Yesterday was amazing; I had the great pleasure of spending much of the day with a pile of poodles. There was a litter of 8 week olds and older ones from 6 months and up. I was in poodle heaven so to speak ;) I do temperament testing all the time but having the chance to watch a litter interact over a long period of time is different.
I love canine behavior and could watch it for hours; dissecting all the interactions between the dogs. Watching these tiny versions of dogs to come is immensely interesting and entertaining. Watching how the puppies interact with the adults of a pack; the differences in behavior depending on the status of each adult. Each puppy has their own status already within their tiny pack, but isolated all on their own that varies their behavior tremendously.
All of my dogs are and have been the dogs that I met when they were just tiny puppies. That core temperament in a puppy remains all the years through their lives. But depending on where each dog ends up will relate to how their life and behavior develops.
The amount of hardwired behaviors shown by 8 week old puppies is truly amazing. They react and display many adult behaviors; that is without the benefit of life experience. Many of their behavior displays come from that lack of experience but still gives you a window to see each dog in their raw self.
The difference between each puppy is immense; although at first glance they look like a great mass of tiny clones. It is the subtle difference that must be recognized when placing a puppy. That is one reason that buying a puppy from a photo on the internet is such a bad idea; the other of course being that it is probably a miller.
Each puppy in a litter deals, reacts and displays in their own very individual way. And not all will mesh with your way, your family or your pack. No matter what the breed; puppies are all adorable, I have yet to meet an ugly one. But they are just tiny versions of what they will be, and if you listen to a good breeder and watch carefully there are signs; perhaps subtle but they are there.