What is dog temperament testing and why you need to know

dog test pt 2Dog Hunters will use temperament testing of their dogs such as desire for prey, how settled the dog is, how confident, how patient etc.

The average person wants a companion dog and testing makes sure that you get a dog with the right fit for their personality and lifestyle.

What dog temperaments are composed of:

Dog – At the base level of temperament you have a dog. An animal that evolved from the wolf. It has a need to be with its own kind in a pack every day.  Deny this at your own peril.

Breed – some dogs are naturally more easy going or more flighty than others.  People often chose a dog that they can exercise adequately.

The BIG mistake is people choosing a dog that they like the look of with no understanding of its designed role (if a hunter or lounge dog).

Energy / personality – Once you have chosen the breed, you can look at if you want an active / inactive (often to do with age), or submissive or dominant dog.  within every breed you will get a big variance of dogs across the energy scale.  Choose wisely as you should have any dog for a few years.

temperament test are supposed to be used to “determine the personality of your puppy or dog”  of course this is a human construct.  Dogs have more energy level and preference for play than PERSON ality.

If you are going to a dog shelter you can use some of this as your own mini guide.

1          Observe a dog for awhile before interacting with it.  Compare the behavior of the dog you thinking of getting and PARTICULARLY how it plays with other dogs.  Is it anxious, aggressive, submissive or dominant.  These traits will carry on with the dog for life, you can modify but it will have natural play tendencies from dna right from birth.

After observing for a while then interact directly with a dog and see how well it handles you a human.  A puppy will always have more interest in other dogs as that is the vast majority of interaction it has had in life.

2          After observing the dogs playing with other dogs, then you and the dog with other dogs, try it in a quiet corner with no distractions.  See how independent and confident the dog is just with you.


3          Different times of day, and  whether or not the dog has just woken up or just finished a big play will massively alter your perception of the dog.

After just waking up they will have a lot of energy and may act more manic than usual.  Most dogs under 4 will have a lot of energy to burn and may act very high energy.  BUT choosing a dog by breed you will also know how long you have to walk that dog for.  All dogs should have a good hour off lead walk per day, but some dogs will run continuously for the hour, while others may run for ten minutes then settle down walking by your side.

If you get a high energy dog on purpose to run besides you while you run or ride a bike, make sure you have a plan if you get busy or injured so the dog doesn’t all of a sudden have its world restricted.   A bored dog with a changed schedule will cause problems around your house and neighborhood by barking or trying to escape or self harm.


4          There are many dog breeds that are more suitable for small children and other pets than ‘other breeds’.

Never go on appearance (nice looks) or assumed energy level alone.  The best dogs are social and fully adaptable to begin with, but at the end of the day you are getting a dog and will have to be fully responsible for their happiness, they don’t walk themselves.

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