Every litter born at our Kennel since 2004 have been evaluated in a test describing the personality of each puppy. In the beginning we thought that each individual could be trained into the right type of behaviour. Well that’s definitely not the case. And no you cannot make a dog brave or scared, stubborn or happy. You can make each individual braver, more afraid, more hesitant or questioning and safer. But the puppy is still who he or she was and depending on their way to approach life from start, they will develop from there.
Some are growing with each experience bad or good, some just grow with positive experiences and some need more than a bunch of positive experiences to believe that they can grow. None are in need of the bad or negative experiences to grow, they all benefit from positive ones, but some need less to grow fast.
The most important knowledge we got from our tests where:
1. How a puppy behave in a group says very little about the individual (it is just the most suitable one in this litter for the task) so if puppy A is the guard in a litter it doesn’t say that it is a great guard dog, just the best suited one in this litter.
2. What kind of game/wild animals they favour tell a lot about how they will behave as adults, especially if they are spaniels.
3. A negative experience as a baby doesn’t shape the dog for the rest of their life, it’s their reaction to experiences that shape them.
4. The dogs that can switch from on to off and leave negative experiences behind are the easiest ones to train, that doesn’t make them the best, but it makes them easier for anyone to succeed.
1. How a puppy behave in a group says very little about the individual, so the test is done individually and in a room/ground that is unknown to the puppy but has been visited by their mother.
2. What kind of game/wild animals they favour tell a lot about how they will behave as adults, a puppy that prefers quail to pheasants is more likely to work closer and a puppy that prefer wild boar will never work close to you spontaneously. Why? Quails is the less threatening of game and wild boar, bear etc is more threatening than most, so if a puppy dear to approach wild boar at the age of 7 weeks, it’s quite independent and will not hang around your feet. They will probably find birds like partridge and pheasants quite none challenging and go for more thrilling animals.
3. The way they react to experiences does not often change with age, if one is more likely to remember the negative experiences than the positive ones, any tiny little negative experience may hinder development and growing. How you plan, train and build that dog up will be what make you reach your goals. With exactly the same training you might reach your goal in half the time on another dog and double the time in a third. It’s not just the training method, timing and development in life that makes the difference, but also the individuals way to approach life.
4. The dogs that can switch from on to off and leave negative experiences behind are the easiest ones to train and make them great breeding materials and adaptable to change and modern lifestyle in general. So that a dog is successful in one area that needs training, do not tell if it’s easy to train. It’s shows that it has been trained in a for that individual fitting way. It doesn’t make it a good breeding material either, sorting out the good breeding material is made before the dog is trained. And that’s what makes this really hard, as everything except exterior can be enhanced and altered by training. I guess that’s the reason exterior often tends to be the areas most succeed....
Well all of us write here, both humans and dogs ;) At least that was the plan but it seems it´s mostly me Robyn who´s attached to the keyboard...