Well, it’s very hard to go off of purely personality for a dalmatian puppy. Those spots just call to you. 🙂 However, I don’t feel totally wrong for going for spottiness because spots are a BIG portion of the AKC breed standard. See, I’m not so conceited. So after I establish which ones I think are the cutest, I next look at the personality. (I will be leaning on Michelle a lot for the conformation because I just don’t have experience comparing a dog to the breed standard.) What are some things I will be looking for personality-wise?
1. Taking the puppy away from it’s litter mates. I want to see a puppy that is comfortable being away from their siblings. This could eventually lead to a puppy that is comfortable in new situations. The puppy doesn’t have to be exactly okay with the situation right in the beginning, but I would personally like to see a puppy begin to explore within thirty seconds- one minute.
2. Having someone lightly restrain the puppy and walk a few feet away. Turn and call to puppy. I want to see a puppy that happily responds to my voice and comes over to me excited.
3. Call to puppy and see how long it takes puppy to follow me. Hopefully puppy will follow me enthusiastically.
4. Handling the puppy in different places. (I.E. Lift lips, handle paws, lift tail, lift ears) Since my puppy will be in conformation, I want my puppy to feel comfortable being handled.
5. Open an umbrella/drop some keys in a metal dish and see how long it takes puppy to recover. I want my puppy to recover and slowly approach the umbrella/keys before 45 seconds. I’ve dealt with a dog that didn’t recover fast and it is not fun. I want my dog to not be easily startled, especially since dalmatians are naturally very suspicious.
Some people feel these tests are not very important, but I think they can tell you just a little bit about the puppy you’re about to bring home. I don’t plan on basing my choice 100 percent on these tests, but I will take the reactions into consideration. I want my new pup to be a conformation and performance dog, so I want a dog that is comfortable in new places (trial and show sites), comfortable around people (doesn’t get overly excited or scared by people), and comfortable being manipulated by a person (judge).
Michelle says maybe we can go visit the puppies next week… I’m soooo excited to meet the bundles of joy.
Got Spots? Will Enjoy.