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Finnish Mental Test

Mental Test is an interesting way to examine your dog's mind and character in a situation where it's nerves are heavily stressed.

Mental Test results can be used to define and describe the dog's character and qualities; and to evaluate how suitable the dog is for training. It is also a way to evaluate dog's character for breeding use.

Mental test is always judged by two judges who have a special training for this job.
Dogs that are tested must be over 2 years and under 7 years old, and less than 7 years old. Usually the older they are, the more confident they are and the "better" the result. But the younger they are when tested, the more honest is the result in how it describes the inherited character more than the trained habits of the dog.

In a mental test, 9 different charasteristics/features of a dog are evaluated. Each feature is rated from -3 ... +3.

Each feature also has a
multiplier varying from 1 to 35.
For example, "Capability to function
, multiplier 15" means that if your dog gets +2 for this feature, he gets 15 x 2 = 30 pts for this feature. If your dog gets -2 for "Capability to function", then he gets 15 x -2 = -35 points.
The multiplier is bigger for those features that are considered inherited, and smaller for those features that can be trained.

In the end, all the points are calculated together, negative points decreased, to get the final score:
Final result is min -300 pts, max +300 pts.

This test was originally developed for utility dog breeds (German sheepdog, dobermann etc) to evaluate their trainability and capability to function as working dogs.
It doesn't mean that the more points, the better dog you have, as each breed has different kinds of preferred features of character. For example a PON who gets +290 pts would not be a breed-typical PON.

You should never just look at the final score of points. You should always observe the separate grades given to each feature. It is the combination of the separate grades that is important.
For example if the dog is really fast to react to things, combined to reserved temperament and big will to defend, it may be a dog who is prone to bite without thinking first.

In some breeds a "Qualified" Mental Test result is demanded for the title of Show Champion. For those breeds the Qualified result means:
- T
he total score is at least +75 pts
- The grade for
Tendency to aggressive behaviour, Nerve structure and Accessibility is at least +1
-  The grade for gun shots is positive (+)
.
Other breeds do not get a qualified or disqualified result. In case of a disqualified result the dog may re-try the Mental Test once. Otherwise you can only do the Mental Test once for each dog.



Borgåkers’ PONs’ Mental Test Results

Here are the test results of Borgåkers' PONs.

1. Capability to function, multiplier 15
Like "
courage" in people; the dog's capability to overcome its fear, to react correctly and without fear and not to interrupt its action.
The psychological threat is going into a dark room alone to search the owner, physical threats are different kinds of "spookies" suddenly appearing in front of the dog, and a noisy barrel falling down to the ground right behind the dog.
+3 Big
+2 Good
+1 Moderate
-1 Small
-2 Insufficient
-3 Uncapable to function
Our dogs:
-1 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+1 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
-1 Borgåkers Ponderado
+1 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+1 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+1 Flinkbein Faworyt
- 1 Oktet ze Spiewogry


2. Tendency to aggressive behaviour ("sharpness"), multiplier 1
T
he dog's tendency to react aggressively when irritated by a person (judge). The dog's ability to defend himself against a threatening person, and the ability re-adjust to the situation when the threat is over. Negative grade will disqualify the final result.
The dog is chained to a wall with a 60 cm chain without possibility to escape and the owner goes out of sight. The dog is approached and threatened and attacked by person (judge) with a stick. Depending on the dog's reaction, the attack may be short and happen further away, or it may take longer and come all the way to the dog, and be repeated.
In the end the judge stops the threat and starts behaving friendly and goes close to the dog and touches the dog. If the dog remains aggressive at this point he gets a negative grade and cannot get a qualified result from the test.
+3 Moderate without remaining will to attack
+2 Big without remaining will to attack
+1 Small without remaining will to attack
-1 Small with remaining will to attack
-2 Moderate with remaining will to attack
-3 Big with remaining will to attack
Our dogs:
+1 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+3 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
+1 Borgåkers Ponderado
+1 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+2 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+3 Flinkbein Faworyt
+3 Oktet ze Spiewogry


