Hi everyone. I've been learning about temperament testing (GSD puppies) and hoping you can help me out with that. My goal is to be able to take a puppy and generally understand that since he tested a certain way in a,b,c categories that he has the potential for (or would be best suited for) x,y,z dog occupations (LE, SAR, sport, therapy, active pet, etc).
So far, I've read a little about the Vollhard and PAWS tests, but would like to learn more about them. I've also heard that dogs who pass the AKC GC have the potential to become service/therapy dogs.
I haven't found any DVD's on temperament testing yet, but I'd like to.
As far as I am concerned, in my opinion, testing should be left to professionals. I believe it takes years of breeding and personal knowledge to know temperment of a pup. I don't think you can just learn it from a dvd, I think it comes with years, like a farmer has towards its livestock. A dvd or a book will teach you nothing, experience will be the tool. And that tool I myself will leave to the Leerburg team!
I agree with Becky. Nevertheless watcching good DVDs or/and Reading books about it can certainly not harm. It helps you to know what you have to observe. It might also help to see if the professional really is one. It will provide you with thhe necessary questions you can ask him and proof him if he can answer them and explain why he values which characteristics. But yes not without a witchcrafty professional!
I've also heard that dogs who pass the AKC GC have the potential to become service/therapy dogs.
I'm pretty sure you mean the AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen). I think I can address this one small part of your question. Here is a link to AKC's overview of the test. Note that it is for the purpose of promoting responsible dog ownership and the teaching of basic good manners to all dogs. Does passing this mean your dog will have "the potential to become service/therapy dogs"? Maybe, maybe not. It is not a temperament test, per se, and does not cover the specific tasks required of therapy or service dog work. Many dogs who are well-trained and have good manners are still not candidates for therapy or service work, for a myriad of reasons. On the other hand, if an owner desires to go into those kinds of activities with a dog, passing the AKC CGC would certainly be a worthy first step on the ladder.
For something more to think about, AKC now offers advanced levels of the CGC test, those being the CGCA or Community Canine test, and the CGCU, or Urban Canine Good Citizen. The first is a real-life version of the CGC. Most CGC testing occurs in an enclosed and likely indoor setting. The CGCA takes you out into the world into a setting more likely to be encountered by you on a daily basis as you have your dog in public. The CGCU is held in a city atmosphere complete with noise, cars, and distractions.
Therapy dog testing is a whole other subject. There are many different organizations that offer membership, testing, and certification. As you may know, being a therapy dog and a service dog are two very different things, and a dog qualifying for one does not make him qualified for the other.
The key word here that you used is POTENTIAL. That does not mean that life won't intervene and change things... environment and training are crucial to the pup getting up to his potential - in many cases great pups have been ruined by inexperienced trainers.
Also keep in mind that puppy attitudes can change from day to day - what a pup tests like one day he may not test the same the next. That's why it's crucial to get the breeder's input on the puppy - he's seen that pup from day one and knows more about it than anyone giving a puppy test will ever know.
Puppy tests are highly subjective - what I would score a 3, another person might score higher or lower - it's like a teacher scoring an essay test - everyone will have a differing opinion on what they see in front of them.
Knowing what the bloodlines are will tell you more about the potential than anything - if it has multiple working titles in its line, it's likely going to have a good work ethic, and should do well no matter what you do with it.
This is where early training and environment kick in - if you work a young dog wrong, you can likely damage that work ethic and keep the pup from reaching his full potential.
The CGC, again is a test, and dogs have good days and bad days. The CGC means that on the day of the testing, the dog passed all of the test items. Does that mean the dog will never bite anyone? No. Does that mean the dog will be a great therapy dog? No. It just means that the dog passed those test items. That's it. For example, I can pass an Algebra test today. Does that mean that I can call NOBEL today and tell them to get my prize in mathematics ready? Probably not. If I take the same test in 2 years, I likely won't remember much that's on it.
I love it when people say they get "pick of the litter" - what does that mean to them? It would likely be a much different dog than the one I would pick... just sayin'
I don't understand anything about this. But it's very fascinating to follow the exchange between you people about this topic.
My husband and myself didn't think nor know anything about bloodlines, tests for a certain purpose and only little about breeds. We simply chose our Pits because someone near us had coincidentally a litter. Could have been Dobermans or any other breed of a certain size. The other two are rescue dogs from the street, so we had no knowledge about their background.
As I won't go into any dog sport, nor intend to train a service dog, I thought it didn't matter what we choose. But at least we had the Pits examined by a Vet before buying.
According to which directives would you choose if you wanted just family dogs?
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