It starts way before the pups are born!
Read the document below written by Paula Ballak (Biscay Water Dogs, Canada) who is a reference in our Barbet world:
How to pick a puppy:
Last but not least…
You need to do some homework for a mating or to find a pup, it’s really important.
Low or no inbreeding is not always good as in our rare breed.Make sure the 2 dogs are complementary.
Make sure the person you address is competent. Ask questions!Do you like what you hear and see?
I believe( I am not alone) it is not possible to pick a puppy just for the color.
You should not ask to pick a pup at 5 weeks, it’s way too early. You never know if the teeth will be ok, the testicles will be there for a male or anything else that can happen.
Trust your breeder to select a pup according to what your needs are.Ask questions!
Everyone wants a perfect dog and the perfect dog does not exist.
Last but not least, a breeder who says his or her line is free of any disease…
…and then hopefully you have made nice in the standard dogs and you have not lied about DNA or sizes or what have you!