Comment to 'Temperment Test of Puppies'

  • The question of temperament testing puppies have always given me pause for thought. I have see a recent documentary on National Geographic Channel where a Caucasian Ovcharka (Mountain Dog) breeder demonstrated the method of temperament testing a very young puppy as a way of determining the "level of aggression" of the puppy. The method is commonly used by breeders and is called the "muzzle shake". It involves shaking the puppies muzzle and judging their response to that stimuli. Scientific research has failed to find that puppy tests can predict adult behavior. So why would breeders continue to advocate such practice when many of the premises upon which the puppy tests are based are invalid and unproven? So I guess the bottom line, in my opinion, is that puppy temperament test do not predict adult bahaviour. A puppy buyer would be better served by asking the breeder for their prediction on the puppies behavior and forgoing the temperament test as a method of prediction. Your thoughts on this subject will be greatly appreciated.
    • " Scientific research" ? Citation needed.

      It seems to me, having picked a few puppies in my life, at the time I was merely attempting to select for certain traits that might actually manifest in those 8 week old puppies, perhaps in one pup more than the others. i.e., prey drive as exhibited by chasing a ball or any moving object. If one has ever attempted to cut the nails of a puppy and had it put up an unusually ferocious fight, I think one is observing a trait that could be called temperament. Therefore, a reaction to the "muzzle shake" could also be a subjectively observable and measurable test compared to the other pups in that litter. Whether or not it would translate into the adult dog behavior is, it seems to me, a rather difficult thing to prove or disprove, "scientifically" or otherwise, because it can be modified or suppressed by so many experiences, i.e, training, etc. The fact is that people have been selecting puppies in various ways for certain traits, based on their own experience, for thousands of years. I think the proof is in the pudding. If it didn't work, they wouldn't still be doing it.