A dog and puppy temperament test can help you determine the personality and energy level of a puppy.  It can help you in selecting the right dog for your lifestyle.  Before conducting the components of a temperament test, please read our other posts on the  test.  You will need to understand that these are not always totally accurate because of the puppy immaturity. You will need a professional to help you read the puppy’s activities and responses.

The chances are good that you will want to select a dog that is middle of the road with not too much energy and not too shy.  Try to select a puppy with a little less energy than yourself or you’ll be running to catch up to him all the time. After reading our other posts on temperament, try these things:

> Put the puppy in your arms and gently roll him onto his back while you tickle and rub his tummy.  It is natural for the pup to wiggle at first but finally does the puppy accept this position or does he fight you constantly and even try to bite?

> The test can show many things to some degree but research shows that fear is the one thing it can show the most especially if the test is given at 12 weeks of age instead of the usual seven or eight weeks of age.   To test for fear, drop a loud object such as your ring of keys on the floor.  Does the puppy run and hide and refuse to come out or does the pup jump, turn around and look and finally go on playing?

> Try a hard, unblinking stare right into the dog’s eyes.  Does the dog go on playing, does he wag his tail with friendship, look away maybe at the floor or does the dog take you on by staring back, advancing and even growling?   A stare to a dog can be highly confrontational.  If the dog decides to take you on, drop your stare immediately.

> Get the puppy’s attention, call him and then run away from the pup, does he follow you?  Then squat  down and call the pup to you, does he come or ignore you?

> Take the puppy’s front foot and gently but firmly squeeze his paw.  Does he simply allow that or does he try to bite you. A truly aggressive pup might even growl and roll his lips back.

> Observe the puppy when at the chow bar with its mother.  Ask the breeder to separate the pups from the mom.  Bring in the mother. Then bring in the puppies at meal time.  Observe the order in which the pups push to get to the mother first. Who has the most energy and gets there first?  Who is the most pushy and who is the most laid back?  This is important because you can tell a lot about the energy level.  Remember, you are seeking the pup that will be below your energy level and below the energy level of the least energetic member of your family as well.

This dog needs to fit into your lifestyle. Be patient and take your time.  Make sure you test at least three different pups separately.  Picking the right pup can bring a huge amount of happiness to your home or a ton of frustration.  Remember there’s nothing more important than exercise, socializing and training for your pup.