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Matching puppies & families on temperament

Hopefully, you've already heard why matching the right puppy to its best family is so important.  Imagine living in a home where you are a very happy, energetic puppys who is always looking for excitement and loves to explore on your own to find adventures.  Now, consider life after you moved in with a family of two very feeble seniors, who's idea of exercise is a walk to the mailbox, 50 yards down the walk once a day.  Life wouldn't be good for you or your people.

That's why we assess the innate temperament of the pups and try to place them in homes where these traits will be welcome, valued, praised.  We want the pups to be who they are, not always trying to fit in where they just don't fit.

Puppy temperament has two aspects.  There are a group of traits which are fairly stable by 7 weeks of age.  We evaluate those at our Temperament Assessment first.  And we match basedon these fairly immutable traits.  Next we measure traits that are still developing and are more moldable depending on the training and experience the pup receives.  We evaluate these traits as well, and then if they don't quite match what you were hoping for, we provide you a training plan to help puppy develop these traits.

Energy level and stress response tend to be hard-wired, meaning that you get what you have at seven weeks. If the puppy at the assessment finds a spot to hide and sleep when we increase the demands of the test, we know that they respond to stress by shutting down.  Some pups will rev up and get more and more excited or anxious under the same circumstances.

A good example of a later developing trait is the desire to fetch and retrieve.  Some dogs have this from the beginning, although we don't see if for some time.  Others need a little encouragement to build interest in the game of fetch.  Entles are often ball obsessed but there are a few that may need a little coaching on the retrieve and release.

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Matching puppies & families on conformation

Conformation matching involves selecting the most athletic puppy for the most demanding physical job available.  For working dogs, conformation means a sturdy body that will withstand the normal rigors of daily life.  

None of our pups are likely to be going to a full time herding job but their families may have aspirations for agility or herding or dog showing (conformation).  By evaluating the pups against the breed standard, we can predict which ones are best suited to physically demanding jobs, like agility competition at a high level.

Breed standards are developed to align breeders to continue producing the same, consistent type of dog.  Showing dogs are rewarded for being similar to the standard while having a little eye catching movement or personality.

Some aspects of the standard, like gait assessment is more difficult in a young puppy, but at 8 weeks of age, it is believed that the pup has the structure, angles and ratios that he will have again when he reaches maturity about 2 years out.  And even at 8 weeks, a judge with experience in the breed can see an easy flowing gait vs a stiff, cumbersome movement.

Below is a summary of the breed standard for the Entlebucher.  Your puppy will be evaluated against this standard by a qualified AKC judge.  They are already beautiful pups - but we'll see which ones the judge finds the most appealing.  

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