What Puppies are Available?
One of the most frequently asked questions we get when we have a litter of puppies is, "Which of the puppies are available?"
And that's a hard question for us to answer, because we never know which puppies are available until they are seven weeks of age and have undergone temperament testing. Why do we do temperament testing? How many times have you seen a post online with someone saying, "We need to re-home our dog, they don't get along with our kids/we don't have enough time for them/they have too much energy for our family"....etc etc etc. Many times, the reason people look to re-home their dog is because the dog and the family are not a good fit to begin with. Sometimes a family living a small house may have got a dog that requires a lot of exercise like a Husky, or maybe a family got a working dog like an Australian Shepherd and can't handle the dogs energy, in any case, there are plenty of sad stories about dogs and families that don't quite fit together. For this reason, we have all of the families on our reservation list fill out an in-depth questionnaire that goes over everything they are looking for in their future puppy. We ask questions such as, "How important is it that your puppy can learn basic commands, like sit?"
"How important is it to you that your puppy likes to fetch/play with toys?"
All together our questionnaire has around 30 questions for our families to answer. When puppies are seven weeks of age we take all of our puppies to our trainers house and we evaluate them one-on-one. Some of the things we test them on is how willingly they approach our trainer, how they react to being touched, how they react to different toys/noises/textures.
Each puppy is evaluated for close to 20 minutes on multiple tests, and each puppy is evaluated by itself to get an accurate representation of its personality.
Once all puppies have been tested we then look at our families questionnaires and match them to the puppy that matches up closest to what they are looking for. We have found temperament testing to be invaluable to our program and because we do temperament testing, we do not allow our families to 'pick' which puppy is theirs and we do not match our puppies based on what color or gender they are. So for example, if someone really wanted a female puppy, but in their questionnaire they explained they were looking for a laid back, easy going dog who loved to be petted, and the females in our litter were outgoing, excited dogs who didn't love to be handled, we would not match that family to a female puppy. It is important to us that we make life-long matches for our puppies and their families and temperament has proven to be a much better match-making process than color or gender allows for. One thing I tell all of our families is, "looks fade quickly if your puppy isn't a good match for your family!" If our reservation list is full when temperament testing is done, everyone on our family is matched to a puppy. If we have a litter of 8 puppies, but only 6 people on the list, those six people will get matched to their puppies, and the remaining two puppies will then be advertised as available, and we can also explain how the puppy performed during their temperament testing. We love our process for temperament testing and we love that our puppies go to a home that is the perfect fit for them.