ZZ Litter 57 Days Old Search & Rescue Test Results

ZZ Litter, 57 Days Old
Search & Rescue Test Results
8/11/23

Mr. Red is available to a working home.

We loaded up at 8:30 a.m. and headed to the arena for the Search & Rescue test. 

Bonnie, my Search & Rescue friend from Bozeman came to test the pups for Search & Rescue (and other working) potential.  She comes to test most of my litters and I greatly appreciate it.  She is getting a pup from this litter.  Bonnie recruited another SAR friend, Bridget (who happens to have Mercy’s brother, Riker) to help.

All seven pups aced it.  They had a ball, and the testers were high in their praise. Bonnie had to urge Bridget to move the toys faster as she played with the pups, because Bridget was used to testing seven-week-old pups who are more tentative this this mob of pups that turned 8 weeks old yesterday.  They also played a lot rougher.  The testers said all the pups should work – and needed jobs where they use their noses.  Bonnie commented that none of these pups are for first-time GSD owners.  Super nice litter.

The test elements:
Acceptance/Attachment  The first test involves evaluating the pup’s acceptance of the strange place and its willingness to interact with the stranger.  Ideal reaction is eye contact and interest in the stranger but no sign of nervousness in the interaction (we don’t want a “Protect me!” attitude), followed by visual investigation of the surroundings and then a return of attention to the tester. 
Eye Contact  Desire to connect with the tester by looking them in the eye was noted.
Confidence  The confidence part of the test involves holding the pup out at arm’s length for several seconds.  Again, the pup should accept the handler putting it in position and remain calm.
Independence  How comfortable is the pup, will it work away from the tester or does it stay underfoot?  Or does it avoid dealing with the tester by staying away and playing on its own.
Pain Sensitivity  The loose skin over the ribs or between the toes is gently pinched and the pup’s reaction is noted.  Ideal reaction is to notice the pinch but be unconcerned by it.  We also look for a willingness to forgive the tester.
Retrieve   Next, willingness to retrieve is evaluated using different toys and balls.  Ideal reaction is to repeatedly bring the toy back to the handler rather than moving off to “possess” it.  The type of bite on the toys is evaluated:  a full mouth bite shows more confidence and drive than a front-teeth-only bite.
Metal Object  Tester tosses a set of car keys and observes to see if pup will put its mouth on it, pick it up and/or retrieve it.
Perseverance (Chase)  Then perseverance is evaluated by seeing how enthusiastically they will pursue and grab hold of an object.  Ideal reaction is to pursue enthusiastically and grasp with a full mouth bite. 
Tug  Ideal reaction is a full mouth bite, tug and do everything possible to possess the object.  We like to see a pup get its whole body on the sack/rope/toy in an effort to subdue it.
Prey Drive Strength of desire to chase and attack is evaluated.
Hunt for Toy While playing with ball or soft toy, hide it and encourage pup to use nose to find it.  Interest?  How long will pup search?  Uses nose or eyes?  
Unstable Footing   Since SAR dogs will search in all kinds of terrain and areas of destruction, they must be confident in insecure situations.  We made a rough, unsteady surface using a tarp, folded wire crate, raised dog bed, an agility hoop on its side, and other things.  Toys were thrown or drug over the unstable area. 
Submission  The submission test is designed to give an idea of the pup’s tractability, trust in humans, and willingness to submit to a human’s directives. In the submission test the pup is held firmly on its back for a short period of time.  The tester counts the seconds it takes for him to resist, then accept, the restraint.  She should not passively accept the restraint, nor should she panic or show avoidance of eye contact.  Ideal reaction is to resist, then submit and look the tester in the face.  We also look for a willingness to forgive the tester. 
