Using Temperament Assessment to Select A Dog

Using Temperament Assessment to Select a DogUsing Temperament Assessment to Select A Dog

In a previous post, we discussed the role that temperament plays in your dog’s individual personality. When it comes to selecting a puppy for your family, if a certain breed interests you, find out first what the dog was bred to do. Select a dog based on the role they are expected to play in your family; whether they are meant to be a companion, playmate for the kids, protection, working dog, etc. It’s a very wise idea to have a temperament assessment done

You may be wondering what exactly a temperament assessment achieves. Jack and Wendy Volhard, expert dog trainers, developed this test that should be given on a puppy’s 49th day of life. According to the Volhards, prior to that the puppy is too neurologically immature. Using their method, puppies are tested one at a time, away from littermates and other dogs, and they are evaluated for:

  • Social attraction- how the dog approaches the tester
  • Following- willingness to follow a person
  • Restraint- dominance or submission in certain situations
  • Social Dominance- ability to allow a person to be the alpha
  • Elevation Dominance- ability to accept dominance
  • Retrieving- willingness to do what a person wants them to do
  • Touch Sensitivity- willingness to be touched
  • Sound Sensitivity- reaction to loud noises
  • Sight Sensitivity- response to moving objects
  • Stability- size of startle response

Depending on how the puppy is scored, they will be recommended for certain living situations. For example, one puppy may be a perfect family pet, while another may need special handling due to excessive fearfulness and shyness. Using the temperament assessment truly is a great way to choose a dog that will easily fit in with your family or situation.

F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc.F.I.D.O., now offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only that specializes in Dog Bite Liability Insurance programs  This policy is available in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. It will protect you should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year.

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