Specializing in temperament testing is something I take very seriously. I have a great sense of pride in the puppies that leave here. I am a strong believer in early development and shaping of a puppy's character. I can have peace within knowing that I have taken the effort to place the puppies in the right homes. Discussing with you your desires of what you would like in a puppy, helps me guide you in your selection to make sure it is a good fit for your family or your stage in life. I will always be forth righteous and honest if I see any concerning behavior early on and I will let you know the best possible way to handle the puppy if needed.
As you consider investing in a puppy, equally important is the training and time you invest in the puppy. Basic obedience is crucial and will guarantee you a puppy that will be a life long companion. Puppies will act like puppies, but it is important to know they can learn basic commands like come, sit and stay by the time they are 10 weeks old. In your puppy packet, you will receive a 3 OZ. sample of Natural Balance beef loaf to get you off to a good start on potty training and basic obedience.
"If a puppy is worth a financial investment, they ought to be worth investing your time."
The Volhard puppy temperament test is a series of tests performed individually with each and every puppy where I score for the following:
1. Social Attraction - degree of social attraction to people, confidence or dependence. 2. Following - willingness to follow a person. 3. Restraint - degree of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations. 4. Social Dominance - degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person. 5. Elevation - degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control, such as at the veterinarian or groomer.
6. Retrieving - degree of willingness to do something for you.
7. Touch Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required. 8. Sound Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to sound, such as loud noises or thunderstorms. This test looks for timidity. 9. Sight Sensitivity - degree of response to a moving object, such as chasing bicycles, children or squirrels.
10. Stability - degree of startle response to a strange object.
An example of dominance. Below, an adult dog dominates the puppy, who submits by rolling over and revealing the soft intestines, which in dog language has given permission for the adult dog to kill him. The pup submits, and the pack is established.
It is not uncommon for your new puppy to see your children as littermates and start to mouth them to invite them to play and also to express dominance over them as seen in the photo below. I recommend the product called "Bitters" to ward off mouthing. All puppies have to learn that it was OK for them to bite/mouth/play on their littermates, but human skin is much more sensitive. This is crucial in their development and they will mature out of it. Teach your child to express dominance over the puppy verses the other way around! I recommend having your youngest child feed your new puppy to establish authority. Expect some frustration wwith mouthing and teething as your new puppy is learning and growing. Provide a lot of chew toys like ropes and bones, however, never let your child take away a dog's bone as they are naturally protective over bones.
The test is performed at 7 1/2 weeks. Before then, I am always handling the puppies and watching and listening for any thing concerning. I can do some preliminary testing at your visit to give you a general idea. I develop a relationship with all my customers and will listen to your desires as the selection process unfolds. I have not gone as far as to select the puppy for my customers. As the selection is made before the actual test, I am always honest in letting you know if the puppy selected won't be a good fit for your home. For example, I would never place a dominate puppy in a home with young toddlers. I would never place an extremely energetic and active puppy in a home with an elderly couple. I also wouldn't want to place a timid puppy in a home with a lot of children, this type might be better in a home with a one on one caregiver where it can learn trust. Due to the environment here with a lot of freedom and a lot of children socializing the pups, most (95% or more) of my puppies do very well on the test, which is part of what makes my puppies highly sought after. It's not common to find a breeder that has 7 children where socialization truly does happen naturally. Of course, all breeders will tell you their puppies are socialized. On very rare occasion I see red flags, but normally I can see this early on and can let you know early on if you begin leaning that direction. For example, at 4 weeks you start expressing interest in a cute puppy that I have seen some slight dominance in and you have very young children, I quickly let you know.Typically - there are always other cute puppies to select from. That particular puppy may do just fine in a home with a 20 year old that may have more time to give it the structure and obedience classes it needs. However, I can't test a puppy for common issues like mouthing, whining or readiness to potty train. There are far too many variables for these and often maturity can develop different in puppies.
Remember, I am happy to do some pre-liminary testing before your selection to help guide you. The test doesn't lock the puppy in place for life, it works as a guide to inform you how best to handle your puppy and helps me place puppies in the right homes so not to contribute to the over dog population. I will go over the results with you at your pick up appointment. You will also get a copy of the results. It is important to feel at ease as I keep in close communication with my customers through facebook as the process is unfolding.
Get excited about training your puppy. It is a load of fun. A typical 8 week basic obedience class is one hour a night for about 7 weeks and $60.00. If you can, bring your oldest child so they can have pride in the accomplishments of training the puppy. It is very bonding and rewarding. Research on youtube, and learn all you can before your puppy comes home. Get off to a great start and you will have many years of enjoyment with your new companion.
"Do you train the dog, or does the dog train you? "