There are many ways to test puppies today. Some are excellent tools for determining genetic health--possibly before a mating match is even made. Other tests are more subjective, including temperament and personality tests. The issue for breeders and owners is how useful testing might be and how the results should be interpreted.
Testing For Health Reasons
Modern scientific advances have been applied for the betterment of people and animals everywhere—including dog breeding, and including the Border Collie. Today, genetic and DNA testing can be used to identify potentially harmful and costly medical conditions that can make owning a particular puppy difficult, possibly unmanageable; DNA and genetic tests can be used on dogs prior to breeding so that dogs and bitches can either be culled as breeding stock or bred selectively with dogs that do not carry suspect genes, therefore the trait cannot present.
Certification tests can also be performed on Border Collie pups after birth to check the soundness of hips and eyes. Eye disorders, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and joint conditions, such as hip dysplasia should be performed so that buyers can have assurance of good Border Collie health and so that breeders can breed responsibly to eradicate health problems within the breed.
Testing For Border Collie Personality
There are also test batteries that are designed to determine the personality and working ability of Border Collies. These tests examine a number of different Border Collie personality traits and rate the dog appropriately so that potential owners can better select a dog that will closely suit their goals and needs.
Often, Border Collie owners have misplaced objectives for personality testing on Border Collies. Contrary to popular belief, the tests are not designed to pass or fail a specific dog; they are simply designed to rate performance in each trait area. The object of the test is for owners to select the dog with the prevalent traits they desire.
Border Collie trainers caution owners not to expect puppy tests to guarantee working quality in an adult dog. While they do give some idea as to the dog's potential for performance, the end product relies very heavily on the ability of the owner to train and control their dog. The best dog cannot be a champion animal if the proper guidance and socialization is not given.
Trainers further caution owners not to be too picky in choosing for traits. No Border Collie, as they say, wil excel in every point. The best advice from trainers is to choose the traits that are of most importance to you, and look for areas where the Border Collie perhaps scored low but might be corrected with good training and experience.
Puppy testing can be very useful to determine the health and potential of a Border Collie. The results of puppy tests can give an owner valuable information that can help them determine if they will be able to meet the training and medical needs of the dog in the long term. It is a good idea to include questions about puppy testing as part of the conversation when selecting a future pet or working animal, particularly in matters of dog health.