Young puppies should be alert, playful, and full of vitality. Personalities
vary with breed type, but a sweet disposition is essential to
all. An unfriendly puppy certainly has no place as a family companion,
especially with children. The unfriendly puppy may struggle and bite to get
loose, or growl when picked up or petted. This puppy will require considerable
discipline and training.
A puppy who shrinks back when spoken to or runs away and hides is shy. The
puppy may possibly overcome this later, but taking a chance is hardly
worthwhile. This puppy will not be easily socialized.
Ever watched your dog roll on the ground, lick her coat or chew at a mat on her fur? These are her ways of keeping clean. Sometimes, though, she’ll need a little extra help from her friend to look her best.
The ideal puppy for a family pet holds his tail high, follows you about,
accepts petting, struggles when picked up, but then relaxes and licks your
Most breeders use some version of the puppy aptitude test developed by
well-known dog trainers Jack and Wendy
Volhard. Ask if the breeder did puppy testing and if so, what the results are.
Realize that a puppy may have an “off” day and the breeder can fill you in on
his or her perspective of the individual personalities of each pup, as well as
give you the test results.
Because good health and good disposition so often go hand in hand, it is
perhaps wise, in making the final selection, to pick the individual who appears
to be really bursting with vitality and self-confidence. The largest, most
rambunctious puppy may be more of a handful than the average family can handle,
though, especially if this is a male puppy. The pup with a middle-of-the-road
temperament often makes the best family companion.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"