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How Do You Pick A Puppy?

by John Rogers Jr.

          Over the years I have heard a lot of advice about picking Beagle puppies.  Some of it was good sound advice and some was just advice. 

          I once had a friend tell me to always pick the one in the litter with the most black on it.  He said the puppy with the most black always makes the best dog. 

          I have also heard, always pick the runt pup.  I never knew what being the smallest had to do with being the best. 

          Years of picking bad puppies has taught me what every Beagle owner should know.  It has to be a good breeding and healthy litter or you don't want to pick any from it. 

          A good breeding is only made when the two parents are good dogs from a long line of good dogs.  Just breeding dogs to raise puppies creates a few good dogs just by dumb luck.  Picking that good puppy from a litter like this takes even more dumb luck. 

          It always helps to have a pattern to go by.  If this breeding has been done before find out all you can about all the puppies it produced.  

          You will not be able to do that if this a first time breeding of these two dogs.  Researching dogs from breedings between the two bloodlines involved is very helpful if available. 

          After doing all your homework and are satisfied this litter should have a good percentage of the type puppy you want you are almost ready. 

          Next thing to consider is health.  No one would want to spend their money on an unhealthy puppy.  Consider not just the health of the puppy you like, but all the puppies.  If one puppy appears to be sickly will the one you pick be sick in a few days, too. 

          Look at all the dogs on the premises.  If all are healthy and well cared for, you can feel a little more secure in your decision to buy a puppy here. 

          Birth defects are another thing to consider.  Some bloodlines have a high percentage of puppies with crooked tails, overbites, underbites and crooked legs. 

          If you are planning to use your puppy for breeding someday any defects known to that bloodline will be of great concern to you.   

          A dog carrying a gene for a certain defect bred to another dog with the same genes for that defect will likely give you a very high occurrence of that defect in the offspring. 

          I guess the next thing to do now is pick the puppy you like best.  With all the background studying and thinking you still have to pick the puppy you like. 

          I like to get the one with the most controlled energy.  I like a lively puppy not a wild puppy.  I like to get one who is always playful yet, serious about checking out everything around it.  I like to see them use their nose as they explore their surroundings.   

          Shyness is something to be avoided.  I have never had much luck with shy dogs.  I have got some young dogs that were almost wild from not being handled and petted and was able to tame them.  But bred in shyness is sometimes incurable. 

          If you have the patience and are willing to take a chance on a shy puppy it may be the one for you.  Good luck. 

          Decide what you are looking for in a puppy.  Learn all you can about the parents, the bloodline and the breeder.  Study the actions, and looks of the puppies.  Then after all that research take your pick. 

          An "educated guess" would be the way I would describe this method of picking puppies.  With all we know about Beagle puppies, their parents, ancestors and health we still have to guess which one is right for us. 

          If you pick the runt and it has the most black on it, that's fine, too.  It is your puppy.  I have always believed if a dog suits the person who buys its food its a good dog.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).