36 year breeding BMD

Doremis Kennel 
König & Linnea Karlsson
Långviken 51 922 66 Tavelsjö, Sweden
  00469060327
    e-mail: kennel@doremis.se

    
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Hamiltonplaketten

Bernese Mountain Dog
Berner Sennen 



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Used males for mateing

 




 

 

 

 

 

Mental Description of dog - a canine character test performed by
Svenska Brukshundsklubben (the Swedish Working Dogs´ organisation)

 

The main test units

Within each test unit there are 2-3 partial tests.

  1. Contact with a stranger. Test leader takes the dog on the leash and goes away from the handler/owner, executes physical examination, mouth and teeth inspection. Thus, what is the dog's reaction to a stranger?
  2. Willingness to play. Test leader plays with a big white cloth, throws it to the handler (owner), invites the dog to play with the cloth, tugs the cloth, etc.
  3. Chasing. A big white cloth is drawn in a zigzag pattern at a distance of 24 feet (supposedly a rabbit or other prey). The dog is let loose and has to run and attack the object, then is called back to the handler.
  4. Ability to relax. Handler and dog stand still for three minutes. What does the dog do during the dull interval?
  5. Ability to collaborate with a stranger. A "witch" (clad in black) suddenly comes out of the woods at a distance of approximately 120 feet. She kneels, stands up, and kneels again, waving a big cloth, luring the dog to come to her.
  6. Reaction to the sudden appearance of a large object. A blue overall (XL) is rigged with ropes and suddenly appears when the handler and the dog are strolling along a path.
  7. Reaction to sounds. Hidden in the bushes, a chain is pulled over a corrugated iron-plate, creating a loud rattling sound.
  8. Reaction to an approaching threat. Ghosts. Two volunteers dressed in white sheets, with white plastic buckets on their heads and large black painted eyes, nose and mouth, move stereotypically forward three feet at the time. Wind should be away from the dog so that it cannot smell the human scent from the two ghosts.

The "ghosts" approach until they are ten feet away and then turn their backs to the dog. The handler is then allowed to call the dog's name, to go up to the ghost and start talking to it and unmask it. He can then do the same with the other ghost.

  1. Willingness to play. Has the dog’s willingness to play during units 1 to 7 faded or is he still alert? [Unit two is repeated].
  2. During the test, shots from a 9 mm pistol are fired. The shooter is about 100 feet away from the dog and is hidden in the woods. Ten seconds between each shot. Reaction?

Playing tug the cloth. Dog is on a leash. Handler is passive. Two more shots are fired, but at a shorter distance. Ten seconds between each shot

 

 

Phases

1

2

3

4

5

1a. CONTACT
Greeting

Refuses contact -growling and/or snappish.

Avoids contact - shy, withdraws.

Accepts contact - totally unengaged, but no withdrawals.

Makes contact volontarily or when handler makes contact.
Is well-balanced

Intensive contact behaviour towards test leader, might also jump and whine.

1b. CONTACT
Collaboration

Doesn't follow despite repeated calls.

Follows reluctantly. Strives towards handler, or struggles towards other direction.

Follows the whole distance, neutral.

Follows willingly. Shows engagement.

Follows willingly. Shows intensive interest in test leader, jumps, whines.

1c. CONTACT
Handling

Repudiating. Growling and/or snappish.

Avoiding, withdraws, looks for handler's support.

Accepts. Is neutral.

Accepts, responds with contact behaviour.

Accepts. Intensive contact behaviour towards test leader.

2a. PLAY 1
Playfulness

Doesn't play.

Doesn't play, but shows interest.

Plays - starts slowly but becomes active.

Plays actively, starts quickly.

Plays very actively, starts very quickly.

2b. PLAY 1
Grabbing

No grabbing.

No grabbing. Sniffs at object.

Careful grasping or pinching object.

Grabs directly with full mouth.

Grabs directly, attacks object with tearing bites.

2c. PLAY 1
Tug-of-war

Doesn't bite.

Bites carefully, lets go, holds, doesn't resist.

Bites - resists, lets go, bites again.

Grabs directly with whole mouth resists until test leader lets go.

Grabs directly with whole mouth,

3a. CHASE
Pursuing

Doesn't start.

Starts but interrupts.

Starts or runs slowly
May increase speed.
Follows up action.

Starts at high speed,
concentrated on target - "hits the brakes" when reaching the prey.

Starts directly at high speed. Runs passing prey. Might turn back.

3b. CHASE
Grabbing

Ignores prey viz.
doesn't run up to the prey.

Doesn't grab object; sniffs at it.

Grasps hesitatingly
or with delay.

Grabs directly and then releases.

