Placing puppies in the right home.

                                                           No two are alike. 

I got to temperament test puppies again and out of all the things that I do with dogs, it has to be one of my favorite.  Of course, who wouldn't want to spend time with 7 week old puppies?  But it is not just their adorableness that I love about puppies; I am fascinated by how they react to each test.  You can take a whole litter of puppies that look very similar and each can be very different.  I have tested a lot of litters over the years and each and everyone has been different; just as different as each puppy is within the litter.

Many breeders don't see a reason to temperament test.  They feel like they know their puppies; but there is a big difference in how a puppy reacts to someone they see everyday versus how they react to a stranger.  Add to that, a strange environment and you get a very good read on a dog.  I am often asked if I've been able to see some of the puppies I've tested once they've grown up and yes I have.  Many are exactly as I read, some changed a bit; either for better or worse, depending on the life that they have had.  Ahhh, there in lies the big question; how much does their upbringing have to do with a dog? 

A dog's environment and daily interactions is huge as far as making a dog.  What we do when we temperament test is see where that puppy would best thrive.  Who would be the best match for this one individual puppy.  What one puppy can handle, another may not.  Do you want to place a high drive, super charged puppy with someone who just wants to cuddle on the couch?  No.  It's not a match.  Placing a puppy with an owner while wearing a blindfold, just doesn't make sense.  That is what a breeder does when they allow an owner to choose their puppy.  Why not sift through them all and find the one that would be the best match? 

There are breeders who place puppies as they come out, literally.  Others who have people choose at two weeks of age.  Some breeders just stand back and let the new prospective owner have at it.  But let me tell you that the majority of new owners have no idea what they are looking for.  They have no knowledge of choosing the best puppy for them and rely solely on "looks."  I remember looking at a beautiful litter of puppies a few years back.  There was definitely a standout in the litter, as far as energy goes.  One little puppy who was going to give their new owner a run for their money.  The breeder said she hoped that the owners were ready for this puppy.  She'd been chosen before anyone knew what she was like.  That is just sad, because someone who was interested in a puppy like this was going to miss out.  Plus the person who was now destined to get her, may regret the day she picked her out. 

One of the biggest reasons that dogs end up being turned over to a rescue is choosing the wrong breed or mix of breeds.  The next is because they chose the wrong dog.  Of course it can all work out and you can live happily ever after but why not do your best to get a dog that you will be able to live with easily?  You need to know yourself; know what you want to live with, what you want to have to deal with in your life.  There is nothing wrong with choosing a dog that will mesh with your life.  I see far too many, very unhappy people who struggle with their dogs on a daily basis.  Dogs who are frustrated being put into a life that is very difficult for them on a day to day basis. 

I have talked to many people who think that if you want a dog, you just take a dog.  Any dog, a dog is a dog.  Well, that statement makes about as much sense as saying a human is a human.  Why not try to find your best match?  Doing temperament testing gives the dog and the human a greater chance at happiness.  Why not do it?