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Investigating a possible match and wondering if this is the "right" opportunity for me. Two things:

What is ACA? I know what AKC is but have not been exposed to ACA until now. Can anyone describe ACA vs. AKC?

Also on the subject of k-9 personality/temperament? I've read on this forum that choosing an 8 week old puppy is like a "crap shoot" b/c there is no way to really know what the pups personality/temperament will be like. Why is that different than humans? One doesn't need to spend too much time around a baby to figure out if the child is fiesty, easy or shy. Is it different in the dog world? Getting an older dog (year old or more) appeals to me b/c I've read on this forum that with an older dog you know what you are getting in the realm of personality/temperament. I'm having a hard time letting go of wanting to nurture a young pup from the get go but it seems risky, if it's really a "crap shoot" when making a pick of a litter!

Any feedback appreciated!
 

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ACA American Canine Association They have much cheap registration fees and easier guidelines for registration meaning that they are not as diligent in insuring a register dog is actual pure bred, no DNA for heavely used sire etc. They sponsor almost not conformation or other dogs sports It is basical a registery catering to backyard breeders and puppymills.

I am not sure what you are trying to have answered in the second part. So I am takeing a stab at in the dark. The idea of temperment testing in puppies is to determine what the puppies temperment will be like as an adult. but in reality it is just a snap shot of the puppies temperament on one particular day in its development. Temperament is effected by both gentics and environment and how much influence each has is widly speculated without much agree but this much is known. The temperament of the puppy genral is no indication of the final temperment as an adult. except for timidity/shyness which tends to be a self reward personality trait . So yes it is easly to tell a stuborn, pig head, energetic, bold puppy just as it is a child, but in both cases that personality as a child general has very little to do with the temperment of the adult. There is so much the "nurturing" aspect plays a role as well a traumatic and exuberant experience at cirtic life development stages. So it is possible to turn that bold, out going puppy into a quivering mass of jello as an adult, Turning a shy, timid puppy into a bold out going one not so much. But this goes for other traits as well the off the wall energetic puppy can be a mellow adult and vice versa.

The fact that a puppies temperment is not set in stone has it advantages, It means to some extent you can mold the puppies temperment to what you would like it to be by control the experience it has while growing up. But on the other hand you can ruin a temperment the same way sometime just a freak trauma at the wrong time can have a profondly negative effect.

see Critical Periods In A Puppies Development

Puppy Testing
It is highly unlikely that the results of a one-time, standardized test offer a valid representation of a puppy's overall behavior and temperament. A single test indicates how the pup faired on a certain day, with a particular tester, under strictly monitored conditions

...In reality, many so-called aptitude/temperament tests are in fact, simple behavior tests. Simple one-time observations of a puppy's behavior are used to make sweeping generalizations about the pup's future temperament. Results of a simple visitation test have been grossly extrapolated to draw quite complicated conclusions about trainability and temperament. If the intention is to evaluate these various attributes, we would do much better to specifically appraise the pup's learning speed, attention span, recognition, recall and memory, or to investigate reactiveness, bounce-back (forgiveness), specific sensitivities and fears.

...Predictive Value of Tests
Although it is widely assumed that it is possible to accurately predict a dog's adult temperament from early testing, this has never actually been satisfactorily demonstrated in any scientific study. An interested breeder or trainer can endeavor to answer this question
...
With a large amount of variation between the test results in any series, the predictive value is minimal. If anything, it predicts a lack of prediction — producing no reliable assessment of how the dog acted in the past, it offers little help in forecasting the dog's actions in the future.
The older the dog at the time of each test, the greater is the predictive value of the results. Young animals have a high degree of plasticity in terms of their temperament and behavior repertoire, which are continually modified with each new experience. This is reflected by gross changes in each pup's absolute performance (average contact latencies) and by changes in the pus' relative performance (vis a vis other littermates) prior to six months of age. With older dogs, the rank order of approach times remains more a less the same. Adolescent and adult dogs are much more resistant to change, even with human intervention. A six-month old dog would require hundreds of trials to significantly improve its contact latency with strangers.
Early testing only predicts how the puppies might develop if left to their own devices and if all treated equally. But pups and adolescents are never treated equally. Some grow up in great homes, others in good homes and yet others in bad homes — some poor dogs grow up with owners who should not be allowed to keep a rock, let alone a dog. The owner-variable far overshadows potential puppy predispositions. And without a doubt, a poor puppy prospect in a good home almost always becomes a better canine companion than a good puppy prospect in a poor home.
Human intervention is certainly the most important factor determining predictability: whether or not the new owners capitalized on the dog's potential good characteristics and/or resolved expected or incipient bad characteristics that were revealed in earlier testing. It would be naive to expect a dog to cure his own faults. Behavior and temperament are in a state of constant flux, and without human guidance, faults generally tend to get worse rather than better. It would be tantamount to stupidity to test a pup and discover that he is fearful, rambunctious, or aggressive, yet leave him to develop in this expected fashion. Surely a major reason for early testing is to locate potential or incipient problems and solve them before they become full-blown. Similarly, it would be utter folly to assume that a dog's naturally good temperament will necessarily remain that way indefinitely. As soon as owners become presumptively audacious about their pet paragon with the perfect personality, the dog's demeanor will predictably begin to deteriorate.
The value of temperment testing in puppies is not in determining the puppy that will become the perfect pet but rather what area and how to preceed in training to increase the odd the puppy turns out perfect, ie Does it need more confidence or perhaps self control etc.
 

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Whith an adult dog that has past through the critical period it takes more than one or a few encounters to change even the most rudimentry of behaviors. The temperment of the dog while still some what moldable is set much firmer than it is in a puppy which still has a lot of growing up to do and those experience in the end will have a lot of influence on what the puppy actual becomes.