Grabs directly. Keeps prey
for at least 3 seconds.

4 ACTIVITY

Inattentive, uninterested, inactive.

Attentive and calm - standing, sitting or lying.

Attentive and mainly calm.
Occasional increased activity.

Attentive, but slightly anxious. Walks about as time goes by.

Uneasy. Quickly changes activities.

5a. DISTANT PLAY.
Interest

No engagement in figurant
Uninterested.

In control, but interruptions occur.

Interested, follows the figurant without interruption.

Interested, wants to take off. Occasionally tries to start.

Very interested. Wants to take off.
Several tries to start.

5b. DISTANT PLAY
Threats/Aggression

No barking or growling.

Occasional barking and/or growling during first phase.

Occasional barking and/or growlling during first and second phase.

Shows threatening behaviours, barking and growling during first phase.

Shows threatening behaviours, barking and growling during first and second phase.

5c. DISTANT PLAY
Curiosity

Doesn't approach figurant without help. Uninterested.

Approaches when figurant is talking and playing with the object.

Approaches the hidden, but talking figurant

Approaches figurant with a low profile and/or time delay.

Directly approaches figurant without any help.

5d. DISTANT PLAY
Playfulness

Shows no interest.

Doesn't play but shows interest.

Plays, grasps carefully, rleases, doesn't resist the pulling.

Grabs directly. May let go and grab again. Doesn't resist the pulling..

Grabs directly with whole mouth. Resists, doesn't release.

5e. DISTANT PLAY
Collaboration

Shows no interest.

Becomes active, but interrupts.

Active with figurant, when figurant is active.

 Active with figurant; interested also in passive figurant.

Invites passive figurant to continue playing.

6a. SURPRISE
Fear

Stops, short stop.

Crouches and stops.

 Dodges without turning away gaze.

Escapes max. 5 meters.

Escapes more than 5 meters.

6b. SURPRISE
Threats/Aggression

Shows no threatening behaviours.

 Shows a few threatening behaviours.

Shows several threatening behaviours during a long time.

Shows several threatening behaviours, barkings and a few attack attempts.

Shows threatening behaviours and attacks - might even end with bites.

6c. SURPRISE
Curiosity

Approaches when handler puts the overall on the ground viz. doesn't approach.

Approaches when handler squats while talking to the overall and calling the dog.

Walks up to the overall when handler is standing beside.

Walks up to the overall when handler has walked half the distance.

Walks up to the overall unaided.

6d. SURPRISE
Remaining fear

No tempo change, nor escape attempt.

Walks in a small arc or changes tempo or looks away at a few passages.

Walks in an arc or changes tempo at the first passage. Weaker reaction at the second passage.

Walks in an arc or changes tempo during at least two passages without decreased intensity between the occasions.

Shows great fear or increased fear after all passages.

6e. SURPRISE
Remaining interest

Takes no interest in the overall.

Stops and sniffs. Looks at the overall on one occasion.

Stops and sniffs. Looks at the overall on at least two occasions.

Bites in viz. playful towards the overall, interest decreases as time goes by.

Stops and sniffs. Looks at the overall on two or more passages.

7a. NOISE SENSITIVITY
Fear

Stops. Short stop.

Croaches and stops.

Dodges without turning away gaze.

Escapes max 5 meters.

Escapes more than 15 meters..

7b. NOISE SENSITIVITY
Curiosity

Doesn't approach.

Approaches when handler squats and talks to the rattling noise and calling the dog.

Approaches the rattling noise when handler is standing beside.

Walks up to the rattling noise after handler has walked half the distance.

 Walks up to the rattling noise without help.

7c. NOISE SENSITIVITY
Remaining fear

No change of tempo, nor dodging.

Walks in a small arc or slightly changes tempo, or looks away on some of the passages.

Walks in an arc or changes tempo on the first passage. Decreased reaction at the second passage.

Walks in an arc or changes tempo at least on two passages without decreasing reaction between occasions.

Shows great fear or increased fear after all passages.

7d. NOISE SENSITIVITY
Remaining interest

No interest in the source of noise.

Stops. Sniffs viz. looks at the source of noise on one occasion.

Stops. Sniffs viz. looks towards the source of noise at least on two occasions.

Bites viz. play behaviour towards the rattling noise. Interest decreases as time goes by.

Bites viz. play behaviour with the rattlingnoise on two or more passages.

8a. GHOSTS
Threats/rancours

Shows no threatening behaviours.

Shows occasional threatening behaviours.

 Shows several threatening behaviours during long time.

Shows several threatening behaviours and even some attack.

Shows several threatening behaviours and several attacks.

8b. GHOSTS
Control

Occasional control, after that no interest viz. ignorance.

