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In another thread, the value of titles for breeding suitability were discussed, which led to some spirited conversation. There are many criteria that are, and should be considered for remaining true to the maintenance of working traits in a working dog.

Let's talk about what criteria are important priorities, and why they are of importance. So to get the thread started, what are your priorities as a breeder or in selecting a working prospect?

Some criteria I see as crucial, for the kind of dog I prefer, in no particular order...including, but not limited to:

Balanced drives, but high levels of prey, coupled with natural suspicion, and sufficient aggression. High hunt drive, high retrieve.

Health/solid structure

Athleticism

Environmental stability (sounds and surfaces)

Longevity-chronological age, as well as "working lifespan" (What does the dog look like at 8+ years? How has the dog held up structurally, and general health wise over the long haul?)

Confidence

Resiliency

Nerve

Titles

Other proof of working ability

Trainability/willingness to work


Any opinions?
 

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We have a fairly simple method of choosing working dogs in our department.

The dog must have ball drive since we exclusively use a tennis ball as a reward.

The dog must also have over the top hunt drive. We're looking for a dog that will search for his ball in tall grass for 4 or more minutes.

Dogs that get distracted easily or look back at you for direction are NOT what we're looking for.

Everything else can be taught. We can't teach genetics.

As an aside, I only train scent dogs, not bite dogs.
 

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I don't think you left anything out Tim! Not a breeder, but that is what I want as a teammate, and luckily I received what you described. And yes, flybyu2, I agree, independence when sent out is good, I don't want the dog looking to me for each little cue, but to discern on his own.
Now to do him justice(titles) with my handling skills(or lack of)
 
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