Puppy Aptitude Testing

Puppy Aptitude Testing
In the seventh week after birth, we administer a series of aptitude tests to each of the puppies in our care. The tests assess the personality and behavior of each puppy. To make sure we eliminate any variables that might distort the results, a qualified person who has not had previous contact with the puppies administers the test.

The purpose of the tests is to help us, and you, decide which puppy will most readily adapt to a particular environment, e.g., a family with young children, an elderly couple, etc. For example, we would not want to place a very active, assertive puppy that needs lots of stimulation with an elderly couple seeking a companion dog with a calm temperament.

Of course, we don’t rely solely on testing. We compare the data with the daily observations we have made about each pup’s temperament during the eight weeks we spend rearing them.

The First Set
The first five tests indicate the degree of social compatibility and how readily a pup will accept human leadership. They include tests for Social Attraction, Following, Restraint, Social Dominance, and Elevation Dominance.

The Second Set
The next five tests measure Retrieving, Touch Sensitivity, Sound Sensitivity, Sight Sensitivity and the pup’s Physical Structure.

What the Scoring Reveals

Mostly 1’s     Indicates an extremely dominant, aggressive puppy who can easily be provoked to bite and requires only the most experienced handlers. A poor choice for most individuals; best suited to work as a guard or police dog.

Mostly 2’s      Indicates a dominant, self-assured pup, who can be provoked to bite but who readily accepts human leadership that is firm, consistent and knowledgeable. This is not a dog for a tentative, indecisive individual. In the right hands, would make a fine working or show dog and fit into an adult household if the owners know what they’re doing.

Mostly 3’s      Indicates an outgoing, friendly dog that will adjust well in situations where he receives regular training and exercise. He has a flexible temperament, and adapts to different types of environments if he is handled correctly. May be too much dog for a family with small children or an elderly couple who are sedentary.

Mostly 4’s      Indicates a dog who is adaptive and easily controlled, with a submissive nature that makes him look to his master for leadership. This dog is easy to train, gentle and affectionate, reliable with kids and, though somewhat lacking in self-confidence, makes a high quality family pet.


Mostly 5’s     Indicates a pup that is extremely submissive and lacking self-confidence. Bonds very closely with his owner and requires regular companionship and encouragement to bring him out of himself. If handled incorrectly, this pup could grow up very shy and fearful. He would do best in a predictable, structured lifestyle with owners who are patient and not overly demanding, perhaps an elderly couple.


Mostly 6’s     Indicates an independent dog uninterested in people, maturing into a dog who is not demonstrably affectionate and has a low need for human companionship. It is rare to see properly socialized dogs test this way.


Our girl Elizabeth (sire Dunkin) had 7 pups on Feb. 5: 3 black males, 2 black females and 2 yellow females.


To check on availability, please email

info@dogwood-labradors.com, or call Tom or Howard at 518-325-5260.


For photos and info on Lizzie's sire, Dunkin, please 










"Darbie is doing WONDERFUL!!!  We are all in love.  We couldn't be happier....she is sweet, curious, fun, and just everything we were missing....  thank you so very much."  Mandy M.



“[Our vet]...was so impressed by your breeding and believes we will have such wonderful years ahead. We all thank you and Tom for your special gifts in raising such a beautiful puppy.” Pat P.



"Thank you for doing such a great job with him, he really is the best. We are so lucky!" Angela V.


"Tucker is doing very well. He is very good with his crate and sleeps all night. Amazing for such a young dog. Thank you so much for such a great pup." Todd B.