Campbell's Test


Developed by Dr WE Campbell in 1973, this test was developed to detect predispositions in a puppy's character, allowing you to select the animal that best matches your personality or the use you want. do it (guard, hunt, company ...)


However, it cannot be interpreted as scientific truth. Campbell's test can only determine the character tendencies of the puppy.


Campbell's test has long shown its limitations, and advances in research have undermined its results. Nevertheless it is part of the history of dog training and we therefore want to inform you about its content.


Conditions of realization

Puppies should be tested in their seventh week.

The examiner (ideally the future owner) brings the puppy, himself and alone, to a quiet, secluded area.

The place of the tests should be free from possible distractions for the puppy.

Puppies should not be used to this place.

The place will eventually be cleaned between the passage of each puppy (if they urinate for example).

The tests are performed only once on each puppy, without preparation, gently, but in a neutral manner, without encouragement or praise. Disregard whether the puppy may urinate or defecate.

For each of the five parts of the test, the "tester" must pay close attention to observing the puppy's attitude and in particular its tail carriage.

The evaluation grid describes the puppy's possible attitudes for each of the exercises. Circle the letter that best matches the puppy's letter and when the test is complete, refer to the interpretation of the results.

Description of tests

Social attraction:

Indicator of the degree of social adaptation, confidence and independence of the puppy.

Enter the chosen location and gently lay the puppy down in the middle. Walk away a few meters in the opposite direction from which you entered. Kneel down and lure the puppy in by gently clapping the hands. Observe if the puppy is coming towards you (is the tail high or low) or if it does not move.

Note the result according to the following cases:

A: Comes promptly, tail high, hopping and biting hands

B: Comes quickly, tail held high, pawing towards the hands

C: Comes quickly, tail low

D: Comes hesitantly, tail down

E: Don't come


Ability to follow the master:

Indicator of the ability to follow. An absence of continuation reveals a very independent character.

Begin the test standing near the puppy. Walk away normally while watching his reaction. His ability to follow easily or not will be revealed.

Make sure he saw you start.

Note the result according to the following cases:

A: Promptly follows, tail held high, trying to nibble feet

B: Suit promptly, tail high

C: Suit promptly, tail low

D: Hesitantly follows, tail low

E: Not following, or at a distance


Stress test:

Revealing the degree of acceptance of physical domination.

Lay the puppy on the ground and gently roll it onto its back. Hold it with one hand on your chest for 30 seconds. His reactions of defense or acceptance reflect his tendency to accept physical or social domination.

Note the result according to the following cases:

A: Struggles vigorously, struggles and bites

B: Struggle vigorously and struggle

C: Fight for a while then give up

D: Don't fight, lick your hands


Social dominance test:

Revealing the degree of acceptance of social domination.

Lay the puppy down and gently stroke it from the top of the head down the neck and back. His attitude under the caress indicates his acceptance or rejection of your social dominance. A dominant will try to jump aside or even bite and growl. The independent puppy is content to move away.

Insist until the behavior is clear.

Note the result according to the following cases:

A: Leap, claw, paw, bite, growl

B: leaps, paws

C: Squirms, licks hands

D: Rolls up, licks hands

E: Walk away and don't flinch


Dignity test:

Indicator of the degree of acceptance of your dominance.

Lift the puppy by the stomach, both hands intertwined, palms facing you. Hold it for 30 seconds. The puppy no longer has any control, he is at the mercy of the experimenter. His reactions indicate whether or not he accepts your dominance. Then put it back on the ground gently and bring it back to its mother.

Note the result according to the following cases:

A: Fiercely struggles, bites, scolds, cries

B: Struggles a lot, cries

C: Struggle, calm down, lick

D: Don't fight, lick


Test result

In any case, remember that Campbell's tests cannot fully enlighten you on the personality of the puppy in front of you.

2 A or more, with B's otherwise:


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