Behavioral Assessment and Temperament Test References

The desire for a one-size-fits all-foolproof temperament test for dogs has always been the Holy Grail for those who work with dogs, especially  populations of dogs of unknown history. But like the legendary Grail, a reliable test remains elusive for one simple, but frustrating reason. Not all dogs alike, nor are all people who test them, or the environments in which those tests are performed.  Because of that, think of the resources below as providing individual glimpses into this complex situation, some of which may fit one particular situation better than others.

If you’d like to suggest additional resources, please e-mail mm@mmilani.com.

  • American Temperament Test Society, Inc.
  • Bollen, K. and Horowitz, J.  (2007) Behavioral evaluation and demographic information in the assessment of aggressiveness in shelter dogs. Applied Animal Behavior Science (2007).  doi:10.1016/j.applanium.2007.07.007
  • Cook PF, Spivak M, Berns GS. (2014) One pair of hands is not like another: caudate BOLD response in dogs depends on signal source and canine temperament. Peer J 2:5 e596
  • Christensen, E. et al. (2007) Aggressive behavior in adopted dogs that passed a temperament test. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 106: 85-95.
  • Davis, K. Temperament Testing Adult DogsThe Canine Behavior Series.
  • Diedrich, C and Giffroy, J. (2006) Behavioural testing in dogs: a review of methodology in search of standardization. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 97: 51-72.
  • Foyer, Panella et al. (2014) Behaviour and experiences of dogs during the first year of life predict the outcome in a later temperament test.   Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Volume 155, Pages 1-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.03.006
  • Goodloe, L., Borchelt, P. (1998)  Companion Dog Temperament Traits. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. 1(4) 303-338.
  • Jones, A. and Gosling. S. (2005)Temperament and Personality in Dogs (Canis domesticus): a review and evaluation of past research. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 95: 1-53.
  • Kroll, T. et al. (2004) The Use of Novel Stimuli as Indicators of Aggressive Behavior in Dogs. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. 40: 13-19
  • Mirkó, Erika et al. (2013) Association between subjective rating and behavioural coding and the role of experience in making video assessments on the personality of the domestic dog, Canis familiaris.  Applied Animal Behaviour Science 149: 45-54.  doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.10.003
  • Reisner, I. et al. (2007) Behavioral assessment of child-directed canine aggression. Injury Prevention.  13: 348-351.
  • Serpell, J. and Hsu, Y. (2001)Development and validation of a novel method for evaluating behavior and temperament in guide dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 72: 347-364.
  • Serpell, J. and Hsu, Y.( 2005) Effects of breed, sex, and neuter status on trainability in dogs. Anthrozoos. 18 (3).
  • Taylor, K. et al. (2006) The development and assessment of temperament tests for adult companion animals. Journal of Veterinary Behavior.  (1) 94-108.
  • Wilsson, E. and PD Sungren (1997) The use of a behavioural test for selection of dogs for service and breeding. Heritability for tested parameters and effect of selection based on service characteristics. Applied Animal Behavioural Science. Volume 54, Issues 2-3, pp. 235-241.
  • WikiHow. How to Temperament Test a Dog.