A popular method for determining a puppy’s temperament is Puppy Aptitute Testing (PAT).

While there are experts in Puppy Aptitute Testing who would gladly take your money for them to run the tests, the truth is you don’t really need to hire one to inspect your puppy. Just use the following simple tests to get a feel for how the puppy you’re interested in will behave.

1. Social Attraction Test

Procedure: Motion the puppy to approach you from 4 feet (1.2 m) away

Good response: The puppy should eagerly approach you with his tail down

Bad response: The puppy shouldn’t be aggressive towards you (e.g., biting), and he shouldn’t ignore you either.

2. Follow Test

Procedure: Walk away from the puppy while encouraging him to follow

Good response: The puppy should follow you with his tail down

Bad response: The puppy shouldn’t be aggressive towards you or ignore you.

3. Restraint Test

Procedure: Gently turn the puppy over on his back and hold him that way for 30 seconds.

Good response: The puppy should settle down after a little struggling

Bad response: Puppy continues struggling violently or tries to bite you. On the other end of the spectrum, the puppy shouldn’t go limp and avoid eye contact with you either.

4. Social Dominance Test

Procedure: Stroke the puppy’s back while he is sitting or standing

Good response: The puppy accepts your stroking and might even lick you

Bad response: Puppy growls, tries to bite, or runs away from you.

5. Elevation Dominance Test

Procedure: Gently raise the puppy about 2 feet off the ground and hold him that way for 30 seconds

Good response: The puppy accepts your action without struggling and stays related

Bad response: The puppy struggles violently and tries to bite you; The puppy freezes without struggling

6. Retrieving Test

Procedure: Toss a crumpled piece of paper about 4 feet (1.2 m) away and signal the puppy to get it.

Good response: The puppy goes after the paper and comes back to you with or without the paper

Bad response: The puppy takes the paper and runs away with it, or the puppy ignores the paper entirely

7. Touch Sensitivity Test

Procedure: Squeeze between the puppy’s toes and gradually increase pressure

Good response: The puppy doesn’t pull away too quickly or too slwly

Bad response: Puppy pulls away very slowly or very quickly

8. Sound Sensitivity Test

Procedure: Make a noticeable noise a few feet from the puppy

Good response: The puppy listens and tries to locate the sound

Bad response: Puppy listens, locates the sound, and runs barking towards it. Or puppy ignores the sound

9. Sight Sensitivity Test

Procedure: Pull a towel connected to a string along the floor about 2 feet (60 cm) away from the pup.

Good response: The puppy looks curiously at what you’re doing with his tail down.

Bad response: The puppy attacks the towel or runs away from the towel

10. Stability Test

Procedure: Open an umbrella 5 feet (1.5 m) from the puppy and put it on the floor near him

Good response: The puppy turns to look at the umbrella but doesn’t approach it

Bad response: Puppy runs to the umbrella and tries to attack it, or puppy runs away.

Comments and Related Articles

We’d love to hear if you have other suggestions of tests you used when deciding on your pomeranian, or how effective the Puppy Aptitude Test has been for you. Please leave a comment!

To learn more important things to think about before you get a pomeranian, please read our other related articles for prospective pom owners:

 

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