Looks towards ghosts from time to time.

In control viz. acting towards ghosts. Long interruptions.

In control acting towards both ghosts. Shorter interruptions.

In control viz. acting towards both ghosts during the whole phase.

8c. GHOSTS
Fear

Stays mainly in front of or beside handler.

Stays mainly in front of or beside handler. Some adjustment in distance.

Stays mainly in front of or beside handler. Hesitation between quick escape or in control.

Stays mainly behind handler. Several hesitations between quick escape or in control.

 Escapes longer than the length of the leash. Might seek support from audience or leave the scene.

8d. GHOSTS
Curiosity

Approaches when handler has unmasked figurants.

Approaches when handler talks to figurants viz. calling the dog.

Approaches ghost when handler is beside.

Walks up to ghost when handler has walked half the distance.

Walks up to ghost unaided.

8e. GHOSTS
Contact

Repudiates or avoids contact

Accepts contact - is totally unengaged but no withdrawal.

Responds when figurant is offering contact.

Takes own initiative to contact.
Is balanced.

Intensive contact behaviour towards figurant. Might jump and whine.

9a. PLAY 2
Playfulness

Doesn't play.

Plays but shows no interest.

Plays - starts slowly but then becomes active.

Plays actively, starts quickly.

Active playing, quick start.

9b. PLAY 2
Grabbing

No grabbing.

Grabs directly, after sniffing object.

 Grasps carefully or pinches the object.

Grabs directly with whole mouth.

Grabs directly, attacks object with tearing bites.

10. GUN SHOTS

Shows no concern. Fast control and after that totally unconcerned.

In control, but the dog's control disappears after the first shots. Interrupts activity, but then re-starts.

Decreasing reactions on gun shots viz. turns his interest towards the gun-man - then returns to activity viz. passivity.

Interrupts activity, locks attention towards the gun-man. Unable to return to play viz. is passive.

Remaining anxiety after several shots.
Interrupts after evident escape tendencies.

No more shots fired.

 

 

The MH-test takes normally about 45 minutes to execute.
Mental description tests are arranged in Sweden by breeding sections, breed clubs and local clubs after application sent in to SBK Svenska Brukshundsklubben Postal adress:
SBK-förbundet, Box 2050, 123 27 FARSTA.

The 10 phases of the MH-test

  1. Contactability with strangers. The test leader takes the dog from handler and walks away; then manhandles the dog checking out fur and body structure pretty much the same way as does a judge in dog exhibitions. The dog must also show its teeth.
    It is desirable that the dog is neither too much on guard nor excessively fawning and that it is capable of collaboration with other humans.
  2. The dog's play behaviour.. Unleashed dog. Tug-of-war-play with a rug.
  3. The dog's chasing behaviour. A rug is quickly pulled zig-zag about 8 meters from the dog.

Good chasing behaviour makes learning and training easier.

  1. The dog's ability to relax:. Standing still during 3 minute's silence.
    It is desirable that the dog is able to relax.

 

  1. Distant play. The dog's willingness to make contact with a stranger at a distance and collaborate with the stranger. A "Witch" comes out of the woods at about 40 meters distance. The witch unmasks herself and hides behind a bush, talks to the dog and invites it to play.

This phase measures the dog's curiosity and willingness to leave its handler and willingness by itself to invite a stranger to play.

 

  1. The dog's reactions to a fast emerging bigger object. Suddenly a stuffed man-size-overall emerges.
    It is desirable that the dog has the ability to quickly shrug off the discomfort.
  2. The dog's noise sensitivity. A rather heavy metal chain is pulled over corrugated plate hidden in a shrubbery, the so-called "rattle".

It is desirable that the dog should not be over-sensitive to noise.

  1. The dog's reaction to approaching threat. Ghosts - two figurants clad in white sheets with white buckets on their heads, on the buckets there are huge black eyes and teeth painted on. The ghosts stride slowly forwards in a stereotype manner in order not to move like human beings. The wind must be off the dog to prevent it from sensing the humans scent.

At a distance of about 3 meters the ghosts turn their backs to the dog. Finally the handler is allowed to say the dog's name, talk to the ghosts and unmask them.

It is desirable that the dog is willing to defend itself and its handler.

  1. The dog's possible change in playing behaviour influenced by the Tug-of-war-test,
  2. The dog's tolerance to gun shots. Tug-of-war-play - 2 gun shots are fired at intervals of 10 seconds.The gun-man is hidden at a distance of 20 meters.

It is desirable that the dog can withstand sharp noises in today's noisy society.

After this, dog in leash with handler passive, and then finally another 2 shots are fired at intervals of 10 seconds.