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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine has difficulty selecting a pup. He was shown two pups being worked first time on stairs. One of the pups worked his way up nice and easy like as if it was worked there before. The other was whining while struggling its way up. Which pup would you think he should choose? Why?
 

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uh-oh. :?

The obvious answer is the dog that climbs the stairs easily and confidently. Therefore, that cannot possibly be the answer you deem correct. :idea: So I'll say the other dog.

Perhaps it is the other dog because it takes the stress more serious and thus will be a more serious dog than the other. :?:
 

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I am by no means one to be replying to this question, but I figured, eh, what the hell...it's a learning experience, right?

I'm going to go with Patrick's answer, but maybe (?) for a slightly different reason.

I'm thinking the first pup went up the stairs well, but it doesn't seem as though he saw them as much of a challenge, so perhaps it's not that great of an accomplishment? Not to diminish the importance of self-confidence...

But it sounds as though the second pup conqured the stairs despite the stress he felt over them, even though it was a "struggle", as you said. Perhaps that shows a willingness (and the mental toughness necessary) to overcome those obstacles perceived as a challenge?

I could be WAY off base on this one.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Please feel free to express your own opinions, not based on what one feels as correct. Depending on intentions, what is correct with one may be wrong with the other. Any which way, it changes nothing.... the dog in the end will speak for itself.
 

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I could see where some might argue that the more hesitant dog is putting more thought into it, but I"ll still always prefer the bolder pup. My own GSD never had ANY issues with anything I ever asked him to try and he's, by far, the best thinking dog I've ever owned.
 

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There isn't one thing that I will choose a pup from. Not being good at stairs isn't going to sway me one way or the other. I have had very good dogs that went right up stairs as pups, and had pups like you are describing one week later going up and down stairs no problem. It is a development thing. I have had litters of pups, and they all pretty much whined the first time, then some were up and down no problem, and the others were "Oh, shit" for a while. It all went away, and was no problem later.



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I would choose the boldest pup, but I'd have to see a LOT more puppy tests and get my own hands on the pups to choose. Here's a few tests I did with a litter at 7 weeks old. There was a huge sable boy, three black and tan (very dark) girls, one light black and tan girl, one sable girl, and an average-sized sable boy. I was leaning on the side of the largest boy or the largest girl, simply because they were the alphas of the puppy pack. But I wanted to see how they reacted to things. First thing I did was casually walked away from the pen, then I ran straight at it, stopped about 5 feet away and just stared at the pups. Biggest boy and smaller girl run off into puppy house. Smallest boy stares me down along with biggest girl with a little tail movement, and the other girls simply take a few steps back and wag their tails (they recognize me from weeks of contact). I then went inside and made up with the ones that ran away. Biggest female didn't want to come near me.
Next test I stood about 50 feet from pup's pen, and fired various firearms at targets. All puppies but smallest male run at sound of shotgun. Smallest male is alert but calm.
Next, I waited until they were all settled down and thought I wasn't around anymore. I snuck around the side of their pen and suddenly and very loudly went WOOOWOWOWOOF (the alarm bark of dogs), all puppies but smallest male and middle female fun. Biggest boy yelps and cries of fear inside puppy house.
I then do various regular tests (puppy hold, surface tests, etc) and choose smallest boy because he was consistant in his responses (calm and alert) and is the most social with other animals and people. He also had the best prey drive. This smallest male is my pup, Carbon.
Since I have owned him, he has already growl-barked deeply when my fiance would approach looking like a threat. He also still loves people, although he has to evalute them quickly before he says hi. He also has displayed a deep, calm bite on his tug toy and is already learning when to bite, and when not to. Sometimes it's not the size or first appearance of a pup that determines what is best for your needs. (Carbon will be training for ASR/PPD)
 

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Was he whining because of the stairs, or because he was pissed that the other pup was already at the top and HE wanted to be up there NOW!?
 

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Agreed that one test is absolutely NOT the way to pick a pup, but based on how Jose put the question as either or, I wold still pick the bolder pup.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for your inputs...

By the way, this is no puppy testings. Stairs are common structures and if the pup were to walk with his handler thru life, it should then be just one of those things. In time, all pups will frolic in stairs and other common structures, agility being natural and given that the breeding involved good dogs. Pups are work-in-progress, one seemingly lousy this week may outshine the rest by next. With an active handler, a pup may be faced with many more challenges during trainings or simply in the course of the handlers daily activities that may go on during its lifetime.

That said, I'd keep an eye initially on the tenacious pup.

Just my personal preference.
 
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