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Monday, February 29, 2016

Puppy Aptitude and Leader Testing

The Sasha/Arrow puppies are now 7 weeks old, which means that it's time for our routine puppy testing. For those who haven't been following the growth of these puppies on facebook, here is a link to the puppy album.

Any testing at this age is taken with a grain of salt and is used to help us better understand each individual puppy and set up a customized training plan going forward. We've seen them grow from birth but, up until this point, have not seen how they behave without their litter mates or mom, with an unknown person, in an unfamiliar place, with new stimuli. This test provides that information.

The Puppy Aptitude Test was originally developed for Golden Retrievers and does need some tweaking for our dogs, but, for purposes of this post, we will share the link to the test as it is. Please click here for more information on this test.

Social Attraction and Following 

Social Dominance
Elevation Dominance
Retrieving - which is something our dogs are  not likely to do, however it is always interesting to see how they react.
Touch Sensitivity
Sound Sensitivity

Sight Sensitivity
Temperament Stability
Structure Assessment

The second test is based on a piece written by Mel Fishback called "Puppy Selection for Work and Training". It involves placing a collar and leash on a puppy for the first time at 7 weeks of age and with leash in hand, just walking away from the puppy to see how they react.
Leader Testing

Group 1 puppies crane their necks for a second then immediately rush to your side or head out in front of you. These puppies are the most level headed pups and those that will be real learners and make the best leaders. If they grab the leash in their mouths, then even better!

Group 2 puppies take a bit longer to figure out the idea of a collar and leash and might resist, make noise, throw themselves on the ground but within a few minutes get the hang of it and come right along. With specialized training, Group 2 puppies can make excellent leaders.

Group 3 puppies will fight the leash and object in a passive way. They will eventually come along but not in a very happy or excited way. These puppies make better team dogs than leaders.

Group 4
puppies actively resist the leash and are somewhat defiant in doing so. According to Mel Fishback, puppies in Group 4 are quitters and will not make good working dogs.

This test is done for informational purposes only. Points Unknown has made leaders and good solid working dogs and sled pets out of Group 4 puppies and you can too!

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