3. Desire for defence action, multiplier 1
The dog's tendency to defend his owner and himself. Tendency and willingness for this feature are evaluated; not the actual skills to defend.
Dog and owner are walking forwards until they are threatened by an attacker (judge). The dog handler stands still and lets the dog do what he wants to do. After the dog's reaction is seen, the attacker acts friendly
. The owner hands the dog over to the attacker (judge) and leaves. The judge tests whether the dog lets him touch him, then releasing the dog to be called in by the owner.
+3 Moderate, controlled
+2 Big, controlled
+1 Small
-1 Unwilling
-2 Very big
-3 Uncontrolled
Our dogs:
+3 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+1 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
-1 Borgåkers Ponderado
+1 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+3 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+1 Flinkbein Faworyt
+1 Oktet ze Spiewogry



4. Desire to fight, multiplier 10
The dog's tendency to enjoy using muscles and jaws in fighting/playing without aggression, playing with the judge. Also the ability to overcome obstacles.
+3 Big
+2 Moderate
+1 Very big
-1 Small
-2 Insufficient
-3 Unwilling
Our dogs:
+ 2 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
-1 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
-1 Borgåkers Ponderado
-1 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+2 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+2 Flinkbein Faworyt
+2 Oktet ze Spiewogry


5. Nerves (nerve structure), multiplier 35
This means the inherited calmness or nervousness or restlessness in a stressing situation. This feature is evaluated
based on the whole test. A negative grade will unqualify the final result. The average for PONs in Finland has been +1.
+3 Balanced and confident
+2 Balanced
+1 A little restless
-1 A little nervous
-2 Nervous
-3 Very nervous
Our dogs:
+1 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+1 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
+1 Borgåkers Ponderado
+2 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+1 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+1 Flinkbein Faworyt
+1 Oktet ze Spiewogry


6. Temperament, multiplier 15
"Mental livelyness", the ability to quickly react and adjust to changing situations and stimulus in the environment. The dog's ability to quickly organize the stimulus and not care about unnecessary things.
A very vivid dog "sees too many things" and has difficulties in concentrating.
+3 Lively
+2 Moderately lively
+1 Very lively
-1 Disturbingly lively
-2 Neglecting
-3 Apathetic
Our dogs:
+2 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+3 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
+2 Borgåkers Ponderado
+2 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+1 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+3 Flinkbein Faworyt
+1 Oktet ze Spiewogry


7. Mental hardness, multiplier 8
H
ow well the dog remembers or forgets unpleasant experiences caused by people (attackers) and things (spooky sled, barrel falling down etc), how strongly they will affect dog's functions, how willing or unwilling he is to face them again.
This is tested especially in the phase where the dog first experiences surprises (like a barrel falling down behind him making loud noise) and then he must walk the same way again and nothing surprising happens.
+3 Moderately hard
+2 Hard
+1 A little soft
-1 Very hard
-2 Soft
-3 Very soft
Our dogs:
+1 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+3 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
-2
Borgåkers Ponderado
+3 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+1 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
-2 Flinkbein Faworyt
+1 Oktet ze Spiewogry


8. Accessibility, multiplier 15
Approachability. The dog's attitude towards a strange but friendly person. Tested especially in the beginning of the test but repetitively along the other test phases. Negative grade will disqualify the final result.
+3 Kind, accessible, open
+2a Accessible, a little reserved
+2b
Accessible, somewhat reserved
+1 Eager to please
-1 Clearly reserved
-2 Attacking
-3 Unreliable/unpredictive
Our dogs:
+3 Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+3 Borgåkers Lord Londyn
+2a Borgåkers Ponderado
+3 Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+3 Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+2 Flinkbein Faworyt
+3 Oktet ze Spiewogry


Gunshot sensitivity
Two or more shots with a 9 mm gun. Only + or -, no numerical value. Negative grade will disqualify the final result.
+++ Confident
++ Inexperienced
+ Irritated
- Prone to react
-- Afraid
Our dogs:
+++ confident Borgåkers Lady Legenda
+++ confident Borgåkers Lord Londyn
-
Borgåkers Ponderado
+++ confident Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite
+++
condifent Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel
+++ confident Flinkbein Faworyt
+++ confident Oktet ze Spiewogry




