Scheduling & Picking up your Puppy

Many people, including trainers, writers, and your friends, have different ideas about picking out a puppy. One popular idea is that you need to pick up your dog on day 49 in order to bond properly with the dog. We have found, over the last two decades and 100s of puppy experiences (in our home and the homes of clients), that the longer a young puppy can stay with its litter mates (within reason) the better the dog is socialized with other animals and people outside of the owners. Puppies that are taken from their litter mates before eight weeks often have not learned how to be submissive or cautious. Puppies require this time with their litter mates to learn the skills of getting along with strangers, both human and animals. Iron Hill Retrievers, do not make puppies available for viewing or release from our facility before 8 weeks of age. As long as the pups have sufficient human contact, they adjust better in weeks 6, 7, and 8 living with litter mates and without the mom. At Iron Hill Retrievers, we care for and train dogs 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We constantly handle our puppies; we clean pens, feed, water, and play with the dogs throughout the day.

With this type of care, our puppies are predictably social and eager to play with both humans and animals. Some people think that they need to see the entire litter of pups in order to pick out a good dog. We have found this is a misconception. In any one litter, the majority of the puppies are comparable. In each litter there is usually a highly energetic dog, a more reserved dog, and the rest fall in between. The term pick of the litter is simply a matter of opinion. If the parents of the litter are proven dogs and the puppies are guaranteed, you could close your eyes and pick out a puppy with the only difference being its physical appearance. Each dog has its own personality; however, what you do with your puppy will make much of the difference for the life of the dog. We have kept puppies that were the last in the litter who have proven to be outstanding dogs in both temperament and performance.

Once the puppies have been checked by the veterinarian and properly socialized with their litter mates for 8 weeks. Setting up appointments prior to get your puppy, giving dates and times as to when to come. This may be during the week instead of the weekend, if not available to come get your puppy will discuss and help pick out your puppy by matching temperament and needs prior to picking up your puppy. Please remember that there are usually appointments before and after yours in picking up puppies . Everyone is as excited as you are to meet the new puppy, therefore we make sure there is enough time in your appointment for picking out your puppy. Early and late arrivals are an inconvenience for everyone. No one likes to be interrupted during their scheduled puppy pick up time, so respect your appointment time. If an emergency arises, we will work with you however we can and try to accommodate your situation. 


 Some people are attracted by the physical appearance of a certain pup, and other people try a battery of “puppy tests” in order to determine the right dog for them. During this isolated time period, the puppies may be reserved, demonstrative, active, or quiet. What you should remember at this time is to ask us questions about the puppies for we have been watching and handling the litter since birth. We do have a more comprehensive and accurate picture of each puppy’s typical behavior. If you ask for our opinion or help, we will make recommendations and try to help you find the puppy that is best suited for you.

Some people will use terms such as left over, runt, or pet quality dogs. If a puppy does not meet the health standards of our veterinarians, or criteria for an exceptional companion or, we do not make them available in the litter. We will always be up front with you and make you aware of each puppy’s strengths and weaknesses.

The term left over implies that there is something wrong with the dog or no one else wants it; but logically, because of numbers, there will always be a first pup in the litter to go and a last pup in the litter to go. Whether a puppy is the first in the litter to go or the last one in a litter to leave our facility, we will make our clients aware of any strengths or weaknesses of a particular puppy.

We will review you Puppy Packet information, as well as the guarantee/sales agreement with Iron Hill Retrievers, the pedigree, AKC LIMITED registrations,  microchip information, shot and worming, giving sample of puppy food, puppy blanket with mommy's scent, and we will talk with you about crate training. 

We are available after you pick up your puppy to help you with any questions you may have. If we can’t answer your questions, we will help you in finding someone who can. We hope that our information on purchasing your pup is helpful,  we think this information demonstrates our commitment to our dogs and to you. 

If there are questions not answered or concerns that you might have, please let us know.



Remember, Iron Hill Retrievers has researched each breeding in order to provide you with the best quality puppy in each litter we have!