Around nine months or so, a GDA dog goes to spend some time up at the kennels for their evaluation. The trainers (or puppy department) takes the puppy out into public, goes through their commands, and makes a general report of where the puppy needs to improve, what they do well, etc. We dropped Tai off, and then picked him up on the way to the mountains this past weekend.
We got the wiggly black dog back, and then noticed the envelope stuck to the wall - "Tai". We took a deep breath, opened our eyes, and read his eval.
First off - "energy level - high!". Complete with exclamation point. "General behavior - excited". Gee, you think? Tai has a TON of energy, however his brother Truman usually has more. And 'Rooman only got a MODERATE energy rating. Evidently, Tai didn't get all of his "play" out with his roomie at the kennel or had been pounding Red Bull, so he was rarin' to go when they came to get him for his eval. His obedience commands were rated good. He did fine in public, was excited but able to contain himself around other dogs, did NOT stalk the kennel cat this time, and over all did a good job.
In the comments section, they did comment that Tai can be a tougher dog to handle just because of his sheer size, but he knows exactly what is expected of him with commands and takes correction well. He's just 74 pounds of hurry-up-let's-go. No further evaluation planned. And since we've had him back, we see that he's turned a corner. His recall is really very good, and he is much faster at executing his commands.
All said and done... I think we'll keep him. At least until next August, anyway!