Chrissie used a puppy personality test on a litter of seven, 49 day-old Weimaraner pups, to find which would be the easiest to train. Have a look at the video to see which one she picked, or download this lesson's pdf for a table of results.
The test included:
Tests a puppy's attraction towards people, its confidence or dependence.
Measures a puppy's willingness to follow a person.
Indicates whether a puppy has a dominant or submissive tendency.
Shows whether the puppy will accept social dominance by a person.
Tests whether a puppy will accept the dominance of a person when it’s not in control (e.g. like a vet or dog groomer).
Measures a puppy's willingness to do something for you.
Indicates what type of training equipment is required.
Tests how sensitive a puppy will be to loud noises or thunderstorms.
Shows how likely it is that a puppy will chase bikes or cats.
Measures how startled a puppy is by strange objects (e.g. an umbrella).
The key tests which determine how easy a dog will be to train are:
Your dog's trainability – quick quiz
If you want to find out more about your dog's personality, here are 4 quick tests you can do at home.
It's really important that the puppy personality tester is very experienced with dogs, like Chrissie. Children should NOT attempt the test unsupervised and/or with an unfamiliar dog!
1 - Social interaction:
In a confined area, kneel down and then get someone to bring out the pup or dog and leave it in the same area. You stay still and call the dog to you. Lean back, not forward, and encourage the pup or dog to come right up to you.
How to score pup/dog:
Came readily, tail up, jumped , bit at hands (1)
Came readily, tail up, pawed , licked at hands (2)
Came readily, tail up (3)
Came readily, tail down (4)
Came hesitantly, tail down (5)
Didn't come at all (6)
2 - Following:
Next stand up and slowly walk away encouraging pup to follow – make sure pup is watching you, encourage pup to follow/clap hands lightly, don't lean over pup.
How to score pup/dog:
Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot, bit at foot (1)
Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot (2)
Followed readily, tail up (3)
Followed readily, tail down (4)
Followed hesitantly, tail down (5)
Didn’t follow and went away (6)
3 – Social dominance
Next let the pup (or dog) stand or sit, have pup/dog at side and both face same direction and gently stroke it from head to tail while crouching beside it. (Be very careful with an adult dog – it may feel threatened and want to bite). Does it want to lick your face?
How to score pup/dog:
Jumped, pawed, bit, growled (1)
Jumped, pawed (2)
Cuddled up to tester and tried to lick face (3)
Squirmed , licked at hands (4)
Rolled over, licked at hands (5)
Went away & stayed away (6)
4 – Retrieving
Crouch down beside pup or dog and attract its attention with a piece of paper crumpled into a ball. When pup shows interest in the paper, throw the ball of paper a short distance and encourage the pup to retrieve it.
How to score pup:
Chased object, picked it up and ran away (1)
Chased object, stood over it, and didn't return (2)
Chased object, picked it up, returned to tester (3)
Chased object, returned without it to tester (4)
Started to chase object, lost interest (5)
Doesn't chase object (6)
So... how did your dog do?
This dog has a strong desire to be pack leader, very pushy
Predisposed to aggression to people and dogs, will bite
Should be placed in very experienced home where it will be trained
This one has leadership aspirations
May be hard to manage and may bite
Has lots of self confidence
Too unruly for children, elderly or other animals
Needs strict schedule, lots of exercise and training
Potentially great show dog for experienced handler
Should be placed only with very experienced owner
NB: Stay away from pup or dog with lots of 1's and 2's. It wants to be leader, and will be very difficult to manage. Not good with children.
Can be high energy dog, may need lots of exercise
Good with people and other animals
Can be bit of a handful to live with
Needs training, does it well, learns fast
Great dog for second time owner
This dog can make the perfect pet
Best choice for first time owner
Easy to train and rather quiet
Good with elderly, and children (may need protecting from kids)
Choose this pup or dog, train it and you’ll be a star without much effort!!
The pup with mostly 3's and 4's should be good with children and does well with training. Needs lots of exercise.
Fearful, shy, needs special handling
Will run away if slightly stressed
Upset with strange people, places, some ground surfaces
Often afraid of loud noises, thunderstorms
May submissively urinate
Needs special quiet home, no kids, not much change
Best for quiet elderly people
If cornered and unable to escape might bite
This pup or dog needs a quiet, stable environment. Training and a controlled setting will help build its confidence. Good for older people.
So independent that he doesn’t need you or anyone
Doesn't care if it’s trained or not
Unlikely to bond to you – doesn't need you
Great security guard dog
Don't take this dog or puppy! You can't change it.