How To Pick the Right Puppy For You By Testing A Puppy’s Personality Pet Care by Main Glenn - April 15, 20210 Different breeds have different overall temperaments. However, genetics only affect the general tendencies. Each animal is a unique individual. That is why you should choose a pet with the right personality for your family and your end goals. Here’s how to pick the right puppy for you by testing a puppy’s personality. Table of Contents Dependence/Independence Submissiveness/Dominance Prey Drive Retrieval Drive Sensitivity to Sound Dependence/Independence How dependent do you want the animal to be on you emotionally? If you’re going for a pet companion that is with you all the time, you want them to be high in dependence. If the dog is going to be in the yard all day or alone most of the time, you want an animal that is more independent. You can test this by kneeling a few feet from the dog, calling to it, and then moving several feet back. If the dog readily comes to you, they are eager to please and like people. If the puppy needs encouragement to follow you, they might do better than a highly social puppy if they’re left alone more often. Puppies that couldn’t care less will be hard to train and aren’t good companions. Submissiveness/Dominance Submissive animals are almost certain to obey you. You can test this by holding the puppy belly up like a baby, holding the puppy on their side for thirty seconds, or stroking their whole body for several minutes. A dog that tolerates this without complaint and doesn’t get mad at you is generally submissive. A puppy that fights you isn’t submissive. This generally isn’t a good companion, especially if you have children or other dogs. With proper training and strong handling, they may make good guard dogs or working dogs. Prey Drive We make fun of easily distracted people by saying they’re reacting to a distraction like a dog to a squirrel. However, this is actually a personality trait, and some dogs are more prone to it than others. One way to test this is by bringing a cat into the room with the dog. If the dog attacks it or chases it, they won’t get along well because of the strong prey drive. Another option is dragging a dog around on a string and seeing if the puppy tries to chase it or attack it. If you’re getting a hunting dog, then you want a strong prey drive. In most other dogs, a strong prey drive is a source of frustration. You can minimize the number of tests you need to do to gauge the dog’s temperament by searching for an animal through breeders who can give you this information. That’s why we’d suggest tools such as this website when looking for and finding a puppy. A good breeder can tell you what the animal’s tendencies are as well as those of their parents. Retrieval Drive The retrieval drive is the dog’s instinctive desire to fetch things. You want this in a dog you’re going to train to retrieve ducks you’ve shot or if you like playing fetch. A retrieval drive can be a source of frustration with everyone else. After all, a dog that’s strong in this area may try to get items out of the trash you threw away or chase items that roll on the floor. If the dog grabs it and runs off, they’re resisting your authority and generally not a good companion animal. Sensitivity to Sound Have you ever laughed at a dog cowering at the sight and sound of a vacuum cleaner? Have you ever seen a dog freak out at the sound of a toy siren? This may be problematic, if your home is going to be full of these noises. That’s why you need to do a test to answer the question, “How does the dog react to sound?” This test can be done by make a loud unexpected sound. It could be as simple as triggering your car alarm while the dog is near or slamming your keys on the wall. Dogs that run away or cringe probably aren’t a good choice if you live in a noisy neighborhood or have young children.