DireWolf Dog Temperament Testing

 

Temperament testing is important in determining how to socialize and guide/train a particular puppy.  In the American Alsatian breed there are three stages of temperament tests.  The first two tests are performed on the RAW™ dog.  These tests are performed just after birth, at 3 weeks old, and again at 6 weeks old.  

 

 

Expectations of the American Alsatian breed

      

  1-2                                        

A puppy who scores here is NOT a purebred American Alsatian.  We do NOT have puppies who score here.  Plain and simple.  With the first generations we did, hence the numbers remain in order to compare the outcross and the purebred American Alsatian to a base.

        

3-4                                        

Purebred American Alsatians never score this low.   Some outcrosses score here.  We are not impressed at this score, but will keep notes and see what they do in further testing.

      

  5-6                                        

A score of 5 is the average for puppies of an outcross breeding.  If the pup is an F-1 and scores here, ok.  F-2's scoring here is ok.  F-3's scoring here is not as good.  We expect them to rise with the temperament test #3.  This is a lower score for a purebred American Alsatian. 

      

  7-8                                        

This is a pretty good score for first, second, and third generation outcross dogs.  This is an ok score for a purebred American Alsatian.  Some of our purebred Vallecito Alsatian puppies may score here.  We will note the reasons and socialize and guide the pup accordingly.

      

  9-10                                        

This is an exceptional score for an outcross.  We expect our purebred Vallecito Alsatian puppies to score here. 

      

  10+                                       

This is the ultimate score for our breed.

            Note: The following tables are only to be used with the American Alsatian companion dog breed.

 

 

 

Temperament Test #1

Birth - 3 Days Old

(ears and eyes are closed, crawling, sense of smell developing, no teeth)

  1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 10+

1. How does this pup come into the world?

Came out very energetic and crying nonstop. Extremely energetic. Cries and struggles when mom licks and moves it.  This pup is strong and determined. May get upset and bark or growl. Very energetic, pushed his/her way into the world.  Lots of movement such as bobbing head, moving feet back and forth.  Some grunting, but not very loud or noisy. Does not mind mom licking, picking up or holding him. May squirm somewhat and grunt but not much. May grunt a tad but not much. Is more of a thinker. Some movement, but not much.  Lies still when mom licks or moves it.   Does not care about any licking or movement. Breaths, and thinks. This pup is quiet and muscular and goes straight for milk when all of the excitement is over.

2. Noises this pup makes during the first 8 hours of life.

Cries, wimpers, grunts, and screams nonstop.  Has a high-pitched voice.   Wimpers if pushed or prodded.  Grunts while eating.  May scream at times and/or has a high-pitched voice. Is only quiet while eating.  Otherwise, grunting and wimpering.  No high-pitched screaming or crying. Grunts when picked up or moved.  Otherwise, not noisy. Is quiet when suckling, and moved or touched. Rarely noisy.  Very deep throaty growl or bark when heard. Does not make any noises.  This includes when suckling, being picked up or moved, pushed, or prodded. 

3. What is the energy level of this pup?

Very high energy level at all times. Goes from one place to another and cannot find the milk. This pup may stray away from the litter and not know where he is. Will cry for mom. When touched this pup goes into action pushing and trying to go forward.  Moves head all around looking for millk. Will not lay still in your hands but otherwise is content when with mom or littermates. Is always eating.  Does not want to be taken from mom.  Moves to get back.  Otherwise, this pup is content and does not move much. Pushes everyone out of the way whenever it wants to. Is content when suckling, eats and then sleeps. If there is not any milk he will push others away to find one. Lays still in your hands and does not care about anything but food and sleep.  More laid back and mellow about anything that happens to it.

