When you go and see new puppies you will be able to tell quite a lot about them just by observing the litter. Each puppy has its own personality and there can be quite a contrast between different puppies. As well as finding a puppy you naturally bond with you need to pick one with a good temperament. Choosing the right puppy for your family is very important. Even when they are very young there are still things you will start to notice about their behaviour.
Every puppy will have different energy levels and react slightly differently to you and the environment around them. Some puppies might be more quiet and shy while other can be quite confident from a young age.
The experiences that these little pups have at a young age can have a big impact on them when they are growing up. If they have a frightening experience then they are likely to develop a fear of whatever it is that scared them. You can test their reactions to see how they respond to different stimuli. Simple tests can rule out some puppies and point in the direction of your perfect pup. These tests are notdefinite, but they can sometimes give you a good indication of what to expect from a dog.
Spend some time watching how the puppies interact with each other. You want a gentle, playful pup that is happy to interact with the other dogs but is not overly rough or dominant. If you visit a litter then you will have plenty of opportunities to observe the puppies interacting and socialising with one another.
You can try to determine a puppy's interest in humans by spending a bit of time with it. Pick up the dog, stroke it and handle it for a while to see how it reacts. Gently turn it on its back and touch its tummy. Does the puppy look fearful or struggle to get away? You can do a touch sensitivity test by touching the dog in different places to see how they react. There is also a 'follow' test where you move around the room and try and get the puppy to follow you by encouraging it with your voice and body language. If the dog follows readily with its tail wagging then it probably has a higher social attraction. Think about what you want from your new dog, do you want a dog that wants cuddles all the time or a more independent dog that is happy on it's own?
You can check how puppies react to their environment around them. Try making some noises such as whistling or shaking some keys and see what the puppy does. If the puppy is curious and wagging its tail then they are responsive but not worried by the sounds. Nervous or shy does might be frightened or run away.
Try bringing out some toys and interacting with some of the puppies. Once you have picked a dog out have a look to see if they are happy to play with you and are interested in the toys. Some quieter dogs might not be interested in the toys and others may simply prefer to be petted.