Quite a few years ago, someone came up with the idea of testing puppies. Over the years I have heard many different opinions. The two extremes are,"The puppy test will tell you which dog will work flawlessly" or "There is no way I want any of my puppies to be tested." Some people say that the puppy test is the almighty way to pick a puppy. And if the puppy doesn't meet all the criteria of the test, the puppy should be thrown aside and forgotten. The people who don't believe in puppy testing, don't think that there is any way to determine how well a puppy will work when it grows up to be an adult.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the puppy test. You will not be able to find the perfect working dog just through testing the puppies. The puppy test will not give you the dog with a flawless run in herding or a 200 score every time you walk in the field or ring. The only conclusion you can make is in regard to what the personality of the puppy will probably be when it grows to adulthood.
You have to develop your own opinion of what all the testing means. People test and interpret the results in different ways. The one thing most people don't understand is that there is no such thing as a puppy passing or failing the test or any part of the test. What you see in the puppy test is what you probably will get in the adult dog's personality. More than likely you will see an independent adult dog if you see an independent puppy in the test. The whole puppy test is set up to test the individual traits of the puppies' personality and not to determine how the dog will work in adulthood. I've seen some people who are soft-spoken and easy going with a very independent and aggressive dog, who are controlled by their dog. I've also seen placid, dependent dogs with aggressive and independent owners who overwhelm their dog.
Before you do any testing at all, you should determine what kind of personality you have. You should also try to determine what kind of personality you want your dog to have. You also have to know what type of training you want to do. What are your expectations from the dog? What type of living conditions do you have, or want for your dog? You also have to ask yourself what each section of the puppy test means to you. You have to ask yourself all these questions before you give a puppy test.
The other thing you have to consider in puppy testing is more than likely you will never find a puppy with all the same personality traits you want, so you have to figure out what traits may not meet all your expectations, and yet with some training might be corrected. To give you an example, one of my puppies did not meet all my expectations regarding noise tolerance. But the puppy had many other qualities that I liked or wanted. I worked on the problem and the dog turned out to be a lot more tolerant of noise. I had a few problems, but I slowly but surely worked them out. If I didn't do the puppy test I wouldn't have known about this particular problem, and may not have worked on the problem from the time the puppy was very young. Remember puppy testing also points out things that are correctable with training when puppies are at a young age, but not when they are adults.
The other part of the puppy test that a lot of people overlook is, is the breeder the type of person you want to purchase a puppy from? Does the litter have the parents and breeding that you're looking for? Are the puppies being raised the way you would want them raised? By not asking yourself all these questions, regarding the puppy test, breeder, living conditions and breeding you will never reach the level of potential that you want the dog to achieve. By focusing on one particular aspect or totally ignoring other parts of the puppy you are really cheating yourself out of all the knowledge that's available to you. In other words if you focus only on the breeder, or puppy test, etc., and ignore all the other facets of the puppy's life you are ignoring information that is available to you. This information could be used in order to make a better decision.
Remember, knowledge is power. The more you understand about the puppy, your personality and training methods, and how you expect the puppy to turn out, the better decision you will make. After all is said, you the trainer have to train the dog.