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'Pick of the Litter' questions!

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Lilith

I'm a trilingual- dog!
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 26, '10 10:01am PST 
So I assume it differs from breeder to breeder as to what constitutes "first pick" "second pick" etc. I'd just like to get some feedback on some breeder's and also pet parent's experiences.

When a breeder says "first pick", does it usually mean, their opinion's first pick, or is the buyer's preferred pick?

Also, what happens if you have multiple families who want x quality of dog, how do you determine which pick each gets? For example if you have 2 show homes lined up for puppies, how do you pick which gets first pick? And does that necessarily mean that the rest are not as show worthy?

You can replace "show" with any other working venue.


Curious as to users' experiences, please share. smile
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 26, '10 10:39am PST 
This is what I'm familiar with: The owner of the sire of the litter is offered 'first pick' meaning in lieu of payment for stud (or partial payment depending on cost of service/litter). The owner of the sire is allowed their pick of the litter before the dam's and other buyers.

This is another one of those things that probably differs regionally.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 26, '10 11:20am PST 
That precise term, "first pick," extremely usually means the buyer's first pick. For a breeder, there is "the" pick. Beyond that, the breeder may choose for the buyer what puppy is right for them, or offer them their "pick." Hoping that made sense!

Edited by author Thu Aug 26, '10 11:26am PST

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Sachi- (1997-2012)

Dirt is a girls- best friend!
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 27, '10 8:12am PST 
Usually, the person that gets to pick first is the one that put a deposit down first.
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Lilith

I'm a trilingual- dog!
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 27, '10 8:23am PST 
Hmmm.. lots of different responses!

Tiller, I did understand your post. But do most breeders just simply let the buyer pick their pup? What if they've got pups that are show/working quality and pups that are pet quality, shouldn't the breeders pick for the family or at least give an opinion? We've always had our dogs picked for us (the ones from decent breeders, anyway.. Lantis doesn't count).

I guess this would carry over to Sachi's answer.. our breeder is pricing companion dogs at less than the show ones, so even if you were the first to put down the deposit, you wouldn't necessarily get 'first pick' of the litter if what you wanted was a pet dog.. thinking
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 27, '10 8:29am PST 
Lilith, I think it can depend.

If you know EXACTLY what you want, and know how to find it, then I believe a breeder may be more apt to letting you select the pup for yourself.

If you're a more casual buyer, who has a list of things they want in a dog but aren't really sure how to pick it, then I believe the breeder would/should step in and make that decision for you.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 27, '10 9:07am PST 
Ah, well typically there "first pick" does not mean pick of the entire litter, but pick of available puppies, meaning those retained for show would not be amongst the pups available. So when people come over, the puppies they see in the ex-pen (or whatever) are the pet pups.

When you get down to it, breeders always have the "first" pick. Maybe the second and third, too....however many interest them in a "breed" sense. If they are breeding dogs with hopes of show or work placements, they will be interested in targeting who those are. Most who do breed for show would be very reluctant to let a show grade puppy go to a pet home.

I babble a little because this is one of the barometers for judging a good breeder. Now of course for you, it's prickly as I assume you are on a lesser known breed, so your options are limited. So just generalities spoken here, 'kay? wink

.....Breeders who DO the first, second, third pick on down the line, as identified by the sequence of deposits received, and are talking about the entire litter truly - yuck. I do not know how that could more loudly blare out "puppy producer." One would HOPE you breed for a reason. That part of your objective is to either retain something for yourself to show/work, and/or to place with homes, on co or full ownerships, who would do the same. If the point of breeding is to better the breed, then of course you would hope dogs from a litter will go on to have some consequence....to achieve some title, to be showcased before breed enthusiasts, to be a breeding prospect. So if you have a litter and just resign their futures wholly, why are you breeding in the first place other than for saleable units?

....Breeders who allow "first pick" in more reasonable fashion....i.e., first pick of the available pet grade pups...are not irresponsible by right, BUT are doing less than they could. I've never dealt with that sort of breeder, not for myself or as an agent, and never would. Why? Well, just pure logic. If a breeder prefers to match each puppy to the buyer most ideal for them, they are likely to be practicing more evaluation procedures, temperament tests, drive tests and so on, and through that not only know their pups a little better, but through practice are more skilled at assessing puppies, for obviously they put more effort into doing so. Did that make sense? Given that it is a life long commitment and the breeder has been with the pups from day one, I far, FAR prefer to deal with breeders who obviously are putting in as much effort as can be done to know the pups best. I mean, on Dogster all the time, we get down to the breed being a reliable generality, and then the individual gets down to specifics. Those "specifics" are probably a concern to you, the pet buyer. So it is a good thing for pet buyers to chew over....how much effort is this breeder making to give you the dog you are expecting? The more effort they DO make, the less likely you are to end up with a pup who is not what you expected.

