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TEMPERAMENT TEST---TEST OF CHARACTERISTICS FOR BREEDING
By Lothar Quoll SV Chief Breed Warden for the SV. This article first appeared in Zeitung October 2014
Translated for the “National” by Brian H. Wootton

At the SV AGM in May 2014 (Point 7.1.) it was unanimously decided to offer a temperament test---initially on a voluntary basis and without any pass/fail criteria. In the future the temperament test will become an integral part of a Z.Pr---a suitability for breeding test               (a working element still has to be finalised). Consequently, all dogs which are later to be used for breeding, even if just once, should complete the temperament test beforehand at the age of 9-12 months. Through this, in future there will be two routes into breeding; 1) through the temperament test, including a working element suitable to the dog’s age. 2) an alternative route through the temperament test and IPO-1.

Meanwhile a practicable concept for temperament assessment has been achieved by a team of breed and working dog judges, designated by the writer and the SV Chief Working Warden. The core team comprises: Lothar Quoll, Heinz Gerdes, Marcus Ossman, Jens-Peter Flügge, Joachim Steigler, Uwe Walters, Erich Bösl, Egon Gutknecht, Helmut König, Friedrich Gerstenberg and Hartmut Setecki.

In the past biting incidents involving dogs of all breeds have occurred again and again. Today public opinion exerts significantly forceful pressure on the dog-breeder, dog-owner and on breed clubs than it did just a few years ago: a breed ban with reference to dangerous dogs, together with discussions about unprincipled and/or irresponsible  dog-breeders and other issues such as animal welfare generally and current legislation.

The reasons for these discussions often lie in the deeply embedded anxiety of our fellow citizens. The ever-decreasing living space today leads to increasing confrontation between human and dog. As a breeding association of one of the working breeds we must very seriously consider and respond to the demands of public opinion. Indeed, today there are discussions in some parts of state parliaments about the circumstances around private dog-owners, involving regulatory laws in their individual states that could involve a general ban on the Schutzhund sport in private circles.

As an association we are obliged to point the way with suitable measures. We must offer solutions with sensible measures and create co-operation.  In this, it is important that our dogs can cope with the growing demands of the environment. Today we need dogs with a sound temperament and very balanced nerves without excessive aggression or anxiety, which can adequately meet the constant changing and growing demands of their social environment.

“TODAY’S SITUATION REQUIRES DOGS WITH A FIRM TEMPERAMENT AND A STABLE NERVOUS SYSTEM WITHOUT EXCESSIVE AGGRESSION.”

What is a temperament test?
With a temperament test we can understand a dog’s behaviour and flexibility during confrontation with differing stimuli, which release or provoke a particular behaviour. Through the behaviour during the whole test one can determine the temperament of the dog with the aim of evaluating and examining as objectively as possible the dog’s suitability to live alongside people in today’s environment.

Temperament (also called character or personality) is the totality of relatively stable behavioural patterns (www.wikipedia.de). For
 

example there are individuals (humans and animals) that are overall more anxious, extro- or introverted (seeking pleasurable contact or more cautious) than others. The temperament test must involve a standardised test with set situations that, as far as possible, guarantee comparability objectivity and reproducibility.  Consequently, the sequence of the different test situations must be set down and followed exactly. This is because individual elements impose differing pressures upon the dog and, as a result, can influence subsequent behaviour during the progress of the test.

“THE TESTED DOG MUST NOT BE PRESENTED UNDER FORMAL OBEDIENCE CONTROL”.

Commands are to be limited to the minimum necessary. On this basis, the working tests (BH, IPO etc) where, primarily, learned and conditional behaviour is tested, are no substitute for a temperament test.

A generally valid minimum age for the dogs submitted should be after they have first reached sexual maturity (preferably between 9-12 months).  Each dog will have a matrix in place with adjectives and rating figures (a protocol of procedure.) Initially the data will be stored in a data-bank. The Temperament Test will be entered on the pedigree. With the data gathered we can later make statements about the heritability of particular characterisation—that is, our data will achieve a completely new quality in planning litters in future.

The breeder can be involved, too, because he can motivate his puppy buyers to participate in a temperament test as well. In future the SV, as a breeding association, will actively encourage participation in temperament testing, irrespective of any later use of a dog for breeding. The more dogs of a breed that are tested and statistically recorded, the more conclusive will be the analysis and tendencies of certain emergent behaviour patterns within a breed or blood-line.

The results of progeny assessment will enable good quality, reliable convictions to be made about temperament and, above all, assist breeders in their breeding activity and interested buyers when purchasing puppy.

The contents of the temperament test deals with the assessment of the following stimuli-thresholds:

  1. Test of imperturbability (self-control)
  2. Social behaviour
  3. Confidence in action/agility
  4. Play and Prey drive
  5. Basic character type
  6. Sensitivity to sound/noise

The named thresholds are already a part of the test-concept worked out.

The temperament test must offer enthusiastic motivation for the dog owner and breeder. The observation through the eyes of qualified experts of the relationship between dog/owner can provide the interested owner, who is looking to improve it, with new approaches in dealings with his dog. Communication between test-judges and experienced experts, and the dog-owner shouts to be encouraged.

TEMPERAMENT TEST---TEST OF CHARACTERISTICS FOR BREEDING Part 2 Document HERE


                                                                              Universalsieger-WUSV 2015

TO ALL THE NATIONAL CLUBS:

If you are interested to participate at the 5° Universalsieger competition 2015 from June 3rd to 7th 2015 in Campogalliano (Mo), the organization committee kindly asks you to inform us within April 15th  about how many dogs will participate at the competition.
Furthermore we ask you to give us 3 contact names, who will collect the entry passes at the championship office, before the beginning of the championship.

We also remind you that the following documents must be sent together with the official inscription, attesting the fulfillment of the requirements:

  • Valid IPO-3 title
  • Minimum show rating of  “good” at the age of minimum 12 month
  • Certified hips: HD-A
  • Certified elbows: ED-A

The dogs must be enrolled by their National Clubs.

On the homepage www.sas-italia.com/universalsieger you can find all the necessary information about the championship.

Email: wusv2015@sas-italia.com

Best regards                                                                 
The secretary                                                                                  
Anina Reifer

Dear ladies and gentlemen of the WUSV member clubs,

Attached you will find the minutes of the WUSV meeting which took place on 3rd. September 2012 in Ulm/Germany and the meeting at the WUSV worldchampionships 2012 in Steyr/Austria.

Sincerely

Martina Haußmann
WUSV Secretariat

General Assembley Document 2012 WUSV World Championships 2012
Important information from the WUSV
Körordnund pdf document HERE -- Körliste Word document HERE
WUSV Working Group GB
  WUSV Aktuell Magazine

 

 

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