Reliability of puppy temperament testing

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Reliability of puppy temperament testing

Post by SRLinds » Sun, 20 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Re:  Reliability of puppy temperament testing

I thought some of you might be interested in the results of a recent study
performed by Beaudet et al. (1994) regarding the reliability of puppy
temperament testing for the detection of a stable *** factor in the
young dog.  Puppy tests are commonly employed to detect behavi***traits
in puppies, presumably to assist in their placement into appropriate homes
according to their individual temperaments and needs.  Some scepticism
about the reliability of early temperament testing has accumulated over
the years, especially with regards to *** tendencies and ***
aggression -- a behavior problem believed to depend on social learning as
well as a genetic component.  The researchers tested 39 puppies at 7 weeks
of age according to the procedures recommended by W Campbell (1992)
(arguably the most commonly used instrument used by breeders and trainers
today) and then again at 16 weeks of age.  The results were surprisingly
negative.  The study indicates that temperament testing of 7 week old
puppies is not predictive of relative *** when the puppies are
re-tested again at16 weeks for social ***, in fact, "the test has no
predictive value regarding future social tendencies.  In fact, the total
value of the behavi***scores for social tendencies between the two age
groups showed a trend toward regression from *** to submission"
(1994:273).  These findings are consistent with the changing values
between these age groups found by Fuller and Scott (1965) showing
*** to be a rather fluid process, becoming progressively more stable
and permanent as the puppy matures.

Beaudet R, Chalifoux A, Dallaire A (1994).  Predictive value of activity
level and behavi***evaluation on future *** in puppies.  Applied
Animal Behaviour Science, 40:273-284.

Campbell W (1992)  Behavioir Problems in Dogs.  Goleta, CA:  Amer Vet Pub.

Scott JP and Fuller JL (1965).  Genetics and the Social Behavior of the
Dog.  Chicago, IL:  Univ of Chicago Press.    
Steve Lindsay
Canine Behavi***Services
Philadelphia, PA

"Good training is disciplined play."  Hediger