Shelter Dog Temperament Test


"[Puppy] Temperament testing is more popular than ever...

"The bottom line is that puppy tests do not predict adult behavior...

"[A puppy] isn't fully mature until the dog is 12 to 18 months old, and.. events during the socialization period can cause major changes..." (Hetts, Suzanne. "Putting Puppies To the Test." Dog World, Mar. 2004: 50-55).


"Use these simple tests to help make a forever match... Take along a friend to help you observe the dog's responses...

1. Walk up to the kennel so the dog sees you. He should wag his tail, look at you with ears back and eyes soft... If he stares away, growls, lunges, or barks, he may be a problem...

2. "Place your hand against the kennel, fingers outside the cage." He should approach and nose or lick your hand, or turn sideways for you to pet him. If he loses interest before two seconds, ignores your hand, barks or growls, he may be a problem...

3. "Stand and hold the dog on a loose leash." He should initiate contact, licking or nudging your hand, or jumping up gently. If he ignores you or jumps up roughly, he may be a problem...

4. Pet him to see how he reacts to handling. He should move closer or lick and nudge your hand.

7. "Listening -- When he is busy investigating something, clap sharply, and say loudly "Hey!" A good dog will stop what he is doing and come over to you. A poor choice will ignore you or growl.

8. Take the dog for a walk. He should look to you occasionally. He should not lunge at other dogs or humans. (Fogle, Jean M. "He's Cute, But Is He Right For You?" Dog Fancy, Feb. 2004, 26-31).


Colby Glass, MLIS