Temperament Testing

The scores are interpreted as follows:

Mostly 1’s
Strong desire to be pack leader and is not shy about it.  
Should only be placed into a very experienced home where the dog will be trained and worked on a regular basis

Score of 1 on the Restraint and Elevation tests regardless of other results - this puppy will be too much for the first time owner.

Mostly 2’s
Also has leadership aspirations  
Has lots of self-confidence
Owner should have previous dog experience 
Fits in with very active lifestyles.


Mostly 3’s 
Good with people and other animals 
Does very well with training, and will learn quickly.
Great dog for either first or second time owner.

Does well with all age ranges.

Mostly 4’s
Best choice for the first time owner.   
Rarely will buck for a promotion in the family  
Easy to train, and rather quiet.  
Good with elderly people, children, although may need protection from the children 

Mostly 5’s
Slower to warm up to new situations, more shy.  Needs special handling    
New situations take longer to get used to. 
Needs a calm and quiet home. 
Best for a quiet, elderly couple.  

Mostly 6’s
Very independent.  Is not going to be oriented to follow orders.  
Much harder to train to do tricks.

This is not the puppy to get to show off in obedience classes! 
Puppies with this score, however, do usually make better guard dogs.


For that first time, wonderfully easy to train, potential star, look for a puppy that scores with mostly 4’s and 3’s.  A quieter home, or retired couple might be well suited for a puppy that scores in the 5 range.  If you like a dog that is thinking several steps ahead of you, look for a 1 or a 2 but be prepared!


An example of our testing (summary and interpretation follows):  

1. Social Attraction - degree of social attraction to people, confidence or dependence.    

    Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands    1

    Came readily, tail up, pawed,  licked at hands    2

    Came readily, tail up    3 
    Came readily, tail down    4
    Came hesitantly, tail down    5
    Didn’t come at all    6

2. Following - willingness to follow a person.  

    Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot, bit at feet    1
    Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot     2
    Followed readily, tail up     3
    Followed readily, tail down     4
    Followed hesitantly, tail down     5
    Did not follow or went away     6

3. Restraint - degree of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations.

    Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit    1
    Struggled fiercely, flailed    2
    Settled, struggled, settled with some eye contact    3
    Struggled, then settled    4
    No struggle    5
    No struggle, strained to avoid eye contact    6

4. Social Dominance - degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person.  

    Jumped, pawed, bit, growled    1
    Jumped, pawed    2
    Cuddled up to tester and tried to lick face    3
    Squirmed, licked at hands    4
    Rolled over, licked at hands    5
    Went away and stayed away    6

5. Elevation - degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control, such as at the veterinarian or groomer.  

    Struggled fiercely, tried to bite    1
    Struggled fiercely    2
    Struggled, settled, struggled, settled    3
    No struggle, relaxed    4
    No struggle, body stiff    5
    No struggle, froze   6

6. Retrieving - degree of willingness to do something for you. Together with Social Attraction and Following a key indicator for ease or difficulty in training.

    Chased object, picked it up and ran away    1
    Chased object, stood over it and did not return    2
    Chased object, picked it up and returned with it to tester    3
    Chased object and returned without it to tester    4
    Started to chase object, lost interest    5
    Does not chase object    6

7. Touch Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required.

    8-10 count before response  1
    6-8 count before response    2
    5-6 count before response    3
    3-5 count before response    4
    2-3 count before response    5
    1-2 count before response    6

8. Sound Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to sound, such as loud noises or thunderstorms.  

    Listened, located sound and ran toward it barking    1
    Listened, located sound and walked slowly toward it    2
    Listened, located sound and showed curiosity   3
    Listened and located sound    4
    Cringed, backed off and hid behind tester    5 
    Ignored sound and showed no curiosity    6

9. Sight Sensitivity - degree of response to a moving object, such as chasing bicycles, children or squirrels.

    Looked, attacked and bit object    1
    Looked and put feet on object and put mouth on it    2
    Looked with curiosity and attempted to investigate, tail up    3
    Looked with curiosity, tail down    4
    Ran away or hid behind tester    5
    Hid behind tester    6

10. Stability - degree of startle response to a strange object.  
    Looked and ran to the umbrella, mouthing or biting it    1
    Looked and walked to the umbrella, smelling it cautiously    2
    Looked and went to investigate    3
    Sat and looked, but did not move toward the umbrella    4
    Showed little or no interest    5
    Ran away from the umbrella    6