Spirit’s Police/Narcotics Temperament Test
As usual, my friend Suzan Guilford conducted the Police/Narcotics test.
Test -Rating -Comments
“Very nice. Noticed me immediately and gave kisses.”
“Would chase often but not bring back.”
Fear (can of bolts)
“Looked at can but no overreaction.”
Courage and Aggression (police car)
“OK, moved off slightly and watched.”
Jumped but stood ground and looked.”
“She gave me eye contact within the first three seconds and then started rolling and crawled and pushed her way up and out after 10 seconds.”
Hunt for Food I (jerky on string)
“She really uses her nose and was able to pick up the scent prior to me even starting the food search.”
Hunt for food II (hidden treats)
“Nice. Definitely uses nose & picks up scent really well.”
Tester Comments: Good pup. Not high retrieve drive but good prey drive. Definitely SAR prospect. Will look to handler for instructions/guidance but may not naturally work at a long distance. Not a police candidate.
Spirit’s SAR Test
Two SAR testers, Janet Wilts & Bonnie Whitman, did this test. (10 is top score)
Rating is followed by any comments in quotes.
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.
Bonnie: 10; “tail up”
Eye Contact (Janet only)
Independence (Bonnie only)
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.
Bonnie: 10; “no panic”
Janet: (8 on notes); “More into keeping toy/ball than Mr. Blue.”
Bonnie: 6; “Eye contact, faced person – more ready to take it and leave in order to keep it.”
Retrieve Metal Object Tester tosses a set of car keys or other piece of metal and observes to see if pup will put mouth on it, pick it up and/or retrieve it.
Bonnie: 9; “Picked it up but would get the plastic fob instead of the metal.”
Strange Object (Lamb) We put a stuffed rocking sheep about 3′ high off to the side, and drug the tug toy over to get the pup to notice it and to see the pups’ reactions. A lot of times things like that will blow a puppy’s mind and it will bark and carry on, but she went right up to it and wanted to bite it, wanted the moving rockers.
Bonnie: 10; “Approached tail up and was into biting when it moved.”
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.
Bonnie: 10; “Adjusted for better bite when she could, made eye contact.”
Tug (Janet only) 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.
Janet: 10 – 9; “Tug with green ball: She’s controlling the game.”
Prey Drive Strength of desire to chase and attack is evaluated.
Bonnie: 10; “Very aware of everything, engaged right away.”
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?
Janet: 7; “No interest in searching for green ball under carpet; when hid fox tug she showed more interest in attacking the carpet than looking underneath, second time did look under…”
Bonnie: 6; “She stayed in the area, just didn’t seem to understand the “game” when the toy was gone & engaged with the carpet rather than hunt for the toy. She was more motivated with the food component, and this was done after the umbrella surprise event.
Hunt for Food I This test begins with a piece of 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.
Bonnie: 10; “Great prolonged hunt – good nose!”
Hunt for Food II Janet placed treats on and under a tarp. 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.
Cadaver A jar with human cadaver scent was opened and placed a distance away. Both pups showed immediate and enthusiastic reactions to it, honing in quickly from a distance and ignoring the treats Janet offered as rewards, trying to push her hands away so that they could get to the scent jar. No aversion at all.
Bonnie: 10; “Very interested and used nose to completely search it out after the first sniff. Not that interested in the food reward (especially since she was all about the food earlier), but was much more interested in getting to the cadaver source. No aversion at all – instead a very heightened interest in this new smell.”
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 a tarp and a float cushion on top of pieces of plywood resting on pvc pipes, plus a strip of plywood on a wooden sawhorse set on its slide, which made a see saw.
Janet: 10; “seesaw = 10”
Runaway Tester shows pup food, gets her interest, then runs away. She observes how eagerly the pup comes and how naturally she uses her nose to find her once she hides. This test was only done on Day 1.
Bonnie: 10; “All about that food. No hesitation going to stranger to get it. Used her nose.”
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.
Bonnie: 7; “Didn’t submit – she was mad! No panic, just determined to get up.”
Courage and Aggression Courage and aggression is evaluated using a police car that when turned on plays sirens and loud voices. Will they stand their ground? Will they go investigate it? Excellent reaction is to go to the car 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 it wouldn’t while it was making noise. She notes how much encouragement is needed.
Bonnie: 8; “Not really interested in the car but not afraid of it either.”
Fear A metal can filled with metal items (horseshoes, nails, bolts, etc.) is dropped behind them from a height of about 2 feet while they are looking away from it. 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.
Bonnie: 8; “Ran off a few feet but came back with a wary eye on the can.”
Surprise This test involves getting the pup to chase 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 umbrella this year was opened with great vigor. 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.
Janet: 6; “Did come back but ran away again.”
Bonnie: 8; “Seemed “betrayed” by this event. I think she likes to control her world and this lack of control flustered her for a while.”
Interaction with Strange Dog
Janet: 10; “Stressed but wanted to check out.”
Bonnie: 10; “Sought some support when he barked but remained engaged and wanted to check out on her terms.”
Tester Comments (from Bonnie; none from Janet):
Nice dog!!! Very confident, independent, mind of her own! Explores things, takes life in stride. Wants to be in control of her world. I think she will be very loyal but independent thinking girl!
see Search & Rescue test results for the ii litter
(Janet took Comanche, the only other pup in this litter after she did the SAR test on the two of them, so he didn’t do the police/narcotics test)