OO Litter Search and Rescue Test

OO Litter Search & Rescue Test
The OO Litter was tested at 53 Days

Mr. Blue went to Utah for Search and Rescue. Mr. Green stayed close in Wyoming as a pet. Miss Pink went to northwest Wyoming for Search & Rescue. Miss Purple went to the Spokane area for competition in a variety of venues: tracking, nosework, agility, herding and maybe more.

My regular testers, Janet & Bonnie, couldn’t come due to a blizzard that roared through Montana and into Sheridan the day before our test. Since they didn’t make it with the cadaver samples, we were unable to do that test. Thankfully Tammy, who was getting pick pup for SAR, had come in the day before and did the testing. (She ended up taking Miss Pink.) Tammy put notes on two sets of forms and I have combined all of them into this summary as best I could. Tammy seldom gave a numerical rating; those are noted where she did with her comments following in quotes. She had observed the police/narcotics test the day before and didn’t repeat all those tests.

1. 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.

Pup – Comments
Blue Male: Didn’t want to engage right away. Whined and didn’t want to leave Cel – tried to find Cel. Kept whining and trying to find Cel.
Green Male: Put down and immediately investigated toys, but played tug, tail wagging and trying to find Cel & other people with toy in mouth.
Pink Female: Licked Tammy right away – didn’t try to find people like the others did.
Purple Female: Looked at Tammy right away – did not whine or try to find Cel & others.


2.  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.\

Pup – Comments
Blue Male: none
Green Male: Went away from tester a few times to play by himself.
Pink Female: Investigated almost every toy
Purple Female: Investigated ball – when rolled by – she was by herself on rug with a toy.

3.  Retrieve Next, willingness to retrieve is evaluated using different toys and balls. Ideal reaction is to repeatedly being 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.

Pup – Comments
Blue Male: Didn’t really retrieve.
Green Male: Retrieved toys and brought back.
Pink Female: Retrieved almost immediately 3 times. Brought to tester twice. Retrieved other items also. Retrieved and tugged.
Purple Female: Retrieved toys right away.

4.  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.

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 9; “Didn’t pick up keys. Sniffed 2 times.”
Green Male: 9 – 8; “Chased keys, sniffed, did not pick up.”
Pink Female: 10; “Retrieved keys 1 time; picked up another time.”
Purple Female: 10; “Picked keys up (2 times). Didn’t retrieve – set on top of other toy.”

5.  Tug Ideal reaction is a full mouth bite, tug and do everything possible to posses the object. We like to see a pup get its whole body on the sack in an effort to subdue it.

Pup – Comments
Blue Male: Distracted – followed but not aggressive tug.
Green Male: Likes tug.
Pink Female: Tugged toy, not ball.
Purple Female: Followed but didn’t tug much. Got distracted easily.

6.  Hunt for Toy While playing with ball or soft toy, hide it and encourage pup to use nose to find. Interest? How long will pup search? Uses nose or eyes? Two agility barrels were set on their sides to form tunnels in line with each other, separated by cushions. When thrown through tunnel, will the pup go through after the toy?

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 10; “Followed tug very well through tunnels.”
Green Male: 9; “Needed a little coaxing. Followed tug through tunnel.”
Pink Female: 8; “Leary of tunnel. 2nd time went through tunnel for toy.”
Purple Female: 8 – 7; “Distracted. Didn’t follow toy through tunnel. Wanted to investigate area. Climbed on tunnel.

7.  Unstable Footing Since SAR dogs will search in all kinds of terrain and areas of destruction, they must be confident in insecure situations. We used an agility pause table and asked the pup to climb up onto it and then off, following a toy. We also had tarps spread on top of various objects that made a rough, unsteady surface. Toys were thrown or drug over the unstable area.

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 10; “Good. Went over it after toy. Didn’t mind falling into bucket under tarp.”
Green Male: 10; “Good recovery going & getting toy through objects.”
Pink Female: 10; “Went after toy both times. Good recovery.”
Purple Female: 8; “A little hesitant over uneven footing- forgot about toy. Stopped and didn’t go after an object under tarp.

8.  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.

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 10; “Went right in – very good. Dusty held first – he ran directly to me. Then I held & he ran to Dusty.”
Green Male: 10; “Very good – struggled to get away on #3. Dusty to Tammy – ran to me when he saw toy. Tammy to Dusty – ran too.
Pink Female: 9 – 8; “Slow when person hidden. Dusty to Tammy – ran to me when toy displayed. Tammy to Dusty – ran to toy and played. When I hid, she didn’t run to me immediately.
Purple Female: 9 – 8; “Dusty to Tammy – ran to me and visited. Tammy to Dusty – visited with Dusty, not toy. 2 hides – ran to me & played.

