What Do You Look For When Selecting A Service Dog Puppy?/temperment Tests?

Do you use a temperment test when evaluating puppies as potential Service dogs?

  • Yes, All puppies are selected solely based on their temperament test results.

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • Yes, but it is not the only deciding factor when we are chosing puppies.

    Votes: 7 70.0%
  • Yes, We temperment test all considered puppies but for research purposes only.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, we never use a temperment test.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Pawtential Unleashed

Experienced Member
Thankfully things have been calm for almost a month - she seems content with the companionship of her Havanese mix and has convinced her parents to buy her another from the same breeder for her birthday this week. She went out and met the litter - did a temperament test that sounded really well executed and chose the dog that seemed to be the best fit for her. I again was not included as I was working elsewhere but this is just to be a pet and companion for her current Hav.

She is becoming more aware of the nuances of breeds and backgrounds and as I said to her - I think her next service dog candidate needs to be a shelter or rescue pet between 6-9 months old at least. Her family, with this new birthday pup, have spent well over $4500 on dogs - CRAZY - all my babies are adopted and while I have NO issue with purebreds - paying $1000 for a dog (mixed breed nonetheless - Havanese x Cavalier/Poodle) is just nonsense to just be pets...

Ahhhh the joys of training people - if only clickers worked as quickly for them as it does for dogs! LOL


Well-Known Member
We are currently getting a pup (a male beauceron) that we hope to train as a service dog and I was wondering if you minded giving us some advice about what to look for in a puppy. I'm a wheelchair user due to both knees in constant pain and my partner is fit and able. I'm aware in the UK the way we certify assistance dogs is different however I want to get the best start available if possible. :) If you need any more information just say :)


Honored Member
Great article, Pawtential!! wow, great links embedded in it, too!!!

Salix, this article is not about choosing a service dog from a litter,
but does have some info on choosing a good puppy, in general. There ARE genetically shy dogs, and these CAN be spotted in the litterbox, as soon as the pup is old enough to move away from a human hand, they will. As adorable as shyness in a dog is, some of these shy dogs can escalate later in life to become "fear aggressive" to unknown humans, so one would not want a shy pup as a service dog.
There are also genetically dog-aggressive dogs, whose brain is wired abnormally, {but, dog-aggression typically does not begin to manifest til pup is about 9 mos old.}

Usually, the parents of either the shy dog, or the DA dog, are FINE, normal dogs, as both disorders are recessive genes. Usually, the entire litter is fine, too, with only one or two dogs having either the shy or the DA disorder.

Most ppl say is no way to spot a DA dog in the litter box, but, for what it's worth, here is another article on things to look for in puppies: http://www.aspcabehavior.org/articles/51/Choosing-a-Puppy-from-a-Litter-.aspx


Experienced Member
Wow. I have to say that I would not risk my reputation as a trainer by helping out that family anymore. They seem impulsive, unwilling to follow instructions, ignore dog's body language and even put dogs at risk, and other people at risk by their actions. I would hate for my name to be attached to whatever dog #6 they decide not to abide by next time, creating more public distrust of service dog behaviors. Perhaps in a few years from now when the girl gets the help that she really needs, which I do NOT think a dog is her current answer, I would reconsider helping. I'm sorry, I hope I am wrong for everyone's sake.

Pawtential Unleashed

Experienced Member
Since she has stopped looking for a dog, I am no longer needed. We had a very serious discussion about exactly those concerns and they have agreed that if they ever revisit the idea - they would like to keep in touch and be more receptive next time to instruction...