The last straggler

What would you think if you visited a breeder and they had one puppy left for you to take or not. Chances are you would wonder "what's wrong with this one?" Most people would; it is in our nature to dwell on what we missed out on. "Why did no one want this puppy?" The first thing you have to find out is how a breeder places puppies; do they let every family come in and choose their very own puppy from the whole litter? Does the breeder assess their own puppies and give their prospective puppy guardians a choice of a couple that would best suit their home? Or do they choose and place each puppy specifically to the correct guardian?

"Pick of litter;" is a misleading term for the general public. When I was very involved in conformation showing and handling this was the big thing; "I got pick of litter." What it meant back then and in that context was that this specific dog was deemed to be the best conformational specimen representing the breed standard. And still today if you are getting a puppy from someone who is showing in conformation then there is normally at least one or two chosen from a litter for that and they are chosen first from the litter. But what about if you just want a pet? Normally the rest are up for grabs as pets unless some of the guardians have specific requirements in mind.

Some people may want a dog who will be a future agility star; they are going to need a puppy who is active, listens well and is extremely structurally sound. Another person may really want to have a therapy dog; then their choice must be in the puppy who is calm and most interested in being with people. And then there are the less stringent requirements like a family with 5 boys; a family who has 4 dogs already or a family who has never had a dog before. A good breeder can choose the right puppy for these families as well. And then there may be one puppy left; why has this puppy not been placed yet?

The last puppy left means that this specific puppy's family has not come yet. This puppy may need a special family; maybe with all the other families the breeder felt that this puppy needed someone different; special. Or maybe when families visited the litter this puppy was the most quiet; not an in your face kind of guy. Often the quiet ones are the ones who are left; people overlook them because they tend to sit at the back and watch. So don't let the "last puppy" scenario freak you out; this could be the pick of the litter and has been waiting for you all along.