The Temperament and Tests of our American Staffordshire Terriers
Before mating a bitch we off course temperament test both the dame and the sire. Not only because Dutch breeders have to (because of government rules), but mainly because we want to know the temperament of this particular individual. This temperament test is according the rules of the Dutch Kennel Club (Raad van Beheer) and the National Breed Club (A.S.T.C.H.). The test is called M.A.G.-test and the results will be registered and certificated.
At three, five and seven weeks of age, we temperament test also our babies, using a mix of numerous methods. This involves putting the puppies through a series of exercises to determine their reaction to various stimuli. The exercises are done in a certain order and are performed in a strange place by a person never before encountered by the puppies. A second person records and grades the puppies’ reactions to the stimuli. By the time our puppies reach seven weeks old, we are very familiar with their temperaments, but we are always interested to see how they do with the temperament testing. You can always catch a tendency that you might not have picked up before because of the puppy’s mental development. We use these results when matching our puppies to their prospective homes.
After all you have read on this site already, we’re sure you’re more than aware of how important we believe temperament is. We just thought we’d say – one more time – that a dog who cannot live loose in the house and socialize with the family is of no use to anyone.
Our goal is to breed a sweet, happy temperament – one without aggressive tendencies – so that our dogs can be loose with children, cats, other dogs and the odd ferret that might come along. A stable temperament is one that will stand a dog in good stead through any situation, be it a child screaming and running by or a broken leg with the accompanying pain.
Stable temperaments come from breeding for them. They do not come from environment, although certainly we recognize that the way in which an animal is raised plays a large part in the way they are conditioned to react to certain stimuli. We strive to achieve a lovely, sweet temperament in every puppy we breed. No exceptions. A dog with great conformation that wins in the show ring, but is miserable to live with is not something with which we want to be involved.