EXCEPTIONS to this are when breeders narrow it down to a couple of puppies in a litter that strongly fit your specs, and then have you choose.
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Lilith

I'm a trilingual- dog!
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 27, '10 9:21am PST 
Tiller.. I know our breeder is picking puppies for the family, and when she says "First Pick" she means the one she picks that is going to the most experienced show and/or working home. And so forth down the list of picks. Rarity, for me, doesn't really limit my options.. if I can't find a breeder in the calibur that I want (including importing), then I don't get a dog of that breed for the time being.

I also agree that to go by order of deposits doesn't sound right to me.. otherwise, I'd probably have gotten first pick.. and even to me that idea is ridiculous.. BOL. I have not nearly the amount of experience that I'd like to take that responsibility.

I guess I really wanted to ask because I wanted to know the difference between a first pick puppy and, say, a fourth pick, if they were judged on similar terms or on completely individual terms. Reason being because it seems sort of sad on a human-reasoning level to have to be 'last pick' for the puppy.

I can't help but think about elementary school type sports scenario where there's always one kid picked last.. frown

Edited by author Fri Aug 27, '10 9:22am PST

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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 27, '10 11:03am PST 
I think the only true "last" would be a dog with a true "fault." Such as a bite that will not correct itself, and thereby who the breeder would need to identify to all potential buyers as having an imperfection. Certainly that happens, and the breeders I generally deal with discount that dog. Not advertise him as a discount, but rather with pet inquiries say "and I do have an 'x" who is very nice but has this fault, and so am asking less for him."

I myself would be very disturbed by a breeder who numbers all the puppies in terms of preference/opinion, as for a responsible breeder, the values of the futures of those puppies should matter equally. There should not be a theoretic "last." Unfortunately, you do not always see that. The picks out of a litter are what matter to the breeder....who they are retaining, who on co-owns or to one of your associates....and then what's left are the pet pups that "need to leave." That's an area, too, where I can be issue-y with some working breeders, who can sort of "trash out" some working puppies, meaning really curl the lips at whatever balances some are showing and be pretty indifferent about where they go.

Some working breeders I know, and Philo (GSD) was a product of this arrangement, work with pet owning people with bitches of high quality and pedigree. So the bitch owner has the litter, enjoys the puppies, the stud owner comes, tests the pups, scoops up those with the highest working potential, and leaves the rest with the bitch owner to place. Which is nice, for pet owners are where their heart is anyway while the breeder leaves with pups who figured to thrive in a working placement. So the working/show focused person ends of with puppies of that ilk, the pet focused person ends up with the puppies of the pet ilk. I know when I contacted Philo's breeder, the litter had arrived but she had not yet driven out to VA to meet them. A few weeks later she did, returned with four, then spent a couple of weeks interacting with them before she had them all figured out in terms of drive and potential. It was a good "cherry picking" process that led to ultimate good solutions. The ones the breeder had ended up with lots of titles and accomplishments, whereas the ones the bitch owner had ended up in placements regional to her and that she could keep an eye on.
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Ch Pinki

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 27, '10 11:46am PST 
First pick absolutely depends on who is picking and what they are picking for, IMO. In my case, I always reserve first pick of each sex for myself, and I won't make my final pick until the pups are old enough to walk out the door!!! Other picks are done by order of deposit, BUT, with my guidance. I will feel the people out and find our their likes and dislikes on their first visit at 6 weeks, then keep that in mind when I pick their pup for them when they are ready to leave. Usually, I have them give me two choices when they first visit if they are first pick, three choices for second pick, and so on, so that I still end up with my first pick when they are old enough to determine if there is something I want to keep and show in there. However, in almost every case, I will totally pick the pup that goes with that family, although they "think" they picked it themselves.
In the show world, the breeder almost always picks those pups which will go into a show potential home. Obviously, if someone is going to show I am not letting them pick a pup with a not so great bite or angles or any other thing I think may be an issue for showing. That is not going to help either my name or their showing experience.
I do have to chuckle when I see BYB ads announcing "pick of the litter" is still available. Hmmm, if everyone else has already picked theirs, how is the pick still available?? And, how come, next week when the ad re-appears, it says, last pup, pick of the litter, reduced price. OKAY, right! I do think pet people get really hung up on the pick factor.
Us show people are usually looking for something different when we pick... I may be looking for an outstanding front, you may want an outstanding coat and another breeder may be looking for a great topline...depending on the quality of the litter, we can all get pick pick out of the same litter!!
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