Using 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.
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