And the winner is....
But...what does that mean?
I selected for Calm. Stable. Manageable. Confident.
Realistically, the litter was even for the qualities that matter most to me. All of the puppies appeared to be stable and extremely handler focused. All of them were highly interactive by nature; following me around and choosing me over the environment. All were natural retrievers of whatever I might choose to throw.
I chose the most independent and bold of the female puppies. I also liked her style of playing tug - quiet, confident, and engaged. I liked that she could sit quietly in my lap, either snuggled under my chin or gently licking my face. She's certainly not dull, but she has a clear head about her.
I can't wait to get to know her. That will come tomorrow. And the next day. And the one after that. One day I'll feel like I know her inside and out, and I'll laugh at assumptions I made today that did not hold true.
That's the nature of selecting a puppy.