Runaway  The tester shows pup food or a toy, gets its interest, then runs away.  She observes how eagerly the pup comes and how naturally it uses its nose to find her once she hides. 
Reaction to Strange Objects  We used a battery-operated, remote-controlled mouse.  We also had a very large stuffed teddy bear and a large stuffed duck sitting around.
Cadaver Test  A vial containing cadaver material was waved past the pup’s nose as it played.  Its reaction and interest or lack of interest were noted.
Wagon Test  The pup was placed in a wagon.  One tester walked to the side to keep the pup from jumping out, while the other pulled it around the room. 
Courage Test  Courage is normally evaluated using something that vibrates, makes noise and moves erratically.  Today we used a battery-operated robot that moved, makes noise and flashes all kinds of brilliant lights.  Will they stand their ground?  Will they go investigate it?  Excellent reaction is to go to it and check it out.  Extremely excellent reaction is to actually attack it while it moves.  Good reaction is to investigate it after the tester turns it off.  The tester encourages the pup to investigate after it is turned off, if the pup wouldn’t while it was making noise.  She notes how much encouragement is needed.
Fear  A metal can filled with metal items (hinges, bolts, etc.) is dropped behind them from a height of about 2 feet while they are looking away from it.  One tester does this when the pup was intent on whatever the other tester is doing.  Will the pup hold its ground and then go look at what dropped from nowhere?  Excellent reaction is to acknowledge and turn towards the sound and then confidently go see what made the racket.  The tester encourages the pup to investigate, if it doesn’t on its own.  She notes how much encouragement is needed.  I find most of my pups look towards the racket and keep on playing with the toy they had, rather than stopping their play to go investigate.
Surprise  This test involves getting the pup to follow you (or a toy) towards a  place with a hidden person, from behind which an umbrella is opened suddenly and then lowered to the ground, still open.  The pups are evaluated on how they recover from being startled and if they’ll go investigate.  Ideal reaction is for the pup to startle but hold its ground, then move right up to check out the umbrella.  A super excellent reaction is to go up and bite it and/or walk all over it. The tester encourages the pup to investigate after the umbrella is on the top step, if it doesn’t on its own.  She notes how much encouragement is needed.
Hunt for Food I  This test begins with a piece of chicken jerky tied on a string and dragged to attract the pup’s interest and see how interested it is, how hard it will work to get it, and how hard it will work to keep it as the tester jerks, tugs and generally prevents the pup from easily eating it.  They also hold it high to see if the pup will look up to search for it.
Hunt for Food II  The testers spread pieces of my homemade salmon treats and Braunschweiger treats around on the floor, on top of and under objects. The pups had to use their noses to find where the treats were.  They were judged on how they how they used their noses and how systematic their searching was.
Puppy Drag  I took my puppy drag, which is a piece of rope I fasten around my waist.  Gunny sacks are attached to the rope and move enticingly as I move around, so the pups focus on biting and tugging on them instead of me.  I normally wear this as I exercise the puppies’ mother each morning, to divert them from biting my legs or pants. Most pups have a great time as it was drug around the room, chasing, tugging and at times riding on it. 

