Right: Photo courtesy Jerry E. Perigo
Based on a question posed at the KerryBlues-L Newslist.
Let's say you've done all your homework and found a good and reputable breeder.
When you meet the litter, try not to fall in love with the biggest and boldest puppy. Many a dog owner has "let the puppy pick them" only to discover they have adopted a dominant handful. If you think about it, he was acting dominant even then, but his behavior was interpreted in a human way instead of a canine way. If all of the puppies but one run away from you, don't pick that puppy either. Chances are great that this puppy too is extra shy, and it just isn't obvious yet.
How are normal puppies of friendly breeds likely to behave when you visit the litter? They'll probably crawl all over your feet, tug at your shoelaces, lick your face, and generally be cute as buttons.
Stand and observe the litter. Watch how they interact with each other. Is one extra submissive? Is one bossy? Who is the most daring? The best single piece of advice we could give you about picking a puppy is to stay away from the extremes. For most people and families, the best dog for them is neither the most dominant nor the most submissive. Middle of the pack is most likely to net you the dog of your dreams.
Trust the breeder, describe what you're looking for/can tolerate and they can help pick out the best pup of the litter for you.
Photo courtesy Eva Rozankova