Puppy Eval Help
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  • I am torn. I have first pick of the pups, and I?m not that experienced with what to look for with the pups. My first bet was girl number 2, but now I almost think girl number 3 might be better.

    Please help.

    These are all girls, and I need help figuring out which pup should make for an easier first show bitch, and which one looks like it might be the best even if not the easiest to show.

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  • What did the breeder have to say? Did she take you through her evaluation process?

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  • Sherry is usually quite quiet about things. She doesn’t have too much to say about the girls, but told me that they are going to be much like her older Dune litters. I have been told that these girls are very leggy.

    I got Tari’s opinion which went back and forth between puppies 1 and 2. She is afraid of the white neck transition on #1 and the white on #3 near the rear leg, and is also leaning mainly towards #2.

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  • I wouldn't focus on markings, though the optical illusions they create can be difficult for some judges to get past, you really want to look for the dog with the best underlying structure. A good judge will see beyond the markings to find the best dog.

    It would also bother me that the breeder of the puppies isn't talking to you about what she sees. She should know her puppies best and be your best resource into understanding how what you are seeing now will develop in the adult dog.

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  • Sherry is just a quiet person, she has talked to me some and will be talking with me more. I’m just know Tari much better and as they have differing opinions, Sherry is leaving more to what Tari says.

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  • Here is a good page to take you through some of the things you should be looking at with each of these puppies.

    http://www.geocities.com/rugosab/ConformationPage.htm

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  • Thank you. That does really help, but I still am in between #2 and #3. The pups are just at 7 weeks right now, and I will be making my decision and taking her home after a get together at the end of March.

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  • Pat Hastings believes the best age to evaluate puppies is at 8 weeks old +/- 2 days. At that age, they look most like what they will as adults. If you have her book Trick of The Trade, it has a good explanation of what to look for in terms of basic structure.

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  • I have a couple other books, but I don’t think I have that one.

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  • Are you going to show this puppy?
    If so, don't worry about the neck on #2.
    As a novice handler, you will be fighting an uphill battle with either #1 or #3.
    While a breeder may say don't worry about the markings, I am going to tell you that judges WILL look at those markings and not-so-great handling, coupled with distracting markings are a big fight in the show ring against more experienced handlers.
    While #3 is best proportioned, you have that uphill battle to fight. As a FIRST show dog, I would go with the one that would be easier for you to do well with in the ring.
    As always, this is solely my opinion of lord knows too many years with too many BADsenjis!
    Best of luck to you.

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  • Thank you. Yes this will be my first show basenji, but not the first time I’ve shown them. I will have lots of help from Tari and Sherry with the training and if I need it with the showing itself. Luckily, the breeders here are quite nice and friendly. I know that none of these bitches will do well as a special at all. They are expected to be a little on the small side and I’ve been told they should finish fine, but will not be good competing with specials.

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  • My completely unprofessional, non breeder, not very experienced handler opinion: if they are all fairly nice dogs structure wise, then go with the one that cooperates most willingly.
    As a complete novice at handling, I am fortunate that Callie will pretty much stay in whatever position I stack her in. She doesn't fight me. At the same time, however, she is fairly lifeless in the ring as she doesn't get excited about much. So if I can stack her well (which depends on me doing a great job that day), she will stay there & maintain that position, but then the challenge is to get her to stop looking so bored. I've taken other dogs in the ring that refuse to let me touch them, refuse to be stacked, etc. So for me, just for learning the ropes, Callie is nice because I don't have to worry about her fighting me, just getting her looking alert.
    I'm sure somebody might disagree with my opinion, and like I said, I don't have much experience to offer or opinion on which dog to choose structurally. I just like having a dog that isn't difficult to stack.

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    I like to evaluate puppies at 8 weeks as I find (like Pat Hastings) that that usually is the best time to view their final attributes. I don't think that a forum and pictures are the best way to evaluate and personally, as I don't know what the USA show ring is like I wouldn't want to make a choice for you. If I was picking one for myself from the photo I'd go for no.3 as in my opinion she is the best made.

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  • Thanks for the opinions. I am not looking for you to make my decision for me. I am just looking for more things to think about when I make my decision, as I will have first pick.

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  • Another thing you need to consider, is this just going to be a show dog or are you thinking that you may some day breed her? The puppy that may be the best starter show dog may not be the best choice if you are thinking this may also become your foundation bitch.

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