The good thing about a puppy is you have the ability to mold it to your particular desires. is also the bad thing about them if you do not do a good job at this or just one freak accident at the wrong time can have a pronounced effect.

this does not make one better than the other. On also keep in mind that when talking about adult dogs it must be clear that a available adult dog with out some sort of behavior issue is exceedingly rare. Because quite simply human don't tend to get rid of perfect dogs but the ones that have a behavioral issue that they cant deal with. This is not to say they are not out there but this is what everyone is looking for so acutally finding one does not happen often
 

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i know when i picked out my puppy and brought him home, at 6 weeks old....there was only two dogs in the litter that had a decernable personality. The bossy adventurous girl, and the non-bossy but adventurous male. The rest of them were totally just puppies wandering around with all the same temperament. I sat there thinking i couldn't choose because they were all alike! What did it for me is finally two puppies, one a boy and one a girl, one on each side of me, began laying their heads in my lap and looking up at me and acting like they liked me. I had wanted a boy, so that did it. I almost took the adventurous boy just because he HAD a personality, but once bowser laid his head in my lap...and kept doing it and nuzzling me, i knew he was mine : )

ANyway, we used to breed beagles when i was a kid and there was always the wimp, the bully and then the no stand-out personality puppies. Some were sweeter than others, some more aloof, but you really have to spend some time with them to see the dynamics. It's also hard to tell once the litter is split up. We sold our puppies at 6 & 7 weeks old and could easily tell people what each puppy was like...either neutral, or yes, it has a personality it leans towards. I know Bowser still snuggles me and lays his head on me. He will walk, at times quickly, over to me and FLOP down next to me and wiggle his head on my chest to get comfy : )

Okay well anyway, don't know if that helped at all!
 

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On also keep in mind that when talking about adult dogs it must be clear that a available adult dog with out some sort of behavior issue is exceedingly rare. Because quite simply human don't tend to get rid of perfect dogs but the ones that have a behavioral issue that they cant deal with. This is not to say they are not out there but this is what everyone is looking for so acutally finding one does not happen often
This is exactly what I was thinking........why would anyone give up "the perfectly trained" basset. That said, are there any breeder/trainers out there, that actually keep their puppies and train them before sending them off into the world?

Quiet honestly, we didn't do the best job of training the first time around. Not that our basset was a beast, but she did rule the roost with her "quirks", sock and dish towel stealing, counter surfing, on the furniture, etc., all caused by our own tendancy to indulge her "cute" behavior.

I have missed having a basset companion but my lack of self confidence in training skill and skepticism on getting an older dog is holding me back!

Constantly second guessing............my husband says I'm over-thinking the whole process too much!

Just wondering about the ACA b/c I recently located a litter where mother is ACA, sire is AKC, what does that make the pups? And what does that mean to prospective owner.
 

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This is exactly what I was thinking........why would anyone give up "the perfectly trained" basset. That said, are there any breeder/trainers out there, that actually keep their puppies and train them before sending them off into the world?
I got Zippy from his breeder after he finished. He was almost 2 years old. He was an instant pet. He needed only minimal training to show him how to use the dog door and where his potty area was. He never had an accident in the house or marked. His manners are impeccable. He was the easiest dog ever. He was so easy, it is making me think long and hard about ever getting another puppy. His breeder often keeps her pups until they are older. I know of several people that have gotten really nice adult dogs from her that don't have any issues.

The only drawback of not getting him as a puppy is I didn't get to do any early obedience work with him. He will never be clicker savvy like Droopy is or reach the same level of training. He will never have the same attitude about training. He has been to several class and does well, but he just doesn't have the same spark. Some of that may just be Zippy. He is very laid back, but I think a lot of drive can also be created.
 

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Just wondering about the ACA b/c I recently located a litter where mother is ACA, sire is AKC, what does that make the pups? And what does that mean to prospective owner
It makes them unregisterable with AKC. Honestly I would think twice about a pup from such a source. While there are lots of crappy breeders using AKC, good breeders DO NOT use registries such as ACA. A pup that is ACA registered makes it likely that the breeder is either a BYB or a commercial breeder that does not wish to meet AKC's standards.
 

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all caused by our own tendancy to indulge her "cute" behavior.
Most unwanted behavior is cause by unintentionally rewarding inappropriate behavior. Than and a lack of teaching the dog self control. FWIW that is strength of a NILIF it minimize rewarding unwanted behavior and maximize the often neglected rewarding of desired behavior. It actual has very little to do with domance reduction as many that promote domanance theory believe,

That said their are often som inate dog behavior that are inheirently self rewarding that do not fall in this catagory and must be managed. Barking is often one. another is counter surfing. It is more the dog that learn that ther is never any food on the counter that does not surf. The one that occasional get a morsal will continue to do so.
 

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Barking is often one. another is counter surfing. It is more the dog that learn that ther is never any food on the counter that does not surf. The one that occasional get a morsal will continue to do so.
Barking, one annoying behavior, we didn't reward and were successful at curbing because we just didn't allow it. Lucy never bothered us while we were at the dinner table, in fact, she usually waited in another room until we were finished but she knew which "targets" that visited the house left morsals. When my children come home to visit, they go directly to the refrigerator. I guess they don't keep food in their own homes. Lucy saw my son-in-law as always good for a sandwich, snagging it while he was reaching back in the frig for the miracle whip and mustard!
 

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Have you thought of going out of state for a breeder? That's what I ended up doing. I never thought I would go so far to get a dog but considering how many years you hope to spend with a dog, I have to say he was worth every mile and every penny.:D
Yogi's breeder sometimes has older dogs looking for a home. In fact, she had Yogi's sister available and I really wanted her but couldn't take on another dog at that time.
 
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