(From the "GoodDogPositiveObedienceTraining School of Forth Worth")
Puppy tests like this are not new, but so many of our students "impulse buy" a puppy. Because you may spend 10 to 14 unrewarding years with a troublesome dog, we felt it imperative to reiterate the need for astute buyer evaluation.
Basically, there are three types of Dogs for the purpose of this test. "Alpha, Beta and Omega." There are various levels within in each category, and we suggest seeking to own a good Beta dog. What then is the basic difference between categories? Primarily, an Alphadog is one that will incessantly try to be a pack-leader. You may be in store for years of constant confrontation and challenges as to who will lead the pack. Size of dog does not matter, as we have seen toy terriers run the house. Alphadogs require strong leadership, not only from the owner, but from the rest of the family, or else an Alphawill continually work its way up the pack, at the chagrin of lower echelon members (who are most likely to be the children). An Omegais the exact opposite. Sometimes you can tell an Omega dog by the following (although it also can indicate a socialization problem). Lightening or thunder strikes, and the animal is found hiding under a bed . . . you go to pet an omega dog, it may cower . . . or yell at it, and it may roll over and urinate. One of the dangers of an Omega dog is "fear biting". We have put this test together for you in order to provide you with a tool to identify the personality type of the dog you are considering. It is by no means foolproof, but hopefully it will help you finda better companion.
Don't disregard structure, health and who you are buying your dog from. Within the pack, Alpha, Beta, and Omegadogs get along fairly well. It's humans that have a problem. For example, take a macho-type personality who wants a Pit Bull, and the Pit Bull turns out to be a sweetheart Omega. The macho-type will want an aggressive animal as opposed to a gentle one. We then have a very unhappy marriage.
Remember, when performing the next Seven tests, you are looking for a dog who scores as a high "B". Chances are that this dog will work with you, forgive you your errors, and respect you as pack leader, without being overly insecure in its role. Try to observe your new pup on more than one occasion, and during different times of the day. We suggest performing these tests on at least two separate occasions.
In all of the following tests, bring the puppy to a quiet, neutral ground site, away from the litter if possible. (Your home might be a good choice, if the breeder will allow it, and if there are not any other dogs at home). These tests do not need to be performed in numerical order.
Watching your puppy, walk away without saying anything. Score the results.
A:Puppy follows with tail up and bites at your feet or leg.
AB:Puppy follows with tail up and get in your path, or between your legs.
B:Puppy follows with tail down.
BO:Puppy follows, but uncertainty.
O:Puppy does not follow, or wanders away.
Test Number 2
Wad a piece of white paper into a ball. Shake it in front of the puppy, then throw it a short distance away.
A:Puppy takes the paper and runs off.
ABPuppy runs to the paper, sniffs but does not pick it up.
B:Puppy runs to the paper and brings it back.
BO:Puppy runs to the paper, picks it up and waits on your movement.
O:Puppy ignores the paper or wanders off.
Test Number 3
Pick the pup up until the feet are off the ground approximately 6 inches. Hold the puppy for approximately half a minute or so, then gently place it on the ground.
A:The puppy struggles, growls and bites.
AB:The puppy struggles or growls.
B:The puppy struggles a little while, then settles in, maybe licks your hand.
BO:The puppy struggles minimally, then goes limp.
O:The puppy hangs limp without a struggle, and may lick you throughout the ordeal.
Test Number 4:
Firmly, without hurting the pup, stroke it from head to rump. Do this for about 15 to 20 seconds.
A:The puppy jumps on you, bites or growls.
AB:The puppy jumps on you or paws your hand.
B:The puppy squirms or licks your hand
BO:The puppyrolls over.
O:The puppy goes away and doesn't come back. (If this happens, wait 10 to 15 minutes before starting new tests)
Test Number 5:
Watching your puppy, walk away without saying anything. Gently hit your thigh with enthusiasm, or wave your hands toward you.
A:The puppy comes with tail up and bites at your hands, feet or leg.
AB:The puppy comes with tail up, and paws your hand.
B:The puppy comes with tail down, and licks your hands.
BO:The puppy comes uncertainly, or rolls on its back.
O:The puppy does not come, or wanders away
Test Number 6:
Gently, roll the puppy on its back, and hold it down by the chest for 15 to 20 seconds.
A:The puppy vehemently struggles, and may bite.
AB:The puppy strongly struggles.
B:The puppy struggles a little while, then settles in.
BO:The puppy struggles minimally, and is then submissive.
O:The puppy does not struggle. May lick your hands.
Test Number 7:
Step back and observe the puppy. Evaluate structure and enthusiasm. Use your sixth sense or intuition. Is this puppy
A:One that would be difficult to bond with.
AB:One you are uncertain about bonding.
B:One you sense you can readily bond with.
BO:One you sense will be a little too dependent.
O:One that will require to be with you constantly because of insecurity.
Copyright: Pamela B. Tanguay, 1999 - 2012.All rights reserved.
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