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Puppy testing

The most complete information regarding the personality characteristics of puppies can be obtained as a result of special tests. Babies aged 6 to 8 weeks can be objectively checked for fear of loud sounds, pain threshold, nervousness, dominance, the presence or absence of hunting and protective instincts.

For testing puppies, dog breeders recommend using the Campbell comprehensive test, which allows you to fairly accurately identify the characteristics of the dog’s psyche even at such a young age and give advice on the suitability of the animal for certain activities. The tests are carried out in a quiet unfamiliar place, so that nothing distracts the puppies. The person conducting the test should follow the prescribed actions very accurately, while carefully observing the babies, but stroking and talking with them is prohibited. The test consists of 5 points.

Campbell test

1. Test for sociability.

A man takes a puppy in his arms and puts it on the floor, after which he steps away from him a few steps. He then squats down and claps his hands to attract the puppy’s attention. The following types of behavioral reactions are possible:

A – the puppy runs up immediately with its tail up, jumps on a person, licks and bites its hands;

B – the puppy runs up immediately with its tail up, starts scratching the person with its paws;

C – the puppy runs up pretty quickly, but the tail is lowered;

D – the puppy runs up only after some time, at the same time feels insecure, experiences obvious confusion;

E – the puppy does not run up at all.

2. Test for the ability to follow a person.

For some time, a person stands next to the puppy, and then begins, without turning around, to move away from him with the usual step. The following types of behavioral reactions are possible:

A – a puppy with a raised tail immediately starts to chase after the departing one, while he is cheerful and active, tries to grab his trouser leg or teeth with his teeth;

B – a puppy with a raised tail immediately follows the person, gets confused under his feet or cheerfully runs nearby;

C – the puppy with the tail down is running timidly behind the person, slightly behind;

D – the puppy with the tail down is very timidly following the person, showing signs of confusion and timidity;

E – the puppy refuses to follow the person, staying in place or going the other way.

3. Coercion test.

The man turns the puppy on his back, belly up and holds him as long as possible in this position of submission for the chest just below the throat. The following types of behavioral reactions are possible:

A – the puppy actively protests, breaks out, fights with the hand, bites it and growls;

B – the puppy protests, but does not bite, but aggressively turns out of hand;

C – the puppy initially protests, but then calms down and calms down;

D – the puppy does not protest, licks his hand, is configured peacefully;

E – the puppy is frightened and lies motionless, or squeals, breaks out hysterically, trembles with fear.

4. Test for social excellence.

The man silently and calmly strokes a standing or lying puppy along his back. The following types of behavioral reactions are possible:

A – the puppy behaves confidently, he himself shows signs of dominance, jumps on a person, puts his forepaws on him, bites his hand, growls;

B – the puppy is active and cheerful, jumps on a person, grabs his hand with his teeth, bites and licks it;

C – the puppy turns to the person and licks his hand;

D – the puppy licks its hands, tilts onto its back, exposing the person’s tummy;

E – the puppy squeals, clings to the floor and / or scared runs back to the side.

5. The test for dominance when taking a puppy in his arms.

A man raises a puppy above the floor for about 30 seconds, holding with both hands under his chest and under his tummy. The following types of behavioral reactions are possible:

A – the puppy actively protests, vigorously breaks out of his hands, growls and bites;

In – the puppy shows discontent, but does not bite;

C – the puppy initially protests, but then calms down;

D – the puppy does not protest, calmly sagging in his hands, trying to lick a person;

E – the puppy is scared, tense, presses his ears.


In their pure form, the designations A, B, C, D, E mean the following types:

A – aggressive dominant;

B – prone to superiority;

S – obedient;

D – subordinate;

E – cowardly.


After the test, the number of all A, B, C, D, E. is calculated for each puppy.

The following options are possible.

• 2A or more in combination with several V. The dog was born a leader, has increased natural aggressiveness, stubbornness and stiffness. It is not recommended to take it to a family, especially with children. To train such a dog, appropriate assertiveness and rigidity are required, which only an experienced trainer can do. The extreme version (5A) indicates that in front of you is a protective guard dog with a pronounced active defensive reaction. She is able to make decisions independently, acting maliciously and hostilely towards a person.

• 3V or more. The dog has a tendency to superiority and leadership, but without excessive aggression;

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