Saturday, September 5, 2009

Polly Profile Doll

Profiling the new greyhounds is one of my volunteer jobs for Southeastern Greyhound Adoption. One of the questions we strive to answer is "will this greyhound do well with small children?"

Recently, the other profile volunteers and I attended a Sue Sternberg seminar. Sue has developed a series of tests for evaluating the temperament of shelter dogs. We have modified the evaluation to suit our environment and use it to profile SEGA greyhounds.

One of Sue's tests include introducing the dog to a doll that cries and makes noises while sitting on an adult's lap. In most cases, you receive no feedback, but occasionally a dog does give you feedback worth noting. Positive feedback would consist of the greyhound getting close and showing curiosity, but is gentle. Negative feedback would be a greyhound that responds with prey drive. Scary, but a possibility. Definitely something you would like to find out ahead of time with a doll. Some would say that a dog responding with prey drive thinks the doll is a toy. Well, that is not what has been seen. Even the most toy motivated dogs are responding to a doll with curiosity and interest, but not with their mouths. I will let you know how it goes with the greyhounds.

Initially, we recruited Polly Profile Doll from a local school. Polly's prior employment was to deter high school students from getting pregnant..... I can tell you it works for 33 year olds as well. Polly came with her own manual, keys, and memory. If Polly was mistreated in anyway, she stored the information so she could tell the teachers later. It was imperative that she not be dropped, that her head was supported, and she was regularly breast fed. Yikes! Thank goodness she was came with a pseudo nipple. If there was a maternal bone in my body, it was now broken.

Used as greyhound bait was probably not included in Polly's programing, but I am sure she would have been displeased and would have tattled to someone. Authorities would be knocking on my door. I honestly did not have the needed experience to take care of Polly Profile. I have only held 2 babies my entire life. The first one puked on my shoulder (he graduated college recently) and the second time I was tricked into it (thanks, Paul).

In the end, I decided that Polly was just too sophisticated for profiling greyhounds and I returned her. I almost lied saying that we got new carpet and she was not potty trained, but I decided to tell the truth and admit she was just too complicated for our purposes.

12 comments:

BrittBeah said...

I know exacty how you feel!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you've seen this, but I wanted to share with you.

http://blacksheepcardigans.com/ruff/?s=sue+sternberg

IHateToast said...

i hate realistic dolls. not a fan of any dolls, but i appreciate that kids learn things with them. realistic dolls look dead.

teaching nipped that mummy bud for me. i still love kids, but the kind that disappear at 3:30, go to other people when their noses are bleeding, wake someone else when they have nightmares. or if i could just have kids from 8 up. give me a sentence and you pass my interest test.

i'd have been tempted to put sardine oil on the baby. you're much more maternal than you think.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Anonymous, I know she is controversal especially with those that place anything no matter what. So I am sure there is plenty of information out there trying to poke holes in what she does. We have modified the test to suit our needs. It certainly tells us more about the greyhounds than when we were flying blind. I am sure Sue is not perfect, but we enjoyed the seminar and found value in the information she shared with us.

Jen

Sientay L said...

I wonder if Dino would've passed the test. We never expected him to go crazy when we brought Ben home. Luckily you were a phone call away to help. With Eva, Dino has been nothing but an angel:)

gyeong said...

Realistic dolls are scary. If I were a greyhound, I'd run the other way. I'll stick with the furkids.

Marie said...

I think those dolls are fabulous for teaching teens that having a baby isn't like playing house. I only wish they had a puppy version for some people.

I like the S.A.F.E.R testing developed by Emily Weiss as an evaluation tool. Regardless of which you use, I'm sure you are aware that no test is ever going to be perfect for every dog. (and in some circles the thought is not for every breed either) As long as the people doing the testing know this and modifiy appropriatly they can be very helpful in getting information on the dogs in question. Evaluating dogs can be everything from fun and tricky to occasionally heartbreaking. Worthwile work isn't always easy. Good luck!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I'll have to check out the Emily Weiss. I have not heard of S.A.F.E.R. Luckily with greyhounds, we are spoiled in that we are testing one breed and they have had fairly similar experiences. Very rarely are we trying to determine whether or not the dog is actually adoptable. We are just trying to determine where they fit best.

Jen

Marie said...

Then S.A.F.E.R. might be a better option for your group. It works well with something called "Meet your match" which she also developed for shelter dogs to help pinpoint the best homes for them.

Marie said...

I was just looking through my "Meet your match" workbook and it says either SAFER or Assess a Pet will work with the program. If you can't get a workbook donated to your program, I am willing to send you mine. Just e-mail me your mailing address.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks, Marie!

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

LMAO and that is one ugly baby