Exciting! I’m in the process of organizing independent temperament testing and structural assessment for the puppies, and it sounds so interesting!
The goal is to get an objective evaluation of the puppies to help me decide their placement. These tests will be performed by a very knowledgeable trainer and breeder who will not have previously met the puppies. I’m hoping to learn through the process and will definitely share what insights I gain.
These tests will be performed in the second half of their seventh week, or around April 18th. It’s important to keep in mind that the temperament test was created to evaluate a dog’s potential to be a guide dog, not an agility or working dog. As such, my puppies are like all to fail. Ha! Just kidding. No pass or fail here, just an evaluation to identify strengths and areas that need work. Still, because of its original purpose, the test won’t tell us much about each puppy’s potential for their future jobs. However, it should provide good insight into their minds.
Of course I think I have a good idea of this already, but to get objective opinion as each goes through a systematic set of tests will at the least confirm what I know, and I expect will also tell me things I don’t know.
At this age, puppies are so malleable that any perceived ‘deficiencies’ can usually be significantly or completely erased through strategic training and socialization.
Once we are done evaluating their minds, we will give them a break to eat and rest, and then take a close look at their structure.
I keep mentioning that I need to wait until 8 weeks before making my decisions regarding which pup will go where. This is because at 8 weeks of age, for some odd reason, puppies pass through a conformation stage that shows us what they will look like as adults. It only lasts a few days, and then their growth pulls them this way and that, leaving them all legs or head, and masking their structure until they are over a year old. But right around 8 weeks there’s a magic window into their future.
Hopefully all will pass the structure eval with flying colours . Knowing a puppy will grow to have the appropriate structure for his or her adult job will certainly help with ensuring a successful placement, not to mention a long and comfortable working life!
I’m thrilled to have found such a knowledgable and skilled trainer who is willing and able to perform these tests on my puppies. So cool! Lots more to come… stay tuned!
In the meantime, tonight I captured the puppies having a little fun at bedtime. Enjoy!