What do I look for when evaluating puppies? A puppy that looks like a miniature show dog. You look for a square puppy that's balanced, has straight legs, a nicely shaped neck that flows smoothly into the shoulders, a short back with a solid topline, pretty paws, a nice head, etc. I also always look for a puppy that likes to show itself off, that has a fair amount of ego. I pay more attention to what they look like "au naturel", on the ground, than I do when someone stacks them on a table.sundobe said:I was wondering if there were any tips or tricks to share about evaluating puppies as potential show prospects? What do you look for when evaluating puppies?
Also, what are the chances of changes happening to the puppy as they mature? Such as a puppy with not much front developing more front? Or more brisket? Or a topline straightening out slightly? Are these kind of case specific things or, is this breeders just doing some wishful thinking.
Seriously, a lot of your questions are dependent on the age of the puppy you're trying to evaluate. The general rule of thumb is to grade litters at eight weeks, the theory being that at that age they have the same proportions they'll have as adults. After that, they can have some weird growth stages start happening...LOL, some people say you shouldn't look at at them again for months.
But a lot of this IS really specific to different lines, they all have different rates of growth, traits that are likely to improve (or not). What might be the kiss of death and not likely to improve with one line might be only a temporary problem with another line, something that *will* resolve itself with time.
A puppy that doesn't have a lot of visible forechest due to a short upper arm isn't likely to have that improve. Angles tend to get straighter if they change.
Toplines may or may not improve, depending on the line and what's wrong with the topline. If a puppy doesn't have the brisket down to the elbow at 8 weeks, I wouldn't be looking for that to ever happen.
Evaluating puppies really is an educated guess at the best of times..it's not something that a newbie is going to be able to do with any degree of accuracy. It takes seeing lots and lots of litters being graded, and then mature. The best thing to do is find an experienced breeder who has consistently produced generation after generation of viable show dogs, they know their lines and are the ones most likely to be able to predict which of their pups are top show prospects and which are not.
And even then, you don't really know about what's going to happen with dentition until it happens, unless you xray mouths looking for tooth buds.