A Good Early Sign

  • When rearing / bringing on a young dog, one of the most important natural traits I hope he / she has is - a good recovery rate.
    (Now I am talking way before any man work has commenced).

    An indication of this can be observed as early as circa six months.

    For instance, if you have sternly administered a correction. (Ideally physical) I personally grab them by the scruff, press down and growl at them.

    Then gauge therre reaction to an instant recall, heel/sit.
    Observe the speed at which they take position/eye contact/general demure.

    If they have instantly bounced back - IMO they have just demonstrated a vital natural trait, which is rarely discussed, and which IMO, very much increases there chances of becoming a very good working dog. :)


  • Personally i prefer to see recovery from environmentals rather than corrections. The corrections only need to be as hard as the dog requires, no more.

    There is no absolute standard. Some great dogs can be very soft to the handler.

    What about the dogs that seem oblivious to physical pain but crumble by a verbal down tone of the handler, I have seen dogs like that.

    Another test some guys put a lot of importance on is a dog that will physically submit to the handler ie pin the puppy on its back GENTLY, and if the pup submits ie doesn't put up a big fight then its a +.

    Supposed to mean the dog will be better at obedience, note I wouldn't do it but some very experienced people rate it highly.

    Just trying to broaden the discussion.

  • I like this type of test Gee but I do it at a very young age.

    Obviously not a severe correction on a pup but literally the first time I need to deliver clear boundaries via correction to a pup I watch very closely how fast the dog lets it go.

    I agree with Pete that some soft dogs can still be great protection dogs-they're just much more challenging to work with. Harder dogs that bounce back and seem to let a hard correction roll off of them and dont take it personally.

    I have had both and prefer a harder dog to work with but a softer dog to live with:D

  • Some good points guys.

    I am talking about very early signs of recovery, the most likely time you will see this, in my experience is from circa six months old post a physical correction.
    A pup of that age if being exposed to various environments, should be an open book to new situations. (I don't mean serious stresses)

    @ Peter - agree some superb dogs can be soft to handler correction, even verbal. (Malis,especially spring to mind)

    Re the pinning down of the puppy on it's back, I would personally never use that.
    With one exception - as one test of many, when selecting or helping select for a third party, a six - eight week old puppy. And in that case the objective would not be to make the pup submit, it would be to see hopefully - how much the pup fights/wriggles to get OUT of that submissive and vulnerable position. :thumbsup2:

    When I physically correct, there is always a good reason, my objective is to make the pup think it's world is going to end. They all cross a line at some time, and if done correctly - they won't do it again.

    On a side note - my current young bitch, (Bertha of Darkvakia) who I am bringing on, will start serious man work imminently. Now she crossed the line a few months ago whilst out in a park, anyways an old fella threatened to call the police, as he interpreted what I was doing to the pup - cruel. Understandable from a pet owners perspective, but once again - the pup was not being subjected to physical pain.

    Anyways I digress, with any young dog I always observe there recovery after a decent correction. They definitely tick a box for me, if they forgive and forget instantly. :)

    @Brody - agree.
    The other thing about a dog softer to correction, is that they tend to be more needy/clingy, which of course is what you are pertaining to re easier to live with. I am generalizing to a certain extent, however that's my experience, for what it is worth.


  • This is a very old topic that still generates a lot of debate between trainers and breeders.

    Over the years a lot has been written about testing a pup (anything under 1 yr old), some are interesting methods, some sound like total nonsense. Personally, testing a pup doesnt seem as important as assesing the parents and older litters.

    Ive seen some ''weak'' pups turn out to be beasts and too many ''outstanding'' pups washing out in adulthood as soon as some real pressure is applied. Let the pup be a pup and mature at his own pace, thats what I recommend =)

  • @ Sergio, think you misunderstand friend. :)

    I am talking about observing a young dogs immediate reaction to a genuine physical correction. (I am not testing the dog, by engineering the correction, I am observing it's recovery rate for good or bad post correction)

    I think you have probably read the holding a puppy down thing, which was mentioned but only as a digress.


  • On a side note what you guys think of maternal aggression regardless of what the pitch is normally like?

  • Re maternal aggression, IMO, a completely hard wired and chemically induced state she SHOULD be in, whilst whelping and a wee bit beyond.

    Shows good strong survival of the fittest DNA :thumbsup2:

    Totally natural, and mirrors the vast majority of female mammal behavior across all species. :)


  • I agree and expect to see it in all breeds even Fifi dogs. I see more breeders of late bragging about how docile the mother with pups is.

    The more expensive the puppies, the more artificial interventions.

    Even worse I see more assisted births and pups being hand raised as a good thing.

    The most extreme cases in the most expensive breeds the breeders are 100% drug induced heat cycles, 100% sperm AI, 100% caesarian, 100% hand raised. One reason they have more control over nature to fit with fulfilling orders on time and more control of the birth process ie no surprises.

    Disturbing trend IMO but seems to be the way of the future for more breeders I am observing.

  • Who doesn't like a dog that takes corrections in a stride.. But I don't feel this trait is directly related to strength in man work. Case in point, one of my bitches required extremely hard corrections to have any meaning for her, and just accepted it without demonstrating any fear afterwards. But she's simply bull headed. For man work she's just ok nothing special.

    Where I do see recovery as a clear indication of the dog's worth, is if it gets hurt during agitation. For example my rottweiler male Wulf at a very early stage of agitation, got his toe caught in the chain link fence just as he was in full spring/changing direction. It pulled him so hard that he was flipped on his side, he yelped and was caught for a few seconds during which I was undecided whether to move in and help. But he got free and as soon as he did he was right back at the fence barking and lunging at the decoy. That's an excellent recovery, can't ask for more, and at that instant I knew he was good.

    Another test some guys put a lot of importance on is a dog that will physically submit to the handler ie pin the puppy on its back GENTLY, and if the pup submits ie doesn't put up a big fight then its a +.

    Not exactly how you described it, I just lift a very young (6-8 weeks old) pup by the scruff correctly (there's a right way to do it that causes minimal discomfort). If the dog tenses up stiff legged, I want nothing to do with it, regardless of what else it may be, it will be a PITA to live with/obedience train. I want to see a pup that relaxes. Actually with my own pups I don't need to do the lift test, I can tell just by how they respond to being handled. In reality other than the pup's appearance and general attitude, and looking at his parents, it's the only "test" I allow to influence my decision one way or the other.

  • Personally I don't do tests on individual pups, I want to observe the entire litter together. I believe you can spot nerve problems on the whole litter together than on individuals.

    Any knowledgeable breeder knows all the puppy tests and trains the pups for them from birth eg cracking a whip/gun fire/dropping a frying pan before each meal.

    A few weeks and pup hears a gun shot and comes running for a meal, client goes WOW.

  • You can't train/mask a pup that resents being handled. Sometimes I wonder where you get your info from.. did you ever even raise a working dog litter?

  • Weird post, going from one topic to another XD

    Extremes tend to be bad, I dont mind some maternal agression as long as it doesnt harm the pups, mother or handler. Nature is wise and with the hormonal storm the bitch goes trough, some behavior changes are expected.

    There is something about a dog with no maternal agression whatsoever that seems unsettling to me, its just weird and I think is more common on weak temper dogs but thats just MO

    On a sidenote, now and then we all post some ''nonsense'', this is normal, you cant always be right. Lets try to handle ourselves with poise to avoid unnecesary fights, Ive seen some nasty ones in the past in this forum :(