The idea puppies should be evaluated by someone they don't know WHILE ALSO being in a new location with new items is crap (a stranger is NOT needed). I am sorry, but it is and here is why...
Why would I care how a puppy interacted with a stranger? Don't I really need to know what they will do for someone they know and trust? What good is it for me to know workability with a stranger? They will be a family pet or working dog after all and in no scenario is this relevant or necessary information.
In fact, I have seen so many "unknown" testers fumble their way through some sort of evaluation all the while trying to create fear in a puppy (pushing a popper toward them , holding them down to display dominance, etc..).
All well intentioned and I was there once too.
But I have questioned it. It didn't make sense to me. Why would I and other breeders work so hard to install and cultivate trust, respect and workability with a puppy all to hand them over to another human that tried to create fear?
Furthermore, other temperament traits are absolutely skewed by a crappy test/tester.
You think a puppy will display the correct prey/play drive when nervous or scared? What about energy? If they are so uncertain about this new human they would not be curious and playful and self assured.
How does this help me?
To properly and respectfully gauge confidence and nerve strength we will test our puppies ourselves and with items they have never seen.
This way I can get a much clearer idea about focus, motivation, sight and sound sensitivity, prey drive, energy, etc...
And if a puppy displays nervousness with a person now, we will see it. We can manage it. We will be there to be loving, empowering and safe.
I have found my thoughts on a puppy before those “evaluations” to be a much better representation of temperament. So I will no longer be doing those other tests that want it to be done in a sterile environment with a stranger. That is not the type of life these babies will have at all. I want puppies to work for and alongside someone they know and trust. That is what I truly need to know for a family pet, therapy dog, service dog, etc. Not how they interact with someone they don't know.
Even before I implemented actual evaluation testing, I knew my puppies. I spend hours upon hours with them I see their struggles and successes and know what stresses them. So I will be going back to observation/evaluations and not stranger danger.