OUR PUPPY EVALUATION SCHEME
Temperament and Structural Assessment
After having bred many litters of Border Collies over the years I quickly realized how vital detailed records and assessments are. I can only do better if I keep records and notes of our litters to compare to the dogs final adult temperament in order to monitor what we produce. Although I do compete in conformation a ton and thus put a strong importance on sound conformation and breed type, temperament is even more important to me! Many of my dogs dabble in many sports and live with families. There is no such things as a “perfect” tempered dog, each dog has its own temperament traits and I aim to fit the dogs traits to the new home to ensure it is a good fit for life. One dog might be a bad temperament for your lifestyle, but be perfect in another home. The better the fit the happier you will be, and in turn, the happier the dog will be!
Because of this, in 2020 during covid19, I developed my own weekly assessment program that I call the Bellaclan 8 Week Assessment Protocol (B8WAP). We already did a less organized version of this for the last 10 years. Using this program I record and do mini tests for each puppy weekly. This then allows me to see if early traits from birth have a direct effect on the dogs temperament as an adult. Included in the B8WAP is my own custom structural evaluation of the puppy done at both 6 and 8 weeks of age. This makes me able to predict their adult traits as I start to see repeated qualities through the generations and notice how the traits as pups mould the adult dog.
I have now also started doing the Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test (APET) temperament testing between 52-55 days. This is a one time test, and thus can also be affected by the amount of sleep the puppy got that day, the way the pup feels, and how much stress the car ride might have caused. While this test is very useful it does not replace daily observation and notes which I am able to obtain using my own B8WAP.
The combination of my own B8WAP and the APET seems to give me a much better picture of the dogs temperament than just one or the other. I am always striving to do better and to learn new methods and things in order to breed the best I possibly can.
In addition to the above I will now be requesting all owners to fill out a questionnaire when their dog is at least 2 years of age in hopes that this can give me more information about the dogs final temperament traits. I politely ask that you please do this to help me gain more knowledge and information about the development of my dogs temperaments, health, and structure. This will allow us to compare our notes to the dogs final outcome, and better understand their development and the factors that surrounded it.
A copy of the B8WAP and APET are enclosed in your puppy package for both you and your trainers review. I further will send each puppy home with a custom training plan based on these tests, it will specify what you need to focus on with your puppy.