Mark Whitehouse says: Even at a young age puppies will start to establish a ‘pecking’ order.

The independent puppy may feel intimidated by the over-excitement of his brothers and sisters, or he could be a puppy that watches and weighs things up before wading in with all fours – a thinker.

Puppies that don’t get involved with playtime do develop into clingy individuals when separated from the other puppies.

These types will always need that bit of extra TLC to overcome their sensitivity and you must continuously give that puppy plenty of attention so it feels secure.

If I am looking for a puppy to compete with at a later stage, I would be looking for one that shows lots of natural ability such as hunting.

And even doing short retrieving exercises with a lightweight dummy or old sock, even at this young age.

I personally like a puppy to be very bold and outgoing and I like to see a puppy in the thick of it at all times.

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