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:
- Where to buy a pomeranian
- How much do poms cost?
- Do poms get along with other pets?
- Should you buy a show pomeranian?
- Pros and Cons of owning a pom