Training Page Working Puppies


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 On Selecting a Working Bouvier Puppy
What is Really Important -- One Man's Opinion
by Bret Pritchett

 

In looking at a proposed litter to evaluate for picking a  puppy, I think that you start by looking at the Sire and Dam's Working  Titles.  Then I  would look at the Sire and Dam for presence of ball drive. 

Then I look  at their OFA certifications.  Then would look at the depth  of rigid  temperament testing in their ancestry.  How many "open"  grandparents,  great grandparents, and great, great grandparents are there.  By "open",  I mean without a Schutzhund, IPO, DPO, KNVP, Ring or herding  title.  If  60% or greater have advanced level titles such as SchH3,  DPO2, IPO3, or  KNVP (especially if KNVP met Lof), I would continue to  investigate.

Then I look at their Hip certifications.  If the two areas of temperament and bone structure are good I would look at the bite of the Sire and Dam.  Even there I would be more interested in the background of Heart ailments or other disorders than the bite but I don't think there is much you can do to investigate those things.

After all that, I guess the topline, angulation, size and then the color would be taken into consideration.  Relatively speaking, I am not sure that I would even get to the color of the coat and probably never the color of the eyes because the earlier mentioned evaluations would eliminate most litters.

If the ability to train is not deeply bred into the dogs ancestry, I wouldn't want to take a risk on a litter no matter what the other characteristics were.  Too many of these puppies will be unmanageable and end up unwanted do to the character flaws.  No matter how pretty a dog is, if you have to live with it, there is a level of trainability and temperament that must be present-especially for the Pet Owner.  You wouldn't take somebody's word for it that their dogs had good Hips.  You would demand an OFA certification and you would like to see Good or Excellent-not just Fair.  Yet temperament is even more important to the Pet Owner.

I demand certification of temperament.  I won't accept somebody's word for it and I assume that if a dog doesn't have a high level, multi-phase, tested title, it wasn't capable of achieving that level or there were other flaws that made it not worth the owner's time to train for that level.  Taking a risk on temperament by breeding dogs that were not bred for their temperament leads to unwanted Bouvs in need of Rescue.

Bret

Webmaster's note:  Bret Pritchett owns & breeds working Bouviers. Write him if you have a question or comment on this article. Or, if you have a correction or want to contribute an article, write me.

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