In order to test if adult behaviour could be predicted at eight weeks of age, 630 German shepherd puppies were tested. All dogs were also tested at 450–600 days of age according to regimen used to select service dogs. Significant gender differences were found in 4 of the 10 score groups of the puppy test. There were also significant correlations between the puppy test score groups. Correspondence of puppy test results to performance at adult age was negligible and the puppy test was therefore not found useful in predicting adult suitability for service dog work. Heritability was medium high or high for behaviour characteristics of the score groups in the puppy test. Maternal effects on the puppy test results were found when comparing estimations based on sire and dam variances. It also suggests that maternal effects are more likely to be seen in juvenile than in adult behaviour.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.|
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