Temperament Testing a Litter?

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Calypso
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Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby Calypso » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:21 pm

So, I've been asked to help evaluate the litter of Italian Greyhound pups I mentioned in a previous post. I know there is some debate about the usefulness of temperament testing and goodness knows I'm no expert - I've never done anything like it before. I've just taught puppy classes for a number of years.

Anyone come across a test that is better than others? Any suggestions for things that are useful or not as useful? I know one of the things that has been discussed in other places is that the startle test needs to be a couple of different things, since a dog may not be startled by an umbrella (the usual object), but terrified of balloons, streamers, and blowing curtains, or stuff like that.

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Trademarkbark
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Re: Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby Trademarkbark » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:12 am

For babies under 8 weeks, I use the metal dish with bolts and rattle it lightly, then wait for recovery. I check prey drive by dragging a scrap of animal fur. I check biddability by holding paws (but NOT pinching - I HATE that type of testing). I hold them snugly and see if they wiggle to get free, or seem to enjoy the touch. I hold them upside down briefly, then back to normal. I set them down, get them distracted elsewhere, then call them (whistle, chirp, whatever) to see how people dependent (desire people vs exploration) they are. Just my personal testing after 40 yrs of working with litters of various breeds of puppy, of course mostly Collies, and quite a few gun dog breeds.
CA UFGRCH USCH GRCH "Spud" TT FDC CA CGC TKN
CAX UFGRCH USCH GRCH "OE" TT CA TKN FDC BCAT CGC
USCH UFCH GRCH GCH "Grytz" TT CGCU TKN FDC
CH "Doozy" FDC CGC TKN

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Re: Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby Calypso » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:18 pm

Those are some good things to work with. What would you do differently with a bi-laterally and possibly uni-laterally deaf pup? (This is the litter I mentioned in another thread. My friend is pretty sure she's not going to get a puppy - I hope she holds strong!)

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Trademarkbark
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Re: Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby Trademarkbark » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:20 am

Those are some good things to work with. What would you do differently with a bi-laterally and possibly uni-laterally deaf pup? (This is the litter I mentioned in another thread. My friend is pretty sure she's not going to get a puppy - I hope she holds strong!)
Obviously noise distractions are out. I'd do several different startle response tests to see how the pup reacts - does it freak out? Does it get scared? Does it look at you and go "Oh hi! Didn't hear you come in ...". ;) You want to see how quickly it picks up on cues - I touch you, you come to me and get praised. I touch you and you walk away wouldn't be my choice of pups. I want natural instinct, I am lazy and don't want to have to build it. That might be why I've always had good luck with the pups I've picked too .... I don't do fixer uppers (except for OE and she's been my biggest challenge).
CA UFGRCH USCH GRCH "Spud" TT FDC CA CGC TKN
CAX UFGRCH USCH GRCH "OE" TT CA TKN FDC BCAT CGC
USCH UFCH GRCH GCH "Grytz" TT CGCU TKN FDC
CH "Doozy" FDC CGC TKN

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Amanda
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Re: Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby Amanda » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:30 pm

Storing this thread for when puppy time comes for me. (Not yet as much as I do have puppy fever.)

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Trademarkbark
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Re: Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby Trademarkbark » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:02 am

Another thing is lots of visual stimuli - roll a ball, drag a scrap of fur, etc. See what gets the pups going and if they turn back off. ;)
CA UFGRCH USCH GRCH "Spud" TT FDC CA CGC TKN
CAX UFGRCH USCH GRCH "OE" TT CA TKN FDC BCAT CGC
USCH UFCH GRCH GCH "Grytz" TT CGCU TKN FDC
CH "Doozy" FDC CGC TKN

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Re: Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby whiteboxerboy » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:49 pm

I know you already know this but I can't help myself...
In regards to the possibly deaf pups - remember you can get their attention by stomping on the floor. You'll have to work with them in an area with no other pups if you're trying to determine whether they can hear or not. Even then you may not be able to tell whether they can hear or not. I remember when I picked Pi up at 7 weeks I still wasn't 100% convinced he could hear based on his responses in the room that day.
If the possibly deaf pup is asleep and you want to wake him I'd gently nudge him on one of his back legs in thigh area or on his back near tail. I'd probably use my foot so my face isn't right by his in case he startles & snaps, which is probably unlikely but just to be safe.

Again, I know you know this stuff.

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Re: Temperament Testing a Litter?

Postby Calypso » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:17 pm

Thanks for the thoughts! I put together a test using your ideas and Volhard's test. Turns out the breeder had her own plans, based on Volhard, but she was in the room and she did the scoring. I think this may have skewed the results - the breeder kept talking through everything and saying "Oh, this is typical" "I expected that" "That's just like such-n-such relative". So I'm not sure why I did the test if she knew everything that was going to happen.


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