Firstly, there are no guarantees that the puppy you pick will do well in the ring.If we could get it right every time, then breeders would always have kept the champions in a litter!
Assuming you have started with a good dog and bitch and have produced a healthy litter and puppies at 6 weeks meet breed standard, then there really is no better way to choose other than to watch the puppies, how they play, move and interact with you and each other.
A dobermann needs calm, consistent leadership, and the prospective owner must have the time and energy to commit to the dog. If the dog will be left to it's own devices for long periods of time, or if you are looking for an 'outside dog' then this is not the breed for you (and we are certainly not the breeder). Dobermanns are highly demanding and incredibly intelligent, the breed was never intended to be a casual pet. They are loving and affectionate with the family, but aloof and distant with strangers - the breed standard calls for an aloof and reserved manner.
What should I look for when buying a puppy?
Happy, confident puppies who come forward to meet newcomers. Do not feel sorry for litters or puppies displaying lack of confidence. Puppies should have clean, shiny coats. A good breeder knows their puppies characters and will have had the litter graded and should be able to point out the best puppy for your needs.
Try to assess which puppies are fearless and outgoing, a dobermann should be bold and alert, this too should be done by constant observation of the pups reaction to everyday sounds, sights, people, etc. Stack the puppies up for showing and see how they react, some just love the handling and some love to try and escape.
A shy, nervous puppy is never going to give of its best, lots of socialisation and love will help it cope with life, but it will never be a show dog. If you are lucky enough to have a puppy that shouts ‘look at me’ keep it!
Should I see both sire and dam?
Definitely the Dam should be available for you to see and if the Dam is not available for you to see, do not buy from the breeder. The Sire is not always available as the breeder may not have used their own stud, however, they should be able to give you all the information on the stud dog used.
All said and done, you may have the perfect puppy at 8 weeks, but with the incorrect or over exercise and incorrect nutrition, all this could go to waste!
At the end of the day, we only have show dogs for about two weekends a month, they rest of the time they are much loved pets who will offer you endless devotion for their whole lives. It is imperative that all your animals get on with each other, and you, and lead happy contented and fulfilled lives.