Back from Bavaria where my little Jack passed the Wesenstest of the Parson Russell Terrier Club. It is all about temperament and character, the natural disposition, as opposed to learned behaviour. Usually, the dogs are between six and twelve months old, but older dogs are accepted as well. The judges are competent enough to see what is natural and what is training.
The problem with this breed is, as it is the case with any breed who produces dogs as pets as well as dogs for shooting, that the necessary qualities can be conflicting. So they are looking for a dog that is both, friendly with a kind disposition towards humans, yet with the necessary toughness to go at Charlie Fox and other wildlife able to put up a fight, if so asked.
Every dog or bitch will have to, among other requirements, pass this test first before it gets a breeding license.
I was extremely pleased with my little dog. He got for all the required traits either a "very distinctive" (mostly) or a "distinctive" and he showed no unwanted traits whatsoever.
"An already four year old dog that shows definitve signs of gundog training, very keen on water", said the protocol. He was, too, dubbed "extremely friendly" by the judges, which he is. When the head judge shook my hand he said: "You will be very happy with this dog." Not that I didn't know that already, but it's nice to hear it from an expert.