Year 2005 the Swedish Armed Forces Dog Instruction Centre, SAFDIC, started a breeding program of German Shepherds in Sollefteå. Every year the SAFDIC is expected to deliver at least 50 dogs with the right temperament either to be trained to become a military dog or a breeding dog and there is a need for about 70 police dogs. The dogs that are bred at the kennel of the SAFDIC are raised by volunteers (also called puppy raisers) from the age of eight weeks until they do a standardised behaviour test the behavioural test, at an age of 15 to 18 month. During the time of the stay at the puppy raisers there are three available meetings for the puppy raisers with consultants (which are working for the SAFDIC) to get information from the SAFDIC. If a dog “passes” the behavioural test they will either be trained by the Swedish Armed Forces for 8-10 months or become a part of the breeding program. The behavioural tests are conducted at five different places; spread across Sweden, with the same test leader at all the test to reduce bias from different test leaders. The behavioural test is divided into 14 sub-tests, which are all conducted during the same day. All sub-tests combined takes about 40 minutes for every dog. The purpose of the behavioural test is to evaluate the dogs’ temperament and suitability to become military working dogs or used as breeding animals. Since the start of the selective breeding program about 25 % of all born German Shepherds are used in the Swedish Armed Forces in some way. About 50% of all tested dogs are eliminated due to unsuitable temperament, and almost 25 % are eliminated due to medical issues (most common; problems with joints, hips and elbows). Still, dogs with physiological problems are scored in the behavioural test, in order to get more information about the heritability of test responses and also to evaluate the parental breeding dogs. The differences in the results of the behavioural test could be due to, for example, personality, genes and early experiences of the dogs.
The aim of this study was to see if the results from the standardised behavioural test can be connected to a modified version of C-BARQ (questions about experiences during the dog's first year of life added). The first hypothesis was that there will be indications for the results in the behavioural test by the use of C-BARQ. The second hypothesis was that some of the additional questions, concerning early experiences, will be indicators for the result in the behavioural test.
Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 05/14/13