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What is Your Dog's Personality?

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

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Interpreting the Test

Categorizing your dog's personality in the manner described above leads to combined annotations such as DoPFJ, DoPTJ, DePFJ, etc.
The following chart shows how the combined behavioral assessment links to common behaviors/behavior problems.

1. DoSTJ _ dominant, low prey drive, calculating, likes routine: confident house pet

2. DeSTJ _ deferent, low prey drive, calculating, likes routine: shy, home buddy

3. DoSFJ _ dominant, low prey drive, fearful, likes routine: dominant aggressive

4. DeSFJ _ deferent, low prey drive, fearful, likes routine: cowed, anxious

5. DoSTP _ dominant, low prey drive, calculating, opportunist: dominant, smart

6. DeSTP _ deferent, low prey drive, calculating, opportunist: dependent, flexible

7. DoSFP _ dominant, low prey drive, fearful, opportunist: shy, sharp

8. DeSFP _ deferent, low prey drive, fearful, opportunist: fearful, hypervigilant

9. DoPFJ _ dominant, high prey drive, fearful, likes routine: shy-sharp recluse

10. DePFJ _ deferent, high prey drive, fearful, likes routine: fearful, territorial

11. DoPFP _ dominant, high prey drive, fearful, opportunist: shy-sharp, territorial

12. DePFP_ deferent, high prey drive, fearful, opportunist: fearful, hunter

13. DoPTJ _ dominant, high prey drive, calculating, likes routine: confident hunter

14. DePTJ _ deferent, high prey drive, calculating, likes routine: obedient hunter

15. DoPTP _ dominant, high prey drive, calculating, opportunist: a law unto himself

16. DePTP _ deferent, high prey drive, calculating, opportunist: trainable, innovative hunter

Temperaments 1-4 = HOME BUDDIES – dominant or respectful, shy or confident
Temperaments 5-8 = PLAYFUL BUT LAZY– confident or shy, trusting or suspicious
Temperaments 9-12 = THE SHY HUNTERS – dominant or respectful, flexible or set
Temperaments 13-16 = OUTGOING HUNTERS – dominant or not, flexible or set

Conclusion

The scheme above is innovative and as yet untested – though it does make sense. It also describes certain known characters fairly well. For example, the owner of a mildly owner aggressive, ferociously territorial German shepherd that chases squirrels would probably grade their dog #9 (DoPFJ) or #11 (DoPFP) depending on how flexible the dog was in the face of changing circumstances and need for a stable routine. The owner of a dominant aggressive, cat chasing Rottweiler might grade their dog #15 (DoPTP). The owner of a submissive urinator might wind up ascribing #4 (DeSFJ). Time will tell how well the system works for dogs of all characters but at least this system represents a start toward a more organized way of assigning personality/temperament types to dogs

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