The French Temperament Test
In France, the beaucerons are judged based on 2 separate exams. Morphology (conformation) and temperament. They must compete in both portions in order to move on to the overall show, and to receive cotation ratings through the French Beauceron Club. Each Beauceron must first receive an excellent temperament test rating before it can receive a conformation rating. A dog not receiving an excellent in temperament, cannot receive an overall evaluation of Excellent +. A dog without an overall rating of Excellent + is not considered for placements. An excellent rating means that they scored an excellent in each of the four portions of the temperament test.
France puts a lot of emphasis on temperament, and without a specific rating in France dogs are not to be bred. It is important that the temperament of the Beauceron be maintained, and carefully selected for.
“So how does the French temperament test work?”
“What are the four sections of the test?”
The evaluation of the dog’s temperament begins when the dog is walked into the temperament testing area, or ring. Upon entering, the judge places a special collar and lead on the dog and the judge has begins the evaluation of sociability of the dog, which is one of the four areas of evaluation. The handler and judge continue to check the dog in, by checking for a tattoo or microchip. Then the dog is lead to the center of the ring where the next phases of evaluation begins.
At no point in time is the owner allowed to give commands to the dog, or interfere with their behavior or reactions during the testing. They should remain on a loose lead in the ring at all times.
The second phase of the testing is the dog’s reaction to gunfire. The judge stands a certain distance from the dog and fires the gun. The judge is evaluating the initial reaction, as well as the recovery behaviors of the dog.
Next, the dog is evaluated by being threatened by a stick. The judge will approach the dog in a threatening manner while waving and tapping the stick. Again, the judge evaluates the initial reactions, and any recovery actions the dog might exhibit.
Lastly, the dog is scored on general behavior. This is evaluated the entire time the dog is in the ring, until the judge removes the special collar and lead at the end of the test.