Puppy Temperament Testing
This is the test I use to check each puppy in my program. This helps me, as your breeder, to give you the best insight on a puppy's temperament.
P.A.T. Test Score Interpretation
Mostly 1's: This is a highly independent dog, easily provoked to bite, with dominant aggressive tendencies. This dog is usually unwilling to accept leadership, and even in experienced hands is difficult to train. There is no place for such a dog as a companion animal. Be very cautious with any puppy who scored a 1 in any category except retrieving or touch.
Mostly 2's: This is a highly confident dog who can be provoked to bite. Often high energy, these pups are determined intelligent and quick to take advantage of owner weaknesses. They are often described as "dogs with a mind of their own." This is an excellent working dog with resilience, though the handler must be unfailingly firm, consistent and fair. Especially in guarding breeds, pups who score mostly 2's need early and ongoing obedience training to avoid problem behavior in adolescence or early adulthood. A pup who scores 2's needs plenty of stimulation, exercise and mental workouts. This an adaptable, confident dog who will do well at top level competition. Too active for older folks and often too dominant for small children.
Mostly 3's: Confident, adaptable, energetic and willing to please, the pup who scores mostly 3's is usually a forgiving, happy worker. While they can be bit pushy if allowed too much freedom, the mostly 3's dog is a dog who readily accepts clear leadership. These intelligent pups do well with an active family, and usually do well with children. They can be more active than some people might like. This pup would be a good choice for a handler interested in competition but not seeking the ultimate OTCH. Can be, with pressure, provoked to bite.
Mostly 4's: This pup is the dog who responds to any leadership, rarely pushing the limits within the household. Not as confident or adaptable as the pup who scores 3's, the pup who scores mostly 4's is an excellent choice for a family with younger children or an older couple. Energy levels are often lower with this profile. Socialization is critical to avoid this somewhat "soft" dog becoming fearful. These pups do very well in a fairly structured environment, and eager to please, are easily trained, readily forgiving handler error. This dog is not easily provoked to bite.
Mostly 5's: This is a very submissive dog, somewhat unstable dog. Socialization and confidence building are critical. Changes are stressful for this dog, and it takes a long time for this dog to adapt to a new situations and surroundings. Under stress, this dog will bite defensively. This pup is a very bad choice for children, active households or anyone who wants an adaptable, outgoing dog. In guarding and some herding breeds, I would consider this pup unacceptable. In some sporting and hound breeds, this temperament is not uncommon and acceptable to owners who want little more from a dog than a household companion. No matter what breed, this pup is a poor choice for any competitive work, including the breed ring.
Mostly 6's: This is a dog who has little desire for human contact, and may actively avoid petting or affection. It is difficult to establish any relationship with this dog, and it may prefer other dogs to people. The pup who scores mostly 6's is unacceptable as a companion, breeding animal or working dog. If stressed, this pup will bite.
PUPPY APTITUDE TEST
The person giving this test MUST be impartial and not "kennel blind" to your kennel and your dogs. If the test results are not completely honest scores, there is no sense in giving the test.
There is less chance for human error ( or puppies being influenced by a familiar person) if the tests are administered by someone other than the owners of the litter. A friend or prospective buyer can easily learn to give the test.
1) Ideally, puppies are tested in the 7th week, preferably the 49th day. At 6 weeks or earlier the puppy's neurological connections are not fully developed. If the test is conducted between 8 to 10 weeks, the puppy is in the fear imprint stage and special care must be taken not to frighten it.
2) Puppies are tested individually, away from dam and litter mates, in an area new to them and relatively free from distractions. It could be a porch, garage, living room, yard or whatever, as long as it is new to them. Puppies should be tested before a meal when they are awake and lively and not on a day when they have been wormed or given puppy shots.
3) The sequence of the tests is the same for all pups and is designed to alternate a slightly stressful test with a neutral test or pleasant one.
4) Also included in the Aptitude Test is a section on structure. Many breeds conform to what is called "conventional body type"l and the greater the deviation from the norm, the less efficiently the dog will be able to perform. Other impediments to efficiency are HD, cowhocks, eastie-westie feet, crossing in front or rear when gaiting.
A simple guide to follow for puppies at this age of 7 to 8 weeks is "what you see is what you get", notwithstanding the all too familiar assurance "don't worry, he'll grow out of it".