The way that I know to determine what type of dog you are getting is by doing a temperament test. It isn’t necessarily evaluating aggression, which is what people may think, but it is getting to know the dog’s behavior, the good and the bad. You want to put it through tests to see what comes out. This will aid in ensuring the right fit for a dog and owner, or dog and handler in the case of a working dog. All too often people get a dog based on the cute factor, which is a huge mistake. Instead, make a logical decision by figuring out what type of dog you are getting.
In initial temperament testing, you want to look for what the dog does when it first sees you. Does it dip its head and tuck its ears back slightly, does it tuck its tail between its legs and hide behind someone or does it perk up and jump towards you. These examples help you assess the dog’s confidence. Because you are a stranger, it may behave one way, and then once you have a bond or rapport with the dog, the reaction when seeing you next time will be different. The dog that tucks its tail and displays fearfulness is one I would stay away from as a fearful dog is the hardest to work with. It will only come out of its shell when it’s ready, you can’t accelerate that training or force the dog to feel comfortable. It requires a lot of work, time and patience. However, if you are patient and will give the dog what it needs which is surprising not love first. Then maybe you would be just fine in getting a fearful type of dog. Here are Dog Training Tips! If you get a fearful/timid dog it needs a lot of exercises, a job/hobby, to view you as the leader and a wonderful Dog Trainer in Los Angeles. After all of those needs are met then a lot of affection, but only when the dog is displaying confidence and coming out of its shell.
As part of temperament testing, be sure to watch the feeding. Make arrangements to feed the dog a full meal and watch how the dog eats. Does the dog graze, eat right away or eat with haste. You can learn a lot about a dog by the way it consumes food. If it doesn’t show much interest in the food, then it could have some separation anxiety issues. Being more focused on the human than eating is not necessarily a good thing. This is a dog and one of its primary behaviors is to eat. When Myself Ryan Matthews selects a dog, I want to see it eat everything right away. It is displaying the inherent desire of a dog for hunting and eating above social activities, which is the natural order of priorities and indicates good health. You need to be silent and observant during this process so as not to interfere with what the dog will do instinctively.
If the dog eats right away and frantically, then you need to gradually step closer to the dog as it eats, testing the dog’s aggression and potential resource guarding. It may growl or tense up in its shoulders and neck area where the fur may stand up. This is a sign of food aggression/resource guarding. If the dog demonstrates intense desire to dominate that particular resource, be careful if you have a child that might disturb the dog while eating.
If you are considering a puppy, pick it up and hold it, then set it on the ground, lift the tail, open the mouth and look inside, then grab each paw as if inspecting it. This is all to Test How The Dog Will Respond To Human Touch. It is normal to show slight annoyance, but if the dog has a stronger reaction to this, it can be an indication of a health issue or a lack of confidence/fearfulness which, as I mentioned earlier, can be a difficult challenge to overcome. It may also show that the breeder didn’t do their job properly; exposing the dog to different conditions, and suggests more work for you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the dog, but helps you know how much work you are assuming by choosing that canine.
To know what personality an adult dog has, you can do the same thing with a leash, however, exclude picking it up. Be careful not to put your face in the dog’s face. If it responds negatively, you don’t want to be that close. If I’m looking for a working dog, I like to throw a ball ten times to see how it will retrieve, as well as to observe the prey drive or desire for the chase. I will also grab a flirt pole, which is like a horse whip with a leather rag on the end. To promote the dog to engage in a chase game, I make the leather rag come alive as if it is prey. If it doesn’t show any interest, it is automatically not a candidate for work. By work, I mean police or personal protection.
When temperament testing, you also want to test the dog’s ability to handle stress by making a loud noise, but never within ten feet of the dog. You aren’t trying to scare the dog, but to see how it will respond to a potentially stressful situation. Similar to how a human may startle, a dog may jump and I want to see how it recovers. Does it hide and shake or jump and then go on to what it was previously doing?
If possible, with the leash on, walk the dog over different surfaces such as a shiny kitchen floor, landscape rocks and maybe a puddle of water. It will be normal for a puppy to resist these things, but watch for how it recovers when stressed. Some puppies will shut down, freeze and say “no,” which doesn’t mean it’s not a good candidate, but that it needs more exposure. However, if it’s an adult dog shutting down, you will have your hands full. Some adult dogs won’t even go up and down stairs.
In summary, people often go into dog ownership with certain hopes and expectations, thinking of how much happiness the dog will bring, but forget the work involved with a dog and the care that this living being needs. Be sure you are being realistic about the level of commitment a dog will require, especially if you select a puppy.
Knowing how to select a dog by understanding their personality will help ensure you have the dog of your dreams.