...ready for action !

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Puppy Tests

To finally choose which puppy I wanted from the litter I was going to do a number of 'puppy tests' on the litter, the results of which would help me choose my new companion/performance dog. Of course it didnt quite turn out that way..
The tests that we decided to use in the end were designed to test the pups play drive, bounce back, people relation skills/interest in people, reaction to heights and so on. An agility dog has to be brave, not phased by strange circumstances/noises (eg loudspeakers, fireworks etc). A top agilty dog also needs to be completely focussed on her job and handler and if something strange happens must be able to continue doing her job. Its also helpful if the agility dog isnt so focussed on other dogs she cant do her own job! These tests were all designed to try and determine which of the pups would best fit this description.
The tests were all done by strangers to the pups, to try and make them as accurate as possible.
The tests involved putting the pup into a new area they hadnt seen before and:
1) calling the pup- checking willingness to interact with humans
2) dragging a mop around- checking prey drive and willingness to interact with a toy
3) throwing a rolled up paper ball and seeing who fetched/returned it- again play/fetch drive
4) making a big noise (throwing a saucepan down) and seeing what the reaction was- bounce back
5) placing a pup in an enclosure with only a small opening and seeing who could work the way out- problem solving
6) placing the pup on a tall structure to check for fear of heights

The pups all performed differently in the tests. Among the girls intermediate girl had the most play drive but wasnt so keen on interacting with people. For the boys shoulder spot boy generally performed the stongest over most of the tests. I still wasnt sure..and had the next day to decide which of the girls (for I had narrowed it to Chunky Monkey and Intermediate Girl) I would be taking home!

Chunky Monkey beating up one of the boys

Chunky Monkey and Intermediate Girl