Temperament first, Breed second!!
Over the years we have learnt that everybody, regardless of their age, dog experience, working hours, activity level or the additional needs of a family member essentially require the same traits and characteristics from a pet dog completely irrelevant of the breed, size, colour or gender that the new owner desires. Most dogs, of most breeds, don’t possess the right traits for your family!
There are 29 character traits which are required in every pet dog in order for it to fit well and without compromise within the typical family and we have found, through working with thousands of dogs and families, that on average only ten percent of puppies born (of any breed) will grow into this special type of dog. It is a fact that most dog owners at best have to, in some way, live their life around there dog because of its behaviour – they put up with it because they love their dog but if they could, nearly all owners would change some aspect of their dogs behaviour so it didn’t have a negative impact on their life. Also, far more often than you would imagine, things go drastically wrong and the family end up with no dog at all. It’s easy to assume it will never happen to you but actually, when it comes to dogs, you are more likely to get it wrong than get it right unless you find the right information and unfortunately, its very hard to find.
Unfortunately, because of this very small percentile of dogs with the ideal temperament many owners never get to experience the joys of owning a dog which displays these rare traits.
Most dogs possess some of these 29 required traits but lack others and this leads to compromise for both the owner and the dog. At WKD only 10 percent of the dogs we asses make it through our initial temperament testing process which allows them to become a WKD Trained Dog.
In order to find the type of dog that makes the ideal pet we test our all of our dogs in 29 specific areas which correlate directly to the dogs ability to be an easy going, obedient, biddable and affectionate companion that is also good fun and physically capable. For a dog to offer hassle free and enjoyable ownership which is mutually beneficial to its life and that of its owner it must pass in all 29 areas. Failure in just one area will result in that particular dog failing our tests.
If you wish to own a dog which can accompany you on countryside walks, to the beach, into coffee shops, through town, to the park, family bbq’s and many more places whilst being well behaved and making your time together truly enjoyable then your dog needs to possess the 29 character traits upon which we have built our reputation.
Our temperament testing process is, without a doubt, one of the major keys to our success. We cannot divulge all the details of our testing process in the public domain for obvious reasons but we are happy to share with you our knowledge of what every pet owner desires and requires from their dog. If however you are looking to source a dog, regardless of where you plan to get it from our insights will be invaluable to you.
Every pet dog owner requires a dog which;
- Is calm and relaxed in the house but good fun and interactive whilst out and about
- likes food enough to take a treat but not so much it pinches the roast dinner
- likes strangers enough to be comfortable in their company but not so much to run off to them at the park, jump up on you or your guests or knock the children over when mum or dad come home from work.
- likes other dogs enough to be social but not so much it finds other dogs more enjoyable than the owner and runs off or plays with them in an uncontrollable manner whilst ignoring recall commands.
- fails to acknowledge other kinds of animals of any kind so that it doesn’t run off chasing them and either get lost or cross a road.
- does not show aggression of any kind around the food bowl, other resources or people.
- is easy to handle on the lead. Most dogs pull and owners struggle to change their behaviour. Your dog needs the trait of being a follower rather than a leader.
- is responsive to all commands – the dog needs to be sound sensitive enough that it hears the average persons voice when they call it from a distance.
The list goes on and on and we believe that there is no other family dog supplier in the dog world who works to such strict an exacting standards as ourselves. In fact, we would go as far to say that based on our learnings over the past five years which have only presented themselves through the successful supply of over 1800 fully trained family dogs, the majority of dog professionals won’t even be aware of the subtle traits and inherent temperament requirements that we base our temperament tests around.
Our success is based upon our willingness and never ending passion to continually improve our processes, always striving to improve the lives of dogs and people around the world.
Only a dog which has successfully passed all 29 tests, in the correct order will possess the many attributes in character (some of which are outlined above) which we require from all of our dogs.
Once a dog has successfully completed our temperament and veterinary testing we fully profile the dogs temperament, highlight exceptional traits which may lend the dog to pursuing a route towards specialist training and then ensure that the dog is a good fit for its new family before training it specifically to their needs.