4. What is the reaction of this pup to the first medical examination?

This pup hates the examination and cries, yells and squirms to get away. Continues to cry for no reason, will not stop crying until placed with mom and finds milk. Is full of energy. This pup may yawn in defiance. But mostly yells or screams. This pup is noisy and dislikes the examination, but does not scream or yell. Tries to get off the scale. When placed on the floor next to mom this pup is still traumatized by the ordeal until mom nudges the pup who then forgets and finds milk. This pup is  quiet but yawns in defiance. Squirms when on its back and does not like your fingers in its mouth. Otherwise this pup is ok and is not traumatized.  It does not have an elevated heart-rate and/or cries or screams. This pup is quiet and mellow until turned on its back. At this point, the pup tries to turn back over then puts up a fight. Calms back down when put right side up. Lies still on the scale. Is happy to get back with mom and find milk.  This pup is not traumatized by the ordeal. This pup may yawn as instinct permits, but does not make any noises or movements during the examination. May grunt upon turning over, but does not fight or squirm.  Is absolutely not traumatized by the ordeal. This pup is very similar to 9-10 but yawns less or not at all. This pup may fall asleep in the cup of your hand. Is certainly not traumatized by the ordeal.

5. What is the reaction of this pup when turned over on its back?

Stiff or will not be turned over. This pup is traumatized!  Heartbeat is elevated. May scream in defiance. Very hyper and squirmy. No struggle heartbeat elevated. Stiff. This pup is traumatized. Heart beat slightly elevated. May cry out in protest. May try and trick you to get back up right. Gives in and is still.  Not traumatized. This pup struggles and/or whimpers slightly at first but then lays there. Not stiff and does not have feet tucked under. This pup is not traumatized in any way. No struggle, but may yawn.  This pup's body is completely relaxed.  This pup is not traumatized in any way. Lays there relaxed and does not care.  Is in no way traumatized.  Does not yawn.  May fall asleep.

6. What is the reaction of this pup when placed back with its mother?

Cries and or howls, moves around in a circle head bobbing every which way.  Does not seem to know which way is the right way to go. Cries and or howls but is not as loud. Finally starts to try and locate his mom and is quiet as he thinks and smells and moves in a circle. Is strong and moves around in a circle, thinking sniffing, smelling and trying to locate some movement or feel of littermates or mom. May whimper slightly. Is calm and is a thinker. Moves head back and forth trying to locate mom. Finally starts moving straight in the direction of mom and littermates. Knows exactly where he is in relationship to mom and littermates, can sense it. Takes his time and is sure of the direction. May go off in wrong direction but fixes it without incident. No noise is made. Does not really care. Just lays there. Finally feels mom or littermates or senses them. Then moves straight towards them. May wait until mom touches him. He knows his direction then and is sure of himself.

7. What is the reaction of this pup when touched by a human?

Freezes and/or screams. Wants to get its head under something. Startles and cries and tries to get away. Jerks his head or body away from your touch. Not stiff Immediately yawns and may take his head back away from human. Yawns and is alert, but not stiff. Thinks about it may yawn. Not stiff Thinks about it, is alert, but does not really care.

 

 

 

 

Temperament Test #2

2.5 to 3 Weeks

(Eyes and ears are open.  Hearing and sight is weak.  Early walking, mobile.)