9.  Wheelbarrow/Wagon  The wheelbarrow we generally use was not available so we substituted a wagon to stimulate what the pup might experience in searching from a boat. The pup was placed in a wagon. The tester walked behind or to the side to keep the pup from jumping out, while another person pulled it around the room.

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 10; “Settled after a few feet, tail wagging, ears halfway. Good balance with 2 feet on end.
Green Male: 10; “Mellow. Sat in. Tried to get out. Didn’t want to stay in.”
Pink Female: 10; “Tail wagging – sat down – then jumped out, then stood up while moving.”
Purple Female: 9; “Good at first. Sat in wagon the first few times then kept trying to jump out.”


10.  Aggression and Courage Courage and aggression is normally evaluated using something that vibrates, makes noise and moves erratically. We used a battery-operated robot that walks, flashes bright light and makes noise, and a remote-controlled mouse that sped forwards and backwards as directed. 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.

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 10 mouse, 8 robot; “For about 16 seconds didn’t want to go to loud robot unless encouraged to go to. Sniffed & left. Liked mouse, chased after it and retrieved. Didn’t really like robot but okay with it. Went back to it when it was off and pushed it over.”
Green Male: 10: “Went towards robot and investigated 2 times, then wasn’t interested. Loved the mouse; chased it & ran away with it. Didn’t take back to Tammy.”
Pink Female: 9 robot, 8 mouse; “Didn’t really react to robot but okay with it. Investigated when encouraged but not for long. Not as aggressive with mouse. Tried to bite it then gave up and chased for a while but couldn’t fit in mouth. Pooped, then tried again. Looked at it, picked it up and carried it once, then gave up.”
Purple Female: 7 robot, 6 mouse; “Okay with robot; would have nothing to do with mouse. Investigated robot, backed up. No interest in mouse; didn’t chase after it. Ran to people and watched it from afar.”

11.  Hunt for Food I This test begins with a smoked turkey neck or leg 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.

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 9; “Worked well. Followed about 20′ on floor, sat & tried to get in mouth. Chased neck back & forth. Sat & tried to get in mouth. Did not boldly jump up to get.”
Green Male: 9 – 8, “Chased neck, whined & carried – didn’t want to drop. Chased leg – jumped up from sit & grabbed & tugged. Did not want to give up.”
Pink Female: 10; “Put nose down to start. First to use nose to track neck on rope. Chased neck. Sat & tried to grab. Started finding food on ground on her own and was more interested in food on floor (for test II). Used nose more than eyes.”
Purple Female: 10; “Used nose to Follow neck, tried to grab with front paws while sitting. Started searching for food early; stopped to find pieces of food on floor.”


12.  Hunt for Food II Tammy hid treats on a rubber mat and in/under/on top of various objects including the steps of a ladder. The pups had to use their noses to find where the meat was. They were judged on how they how they used their noses and how systematic their searching was. The food area was outside of the rest of the test area and the people watching were in plain view, which proved a distraction to some of the pups.

Pup – Rating – Comments
Blue Male: 9; “More sight than nose use at first. Ate first 2 pieces then put nose down and searched for more. Left area then was called back. Nose down and searched for more. Looked in bowling pin/holder and went back for more. Went over the top of the shovel to get food. Nose went up for high food but then went other way. Kept going back to places that previously had food. Assisted with high hides. Had to be shown to search high – lured him up for high food.”
Green Male: 10; “Found first two on ground – paused then started searching for more, nose down. Slow, methodical. Moved feed pans to get some. Found some under step stool & in bowling pins/holder. Found Cel’s coat, lured back to area. Returned to areas where food was. Had to be shown, helped with high pieces.”
Pink Female; 10; “Found food under stool – gave up chasing turkey leg. Kept returning to areas where previously found food. Took a break from search to walk by people. Found food on chair by herself. Got food under feed pan with pan falling on her head. Skittish around bowling pins in holder. Found food on chair on her own. Would go back to areas where she had found food. Had to be helped/lured up to find food on ladder. Didn’t really listen to Tammy telling her where to search unless lured. Fizzled out at end.”
Purple Female: 10; “Used nose a lot to find hides on cooler, a little on the ladder and chair. Found food in bowling pins/holder. Took a quick break to investigate outside of area then was easily called back and found food in bucket. Tail wagging & actively using nose. Found food on ladder & followed Tammy’s direction to jump up to get higher one. Would go back to areas where food was previously. Got food on chair when given a hint.”

13.  Puppy Drag With the blizzard, I forgot to bring 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. Tammy substituted towels and a piece of blanket with ropes.

Pup – Comments
Blue Male: Chased after towel on rope.
Green Male: Chased after towel.
Pink Female: Chased after towel with toy in mouth.
Purple Female: Wasn’t real interested in towel.

to OO Litter Police/Narcotics Temperament Test Results

to OO litter photos

to OO litter background information

to OO litter pedigree