Evaluating Puppies

There is a discussion going on right now on the Clean Run Mailing List about evaluating puppies as potential agility dogs. Apparently there is evidence that the Volhard and related puppy evaluation tests outcome have no determination of adult traits. I tend to agree with that. So much is involved in molding a puppy into an adult capable of performing (excelling) in performance events. I did the puppy aptitude tests because I thought buyers would want them done, but I was interested in how the puppies tested because it was an indication of how well I socialized them. All of the puppies tested extremely well.

Of the five puppies, three are in solid performance homes and all three are doing extremely well. I have attested many times to how well Fern takes to training. I get glowing reports on both Finn (Torch) and Tazz (Scorch). Finn in particular is doing really well. Even though Monty (Heatwave) is in a pet home, he’s getting some training from his caregivers and they are always amazed at how quickly he learns new tasks. The jury is still out on Pyro.

It seems to me, the trick to producing puppies capable of doing whatever it is their caregiver wants of them, be it agility, obedience, fly ball, herding, etc. is to pick parents who are capable of doing whatever is asked of them and bringing up the puppies in the type of environment where they are stimulated and exposed to new things on a daily basis. If the genetics are there and the upbringing is done properly, there is really no need for puppy testing.