Temperament test
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We went and helped with the temperament tests and CGC testing one of my clubs put on. While there I CGC tested 17 month old Aura with absolutely no prep but her agility classes. She passed with flying colors. Such a good girl. She was two weeks shy of the age requirement for the temperament test so only grandmother Lacy and mom Lapis got to do it. We also did Chief as all stud dogs should be required to pass a temperament test.

For those that have not experienced a temperament test I will attempt to explain what I have learned today. It was my first exposure. There are three testers that will score the dog 0-10 on ten different exercises. It is a basic pass fail test in the long run. A zero on any of the tests results in a failure by that tester. Two out of the three testers must fail the dog to result in a failure on the test. They take into consideration the age, breed, and experience of the dog. The total score does not really represent anything. A dog could pass with all ones equalling a score of 10 while a dog could fail with a score of 90 and one zero. The best scores are actually in the middle. 1,2,3 scores are low and may indicate something to worry about within the temperament. 4 is a no response. 5,6,7 are average scores where the dog is fairly neutral and calm and collected. 8,9,10 are above average scores and may also indicate something to watch for such as very alert to their surroundings, excessive curiosity, over friendliness, ect. The tests start out low stress and escalates in stressors as the test proceeds. The dog must be on the end of a 6 foot lead loosely and you may not speak at all to the dog or use any type of signaling moves. They are looking for the dogs reaction with minimal influence by the handler.

The first test is just a greeting by impassive stranger to the handler. They are looking for how the dog reacts to the stranger if they notice their approach if they investigate the person ect.
The second station is a greeting of the dog by a friendly stranger. They want to dog to accept petting and not show any aggression and minimal shyness.
The third test they approach a blind where somebody out of site shakes a pail with rocks in it and then sets it down just as the dog reaches the area. The dog must investigate the pail content. If totally disinterested you may talk to the pail to encourage the dog.
The fourth test they again approach a blind and stop facing away from it. A pop gun will go off three times. The dog may startle but must recover and make some show of looking for where the shot came from.
The fifth test the dog goes past a person sitting in a chair. As they go past the person opens an umbrella just about in their face. Most dogs will startle but they must again recover and go and investigate the umbrella. Again you may talk with the umbrella to encourage the dog. This one was very difficult with many dogs particularly the shelties.
The sixth test the owner and the dog walk over plastic or a tarp on the ground. They are looking for some investigative behavior but nothing major.
The seventh test the dog only walks along an xpen open on the ground(about 5" in length). The dog needs to go over this voluntarily not forced and ideally should investigate a little.
The eight test has a weird person behind a blind with a hat, overcoat and a cane,stick or crop. The stranger pops out from behind the blind lurching wildly and acting like a drunk slurring their words. He first walks at a distance of about 35 feet away across and in front of the dog like an upside down L.
The ninth test is when the drunk weirdo turns and comes toward the dog and handler.
The tenth test is when the drunk becomes aggressive yelling and beating their cane on the ground to within about 8 feet of the dog. Then he turns around and slinks off.
The last three tests they are looking for the dog to notice the drunk but not become aggressive or alarmed when far away but then to become concerned when he turns toward them. The final test can become very breed specific depending on what they are bred to do. The working dogs should stand their ground and may even act protectively. They should not bolt or hide behind the handler. The Herding breeds may lunge back but then can wear behind the handler from one side the other. Facing the aggressor and not trying to flee. The sporting dogs and many other breeds should show at least acknowledgment of the threat. These last three were the most difficult for many of the dogs. The drunk guy was very convincing and very threatening and most dogs wanted no part.
We did 34 tests of many different breeds of dogs. Many of the dogs passed easily. Some barely passed with low scores or one of the testers failing the team. A few failed but not very many around five. Most of the dogs were club members and most were extensively trained and well socialized so this was not really a surprise to most.
We were fortunate to have the president as our head tester with more than 20 years experience and over 5,000 dogs tested.

The results of the test for Lacy and Lapis were a pass. Lacy tested extremely well and both the head tester and one Lady tester said she could come home with them. A comment from the head tester was that he had rarely encountered an Aussie with as well developed protective instinct that was so balanced overall. She scored high on the first two tests which test social ability and then had the same scores on the last three tests which test protective instinct which is not very common. He said he noticed it at the first station when she just stood quietly BETWEEN the two of us while we were talking. She was friendly and accepting of the welcoming stranger petting her but again made sure she was between the two of us at all times. She was fine with the rocks in a bucket and immediately investigated. She is a little sound sensitive so she did react to the gunshots and appeared a little nervous there. She barely startled at the umbrella and went behind the umbrella to investigate who made that thing pop out at her. Had absolutely no reaction to either the plastic and very little to the expen. No surprise there as she has done so much agility. She stood and quietly watching the drunk, when he turned she growled and when he acted threatening she stepped in front of me and barked very stiff legged and equally aggressive but never lunged at him. When he turned away she stopped barking instantly and returned to my side. I was very proud of her. It was interesting to hear an impartial persons opinion on her. She is the one that I have to watch with some people. I knew that she was protective. She is the one that I insist my 11 year old daughter bring in the house when she gets home from school and is alone. I have no doubt that she would protect her to her death.

Lapis scored well also but not as well as Lacy. Not as protective, was unsure about the expen on the ground and barked at the stranger before he started to approach but was wiggling her stub at the same time. She did also stand her ground and bark aggressively when he became aggressive. There were only a handful of dogs that did this out of 35 dogs most wanted out of there.

Chief has had so much training that he was barely affected by anything and hardly reacted to most of the tests. He was completely focused the majority of the time on my mom. The tester had a strange comment that with all the training the dog had been taken out of the dog. He did pass however.

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Katrina Anderson and Sherry Roach of Crystal Peaks AustralianShepherds located in Reno, Nevada.

Website Address: http://tuxedoaussies.tripod.com/
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