Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who's My Type A?

I was struggling this week with coming up with a blog post - as cute as Hurley is, there are only so many puppy pics I can post and get away with! We are working on reinforcing the training breakthroughs he had last week and other than the unfortunate Leaving Sadie Outside All Night incident of earlier this week, not much has been going on in doggie world. Other than the general chaos that is our home. :)

So when Kristine of Rescued Insanity posted about this doggie personality test, I HAD to take this for my pack and of course post all the results.

Whether or not this test is scientific, accurate, etc is unimportant to me. It's a fun way to check to see how well you know your dogs and so I am going to take a guess at the results prior to taking it. Check back tomorrow for results of the real test.

To summarize, the test evaluates 4 "drives" and asks situational questions to evaluate your dog.  You get to rate 1-10 so it's not simply a yes/no, black/white sort of deal.  I read through the descriptions of each drive (prey, pack and defense, which is divided in fight and flight) and examples but didn't look at any of the questions on the actual test. Here are my rankings for where each drive will score with each dog.


 Maggie will likely score high in all areas, except flight. She is my high energy alpha female.

Prey: 70  I ranked prey as the highest score due to Maggie's obsession with fetch and how she must destroy every toy ever to enter our home. But her chasing of cats, squirrels, etc seems to be a learned behavior from Sadie (she never lunged for cats prior to Sadie showing her how fun it can be). She is also extremely food motivated.

Pack: 65  Next to ball, Maggie loves people next. Once upon a time (when she was a puppy), I would have ranked her lower on this scale as she wasn't much of a cuddler and didn't seek out attention from me. My suspicion is that, back then, she didn't consider me her superior in our little pack. She knows better now. :) She still is somewhat of an alpha dog but I'm going with the theory that being the alpha is a distinct pack behavior. Plus her gentle behavior with puppy Hurley really showed us her softer pack side.

Fight: 55  It is my sincerest hope that we will continue to lower this score but the reality is that Maggie has shown a tendency to fight - through her aggression with small dogs and on the leash. She doesn't, however, pick fights where she might lose. While this shows her intelligence, it also shows that she can rein in that fight instinct when it suits her so I'm not going to score her that much over 50 here.

Flight: 25  My girl doesn't really back down or run away from anything. Except maybe fireworks and the lawnmower.


Her behaviors are usually one extreme or the other so I'm pretty confident in my scoring here. 'Course I do tend to anthropomorphize her behavior more than the other dogs so for purposes of a canine behavior test, I could be all wrong.

Pack: Highest possible score, whatever that is.  She loves giving and receiving attention, is the dog most likely to be grooming other dogs and is most confused by the changing pack dynamics in our house (she totally doesn't understand why her alpha Maggie submits to the puppy sometimes). There is zero doubt in my mind that she will rank highest here.

Prey: 65  I will never, ever trust Sadie around someone's cat. It might just be the chase that she loves but since she's proven herself to be an effective mouser, I just can't say for sure what she would do if she ever caught a cat. She also loves squirrels and is that dog at the dog park barking up the tree. Currently, she is being harrassed daily by a crow in our backyard. The crow waits for her (seriously, it does) on the ground and the minute we let her out, the crow flies to our fence, roof, shed, etc, leading Sadie on a chase around the yard. I'm pretty sure the crow enjoys this as much as it frustrates Sadie.

Flight: 60 Sadie is not one to get into confrontations. In fact, she gets really worried whenever Maggie gets into a confrontation with another dog and even when Maggie & Hurley are playing a little rough.  Her instinct is definitely to avoid conflict as much as possible.

Fight: 20  Even with her fear aggression problems in the past, it was always obvious that Sadie did not want to bite anyone. She had just learned that snapping would get people to leave her alone when she was scared. Even when Maggie has most viciously attacked another dog, Sadie just mans the perimeter and has never once joined in, not even remotely. She's a lover, not a fighter.


Hurley is the hardest for the obvious reason - at 4 months, he is entirely too young to have fully developed his personality and we have yet to observe the full spectrum of behaviors. guess is that he will score low on all drives because the test tells you to skip the question if you have not observed the behavior.

Pack & Prey: 40  I am going to show Pack and Prey in a tie. Hurley is going to be a heck of a well-socialized pup through spending his days at NoPo Paws with me. He already shows a tremendous love of people and has done well with all the dogs he has met. He picks up very well on the social cues he receives from other dogs and adjusts his behavior accordingly - sometimes he plays, sometimes he just follows & sniffs and sometimes he just lays down and watches the other dog. Yes, my 4-month old puppy sometimes just lays down to watch another dog. Yes, I know how lucky I am. He is vastly different in his behavior with his own pack - Tasmanian Devil would be an appropriate description for his behavior when he plays with the girls at home. On the prey side, he is most treat-motivated. He is quite demanding about receiving treats when he performs his commands, which is why I am turning to clicker training as a way to alternatively reward and mark behavior. I can tell already he's got an incredible nose and can sniff out food anywhere.

Fight: 20  Hurley does have a tendency to vocalize his frustration / excitement / need for attention by barking at dogs/people/toys. If he is not allowed the opportunity to meet & sniff, his hackles are raised and he barks. I am determined not to let this blossom into leash aggression so we are working on sitting nicely when dogs pass the shop or while we are out on our potty breaks. However, it is a puppy behavior that seems more prevalent than with most puppies so it's on my radar.

Flight: 10  Quite honestly, I don't think I've seen Hurley back down from anything except for getting in and out of the car. The hubby reported that he was terrified of the lawn mower but that's it. Water bottle squirts to discourage jumping and barking? Yup, he LOVES being squirted with the water bottle. He is definitely a confident puppy who explores his world with complete abandon.  He's going to be one of those dogs that just rolls with the punches when introduced to new environments.


  1. Oooo, I'm taking that test as soon as I finish this comment! I can't wait to see how accurate your guesses are.

  2. Hmm..we might have to try this one too. Did Sadie really catch a mouse?

  3. @Two Pitties in the City

    Sadie's caught several mice. In our old house, she used to disappear for hours in the basement and when we would go looking for her, we would find her playing with a mouse just like a cat would.