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  • On of the formalized tests we conduct with working dog prospects is ball drive which incorporates the desire to find, retrieve, and maintain the ball. This is an important component of detector dog work and is actually the basis for a lot of formalized working dog training. One can measure work intensity and desire to work by watching a dogs reaction to a ball. The more they go after the ball, return it, and maintain it, the better their work ethic may often be seen. This test and method has actually been bred into certain breeds due to its effect on a final working product. It is very common to see labs, GSD's, Goldens, Pointers,etc. that have a fixation on balls. Whether intentional or not, this reaction seems to often go hand in had with working lines. In this case, I have been working on producing a working line of Basenjis that might be able to be used for detector dog work in the form of explosives and narcotics. We have chosen certain Basenjis that tested high for work and eventually came to this litter. Interestingly, my first three basenjis, though testing high for many hunting work traits, never had good ball drive. Our fourth, Kaden, had off the charts ball drive when he tested as a 7 week old puppy as well as many other working traits. This litter at five weeks already has two very solid ball drive prospects. It is one thing to maintain the ball and protect it, it is another when they do all of that and bring it back to the handler like the little B/W below. It will be interesting to see how the entire litter tests at seven weeks old.