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New born puppies

Picking out a puppy

Picking out a puppy

Puppies that are taken from their littermates before eight weeks often have not learned how to be submissive or cautious. Puppies require this time with their littermates to learn the skills of getting along with strangers, both human and animals. We, at Northwest Lagottos, do not make puppies available for release before 8 weeks of age.  As long as the pups have sufficient human contact, they adjust better in weeks 6, 7, and 8 living with littermates and without the mom. At Northwest Lagottos, we care for dogs 7 days a week. We constantly handle our puppies; we clean pens, change bedding, feed, water, and play with the dogs throughout the day.  Most importantly we work at Puppy Culture Protocols daily and with this type of care, our puppies are predictably social and eager to play with both humans and animals.

Puppy and the owner

Some people think that they need to see the entire litter of pups in order to pick out a good dog. We have found this is misguided. In any one litter, the majority of the puppies are comparable. In each litter there is usually a highly energetic dog, a more reserved dog, and the rest fall in between. The term pick of the litter is simply a matter of opinion. If the parents of the litter are proven, health tested dogs and the puppies are guaranteed, the main difference between one puppy and another will be its energy level and personality or temperament.  Each dog has its own personality; however, what you do with your puppy will make much of the difference for the life of the dog.   Many people want to go through the process of picking out a puppy for themselves.  In our experience, a match is far more successful when a family or puppy parent has done a good job of outlining their living environment, lifestyle, intended activities etc. for the puppy and allowing us to choose the puppy for them.  This is because we have already spent 8 to 10 weeks with the puppies and we know them well.  This is not to say that we will not take into account all of a puppy parents desires in terms of gender and color, purpose, etc.


Mocha 3rd in Group .jpeg

The idea of picking a puppy is also made difficult by the fact that many of our pups parents travel from afar to get their puppies and this does not make picking a puppy in order a reasonable prospect.  Finally, if you tried picking out your puppy, you are seeing the litter of puppies for a very isolated time period. Some people are drawn to the first puppy that shows an interest in them, some are attracted by the physical appearance of a certain pup, and other people try a battery of “puppy tests” in order to determine the right dog for them. During this isolated time period, the puppies may be reserved, demonstrative, active, or quiet. By providing us with enough information about yourself and your family, we will find the right match for you.  We have a more comprehensive and accurate picture of each puppy’s typical behavior. We believe that through this process, we can make recommendations and find the puppy that is best suited for you.

All of our puppies and dogs are top quality, or we would not guarantee them or sell them. If a puppy does not meet the health standards of our veterinarians, or criteria for an exceptional companion, we do not make them available in the litter. We will always be up front with you and make you aware of each puppy’s strengths and weaknesses.  Whether a puppy is the first in the litter to go or the last one in a litter to leave our home, we have invested heavily in your puppy and strongly believe that you will be rewarded with years of enjoyable companionship.


The term pet quality is one that is sometimes brought up in conversations. This is a term used by professional breeders and competition people and can refer to second rate puppies that are produced. It typically means that there is something wrong with the

dog structurally or behaviorally.  Even though you may not want a show dog or truffle hunting companion, you will want an intelligent and biddable (obedient, docile) companion. Our dogs come from truffle hunting lines because these lines are extremely intelligent and biddable. All of our dogs make wonderful pets and companions. Everyone wants a trustworthy and controllable dog, especially a family with children and other pets. We think of Pet Quality as the standard and with the exception of the few truly outstanding dogs who go on to show or breed, all of our dogs at Northwest Lagottos have the qualities of being good pets - they are pet quality!

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