🐾 Lifestyle

Can You Tell A Puppy's Personality?

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January 10, 2023

Key Takeaways

Temperament tests help in measuring a puppy's stability, shyness, friendliness, and aggressiveness. 

You must know these traits to determine if you are the perfect owner for a pup. Like humans, dogs are unique and have distinct personalities that affect their behavior. Some are outgoing, while others are timid.

Temperament tests can predict a puppy's personality as it matures. So, you can also manage any potential problems. 

Who Can Perform The Personality Test?

You can ask the breeder where you will buy or the shelter where you will adopt the pet about the temperament tests performed on the pup. You can use these assessments to help choose a puppy for you based on your preferences, prior dog experience, and the type of home environment you can provide. 

A pushy puppy, for example, would be best handled by an experienced dog owner. Meanwhile, a "nosy" breed obsessed with running away after scents might involve a fenced yard. The personality of dogs is from their genes. But you can correct any misbehavior through proper training.

Kinds Of Tests For Telling A Puppy's Personality

Nowadays, pet owners can take advantage of a pup's natural personality or those based on its genes. But note that it can still change depending on the environment where you will raise the puppy.

Temperament tests are for assessing general temperament and suitability for adoption. You can ask the breeder or shelter home to do these five general tests on the puppies we're about to discuss.

Dependence Versus Independence

This test evaluates the emotional dependence on its relationship to pet parents and other members of the pack. It aims to determine if the pup will grow as a "lone ranger, or capable of spending time with other animals and people.

How To Do This Test?

First, crouch about six feet away from the pup and clap your hands. Then, call the fido with a calm voice. If the dog comes to you, stroll out and see if it follows you. Puppies that follow once called have the desire to be with people. Most of the time, these breeds are eager to please. 

Those that don't follow a few calls are independent puppies, which may become resistant to learning commands. The dogs have a strong aptitude for training, so it requires a more dominant owner.

Submissiveness versus Dominance

Submissive dogs are those that will always follow their owner and other dominant dogs. Meanwhile, status-seeking are those breeds that are always in control. This pup has the natural genes of wanting to be the leader of the pack.

How To Do This Test?

First, pick up the puppy and hold it belly-up. Support its head, torso, and legs in your arms. Next, place it on the floor facing its side. Hold the pup in this position for about 30 seconds. 

Kneel beside the puppy and pet him for several minutes around the length of his neck. If the puppy does not want to turn over, do not push him. Monitor how the puppy reacts to each of these positions. 

See how much resistance does the puppy shows during this test. If it has nothing or few reactions, the fido can accept human leadership and training.

If you notice little wiggles, here growls or bites a little, it may become a dominant dog. Thus, it needs firm and confident canine training. A status-seeking dog is only ideal for experienced dog trainers and owners.

Prey Drive

This test measures the puppy's strength to chase and catch animals. There are hunting dog breeds designed for these situations. But if you're going to own a dog with a high prey drive, then you need to control it. 

How To Do This Test?

The best way to do this test is to see the pup's reaction in the presence of a cat. You can also tie a stuffed toy to a string. Then, run it back and forth in front of the fido. If you notice whining, straining, and growling - these are the indicators of strong prey drive.

Puppies with high prey drive feel more distracted with the slightest disturbance in their sight, hearing, and smelling senses. So, the dog may have difficulty learning to come when called. It also means that breeds with strong prey drive are not ideal to live with families with kids and other pets.

Retrieval Drive

The retrieval drive is a test that can assess a pup's interest in chasing an object, picking it up, and returning it to you.

How To Do This Test?

To do this test, throw a toy or any crumpled paper just a few feet away in front of the pup. Then, see if it will chase the object, pick it up, and bring it back to you. Other puppies will try to pick it up, run away, and play alone. In contrast, other fidos will ignore the object.

Research suggests that puppies with strong retrieval drive have high aptitude in training, like service dogs. Meanwhile, dogs with low retrieval drive may show dominance.

Sensitivity to Sound

This test can assess a puppy's personality based on the unexpected noises in its environment.

How To Do This Test?

First, stand near the pup while another person makes loud noises from the opposite direction. It can be the banging of metal spoons or rattling of keys. Then, observe how the dog would react.

According to experts, puppies that cringe or run away immediately after hearing the sound are prone to being nervous. These breeds are only suitable for a quiet home environment.

Tests Are Helpful But Not Accurate

Personality and temperament tests help know a dog's behavior at birth, but it is not always accurate. Early experience, the environment, frequency of socialization, exposure to different situations, and other learning consequences may affect a dog's personality as it matures.

You can test a pup as early as seven weeks old. The ideal testing age is around 3 to 4 months to get more accurate results. The benefit of these assessments is that you can identify the potential for harmful habits from appraisal indicators. So, you can intervene with strategies like socialization and proper training to reduce or eliminate these behaviors.

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