The testing of a dog before even considering doing bite-work used to be a common practice amongst most old school trainers. It helped the trainer/owner by providing 2 pieces of info crucial to the job. First it would give you a pretty good Idea of how much instinct your dog had and second it would serve as a guideline to decide wich dogs should be bred and wich dogs should be sterilized.
Nowadays its a diferent story. Most owners and even trainers will refuse to test their dogs without any previos work done. Some will argue that its unfair for the dog to be put in such a situation and ive even heard that its ''cruel''...
Recently my girl had been showing an increased amount of suspicion and agresion towards strangers so I decided it was time to ''test'' her.
Over the years Ive heard of many ways to test a PPD but because of experience and habit I use the ''Koehler's test'' or as some call it, the Gun and run test =), am going to make a short description of such test in case a new member wants to give it a shot:
Here is what you need:
1 Dog (Duh) of at least 1 year of age
1 strong collar (not choking)
1 1.8 mt leather leash
1 cap gun or real revolver if possible
1 capable decoy (unknown to the dog)
1 heavy suit (dark raincoat, hat and glasses)
A quiet location with a place for the decoy to hide
Here is how its done:
1.-Arrange for you and the ''heavy'' to arrive at the location in diferent cars and at diferent times (a diference of 15 mins will do)
2.- Equip your dog with the non choking collar and leash, start walking arround for a couple of minutes (by this time your heavy should be on the predetermined hiding place dressed up and armed)
3.-As soon as the dogs settles in the new location, start walking towards the hiding spot (a simple sharp corner will do in the case you lack an actual booth to hide)
4.-Once you are close enough give the heavy a very subtle signal (coughing, sneezing or even a prefixed word works)
5.-The heavy should inmediatly jump out of the hiding place, say 3 or 4 words in a loud agresive tone (not shouting), shoot 3 times in rapid succesion and inmediatly jump back to his hiding spot
6.-Regardles of the dog's reaction, the handler should give some praise to the dog and guide him back to the car
Here is how to grade the dog:
High: The dog inmediately jumped towards the heavy in an agresive manner, showing clearly that he was ready to put up a fight. Sadly this is a very seldom result and if you own such a dog be proud since you have a great dog.
A special mention here to those dogs who will advance towards the heavy but in an evident playfull manner, just like if the dog was meeting with a new friend. These dogs shold be given consideration since its not that hard to switch the playfullness for ''gameness''
Medium: The dog who stands his ground whether growling, barking or just with a fierce look on his face, this dog is a good prospect and should be allowed to continue his training
Pay close atention to this dog, you should never confuse him with the dog who stands next to you just because the heavy didnt caught his atention. Such dog should be ruled out since building suspicion in him would be extremely hard and still wouldnt compare to the instinct of a good candidate
Low: The dog who backs down to the poing of fastening the leash and clearly shows no intention to fight. This should be ruled out, such a dog just doesnt have the right temperament for the job and no amount of training will change that
Most owners of this type of dog will go through a denial fase, claiming the test wasnt performed correclty, the decoy was too hard on the dog etc etc... I try not to argue with them and simply refuse to train such dog
Congratulations, you have nearly reached the end of the post, you clearly are interested in testing the true potential of your dog.
So there it is, the right way to test your dog. Now go on and may fate be with your dogs, remmember its better to know your dog is a helpless coward than to hope he is the real deal and later find out he isnt :thumbsup2: