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Puppy Aptitude Test

puppy(color,sex)__________________ litter_____________ date_____________
The following is a concise chart explaning each test and the scoring, a sample score sheet and
an interpretation of the scores:

TEST

PURPOSE

SCORE

1

Social Attraction:
Place puppy in test area. From a few feet away
the tester coaxes the pup to her/him by clapping
hands gently and kneeling down.
Tester must coax in a direction away from the
point where it entered the testing area.
Degree of social attraction,
confidence or dependence.
Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands..
Came readily, tail up, pawed, licked at hands.
Came readily, tail up.
Came readily, tail down.
Came hesitantly, tail down.
Doesn't come at all.

1

2

3

4

5

6

Following:
Stand up and walk away from the pup in
a normal manner. Make sure the pup
sees you walk away.
Degree of following attraction.
Not following indicates independence.
Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot, bit at feet.
Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot.
Followed readily, tail up.
Followed readily, tail down.
Followed hesitantly, tail down.
No follow or went away.

1

*

2

3

4

5

6

Restraint:
Crouch down and gently roll the
pup on his back and hold it with
one hand for a full 30 seconds.
*
*
*
*
*
Degree of dominant or
submissive tendency.
How it accepts stress
when socially/
physically dominated.
*
*
Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.
Struggled fiercely, flailed.
Settled, struggled, settled with some
eye contact.
Struggled then settled.
No struggle.
No stuggle, straining to avoid eye
contact.

1

2

3

*

4

5

6

*

Social Dominance:
Let pup stand up and gently
stroke him from the head to back
while you crouch beside him.
Continue stroking until a
recognizable behavior is 
established.
*
*
Degree of acceptance
of social dominance.
Pup may try to
dominate by jumping
and nipping or is
independent and walks
away.
Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.
Jumped, pawed.
Cuddles up to testor and tries to lick
face.
Squirmed, licked at hands.
Rolled over, licked at hands.
Went away and stayed away.
*

1

2

3

*

4

5

6

*

Elevation Dominance:
Bend over and cradle the pup
under its belly, fingers interlaced,
palms up and elevate it just off
the ground. Hold it there for 30
seconds.
*
Degree of accepting
dominance while in
position of no control.
*
*
Struggled fiercely, bit, growled.
Struggled fiercely.
No struggle, relaxed.
Struggled, settled, licked.
No struggle, licked at hands.
No struggle, froze.

1

2

3

4

5

6

****** 

Retrieving:
Crouch beside pup and attract
his attention with crumpled up
paper ball. When the pup shows
interest and is watching, toss the
object 4-6 feet in front of pup.
*
*
*
*

OBEDIENCE 

*
Degree of willingness
to work with a human.
High correlation
between ability to
retrieve and successful
guide dogs, obedience
dogs, field trial dogs.
*
*

APTITUDE 

Chases object, picks up object and
runs away.
Chases object, stands over object,
does not return.
Chases object and returns with object
to testor.
Chases object and returns without
object ot testor.
Starts to chase object, loses interest.
Does not chase object.

***** 

1

*

2

*

3

*

4

*

5

6

Touch Sensitivity:
Take puppy's webbing of one
front foot and press between
finger and thumb lightly then
more firmly till you get a
response, while you count slowly
to 10. Stop as soon as puppy 
pulls away, or shows discomfort.
*
Degree of sensitivity to
touch.
*
*
*
*
*
8-10 Counts before response
6-7 Counts before response.
5-6 Counts before response.
2-4 Counts before response.
1-2 Counts before response.
*
*
*

1

2

3

4

5

*

*

*

Sound Sensitivity:
Place pup in the center of area,
testor or assistant makes a sharp
noise a few feet from the puppy.
A large metal spoon struck
sharpley on a metal pan twice
works well.
*
*
Dggree of sensitivity to
sound. (Also can be a
rudimentary test for
deafness.)
*
*
*
Listens, locates sound, walks toward it
barking.
Listens, locates sound, barks.
Listens, locates sound, shows curiousity
and walks toward sound.
Listens, locates the sound.
Cringes, backs off, hides.
Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.

1

*

2

3

*

4

5

6

Sight Sensitivity:
Place pup in center of room. Tie
a string around a large towel and
jerk it across the floor a few feet
away from puppy.
*
*
Degree of intelligent
response to strange
object.
*
*
Looks, attacks and bites.
Looks, barks and tail-up.
Looks curiously, attempts to
investigate.
Looks, barks, tail-tuck.
Run away, hides.

1

2

3

*

4

5

Structure:
The puppy is gently set in a
normal stance and evaluated for
structure in the following
categories:
Straight front      Front angulation
Straight rear      Croup angulation
Shoulder            Rear angulation
   layback

(see diagram below)

*
Degree of structural
soundness. Good
structure is necessary.
*
*
*
*
*
*
The puppy is correct in  structure.
The puppy has a slight fault or
deviation.
The puppy has an extreme fault or
deviation.
*
*
*
*
*

good

fair

*

poor

*

*

*

*

*

*

              A               B                 C                   D               E                       F
 

A - Straight Front                                                               D - Front angulation
B - Straight Rear                                                                E - Croup angulation
C - Shoulder layback                                                         F - Rear angulation