The highlight of the day’s testing was Mr. Red’s reaction to the cadaver sample.  He was absolutely electrified when Bonnie waved the vial past him as he played with a toy.  Actually, the whole litter immediately chased down the scent and tried to climb into the vial, but Mr. Red’s reaction was incredible. He was on fire, pursuing the vial no matter how high, fast or where Bonnie moved it.  Even after she stoppered it and walked away to put it up, he followed her, jumping up to try to get to it and stayed with her after she put it away.  And he continued looking for it.  His air scenting, following the odor trail, was impressive.  All we could  say was “WOW!!”  So we’d like this boy to do cadaver/forensics if we can find someone who is looking for a pup. 

Here is a summary of each pup’s ratings.  Bonnie’s ratings are marked “Bo” and Bridget’s are marked “Br.”  If both gave the same reading, I put “both.” 

After years of trying to decipher the ratings as the testers put marks in sections of the box, say, for “10,” I created a test sheet with boxes for every possible rating – and they still occasionally give a 10+ rating.  Mr. Blue, Miss Pink, Mr. Red and Mr. Yellow all received a score of 10+ – and Mr. Red received a 10++ on his cadaver test – a first in all our years of testing!

Mr. Blue

Mr. Blue 10+:  Attachment (Bo); Runaway (Bo)

Mr. Blue 10:
 
Attachment (Br);
Eye Contact (Br);
Independence (Br);
Retrieve (Bo);
Metal (both);
Perseverance (both);
Tug (Br);
Hunt for Toy (Bo);
Unstable Footing (both);
Submission (Bo);
Runaway (Br);
Reaction to Strange Object (both; Bridget commented:  “Grabbed it by the tail & carried off.”);
Cadaver (both);
Courage (Br);
Fear (both);
Surprise (Br);
Hunt for Food 1 (both);
Hunt for Food II (Bo);
Puppy Drag (both)

Mr. Blue 10-9:  
Eye Contact (Bo);
Independence (Bo);
Retrieve (Br);
Tug (Bo);
Prey Drive (both);
Hunt for Toy (Br;)
Submission (Br);
Wagon (both);
Courage (Bo; Bonnie commented, “Went back to check out robot.);
Surprise (Bo; Bonnie commented, “Went back to check area.”);
Hunt for Food II (Br; Bridget commented, “Took a little while to focus, then it was really hard to distract him form searching.”)

Mr. Blue 9.5:  Confidence (both);
Pain Sensitivity (both);

Comments on Mr. Blue
Bonnie:  “Very nice balance of people and independence.  Sweet guy.”    
Bridget:  “Very nice dog.  Good family and working dog.”

Miss Gold

Miss Gold 10:
Attachment (both; Bridget commented, “Good switch between people.”)
Eye Contact (Br);
Independence (Bo);
Retrieve (both);
Perseverance (both);
Prey Drive (both);
Unstable Footing (both);
Runaway (both; Bridget commented, “Used cadaver instead of toy for lure.”);
Cadaver (both);
Courage (both);
Fear (both);
Hunt for Food I (both);
Hunt for Food II (both; Bonnie commented, “Methodical searcher.  Excellent.”);
Puppy Drag (both)

Miss Gold 10-9:  
Eye Contact (Bo);
Confidence (Br);
Pain Sensitivity (both);
Metal (Bo);
Tug (both; Bridget commented, “Good engagement – soft tugger, gentle tugger – very sweet.”);
Hunt for Toy (both);
Wagon (both);
Surprise

Miss Gold 9.5:  
Submission (Bo);
Strange Object (Bo);
Independence (Br);
Surprise (Br; Bridget commented, “Didn’t like it.  Forgave person.”)

Miss Gold 9: 
Metal (Br)

Comments on Miss Gold
Bonnie, “Nice balance – great drives and likes people.”   
Bridget:  “Very sweet dog.”

Miss Green went to Colorado for obedience competition and to be a therapy dog. 

Miss Green 10:  
Attachment (both);
Confidence (both);
Pain Sensitivity (both);
Retrieve (both);
Metal (both);
Prey Drive (both);
Hunt for Toy (Br);
Runaway (both);
Cadaver (both);
Wagon (Br);
Courage (both);
Fear (both);
Hunt of Food I (both);
Hunt for Food II (Br);
Puppy Drag (Br)

Miss Green 10-9:  
Eye Contact (both);
Independence (Bo);
Perseverance (both);
Tug (both);
Hunt for Toy (Bo);
Strange Object (both);
Wagon (Bo);
Surprise (Bo);
Puppy Drag (Bo)

Miss Green 9.5:  
Independence (Br);
Unstable Footing (Bo);
Submission (Bo);
Hunt for Food II (Bo; Bonnie commented, “Not as interested in the food, more interested in the activity area.” [where they had played earlier])

Miss Green 9: 
Submission (Br)

Comments on Miss Green:
Bonnie:  “Very nice!  Great prey drive & retrieve.  Like sot please.  ”    
Bridget:  “Very nice dog.  Sweet dog.”

Miss Pink went to SW Wyoming for nosework competition.

Miss Pink 10+:  Cadaver (Bo);
Puppy Drag (Bo)

Miss Pink 10:
Attachment (Bo);
Confidence (both);
Independence (Bo);
Pain Sensitivity (both);
Metal (both);
Unstable Footing (both);
Submission: (both; Bonnie commented, “Excellent.”)
Strange Object: (both; Bonnie commented, “Amazing thinker!”);
Cadaver (Br);
Courage (both);
Fear (both);
Surprise (both; Bonnie commented, “Very nice thinking reaction.”, while Bridget commented, “She went around to check it out from the back.”);
Hunt for Food I;
Hunt for Food II (both; Bonnie commented, “Very methodical – beautiful work!  Climbed up on top of bucket – only one.”, while Bridget commented, “Only one to go high.”);
Puppy Drag (Br)

Miss Pink 10-9:  
Perseverance;
Prey Drive;
Wagon (Bo; Bonnie commented, “Not interested in staying still.”)