  1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 10+
1.  Drop an object into the den away from the pups. Yelps or screams with a high-pitched tone.  Draws immediately back away from the noisy object.  Continues to cry and scream. Wimpers or cries, may scream briefly.  Draws back away from the noisy object.  May continue to softly wimper. Stiffens then draws back or flinches.  Remains quiet.  May sniff and move slightly in direction of object, but remains stiff. Slightly startled at first, but does not draw back.  Gets up on all fours or sits intently. Not startled and does not draw back.  Remains quiet and may look towards object. Does not care.  Is not startled and does not draw back.  Is not stiff or nervous.  May sniff in direction of noisy object, but does not go to investigate.  Remains in place.  May place head down and close eyes.
2. Using your whole hand, roughly pet the pup from muzzle to tail. Stiffens and complains loudly with a high-pitched yell or scream.  Moves briskly to leave.  Does not know which way he is moving.  Flinches and yawns each time you touch its head. Stiffens slightly and wimpers, but not loudly.  Will yawn.  Stiff and scared in place. Remains quiet.  Moves head down and stiffens tail, but then moves toward littermates.  Remains quiet.  May lower head slightly with the touch.  Does not move, but is alert and aware of your hand. Is relaxed and quiet.  Is not stiff in any way.   Initally lifts up head to push into the pet.  Is very relaxed and quiet.  Closes eyes and relaxes into your petting.
3. Pick up the pup from its den using your whole hand to simulate mother dog's mouth. Pup stiffens at first then struggles and cries violently and loudly to get down.  Continues to cry throughout the test. Is not aware of surroundings.  This pup may flinch with the touch. Stiffens and cries out.  May be some movement at the initial lifting. Draws up legs and tail goes underneath.  Crying may stop during the test, but pup remains quite stiff.   Remains quiet, but may be stiff, drawing up legs and tail underneath. Pup does not move in anyway.  Very rigid. Pup may wimper softly or grunt,  but is not stiff.  Tail is loose and legs hang down freely. Pup remains quiet throughout.  Pup is not stiff and legs and tail hang freely. Pup is alert and confident. Pup is quiet and relaxed.  Pup's legs and tail hang freely.  Back is loose. Pup may close eyes and fall alseep.
4. Turn the pup over on its back securely supported. Struggles and fights being turned over.  This pup is continually screaming. This pup is VERY traumatized and flinches with any touch. Wimpers slightly or cries softly.  Struggles at first, then remains stiff with legs and tail drawn up.  May sease to cry or wimper, but body remains stiff throughout. Might try to right itself. Remains quiet throughout.  Struggles initially, then remains stiff with legs and tail drawn up.  Remains quiet.  Stiffens at first with legs draw up and tail turned in, but then relaxes.  Does not struggle. Remains quiet.  Does not stiffen.  Legs and tail are loose. Alert and confident.   Remains quiet.  Does not seem to care.  Rolls with hand and every muscle is loose. May close eyes and fall asleep in your hands.
5. Place the pup in a high-sided wicker basket by itself. How does this pup act when separated from littermates? his pup immediately moves for the side of the basket.  Pup cries and screams in a high-pitched tone.  This pup struggles and tries to hide in the corner.  Continually screams throughout the test.   Elevated heartrate, traumatized and distressed.  If you touch this pup he will flinch. Pup wimpers and cries and may howl because he's alone.  This pup moves around looking for others.  Unconfortable.  Wants his mom.  May howl and wimper and whine.  If you pick him up he will stop crying. Wimpers for littermates.  Looks around, gets up smelling and sniffing and wants to find somebody to be with.  Misses everyone and wants to be warm.  Does not lie down or sit, but continues to move around the basket.  May wimper, but not as much as 3-4. Wimpers a little, then grows quiet and sits.  Moves and searches around the bottom of the basket, but eventually lies down.  Remains alert and might move again or follow the corner of the basket. Remains quiet.  Sits at first and looks around.  You can see the dog thinking about its situation.  May move around a tad, but not as much as 7-8.  Then lays down in the crook of the basket.  Looks around and watches. Alert and aware of surroundings. Remains quiet.   May look around slightly, move to the crook of the basket then lie head down and close eyes. This pup is confident and alert.  It seemingly knows that there is no harm. 
6. Replace the pup back near its siblings, but not with them.  How does the pup react? Immediately scoots underneath the puppy pile.  As long as his head is covered this pup is not yelling. Might wimper a tad before moving to the pack.  Has a tendency to go under pile. May wimper.  Look around, smell your hand and go over to the pile. Wants to stay with you and play. Biting at your feet. Is awake, alert, and energetic.  May return to the pack and bite other pups or chew on them to play.          May meander back to the pack and may entice other pups to play, but softly.  Not with energy.  May stay with you and play with your toes or shoestrings.  Will tire quickly and return to the pack. Remains quiet and meanders over to the pile of pups and lays down at the edge of pups.   May also stay close to you and sniff your foot.  May curl up next to your foot or body.

 

 

 

Temperament Test #3

6 Weeks to 6.5 Weeks Old

(Baby teeth have come in.  Hearing, sight, and smell are developed.  Highly mobile.  Wagging tail and vocal.)

  1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 10+
1.  Drop an object into the den away from the pups. Screams and runs to hide under his littermates.

Wimpers or cries, may scream briefly.  Draws back away from the noisy object.  May continue to softly wimper.

Stiffens then draws back or flinches.  Remains quiet.  May sniff and move slightly in direction of object, but remains stiff.

Slightly startled at first, then looks at the object and stands up to investigate.

Sits up to look at the object.  May stand to investigate or sniff in the direction of the object. 

slowly looks up at the object then lays head back down and falls back asleep.

2. Using your whole hand, roughly pet the pup from muzzle to tail.

This pup is stiff as a board and will scream and cry with a high-pitched yell.

Stiffens and wimpers, but not loudly.  Stiff and scared in place.

Remains quiet.  Moves head down and stiffens tail, but then moves toward littermates.

Remains quiet, but may lower head slightly at first with the unexpected touch.  Wags tail.

Moves with your hand.  May look up at your when your hand starts down his back.May wag tail gently.

Moves head in the direction of the pet.  May close its eyes in content. Does not move from is position.  Looks up at hand when it moves away.

3. Pick up the pup from its den using your whole hand to simulate mother dog's mouth.

This puppy is very stiff.  Traumatized.  Continues to yell and whine as if in pain.

Stiffens and cries out.  May be some movement at the initial lifting. Draws up legs and tail goes underneath.  Crying may stop during the test, but pup remains quite stiff.  

Remains quiet, but may be stiff, drawing up legs and tail underneath.  May wag tail stiffly and vigorously.  Very rigid movements.

This puppy may grunt at first, but remains loose.

This puppy is quite loose and calm.  It may wag his tail gently.

This puppy is very loose and calm.  It makes no sound.  

4. Turn the pup over on its back securely supported.

This puppy is very stiff.  Extremely traumatized.  Continues to yell and whine as if in pain.

Wimpers slightly or cries softly.  Struggles at first, then remains stiff with legs and tail drawn up.  May sease to cry or wimper, but body remains stiff throughout. Might try to right itself.

May wag tail vigorously in a stiff motion.  Body is somewhat stiff, but not as much as 3-4.

Remains quiet.  Stiffens at first with legs draw up and tail turned in, but then relaxes.  Does not struggle. 

Remains extremely quiet and loose. May lick or wag his tail gently, not fast.

Continues to remain loose and very calm.  May close eyes and fall asleep.

5. Place the pup in a high-sided wicker basket by itself. How does this pup act when separated from littermates?

Whines and wimpers and goes to hide in the corner of the basket.  May try to jump out, barks and whines at the fact that he cannot.

Pup wimpers and cries and may howl because he's alone.  This pup moves around looking for others.  Unconfortable.  Wants his mom.  May howl and wimper and whine.  If you pick him up he will stop crying.

Looks around, gets up smelling and sniffing and wants to find somebody to be with.  Does not lie down or sit, but continues to move around the basket.

This pup will wag his tail with intensity and go toward you.  May jump up on edge of basket wagging tail vigorously.

Looks up at you and gently wags his tail.  May sit or go to the edge of the basket to be closer to you. Leans on the edge of the basket in hopes of getting a pet.

May look up at you and gently wag his tail.  May sit or lie down and continue to look at you.  When you do not return your hand, If he's not tired, he may either continue to gaze at you or if he is tired, he may close eyes and fall asleep.

6. Replace the pup back near its siblings, but not with them.  How does the pup react?

Goes immediately underneath the pack, whining the whole time.

Might wimper a tad before moving to the pack.  Has a tendency to go under pile or bury his head.

May drop its head in stiffness initially.  Then goes immediately over to the pack and may bark and wag tail strongly enticing the other pups to play with him. Is no longer interested in you.  

Wants to stay with you and play. Biting at your feet. Is awake, alert, and energetic.  May return to the pack and bite other pups or chew on them to play. Tail wags vigorously.

This puppy will remain with you and gently play with your shoes or hands.  He may continue to wag his tail gently.  He may also entice other puppies to come over to you and play.

He may gently wag his tail and lean next to you.  He may play with your shoes or hand if you remain.  No noise or sound from the puppy.

 

American Alsatians are companion dogs. First we worry about the health of the American Alsatian breed. Secondly, we need to make sure the temperament of each pup is the best fit for a companion dog. Back in 1987, the founder observed and recorded what owners wanted in a dog.  We believe that a companion dog should be all of these things. We also believe that it can be accomplished and has been accomplished in this breed through careful selective breeding:

 

1. great health

2. minimal barking/whining/ jumping/ digging

3. doesn't wander/keeps boundaries naturally

4. calm and intelligent

5. sensitive/easy to train

6. playful, yet not hyper

7. confident, not shy

8. tolerant of others/dogs

9. dedicated to their family

10. low prey-drive

 

 

Impossible? American Alsatian breeders and owners don't think so.