Borgåkers Lady Legenda +127 points
tested in the age of almost 3 years

Borgåkers Lord Londyn +158 points
tested in the age of almost 5 years

Borgåkers Ponderado +54 pts
tested in the age of 3 years 2 months

Ambergini's Baby-Dynamite +176 pts
tested in the age of 4 years 8 months

Bratsiostra Pon Murdock Diesel +143 pts
tested in the age of 2 years 7 months

Flinkbein Faworyt +133 points
tested in the age of 5 years

Oktet ze Spiewogry +112 points
tested in the age 2 years and 2 months




Above left: Accessibility: Flinkbein Faworyt did not let touch herself without the support of owner. Above middle: Testing Flinkbein Faworyt's desire to fight. Above right: Testing Oktet ze Spiewogry's desire to fight. He did not let go even when he was lifted up in the air or his eyes were covered. He growled and waived his tail.


Above left: Capability to function - Flinkbein Faworyt. She was horrified by the approaching spooky sled and barked and alarmed viciously. Above right: Capability to function - Borgåkers Lord Londyn. He just stood there calmly and watched the sled approach.


Above left: Flinkbein Faworyt still barking loudly at the spooky sled. But she did get over it in the end. Above middle: Borgåkers Lord Londyn didn't much care about the spooky sled. Above right: Oktet ze Spiewogry thought the spooky sled was something really horrifying. He did not want to go closer. In the end he, too, did go and smell the terrible thing.


Above: Desire to defence action - Flinkbein Faworyt. She barked and alarmed loudly as soon as the attacker appeared before us.


Above left: Desire to defence action - Borgåkers Lord Londyn. He just stood still and stared at the attacker: "Are you serious? Do you think I'm bying that?" Above right: Desire to defence action - Oktet ze Spiewogry. The closer the attacker came, the more he waived his tail! Everybody around us were laughing... He thought it was wonderful that the judge wanted to come and play with him. And when the attacker started talking to him in a friendly way he simply fell on his back at her feet... this dog really loves people and only thinks the best of them all!


Above left: Mental hardness - Flinkbein Faworyt. She was really frightened by things during the test, but "saved herself" by heeling me all the time and watching me in eye all the time, believing in me and that with me she can take it and that I will never let anything bad happen to her. Above right: The overall was lifted quickly up right in front of Borgåkers Lord Londyn - you can see how he was scared! But the next time around he acted as if nothing had happened here.


Above: Tendency to aggressive behaviour - Flinkbein Faworyt was chained to the wall and I went out of sight. The judge started to approach her, hitting the wall and the ground with a stick and backing away at times and then coming closer again. Flinkbein Faworyt barked alarmingly the whole time. When the judge put the stick away and approached with friendly intensions she backed away as far as she could, turned her head away and let the judge touch her in the head with no aggression. She got +3 moderate without remaining will to attack.


Above: Tendency to aggressive behaviour - Borgåkers Lord Londyn. He lied down and calmly watched the attacker do her thing and come closer. Didn't much move him... When the attacker was about 1 metre away from him he sat up and showed his teeth a little and barked once. Right away the attacker started acting in a friendly way and he was okay with it all. He got +3 moderate without remaining will to attack.



The final statement of Flinkbein Faworyt
said among other things that she has enormous trust in me and with me she can face whatever, this idea is her salvation. "This dog would walk into fire with you", the judges said and I got tears in my eyes.

The final statement of Borgåkers Lord Londyn
said among other things that he clearly has seen many things and people behaving weirdly and it doesn't much move him.

The final statement of Borgåkers Lady Legenda said among other things that she has a big desire for defence action (only 2 PONs out of 12 have got +3 in this, 9 have +1 and one has -1). They said Lady Legenda was very close to getting +2 for Nerves.

The final statement of Oktet the Spiewogry
said among other things that he has enormous interest and trust towards people, he clearly has never been mishandled by any person and so he can only think that no-one could ever hurt him.
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