So this week we hope to have all the puppies selected. You have had a chance to watch them grow. I hope you have been able to join our Private Facebook group Chocolate Clan where I have been posting live videos (Uncut) of the pups. As well I have tried to post as many pictures as possible, although there is a limit to my photography skills, and it is a very time consuming process to select and resize each picture (again my lack of photographic knowledge).
For the boys, selection has been a pretty easy process as there were only two, and I think they are each going to the type of family where they will fit in. Orange is Mister in your face and he will suit an active family cause he has lots of action. Red is a little more laid back, and willing to follow not initiate. He is going to a family where he will get a lot of positive reinforcement that will bring out the best in him.
Now for the girls: They are all loving and smart. So on the cuddle scale (I think of this as the submissive scale as well, as these are the pups who are willing to be picked up and cuddled): Pink and Mauve are my most cuddly pups. I love to pick up either of these two girls because I am assured of kisses. Also they are the easiest to handle. The least cuddly are Silver and Yellow, although both love attention. The inbetween pups are Green, Gold and Teal. So this does not mean Silver and Yellow are not sweet girls, but just that they would rather be down on the ground investigating or interacting with their pals. Silver and Yellow want to be in the thick of things. On the Independence scale (also a measure of their startle response), there is no doubt that Silver and Yellow are willing to try things, and are willing to run towards noises to investigate rather than run and hide (although all the pups still run away from the vacuum, so go figure). These are the smartest of our pups, willing to learn on their own. Gold and Teal are in the middle, and it depends on the situation whether they are on their own and investigating or following. This is one where Green falls in with Pink and Mauve. Green, despite her size, startles easily and would rather run away than see what's happening. However, because of her size, she has been able to develop her stair skills more rapidly than Pink and Mauve. Both Pink and Mauve are willing to learn, they just need encouragement. Yesterday was a breakthrough for Pink in the yard. She negotiated the steps several times, and once down was on her own exploring. It was exciting to see that development. So there is no wrong choice here. Each girl is lovely. But if you do not have the time or skill to invest in training, then Silver and Yellow will be more than willing to teach themselves (however, they also could develop bad habits so you do have to watch for that). However, they are also very smart so will be the most likely to respond positively to training, so would be your best service, obedience, or gun dogs. Also if you do not have time for training, then Green, Pink and Mauve are probably not for you. These girls are going to need an investment of your time to bring out the best in them. They will respond very well to positive reinforcement training. That leaves Gold and Teal, my middle of the pack girls. These two will be the middle of the pack, for training needs, and response to training. As far as size is concerned, it is never set in stone, as sometimes pups lag behind because they are not highly competitive at the food bowl or on Mom. However when I look at PInk and Yellow, they have the same small features that Hope had as a Pup. So for those two I expect them to stay smaller. Green and Gold are the big pups, and while I would not expect them to be huge, there is no doubt they might end up being 70 lb adults (similar to their Great Aunt Grace). Silver, Mauve and Teal look like they might be slightly larger, more like their Aunt Abbey. While Abbey is still small (55 lb) she has the potential to be bigger (because of her stature) as she matures (I expect her to put on another 5 lbs or so over the next year).
Each pup has the potential to be a loyal and loving companion. There are no wrong choices in that department. You might want cuddly rather than smart, but that does not mean your pup is dumb, just that you will have to invest time in training. You might want smart rather than cuddly, but that doesn't mean you won't have a lap dog that wants to give you kisses and wags their tail when you come home nor does it mean that you should not invest time in training. Training (whether on your own or at a class) develops your bond and understanding of your pup. It is what makes a great Dog.