Miss Pink 9.5:  
Eye Contact (Br);
Retrieve (Bo);
Tug (both);
Hunt for Toy (Bo; Bonnie commented, “More into exploring on her own.”);
Runaway (Bo)

Miss Pink 9: 
Eye Contact (Br);
Retrieve (Br)

Miss PInk 9-8
Independence (Br)

Comments on Miss Pink:    
Bonnie:  “Incredible nose use!!  Needs a job.    Very thinking, independent.  Really nice worker!”
Bridget:  “Thinks.  Independent.  Working prospect.”

Mr. Red

Mr. Red 10++:
Cadaver (Bo; “Bonnie commented, “WOW!  What a focus to hunt for that.”)

Mr. Red 10+:
Metal (Bo; Bonnie commented, Incredible!  Tugging with metal.)
Runaway (Bo; Bonnie commented, “Oh, My!!!)

Mr. Red 10:
Attachment (both);
Eye contact (Bo);
Independence (Bo);
Retrieve (Bo);
Perseverance (Bo);
Hunt for Toy (Bo);
Unstable Footing (both);
Runaway (Br; Bridget commented, “Used cadaver for lure)
Strange Object (both);
Cadaver (Br; Bridget commented, “All about it”)
Courage (both; Bridget commented, “Went and checked it out.”);
Fear (both);
Surprise (both; Bridget commented, “Didn’t care.”);
Hunt for Food I (both; Bonnie commented, “Very driven!”)
Hunt for Food II (both; Bridget commented, “All nose.  Good independence.”);
Puppy Drag (both)

Mr. Red 10-9:  
Confidence (Bo; Bonnie commented, “Didn’t really like it.”)
Eye Contact (Br);
Pain Sensitivity (both);
Tug (both);
Prey Drive (both);
Hunt for Toy (Br);
Submission (Bo);
Wagon (Bo)

Mr. Red 9.5:  
Confidence (Br);
Wagon (Br);

Mr. Red 9: 
Independence (Br; Bridget commented, “Busy.  Needs a job.”)
Submission (Br);

Comments on Mr. Red:    
Bonnie:  “What a nose!  Really fun to watch his search for the cadaver odor!  Nice Guy.  Focused – very drivey.”
Bridget:  “Needs a nose job.  Very good nose.  More independent.”

Miss White stayed with me for breeding, nosework competition and therapy dog work.

Miss White 10:
Attachment (Bo);
Retrieve (both);
Perseverance (both);
Prey Drive (both);
Hunt for Toy (Bo);
Unstable Footing (Bo);
Runaway (both);
Strange Object (both; Bridget commented, “Checked it out.”);
Cadaver (both);
Courage (Bo);
Fear (both);
Hunt for Food I (both);
Hunt for Food II (both; Bridget commented, “Systematic.”);
Puppy Drag (both)

Miss White 10-9:  
Eye Contact (both);
Confidence (both);
Independence (both);
Pain Sensitivity (both);
Metal (both);
Tug;
Hunt for Toy (Br);
Unstable Footing (Br);
Courage (Br);
Surprise (both);

Miss White 9.5:  
Wagon (both);
Submission (Bo)

Miss White 9: 
Submission (Br)

Comments on Miss White:    
Bonnie:  “Nice, methodical searcher.  Well balanced. Good dog!”
Bridget:  “Good balance.”

Mr. Yellow went to Montana for Search & Rescue.

Mr. Yellow 10+:
Tug (Bo);
Cadaver (Bo)

Mr. Yellow 10:
Attachment (Br);
Eye Contact (Br);
Confidence (Br);
Independence (Bo);
Metal (Br);
Perseverance (both);
Tug (Br);
Prey Drive (both);
Unstable Footing (both);
Runaway (Br);
Strange Object (Br);
Cadaver (Br);
Wagon (both);
Courage (both);
Fear (both);
Surprise (both);
Hunt for Food I (both; Bonnie commented, “Very focused on prey – grabbing string.”);
Hunt for Food II (both; Bonnie commented, “Climbed up on balance ball.”)
Puppy Drag (both)

Comments on Mr. Yellow:
Bonnie:  “Busy guy!    Good worker prospect.”    
Bridget:  “”Good working prospect.  Needs a job.

See the Police/Narcotics test results.
back to the ZZ litter Diary