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Q: How can I determine a puppy's personality?

June 27, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 1596 days ago

Mary T.

How can I tell if a puppy I might get will be trainable and manageable?

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Early puppy tests — to predict “personality” and temperament when the dogs mature — are about as accurate as personality tests of humans at that age. But puppy personality tests improve your chances of getting a friend you can live with for a long time.

One such is the so-called Campbell Test of puppy personality — a chance for the puppy to audition and try to meet your expectations with five hands-on on tests: 1) attraction, 2) willingness to accept dominance, 3) ability to follow, 4) the standing position test, and 5) how well the puppy accepts constraint.

For example, the constraint test has you roll the puppy on his back and hold him there for 30 seconds with one hand gently but firmly on his chest. You might well want the puppy that struggles a little at first, then calms down and accepts the long arm of authority. The other extremes in the constraint test — the puppies that don’t struggle at all and the ones that struggle forcefully and try to bite — we know how those kids turned out.

Puppy personality tests are fun to review . . . years later.

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