The tests are as follows:
1. Social Attraction - degree of social attraction to people, confidence or dependence.
2. Following - willingness to follow a person.
3. Restraint - degree of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations.
4. Social Dominance - degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person.
5. Elevation - degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control, such as at the veterinarian or groomer.
6. Retrieving - degree of willingness to do something for you. Together with Social Attraction and Following a key indicator for ease or difficulty in training.
7. Touch Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required.
8. Sound Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to sound, such as loud noises or thunderstorms.
9. Sight Sensitivity - degree of response to a moving object, such as chasing bicycles, children or squirrels.
10. Stability - degree of startle response to a strange object.
Each puppy will be evaluated individually, and I'll discuss the results with the evaluators. I know these puppies better than anyone, but it's always a good idea to have an independent person assess their natural reactions to situations in a new environment. The results are very helpful for me to have another piece of information to help assess which puppy would do best in which home, and the results help the new owners know what to expect with training.
- As a breeder, I want to know what traits are coming through from the parents, so I can make informed decisions on future breedings.
- I always learn something from puppy evaluations - and it's fantastic to discuss puppies with other people with experience and a love for the breed.
- I also identify my show prospects - only placing the best puppies in homes that want to show the puppy. Often, I will have more show quality puppies than show homes, and I have no problems placing puppies in pet homes - either to let me show the puppy or if the owners don't have any interest in being involved with showing, the puppy will be a great pet.
Admittedly, we have a lot of fun getting together - we're all good friends, and we get to play with adorable puppies all weekend!
Between next weekend and the weekend of January 31st, I will be doing my best with matching the results of the temperament test and the conformation evaluation to the information I know about the future owners - based on their applications and our conversations over the last several months (or more). I want every puppy to be in the best home for them, and for every family to be insanely happy with their special puppy.