About the Temperament Test
this is just one type of temperament test
We observe the puppies very closely until 7 weeks of age and usually we have formed our own opinion about their temperaments. We use the test to confirm our observations.
The test is supposed to be done at 49 days of age
The test is performed in a situation which is new to the puppy The test must be carried out by a person who is a complete stranger to the puppies.
The test itself follows:
Each of these tests is scored according to the puppy's response on a 6 point scale. We then use the results to help determine which puppy will best fit into a particular lifestyle - ie. we do not place a puppy that shows any sound sensitivity or extreme touch sensitivity in a home with young children, etc.
Place puppy in test area. From a few
feet away the tester coaxes the pup
to her/him by clapping hands gently
and kneeling down. Tester must coax in
a direction away from the point where it
entered the testing area.
|Degree of social
|-Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands.
-Came readily, tail up, pawed, licked at hands.
-Came readily, tail up.
-Came readily, tail down
-Came hesitantly, tail down.
-Didn't come at all.
Stand up and walk away from the
pup in a normal manner. Make sure
the pup sees you walk away.
|Degree of following
|-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot
bit at feet.
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot.
-Followed readily, tail up
-Followed readily, tail down.
-Followed hesitantly, tail down.
-No follow or went away.
Crouch down and gently roll the pup
on his back and hold it with one
hand for a full 30 seconds.
|Degree of dominant or
How it accepts stress
|-Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.
-Struggled fiercely, flailed.
-Settled, struggled, settled with some
-Struggled then settled.
-No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.
Let pup standup and gently stroke
him from the head to back while
you crouch beside him.
Continue stroking until a
recognizable behavior is established.
|Degree of acceptance
of social dominance.
Pup may try to
dominate by jumping
and nipping or is
independent and walks
|-Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.
-Cuddles up to testor and tries to lick
-Squirmed, licked at hands.
-Rolled over, licked at hands.
-Went away and stayed away.
Bend over and cradle the pup under
its belly, fingers interlaced, palms
up and elevate it just off the ground.
Hold it there for 30 seconds.
|Degree of accepting
dominance while in
position of no control.
|-Struggled fiercely, bit, growled.
-No struggle, relaxed
-Struggled, settled, licked
-No struggle, licked at hands.
-No struggle, froze.
Crouch beside pup and attract
his attention with crumpled up
paper ball. When the pup shows
interest and is watching, toss the
object 4-6 feet in front of pup.
|Degree of willingness
to work with a human.
between ability to
retrieve and successful
guide dogs, obedience
dogs, field trial dogs.
|-Chases object, picks up object and
-Chases object, stands over object,
does not return.
-Chases object and returns with object
-Chases object and returns without
object to testor.
-Starts to chase object, loses interest.
-Does not chase object.
*Do NOT use fingernail.
|Degree of sensitivity to
|8-10 counts before response.
6-7 counts before response.
5-6 counts before response.
2-4 counts before response.
1-2 counts before response.
Place pup in the center of area,
testor or assistant makes a sharp
noise a few feet from the puppy.
A large metal spoon struck
sharply on a metal pan twice
|Degree of sensitivity to
sound. (Also can be a
rudimentary test for
|-Listens, locates sound, walks toward
-Listens, locates sound, barks.
-Listens, locates sound, shows
curiosity and walks toward sound.
-Listens, locates the sound.
-Cringes, backs off, hides.
-Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.
Place pup in center of room. Tie
a string around a large towel and
jerk it across the floor a few feet
away from puppy.
|Degree of intelligent
response to strange
|-Looks, attacks and bites.
-Looks, barks and tail up.
-Looks curiously, attempts to
-Looks, barks, tail-tuck.
-Runs away, hides.
(see diagram below)
|Degree of structural
structure is necessary.
|-The puppy is correct in structure.
-The puppy has a slight fault or
-The puppy has an extreme fault or
The remainder of the puppy test is an evaluation of obedience aptitude and working ability and provides a general picture of a pup's intelligence, spirit, and willingness to work with a human being. For most owners, a good companion dog will score in the 3 to 4 range in this section of the test. Puppies scoring a combination of 1's and 2's require experienced handlers who will be able to draw the best aspects of their potential from them.
Important note from Wendy Volhard...regarding the Touch Sensitivity test - Do not use your fingernail when performing this test. Press between the finger and thumb lightly then more firmly until you get a response.
Some pup and wing pictures from 11/20
Not all Tempernment tests agree!
Here is another spin!
The result was the PAWS Working Dog Evaluation ©, which stands for Possessiveness, Attention, Willingness, and Strength. (I'd have used Drive, but pawd doesn't spell anything :-)
Unlike the P.A.T., which was developed to evaluate good "pet" temperaments, The PAWS test was developed to help identify and evaluate the main components of good "working" temperaments-- for dogs being selected for work in K-9, Scent Detection, Search, French Ring, Schutzhund, Agility, Obedience, and similar activities. Why Possessiveness, Attention, W illingness, and Strength? In all of these activities, we use the dog's possessiveness and drive to train, and eventually at work or on the field. But without attention and willingness to work for the handler, the most driven, possessive dog is virtually useless.
The test is divided into seven areas, and is more flexible in regard to age than the P.A.T. I still use the P.A.T. as an initial indicator, and pups that pass with acceptable levels move on to the PAWS. Instead of a numeric score, I use the evaluations of Excellent, Okay, and Indifferent. Depending on what activity the puppy is intended for, I place more weight on certain elements of the test.
As far as I was concerned, this dog was a perfect match for his desired occupation. He showed strong prey, possessiveness, recall, and attention--all necessary attributes for a good schutzhund dog. In addition, he showed very good hunt drive and persistance, the makings of a good scent dog (of whatever flavor--tracking, search, scent detection). All in all, he tested at a high level on all the tests. With the right handler, this dog could succeed in almost any arena. On the other hand, this was a very INTENSE, physical, high drive dog. Sitting in someone's living room, he could probably be a downright pain.
Would this dog be a High in Trial obedience dog or national agility contender (AKC)? Maybe, but probably not. He would take a very special handler...Everyone whose had a low-key dog wants "drive" in their next one--and then they *get* it <EG>. His vigor and physicality would cause him to lose points or bust (touching on recall, missing contact zones, for example). Is this a consideration, in this example? Not at all. For his purposes, this dog suited the handler perfectly.
Puppies born 10/8/2001 ~ 10/9/2001
4 black girls, 3 liver girls, 2 black boys, 2 liver boys.
Our next litter