An experienced dog trainer and expert in canine development suggested that the optimal age for a puppy to go to its new owner is approximately 8 to 9 weeks, when the puppy is ready to develop a strong bond. Take your new puppy to the vet for a “pre-purchase exam” as soon as possible. Even though you've already paid the landlord, this is called a “pre-purchase” because most reputable breeders and adoption organizations allow a probationary period (often 72 hours) before the deal is finalized. It's a good idea to schedule an appointment with the vet the same day you pick up your puppy to quickly identify any existing problems.
Holding the puppy, touch his toes and gently squeeze his paws. Touch the puppy's ears and face. Puppies that scream at the slightest pressure or bite their hands are not good for families with children. A good answer is a puppy that doesn't respond.
By the time puppies are ready to be picked up, the breeder should have a good idea of what each puppy's temperament will look like as an adult. If you have the resources, you don't even have to decide which of those exceptional puppies is chosen from the litter. However, it is important that your choice of litter is healthy, and mentally and structurally appropriate for your age. If you can choose a puppy from a litter, take some time to think about what you're looking for in an adult dog.
Sometimes the rest of the puppies won't want to play with that particular puppy because he has already shown signs of being a bully. Too many puppies end up being abandoned or destroyed dogs because people don't see beyond that pile of cheekiness and consider the rational and practical aspects of owning a dog. So you've decided that those puppies in the toilet paper ads on TV look like a lot of fun and you have to have one. Each and every day you take quality time to evaluate and sort, in order, the puppies in the litter.
The leading cause of death for puppies under 12 months of age in Australia is euthanasia due to behavioral problems. If the mother is relaxed, your puppy is likely to be too, since puppies mostly inherit their mother's temperament. Having the breeder choose your puppy takes all the stress out of everyone, points out local Labrador breeder Becky Dannaker of Nipntuck Labradores. The process of choosing a puppy from a rescue group, shelter, or breeder may be a little different, but the basic steps will be the same.
There are all kinds of ways puppies behave during a visit that have everything to do with temperament and nothing to do with you. Many breeders would say that it would be as unwise to make your decision now as it is at birth because you have five more weeks before puppies are fully weaned, and the real problem is that from birth to eight weeks of age puppies will change a lot.