Puppy Temperament Testing – 4 Questions About Applying the Campbell Puppy Test To Your French Bulldog

If you are on the hunt for a French Bulldog puppy I would recommend doing some puppy temperament testing.  The Campbell Puppy Test has been shown to accurately predict a Frenchie puppy’s long-term behavior. Making the best choice of a Frenchie that would fit my desires was important to me so I did the testing below.  Here is a short question and answer article that hopefully addresses your concerns.

Question 1: Should I even bother with French Bulldog puppy temperament testing at all?

The Campbell Test and other similar evaluations are never foolproof.  However, it is generally acknowledged that breeds like French Bulldogs will reveal their personality as young pups.  It is in your interest to know if he is submissive, domineering, aggressive, or somewhere in the middle. Especially when it comes to house training and behavioral exercises.  

We have kids and I work from home so it was important to me to pick a puppy that wasn’t aggressive, wasn’t too vocal, and that was loving.  

There is no such thing as a perfect French Bulldog puppy.  It is important to understand that no matter how the puppy tests you as an owner will exert the greatest influence over how well trained your Frenchie becomes.

Question 2: How do I properly administer puppy temperament testing?   

First you want to pick an area free from children and other distractions.  This will help to get an accurate test. Ideally you want to place your French Bulldog in unfamiliar surroundings so you don’t divert his attention.

Experts agree that most puppies’ personality traits are set between eight and sixteen weeks.  Frenchie puppies at this age makes them ideal candidates for the test.

In an ideal situation you would bring someone well-versed in the Campbell test is conducted by a qualified person who your puppy does not recognize.  Owners, breeders, etc. should not be involved. For me I didn’t have a trainer that could come with me so I watched this video and did my best to replicate these tests.

Puppy Temperament Testing Video

Question 3: So What Exactly Are the Campbell Puppy Test Temperament Testing Guidelines?

The test focuses on these five key issues:

  1. Social Attraction of the puppy
  2. Puppy Response to Obligation
  3. Social Domination Traits
  4. Facility to Follow
  5. Acceptance to be Lifted Under Armpits

Question 4: Can you discuss each point in detail, please?

Social Attraction of the Puppy: For this test you will want to sit a few feet away from the Frenchie puppy and observe his behavior.  How is he reacting to the surroundings? Is the puppy following the evaluator around the room? What is its body language (e.g. high tail or low tail?).  Alternatively, does the bulldog puppy try to run away, or is he spending time exploring the room where you are doing the test?

Puppy Response to Obligation: Take the puppy and place them on its back.  Hold it down by the chest with a flat palm. Observe how the puppy reacts:

– Is your puppy angry and trying to bite the evaluator’s hand?

– Is there a lot of squirming, or does the puppy calm down after some initial protests?

– Does the dog lay down quietly, or does he try to lick the evaluator’s hand?

Social domination:

Testing the bulldog puppy’s tendencies can be as simple as sitting with the dog and petting him.  See if the puppy rolls on his back or frantically tries to run away. Does he try to climb on the evaluator, lick his hands, or bite him?

Facility to follow:

Measuring a puppy’s willingness to follow can best be judged by bringing the puppy close to the evaluator, and then walking away from him.

How does your puppy react?  Does he follow the evaluator, stay put, or go off in another direction? Do you have an eager puppy that is nipping at the your heels or jumping on you?  Or, does the puppy choose to follow at a distance?

Acceptance to be lifted:

For this temperament test you will want to lift your puppy away from you only by his chest without the dog seeing you.  You’re picking it up from behind and facing it away from you.

What happens?  Does the French Bulldog remain calm?  Perhaps he becomes anxious and attempts to lick the tester’s hands?  Does he try biting the hands, or squirm and struggle to be set free? How long does it take for him to calm down?  When I did the test I was looking for a nice submissive dog that would melt in my arms.

Temperament testing can be very helpful and provide some future insights how your potential puppy may grow up to become.  The Campbell puppy test should give you a good feeling for your French Bulldog’s personality. In ideal situation he will be in the middle of the dominance-submissiveness spectrum.  If this is your first Frenchie you should avoid puppies that are on the extremes of the performance scale. No matter how the puppy tests and which one you go home with you should consider enrolling them in some good training classes to further mold them into a great dog.  

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