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Service/Guide Dog GDBART Puppy Test Overview

The Guide Dog Behavioral Response Assessment Puppy Test (GDBART Puppy Test)

The GDBART Puppy test is a short (10-15 minute) test that is completed in a room. The room is set up in a particular way so that the puppy will have exposure to various stimuli such as a vacuum cleaner, fan, loud noises and novel objects such as various statues. Following a set protocol, the dog being tested is allowed 90 seconds to explore the room freely and then guided through exposure to these stimuli in a set order and time schedule. By doing this each dog is tested in the same manner. As many schools apply this test in the same way and by using the BCL definitions carefully, the data gathered can form the basis for comparing colonies and individuals within colonies in a meaningful way.

Test Layout


How the GDBART helps:
  • Common testing protocols provide data that can be shared between schools and breeding programs.
  • Reduces the influence that changing weather or environmental conditions could have when testing a dog in a dynamic environment.
  • Provides a fixed environment for all dogs being tested wherever that may be in the world
  • Provides information about breeding dogs progeny while they are still young, and can show any similarities between litters produced by the same dam or sire.
  • Provides insight into the pups personality and level of confidence and resilience at that time.


When to use the GDBART Puppy Test:
  • The GDBART is best used when the puppies are around the age of 7.5 to 8 weeks.
  • More consistent results have occurred when puppies are tested in the morning. 
  • Under most circumstances the test should only be completed once. Repeating the test allows the dog to become more familiar with the test environment and will alter the results.


How to use the GDBART:
  • Obtain the materials listed in the equipment list.
  • Set out the room according to the diagram and pictures.
  • Rehearse the timing of the test following the test protocols.
  • Follow the test protocol as precisely as you can.
  • Determine who will complete the BCL. It is best to have fewer people scoring. Each scorer should have completed training and demonstrated that their scores are consistent with other scorers both within your school and outside.