The imprinting test for the puppy
" Imprinting " is a complex mental process that leads the puppy to consider the man as one of his kind and thus to seek the contact with him. Only puppies with good imprinting can become useful dogs, well socialized and willing to collaborate with the man.
Understanding the imprinting
To receive a correct imprinting , the puppies must to be in constant contact with different people: they must sniff them, play with them, be hugged. If this is not done or done only with one person, the imprinting can be absent or incomplete and then give an adult dog that is not fully socialized and that will be therefore difficult to educate and to train.
Individuals generally do not know the importance of imprinting (they sometimes do not even know what it means): however most of the time, having a reach at home leads family members to spend a lot of time with dogs and this problem is solved automatically, without even being raised.
Risk may arise in case of absence of family: if there is only one person at home and there is only she who handles the puppies, the imprinting may focus on this one person and not on the human species, as it should be. In a farm, we usually know this problem and we try to provide a good imprinting dog.
However, if several litters are born at the same time and the breeder is a little overwhelmed, it may happen that this imprinting is defective or incomplete. It is for all these reasons that it is strongly recommended to run this test as soon as you have located the scope of your dreams.
Age : between thirty and forty days, if you still want the possibility to intervene by correcting any negative results. The test can also be performed at fifty or sixty days: the answers obtained are then reliable but they are definitive and can not be corrected.
Location : given the young age of puppies, the test can be carried out on the farm or in the home of the owner of the litter (including in a garden on a sunny day)
Duration : about 15 minutes.
Who should perform the test? An adult person who is not known to puppies (you, for example).
Course of the test Approach the litter by walking quietly, without speaking or making sudden gestures. Sit in the middle of puppies and watch their reactions
What do puppies do?
- Puppies come at once to inspect and sniff at you; they invite you to play and take familiarity with you: All the members of the litter received a very good imprinting : you can buy without hesitation one of the puppies by being certain that it will be for you a companion and even a friend
- The puppies turn around you with an interested air, but they keep themselves at a safe distance; some of them show an aggressive onset (roaring, barking). After a few minutes, the more adventurous of them begin to approach and quickly all the puppies take familiarity with you: The imprinting is still incomplete : it can be a slight delay taken by the breeder in the establishment of a relationship with his puppies, or subjects that need more time. It may also be an imprinting focused on one person. A counter-test must then be performed by repeating this test a week or so later: if the behavior of the puppies is more friendly, there is no problem. If the puppies always have the same reactions, ask the breeder to take your place among them: if they then show the same reactions in the case above, you are dealing with a imprinting focused on a only person . Ask the farmer what he intends to do in the next few days: if he does not have the opportunity to introduce other people to puppies, their socialization may be incomplete. If you really want a subject of this scope, you can still get along with the breeder and come back to see the puppies with a friend or relative the following week. Make yourself sniffed by the puppies, touch them and play with them for a little half an hour a day: this may be enough to carry the imprinting to an end.
- Puppies run to hide in a corner , visibly frightened by human presence: Puppies totally lack imprinting : this is a dangerous situation because it is irreversible once they are over eight weeks old. These puppies will become irremediably "wild" and fearing dogs, difficult to educate and impossible to train. At thirty-five or forty days, we can still save the situation: I advise you to talk with the breeder, ask him what he thinks about doing it and make your choice based on his answers. A puppy with no imprinting must not be bought . However, if you still have time to fix it, you can take care of it personally, with the help of friends, as we saw in the previous one (of course, if the breeder agrees). This obviously requires some availability on your part.