How do I pick a puppy from the litter?
I get pick of a litter from my friend. I was wondering about how to take my pick. I would like the largest, but also want to make the right decision when it comes to temperament. I had a rottweiler for 11 years previously and it was the best dog I have ever owned. We live in the country with lots of space for our new addition to run.
But as much as we know our new family member will be a huge sucky baby.....we want him to be big and intimidating looking because of the fact that sometimes I get nervous being alone at night for weeks at a time when my husband leaves.
Size isn't an absolute must for us but would be a huge bonus, so is there any way to tell as the pups mature which ones will be the largest?
Pups aren't even here yet. Not for another 3 weeks. It's like I'm impatiently waiting to have my own child! lol
This is an interesting question, and although there's no 'one-size-fits-all' answer, there are some things to look for.
First of all though, I personally wouldn't put too much emphasis on size for several reasons, including...
- Males are usually bigger, but not necessarily better in terms of protective instincts.
- When you choose a pup, the biggest pup at 8 weeks may well not grow up to be the biggest adult.
- Bigger, heavier dogs tend to have more issues with bones/joints etc. and aren't always the healthiest.
- Sometimes the biggest males are the biggest babies :o)
First of all be sure the parents of this puppy are healthy, have OFA hip certifications, and have sound temperaments. Their puppies will inherit their genes and you want to be sure that he/she is sound both physically and mentally.
If this is all okay, then I would say personality/temperament is more important than looks as you're choosing a pet puppy. Conformation should only be considered very important if you are going to show a puppy, and even then great looks with a poor temperament aren't worth much!
Unless you are very comfortable and sure of yourself in terms of raising a possibly challenging and headstrong puppy, don't choose the boldest, bravest or most 'argumentative' puppy. You also don't want a shy, scared, nervous or 'skittish' puppy as he/she will require experienced handling and lots of extra time and effort to enhance self confidence. Look for the 'average' pup.... active, happy and confident but not body tackling you or dominating every interaction (or bullying every sibling in sight).
At 8 weeks old a Rottweiler puppy is a miniature of his/her adult form pretty much, should be cobby and sturdy in the body, strong bones, clean shiny fur, clean ears, no discharge from eyes or nose, no signs of diarrhea or of parasites such as fleas. The width of the head between the ears is indicative of the size of the adult head - the wider it is the bigger the head is likely to be. Also the 'conehead' look often develops into a strong headshape. Muzzle shouldn't be narrow or pointed, but a big square and quite short.
Basically, Rottie pups are like adorable little black bears!!
As you've already raised a Rottweiler, you hopefully have all the experience you need under your belt. Just remember that even if your new pup is going to be your guardian, his/her protective instincts will develop slowly and should be allowed to do so naturally.
I hope this helps some and I wish you the best of luck with your new puppy. I know how exciting it is to wait for a new arrival, but the time will come eventually! I'd love to see a photo of your new pup once you get him/her home. Enjoy.