Saturday, October 1, 2016

Can Puppy Aptitude Tests Predict Adult Personalities in Dogs?

Who hasn't picked out a puppy based on behavior of the six-week old pooch, using evaluation "tools" to measure dominance?  
One reason that doesn't work (among many) is alpha positions in a litter, especially among females, are established only after eight weeks.  And hierarchical positions become stable only after eleven weeks. Before then, status changes repeatedly, even top to bottom positions.  
Pups are likely rehearsing for roles they'll play as adults. Nobody stays at the top forever.  Pack positions change based on who's in the pack. 
This is one reason puppy tests aren't very good at predicting aggression or dominance later in life.  But by then, we love the dog, and have forgotten what happened in our so-called puppy test, so it doesn't matter.

(P.S. - If you want academic sources for this post, let me know.)


  1. Interesting to read that 'top' dogs may not always be in that position, and yes, it makes sense that the dynamics would change depending on the members of a pack, and sometimes those members move in and out of packs, meaning families these days, with many dogs being rehoused into homes that already have a dog.... lovely puppy photos in this post....!

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