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The ADBA Safe Dog Program

By May 16, 2016 October 22nd, 2016 The Safe Dog Program

ADBA Safe Dog Program Basic / Advanced

As APBT fanciers who assume the duty to safe_dogsafeguard and protect the breed, we encourage every dog placed by a breeder Should be provided with information about the ADBA Safe Dog Program and the importance of early socialization and training. The expectation should be made that by the time that the dog is 18 months of age, that dog should obtain certification in the Safe Dog Program Level I.  This not only certifies that the dog has received adequate socialization and basic obedience training but also the owner has received education regarding dog psychology and responsible ownership.

We also encourage all potential brood stock to obtain certification in the Safe Dog Program Level II. It is never advisable to use a dog with an unsound temperament in a breeding program, as temperament can be genetically passed to a dog’s offspring.

ADBA SAFE DOG PROGRAM BASIC LEVEL I:

Level # I Part A: Behavior and Training Test:

The Behavior and training test will consist of nine subsets or exercises to evaluate the dog’s behavior, showing respect for his handler as pack leader, steadiness and the handler’s ability to control his dog.

Sub-test #1 thru #3 deals with the dog’s tolerance of interaction with a neutral and friendly        stranger (handler present).

Sub-test #4 thru #6 tests for simple obedience training

Sub-test #7 thru #9 tests for a handler’s ability to control the dog experiencing distractions within the test area

The handler may use mild corrections, praise or encouragement during the test, but no treats or props may be used.  Sub-tests are scored pass/fail.  Dogs must pass all sub-tests to pass this part of the test.  If a dog fails any sub-test of Part #1, the handler can elect to have his dog retested completing the entire Behavior and Training test again.

LEVEL # I PART B: RESPONSIBLE OWNERSHIP

The owners and or handlers of the dogs participating in the Safe Dog Program will be given a short presentation or the opportunity to view a short video on Basic Canine Psychology and Responsible Ownership.  A written outline will accompany this instruction.  After review and time to answer any questions, a true/false, multiple choice exam will be given to participants.  We trust that everyone will be achieving a 100% score on this exam after participating in this section of the Safe Dog Program.

Safe Dog Program Advanced Level II:

LEVEL # II PART A: TEMPERAMENT EVALUATION

The temperament portion of the test will be conducted by an ADBA certified tester/trainer that has the energy, knowledge and experience as a canine behaviorist/trainer. The dog’s responses to the energy of the tester will enable an assessment of the dog’s character, aggression level, intensity, stress level, socialization, recovery time and temperament as being sound or unsound. This portion of the test will be done in an isolated area without the owner of the dog present, so as to be able to determine the inborn temperament of the animal. The temperament evaluation is not done as a means of training or socialization. The tester is attempting to determine the dogs hard wiring of his brain and nervous system, by watching his response as the tester moves through the dog’s no threat zone, to his threat zone, then to his dominating zone with suspicious then threatening energy. The instant the dog backs down, (evident by backing up, lying down or trying to flee); the tester will change his energy from threatening to NO threat. The response of the dog with a sound temperament will be a change in its behavior to approach or accept the tester within a short period of time. This is known as recovery time. It is this recovery time that helps the tester evaluate the dog’s character, stress level (the level of stress that the dog can tolerate before the dog breaks down) and socialization. A dog that fails to recover, or has a prolonged recovery time would be determined to be unsound in temperament.

The temperament evaluation enables the tester to determine the dog’s ability to evaluate energy in his environment and respond appropriately. As one breeder coined it, “a dog with a good temperament has the natural intelligence to know friend from foe.”

If a dog’s temperament is determined to be unsound by the tester at this evaluation, the dog should wait five months before retesting. It would be advisable to contact a canine behaviorist/trainer to structure a program to assist the dog and owner in possible rehabilitation or progression. It is important to understand that a dog is born with its temperament. It is not possible to change temperament. In some instances management of an unsound dog is possible with the right circumstances and willingness of the owner. It is never advisable to use a dog with an unsound temperament in a breeding program, as temperament can be genetically passed to a dog’s offspring.

LEVEL # II PART B: BEHAVIOR AND TRAINING TEST

The Behavior and training test will consist of nine subsets or exercises to evaluate the dog’s behavior, showing respect for his handler as pack leader, steadiness and the handler’s ability to control his dog.

Sub-test #1 thru #3 deals with the dog’s tolerance of interaction with a neutral and friendly stranger (handler present).

Sub-test #4 thru #6 tests for simple obedience training.

Sub-test #7 thru #9 tests for a handler’s ability to control the dog experiencing distractions           within the test area.

The handler may provide calm corrections during the test, but no treats or props may be used. Sub-tests are scored pass/fail. Dogs must pass all sub-tests to pass this part of the test. If a dog fails more than one sub-test of Part B, the handler can elect to have his dog retested, at a later time after more training and socialization. The $20.00 registration fee will have to be paid again and the dog must complete all nine sub-tests of the Behavior and Training test. For a dog that fails to complete only one sub-test, the tester, at his discretion and if time permits, may choose to allow the dog to retake the one sub-test that he did not pass at the end of the day’s testing. It will not be required to complete the temperament evaluation if the dog successfully passed it the first time.

LEVEL # II PART C: RESPONSIBLE OWNERSHIP

The owners and or handlers of the dogs participating in the Safe Dog Program will be given a short presentation or the opportunity to view a short video on Basic Canine Psychology and Responsible Ownership. A written outline will accompany this instruction. After review and time to answer any questions, a true/false, multiple choice exam, will be given. We trust that after participation in this section of the Safe Dog Program all participants will achieve a 100% score on this exam. The responsible ownership portion of the program can be presented to participants by a club officer or member while the trainer is conducting the Level II Part A, Temperament evaluation.

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