin is in the air you"ll know exactly which choice you want to make.

However, my vote is for the bold puppy #1. It's good he's curious and adventurous! He'll become attached to you in no time!
 

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Semper Fidelis
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again everyone for all the perspectives, it helps to know that I'm conflicted for a reason as it seems people have great reasons for choosing both dogs..

The puppies are being formally evaluated today, and hopefully the results will tip me in one direction or the other. And if not, I will certainly pursue having an agility trainer go in to take a look.

Thanks!!
 

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What does the breeder say?

When it came to getting my puppy I told my breeder EXACTLY what I wanted in a puppy and she picked one for me. A good, reputable breeder knows their puppies and knows how to place the right puppy with the right home.
Same here. My breeder and I spoke extensively and she chose the puppy that she felt would be the best match for our family. I trust the breeder to know enough to be able to choose for us. If I had gone to visit the puppies first then I would have had a difficult time choosing since each puppy is special in his/her own way.
 

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Does the breeder do agility? Or do any of the puppies previously? Did she pick them for owners? Is she good at that? Flirt's breeder is fantastic in that aspect. Not all breeders are though. When I went to look at Havoc's litter "no one" who was rating the litter was LISTENING to me that I wanted to do agility first and foremost. he was by far pick of the litter conformationlly, I had first pick would take boy or girl and to them it was no brainer :) They were all conformation only people. There is NOTHING wrong with that. It took me about 48 hours to decide which one in that litter might be best for me overall.

I look for biddability also. Confidence, interaction with toys, people food. For me and what I can train, I must have food and toy drive to start with. I'm not a top 20 trainer (yet haha) so I made need more to start with than better trainers than me. AND what kind of dog do you like to train? The high speed don't think dog? The think through everything and go carefully dog? Either can do well. And many dogs are somewhere in between the two.
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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Also, the puppy with the better conformation would be my pick if all other things were equal (I know they're not). Improper conformation won't always stop you from sport, but it can impede your efforts with easier injuries and added stress, not to mention fractionally slower times from less efficient movement. I know my boy takes a little more time landing and and getting going again because his front end just makes his landings so awkward.
 

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joie de vivre
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I would take an experienced and trusted trainer with you if that's possible.

Conformation is important and there will be things that knowledgable agility people will be able to see, evaluate, and explain to you that you're probably clueless on. For instance, rear assembly can be tricky when looking at show lines for performance sport. Often times a prominent ischium bone is desirable in the show ring - it's flashy/pretty - and therefore tends to show up as a common trait in show litters, however when the ischium bone protrudes back very far it actually flattens the pelvis bone and weakens drive from the rear. In agility this will slow a dog down and make tight turns damn near impossible. Depending on their rear assembly - whatever it may be - different front assemblies can make things better or worse in and of themselves, and in combination with various rear assemblies. It's all linked together. It can be a lot to get your head around. And it will help you immensely (I think) if you take someone with you who can really evaluate structure as it applies to your sport of choice.

I think when it comes to a beginner dog in agility, most active, confident, curious pups will be fine dogs to learn on. Since you're a novice I doubt you'd want to live with a super drivey, "born for the sport" type dog anyway, so I really wouldn't worry a whole lot about personality. Most dogs can be taught most things by trainers who know what they're doing. You might just want to avoid the obvious slug of the litter (if there is one) because any moderately actively Doberman is still a Doberman and they're athletic and eager to train in general.

This is just my opinion (so take it for what it's worth...about 2 cents :)) but until you've had some experience training you don't really learn what you want to live with in a sport dog nor do you really have a clear idea of how you want to train things and what kind of personality will fit your style of running a course. So, IMO, most of the moderate pups in the litter will probably be just fine to learn the ropes with. I put an emphasis on structure because you won't be training anything at all for periods of time if your dog isn't built to handle it. Sound in body is important in agility. Not that sound in mind isn't important, but in a well bred litter of pups its unlikely you're going to be dealing with fear issues and the likes of poor temperament in general. Just my thoughts.
 
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