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Puppy Temperament Test

Adapted from test provided by Ann Dresselhaus


TEST
Begin by placing each puppy 
in a "test area".
PURPOSE SCORE Pup #1 Pup #2 Pup #3 Pup #4 Pup #5 Pup #6
A. Social Attraction
Place puppy a few feet away and see if he/she comes without coaxing.
Degree of social attraction, confidence or dependence.
  1. Came readily, tail up/out, jumped, bit at hands.
  2. Came readily, tail up/out, pawed, bit at hands.
  3. Came readily, tail up/out.
  4. Came readily, tail down.
  5. Came hesitant, tail down.
  6. Didn't come at all and/or tail tucked.
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
B. Social Attraction
Place puppy a few feet away. The tester coaxes the puppy by kneeling down and/or clapping gently.
Degree of social attraction, confidence or dependence.
  1. Came readily, tail up/out, jumped, bit at hands.
  2. Came readily, tail up/out, pawed, bit at hands.
  3. Came readily, tail up/out.
  4. Came readily, tail down.
  5. Came hesitant, tail down.
  6. Didn't come at all and/or tail tucked.
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
C. Following
Stand up and walk away from the pup in a normal manner making sure the puppy notices you leaving.
Degree of following attraction. Not following indicates independence.
  1. Followed readily, tail up/out, got underfoot, bit at feet.
  2. Followed readily, pawed at.
  3. Came readily, tail out
  4. Came hesitant, tail down.
  5. Didn't come at all and/or tail tucked.
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
D. Restraint
Crouch down and gently roll the pup on its back and hold it wit one hand for a full 30 seconds.
Degree of dominance or submissive tendency, and how well pup accepts stress when dominated.
  1. Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.
  2. Struggled fiercely, flailed.
  3. Settled, struggled, settled with some eye contact.
  4. Struggled then settled. Avoided eye contact.
  5. No Struggle
  6. No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
E. Social Dominance
Let pup stand up and gently stroke him/her from head, down back, while you crouch beside it. Continue until behavior is established.
Degree of acceptance of social dominance/ Pup may try to dominate by jumping or nipping. Pup may be independent and walk away.
  1. Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.
  2. Jumped, pawed.
  3. Cuddles up to tester and tries to lick.
  4. Squirmed, tried to lick. 
  5. Rolled over, tried to lick. 
  6. Went away and stayed away.
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
F. Elevation Dominance
Bend over and cradle the pup under it's belly, fingers interlaced, palms up, and elevate it just off the ground holding it there for 30 seconds.
Degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control.
  1. Struggled fiercely, bit, growled.
  2. Struggled fiercely.
  3. No struggle, relaxed.
  4. Struggled, settled, licked.
  5. No Struggle, licked.
  6. No struggle, froze.

1
2
3
4
5
6

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
G. Retrieving
Crouch beside pup and attract his/her attention with a crumpled up paper ball. When the pup shows interest and is watching, toss the ball approx 4 ft.
Obedience aptitude, degree of willingness to work with a human. High correlation between ability to retrieve and successful guide dogs, obedience dogs, field dogs.
  1. Chases object, picks up object and runs away.
  2. Chases object, stands over object and does not return.
  3. Chases object, and returns with object to tester.
  4. Chases object, and returns with  object to tester.
  5. Starts to chases object, loses interest.
  6. Does not chase object.

1
2
3
4
5
6

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
H. Touch Sensitivity
Take the puppies webbing of one front foot and press between finger and thumb lightly/evenly until you get a response. While doing so count to 10 slowly, stop as soon as the puppy pulls away or shows discomfort.
Obedience aptitude, degree of sensitivity in touch.
  1. 8 to 10 counts before response.
  2. 6-7 counts before response.
  3. 5-6 counts before response.
  4. 2-4 counts before response.
  5. 1-2 counts before response.
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
I. Sound Sensitivity
with pup in center of test area, make a sharp noise like metal struck on pan.
Obedience. A degree of sensitivity to sound (also can be rudimentary test for deafness)
  1. Listens, locates sound, walks towards it
  2. Listens, locates sound
  3. Listens, locates sound, shows curiosity & walks toward sound.
  4. Listens, locates sound.
  5. Cringes, backs off, hides.
  6. Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
J. Sight Sensitivity
Tie a string around a large towel and jerk it across the floor a few feet from the pup.
Obedience, Aptitude, degree of intelligent response to strange objects.
  1. Looks, attacks and bites.
  2. Looks, tail up
  3. Looks curiously, attempts to investigate
  4. Looks, tucks tail
  5. Runs away, hides
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
K. Food Aggression
The with meat in the presence of littermates and alone.
Obedience, Aptitude.
  1. Turns to bite
  2. Snarls and bites
  3. Growls, hackles raised/or stiff, tail up
  4. Growls, but does not attempt to bite
  5. Eats undisturbed.
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5

A Puppy with a majority of "1's" can be a very unrulely puppy,
A puppy with a majority of "3's" will be a very well rounded puppy,
and the puppy with a majority of "5's" and "6's" will be a very quiet, reserved puppy.

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Litter Temperament Test Results (4 weeks)

  Pup H Pup W Pup S Pup T Pup B Pup A
Test A 4 3c 3b
Came fast
3a
fastest
3d
ok
3
Test B 2 2 3a 5 3b 3
Test C
Followed readily, tail out, no lick
2.5c 2.5c 2.5c 2.5a
fastest
2.5b
consistent
2
Test D 5 6 4
reversed
2
made eye contact
3 3
Test E 6
walked away
3a 3b 3c 2 4
Test F 3 3.5
relaxed then slight strg
4a 6
very relaxed
4b
one leg kick
3
Test G 2 1.5
chased, played, then left
2
longest to chase, played good
4 5
got it, left it
2
Test H 3 1.5 1
never changed reaction
2 5 3
Test I 6 3 6 6 5.5
cringe, ignored
3
Test J 1 2 1.5
dominate it
3
investigate, walk away
1
liked it, dominated
3
Test K 5 5 5 5 5 n/a
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Understanding Canine Temperaments
and assessing temperaments on the fabric scale

 

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