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Evaluating a Prospect
Evaluating a prospect
" The only thing one is capable of evaluating in a 10 week old puppy, is a clean nervous system and an abundance of drive. These are some of the qualities necessary for top level competition but not all of them. There are many dogs in and out of the country, that have a great deal of drive and a clean nervous system. The other highly significant qualities are:
- A consistent "GENETICALLY FULL GRIP", training has something to do with this, but genetics play an important role. A dog that does not have a genetically full grip will not even have viable chance at top level competition.
- A dog that has an abundant level of prey drive to enable it to strike the helper during the protection work with "TREMENDOUS SPEED AND FORCE", over and over again. Again training has some influence but one must have great genetics. Prey drive is also necessary for fast retrieves, and relieving stress in the other phases.
- Another important genetic quality is "Active Aggression", it is what enables a dog to perform "EXPLOSIVE AND DYNAMIC HOLDING". It enables a dog with the ability to turn on and off (ie:biting, holding, disarming) with little or no stimulation from the helper.
- A strong "IRRITABILITY AND STRESS THRESHOLD". This is the dogs ability to perform all three phases of the work without showing stress or hectic ness, such as: severe mouthing on the dumbbells, hectic ness on the track, and most commonly a somewhat hectic grip. This commonly is a difficult quality to find, because the more one increases the drive level in a dog (from a genetic standpoint), the more potential for hectic ness. A low "IRRITABILITY THRESHOLD" is a very common problem in the working breed today. Many dogs have the drives, but they have a "LOW IRRITABILITY THRESHOLD" and are not capable of the necessary composure for top level competition.
- The fourth and one of the most important qualities, is the dogs ability to endure pressure under all three phases. This is a quality known as "HARDNESS", and it is the most misused word in dog training. Drives are necessary, and a good many dogs have the necessary drives to do the work and do it well, but in all phases of the work (tracking, obedience, protection) there must be a significant level of pressure administered to make sure the dog is consistent and reliable in its performance of the work. In a "VERY GOOD DOG" it not only allows you to utilize pressure, to increase consistency and reliability of performance, it also allows you to utilize pressure to increase speed without showing consequential symptoms of pressure (ie: very fast retrieves, lightning fast swing finishes). These are the most significant qualities necessary in a dog for "NATIONAL" and "INTERNATIONAL" level performances. They may not seem like qualities that are very difficult to find in a dog, but the most difficult achievement, is to find them all in one dog, and have them all in the proper balance.
Just My Opinion
Rick Burgos :) "Permission by the author required to copy . Obtained for this site by myself on 2/8/99