Not by design, Pemberly has a new puppy at our place. This past winter CH Destiny A Lily in the Field, 2009 Winners Bitch/Best of Winners owned by Nancy Schenck was bred by our Keaton. On April 4, 2011, 5 girls and 2 boys were born in Terre Haute and raised by Leslie Wilkerson of Legacy Kennels.
“Taylor”, Destiny Candle on the Water is a beautiful puppy. Coal black eyes with an expressive look that melts your heart. She is a gentle sweet puppy and came to us almost housebroken at 8 weeks of age. Reagan, my tom boy, loves to play . She particularly enjoys “rolling” her little sister into the leaves and dirt so play has to be supervised .
Unlike her workaholic father and her overachieving sister Reagan, Taylor is content to lead a more casual life. She also does not seem to have the natural boldness and intensity that defines her dad and sister. This soft agreeable creature showed all of this to us during our temperament testing.
Temperament testing(PAT-puppy aptitude test) is most often performed at 7 weeks(49 days) by breeders looking for the best performance dog in a litter. This testing began in the 70’s by well known dog handlers Wendy and Jack Volhard . It has now become a standard test with a series of specific exercises to demonstrate attributes such as prey drive(need for retrieving, herding), sensitivities( such gun shyness) , and sociability(are they willing to work and want to be with their handlers).
A friend and I have now tested multiple litters of various retrievers. We have found that there is nothing so magical about the “49th day” if the pups are raised in an enriched environment with people, the dam and his/her siblings .
True to her personality, Taylor’s test showed some timidity and moderate retrieve drive. Although she was the top conformation pick, she would not be the choice for most competition people.
Taylor has come along way since joining us at Pemberly. She comes to work almost daily and has traveled with us to dog shows and hunt tests. She loves her birds and loves to snuggle. We will see where this journey takes us.