Choosing A Pup

As I write this I am waiting for the day when the pups I have chosen from the two litters bred by Frank Dobie are able to leave their dams and take up residence with me.

I did not choose the pups single handed but heeded the advise of Emmerson Tunaley who is, as most are aware, the Alaunt Society Breed Manager.

I could remember when I first saw the pups, they were only 5 days old and still had their eyes shut. I couldn’t have picked any at that point; there wasn’t anything to choose between them apart from slight variations in the shades of colour. They were just like squirming bundles of fur.

The next time I saw them was at around 3 weeks of age, they were looking livelier and all had their eyes open. I didn’t want to choose any at this point but I was looking more at the litters on the whole and seeing if there were any that stood out more than the rest. One did catch my eye; it was a very light almost blue brindle colour dog pup. He was as bold as brass and slightly larger than his littermates. This dog is being kept back by Frank to be used for future breeding.

My next visit came when the pups were 5 weeks old and this is where I made my decisions. I had a few ideas in mind when choosing them which made it a little easier:

· I wanted bitches only

· I preferred the brindle colouring

· I was looking for a “racier” phenotype


I decided to take Emmo’s advice and choose one from each litter. So, all the pups from the first litter were let out of their run and the dogs were separated and put back so I could see just the bitches. One caught my eye straight away as it had a small patch on its forehead. It came over and immediately started chewing on my trouser leg. It was a dark brindle colour with a nice shaped head, strong but not oversized in proportion to its body. Emmo then had a look at the pup and remarked that it could be one to watch out for. He put the pup down in a corner of the room and it went straight back over to him. It had quite a muscular front for a pup and also a perfect scissor bite.

Out of the five bitches in the litter this pup was definitely the one for me, none of the other’s really took my fancy. Some of them were bigger and more “bully” looking than the one I chose and at the other end of the scale there were the even “racier” more slightly built specimens.

Then came the other litter.

We followed the same procedure as before and put the dogs back into the run so I could see only the bitches. Although there was only a day between the two litters there was a marked difference in size between them. Some of the pups displayed too many white markings (blazes from the chest up to the chin and blazes on the muzzle etc…) for me as I wanted brindle bitches with not much white on them. There was a nice light brindle type there which was somewhere in the middle of the scale between being stocky/heavy and athletic looking. What a lively little thing! It stood out from the others as soon as the door was opened as it had one of its litter mates on its back while it growled and barked. As soon as anyone picked it up to give it the once over it was jumping around all over trying to initiate some sort of game with us. This one again had an even bite and only a small white patch on the chest.

Once the pups had been chosen our breed manager set about giving the chosen pups an “Emmo Cut”. This was basically a small haircut so that the pups would easily be identified by Frank and his sons when other people came to view the litters.

These two bitches are to be the stock which continues on with the breeding plans and objectives left by Brian.