Campbell Puppy Test

The Campbell Test is used at the puppy selection stage to assess its future temperament. With the help of the test, you can find out how trusting a dog is towards people and what is his tendency to obedience.

Features of the test:

  • Only puppies 6-8 weeks old are suitable for testing.
  • The tests are carried out in a quiet, spacious place (the dog should not be distracted by anything, including toys).
  • All tests are carried out by the same person, and it does not matter whether he is familiar with the dog or not.
  • Testing is carried out tete-a-tete: without the presence of other people and animals.
  • The person must behave neutral, praising or scolding the dog is not allowed.
  • The test includes 5 tests, each test is carried out only once (you cannot repeat the test on the same day or twice in a row).
  • The tests must be carried out exactly in the order in which they go in the test.

If you are at the stage of choosing a puppy, then experts recommend testing all puppies from the litter. At the same time, those puppies that you liked the most should be tested last.

Campbell Puppy Test: 5 Trials

Puppy behavior is rated on a 5-point scale.

Contact assessment

Bring the puppy into the room, place it on the floor and return to the door. Stop at the door, turn to the puppy, squat down and call him with gestures and voice. (if the puppy immediately follows you to the door, then you made a mistake – you spoke to him or did something that he took as an invitation)

  • the puppy is not suitable – 1 point is suitable
  • slowly and hesitantly, tail down – 2 points
  • comes up right away, tail down – 3
  • points right away, the tail is raised – 4 points
  • comes right up, the tail is up, jumps at you, and plays – 5 points

Assessment of character independence

Pick up the puppy and carry it back to the center of the room. Place it on the floor and return to the door.

  • the puppy does not go with you – 1 point
  • walks without hunting, tail down – 2 points
  • walks readily, tail down – 3 points
  • willingly walks alongside or on his heels, the tail is raised, does not attempt to play – 4 points
  • willingly walks beside, tail up, tries to play, for example, grabbing your pants – 5 points

Assessing Propensity to Obey

Take the puppy and lay it down quietly on its side. Hold him with your hand, placing it on top of his chest.

  • in the process of laying the puppy tries to stand on its feet, but does not actively resist; when laid down – behaves calmly and indifferently – 1 point
  • a laid puppy raises its head, watches you, can climb its muzzle into the hands, but does not resist, does not try to lick you or somehow make contact – 2 points
  • does not resist when laying down, but when laid down behaves restlessly and licks your hands – 3 points
  • actively resists and does not allow himself to be laid down; when laid down – resists, but does not bite – 4 points
  • resists with all his might, bites – 5 points

Assessment of independence of character and tendency to dominate

Pat the puppy gently several times, starting from the head and ending on the lower back.

  • the puppy does not react to your actions – 1 point
  • turns to you and pokes your hands, but does not lick or bite – 2 points
  • licks his hands and bites them a little, substitutes his back to stroke them more – 3 points
  • does not enjoy stroking, dodges, grumbles, but does not bite – 4 points
  • dodges, resists, bites – 5 points

Assessment of the propensity to dominate

Take the puppy in your arms (under the chest and abdomen), raise it to the level of the face, and turn its muzzle towards you so that it looks into your face. Keep it there for about 30 seconds.

  • the puppy does not resist but also does not try to contact you – 1 point
  • does not resist, tries to lick his face or hands – 2 points
  • first resists then calms down and try to lick you – 3 points
  • resists and refuses to look you in the face, but does not growl or bite – 4 points
  • actively resists, growls, bites – 5 points

If the dog gets 5 points in one test and 1 in the other, then you probably made a mistake or the pet is not feeling well. In this case, it is necessary to repeat the entire test after a couple of days and in a different room. If the assessments are confirmed, then it is possible that the dog has mental defects. Or you make a mistake every time you run the test.

Test Results

The test results can be divided into four groups.

Fives and fours. If in the last two tests the dog received 5 points, and in the rest not less than 4 points for each test, then such a puppy will grow into an extremely difficult animal for education and training. Such pets are in no hurry to recklessly obey a person and demand respect for themselves. A dog with a detailed character is only suitable for an adult with a firm hand and strong nerves. After all, a dog will need to be thoroughly dealt with, and harsh training methods will have to be used with caution, otherwise, they may have the opposite result. Usually dogs with this character act as bodyguards and remain loyal to only one person.

Mostly fours. If the puppy has received 4 points in most of the tests, and not less than 3 points in the rest, then he has the makings of a service dog. It is quite possible that a purposeful and assertive animal will grow out of it, which is perfect for a sentry, sentry, or search and rescue service. But as in the first case, the owner of such a dog should be only an adult with a firm hand, ready to seriously engage in training.

Mostly triplets. If in the last three tests the puppy earned 3 points, and in the rest – 3 or 4 points, then such a pet will make a wonderful friend and companion. Such a dog is not cowardly and loves self-respect, but tends to put up with your actions.

Twos and ones. If the puppy basically scored 2 or 1 point for the tests, then it means that you have a very obedient and patient dog in front of you. Moreover, such a dog is rather indifferent to both people and other animals. Getting love from such pets is usually difficult, they require a lot of patience and care. If the puppy earned two or more units (especially in the fourth trial), then it will be difficult with such a dog – she does not like social contacts, no matter how affectionate you are. If such a puppy received 3 or 4 points in any of the tests, then most likely, he will develop simultaneously aggressive and cowardly behavior, as well as a tendency to run away. An experienced dog breeder will be able to handle such an animal, but a beginner or a child cannot.

Remember that any tests are rather arbitrary and contain a certain amount of errors. With a complex scatter of points, only a professional dog handler can correctly determine the makings of a puppy. However, the Campbell test is good in that even an inexperienced person, having passed it, will be able to get some idea of the future character of his dog.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *