What makes a good test of a dog?

As a police dog vendor I see a lot of testing of dogs. Here are a couple things I have seen recently that don’t make any sense at all…..trust me, I have a million of these….

1. Detection Test: The trainer doing the testing throws 3 or 4 retrieves in a row, where the tester uses a 2nd toy to induce the dog to release after bringing the first one back …then throwing that second toy, and so on….(ok to this point) then on the 4th throw…..he throws the toy and times how long the dog holds the first toy without dropping it…..and what do a number of the dogs do?….YES, you guessed it, they run to the tester and drop the toy in anticipation of the next throw!! Thus failing the test!!

2. Testing a green patrol dog on a bite suit, and when the dog bites, the trainer doing the testing who is also in the suit, goes passive for the next 3 minutes…..and the dog stays strong in the grip for quite some time then starts getting into a little conflict because nothing he has ever done before in his short life as a biting dog has prepared him to bite a cadaver!

3. Stand in front of a patrol dog candidate, pull  out a bull whip (yes, a real 8 foot long bullwhip) and flail it in helicopter fashion ….. the malinois being tested stood fast and I watched his head circle as his eyes tracked the motion of the whip….when asked what the purpose of that was, the trainer doing the testing said to see how the dog reacted to unfamiliar things.  I would pay to see the stats of how many B&Es are committed with a bullwhip – I guess I’m old school testing on slick floors, tight spaces, and gunfire reaction…..This was clearly the stupidest thing I think I have ever seen.

4. Same trainer, calls his decoy to test the dog on a sleeve, the decoy proceeds to put a left handed bite bar sleeve on his right arm (as his trainer has taught him to do) and the trainer notes the poor bite of the dog, who is literally trying to bite under the sleeve, but has such a bad presentation there was no hope from the start……

4. Same trainer, puts a choke chain and leash on the same green malinois and starts speaking Dutch commands to the dog…..when I say the dog is from Slovakia AND knows no obedience at all, the trainer replies to me….”All dogs know the same language…..” and he continued to jerk the collar, and say some bastardized version of “Heel” in Dutch…..with no response from the dog.

….yes I have seen a million of these!