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Discussion Starter #1
The breeder would like to know our preferences for gender and color. Truthfully temperament is far more important to us than either. But I don’t want to have the last pick because there are other people on the list who only want a specific kind of dog. Do you think I should give a soft preference? I would kind of be picking at random.
 

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I would tell the breeder I want X and Y temperament first and foremost, no matter what the gender or color is. The breeder should already have a priority list according to who gave deposit first. You should ask what your rank is.
 

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For me it would be temperament first over anything else. When I got my Giant, I had picked another puppy. When I told the breeder what I needed (having little dogs as well as my big working dogs) the breeder asked for a week to get back with me. She tested several pups including the pup I'd picked. Turned out the pup I had picked was the WORST choice. She was NOT willing to yield to small dogs. But when she put this one pup in with the breeders own small dogs, they were able to correct her, teach her like little drill sergeants about what is proper & what's not allowed in big dog/little dog interactions & play. Oh this pup LOVED being with the littles & could be found playing bulldozer (butt up, head down, following her small friends). When the week was over & this pup was taken back to her litter mates, she was depressed & miserable. So not only was she my perfect choice... she got to live with tiny dogs until shipped to me. I was lucky to be able to trust my breeder to understand my needs & read her own pups correctly. So you'll have to judge if you can do that with your breeder. I don't ever pick a dog by color but do sometimes by gender. Sometimes gender is important, sometimes not.
 

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A good breeder should prioritize fit over color preference, so hopefully she will understand and do a good job of matching you with the right pup. I would just emphasize to her how badly you care about a temperament match, and then follow up with a color or gender preference if she is deciding between multiple puppies that she thinks are equally suited based on temperament. If most of the litter is a certain color, you could list that color as a preference which will up your chances of getting a good temperament fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for all your advice. I agree temperament is the most important think. I conveyed that color and gender are not of primary importance. But if things are equal we have a slight preference for a black female (because one of my two late dogs was a black female and I miss her!)
 

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I chose a breeder I trusted (after a long search), and sent her an email detailing exactly what I was looking for. I was very specific, explained why, and said I was willing to wait. I waited two years for my blue and white parti, that came from lines that had biddable dogs (for service dog work). I had no preference on sex. My daughter ended up getting the last unsold pup in the same litter. Both dogs are working service dogs, and I am delighted to say that their sire just turned fifteen years old. We hope our dogs have equally long and healthy lives.
 
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