If there is one thing that you, the potential dog owner, could do to increase your odds of getting a dog that's right for your family, it's temperament testing. Yet, very few people are aware that this is possible, let alone actually doing it. Certainly, research in any form is a good idea. What type of dog is right for you? Are you active? Are you allergic to dander? Do you have kids or, just as important, will you have kids within the life span of the dog you choose? Do you live an apartment or in a house? Who will be taking care of the dog? These are all questions you should be asking, but they're only the beginning. Once you've chosen the type of dog you are getting and where you will get it (a breeder or a shelter?), you should have the puppy tested.
There are a number of temperament tests available. Perhaps the most commonly accepted is the Volhard Temperament Test. You can find out more about this test at volhard.com. The test is broken down into the following categories:
I would strongly encourage you to find a professional trainer with testing experience to help you carry out the test. To grade each dog requires experience with canine body language and the test itself. Administered correctly, you can get a fair assessment of each dog's personality. It is worth every penny!
Christi Blaskowski CPDT-KA
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