Bulldog Personality Test (Part 1)

Useful Tests to Identify Your Bulldog's Temperament

Bulldog's temper is a result of genetics and environmental influence combination. Your dog's character identification will help not only to know and to understand it better, but also to choose a proper training and activity according to the pet's personality. That is why experienced breeders and handlers test Bulldog puppies before taking them.

English Bulldog Temper

Every Bulldog is special in spite of the typical breed characteristics and testing is a good guide to make harmonious relations between the puppy and you.

One of the most popular and effective tests for dog temper identifying is the Campbell test. William Campbell is a famous American animal behaviorist, who devoted most of his investigations to relations between dogs and their owners. In 1975 he published the book "Behavior Problem in Dogs", where he showed the results of almost 8 years of experiments (more than 10 000 of various breeds took part in Campbell's tests). Then Wendy Volhard and Gail Fisher completed these tests in 1979. Now the tests help owners and breeders in choosing Bulldog puppies for training, hunting, shows, as companions.

The Campbell test consists of 5 actions, which are oriented to interaction between human and puppy.

One should follow the main rules of testing:

  • Puppy should be in the age of 6-8 weeks.
  • Unfamiliar person should carry out the test in an unfamiliar for the puppy quite place.
  • No acquaintances of the puppy (breeder, owner) or other animals are allowed in the place where testing goes.
  • It is forbidden to pet, to stroke, to encourage and to talk to the puppy during testing.

1. Social Attraction

Helps to identify the degree of social attraction to people, trust level, independence.

Put the puppy on the ground in the test area and make several steps away from it (about 4 feet). Kneel or lean backwards and clap your hands gently to attract the puppy's attention. Watch its behavior.

  • A – comes at once, jumps, tail is up
  • B – comes at once, paws, licks hands, tail is up
  • C – comes at once, but tail is down
  • D – comes hesitantly, tail is down
  • E – doesn't come at all

2. Willingness to Follow

Shows puppy's willingness to follow the person.

Stand by the puppy and walk away slowly, encouraging it to follow. Make sure the puppy sees you walking away.

  • A – follows you at once, tail is up, hoops and nibbles your feet
  • B - follows you at once, tail is up, gets underfoot
  • C - follows you at once, but a bit hesitantly, tail is down
  • D - follows you hesitantly, tail is down
  • E – doesn't follow at all

3. Restraint

Shows the degree of dominance or submission, handling easiness in complicated situations.

Put the puppy on its belly down, then roll it on the back and hold for 30 sec in this position, holding your hand on its chest with light pressure.

  • A – struggles vigorously, fights with your hand, flails, bites
  • B - struggles vigorously, tries to get away
  • C – struggles first, then calms down
  • D – doesn't struggle, lick your hands
  • E – doesn't struggle, lies still, no eye contact, the puppy is scared

4. Social Dominance

Shows the acceptance degree of social dominance by a person.

Put the puppy on the ground and stroke gently it from the head to back. A dominant puppy will resist this caress, it will jump on you and even try to bite you. An independent Bulldog puppy will go away.

  • A – jumps, paws, bites, growls
  • B – jumps, paws
  • C – squirms, licks hands
  • D – rolls over, licks hands
  • E – goes away and stays away

5. Elevation Dominance

Shows the degree of dominance or submission in position of no control.

Lift the puppy from the ground and hold it for 30 sec.

  • A - struggles vigorously, cries, bites, growls
  • B - struggles vigorously, but doesn't bite
  • C – struggles, calms down, struggles, calms down
  • D – doesn't struggle, licks hands
  • E – doesn't struggle, frozen

Test Results

Mostly A's – this Bulldog puppy is aggressive and dominant. It can bite if provoked. It is not recommended to take the puppy to the family where there are children and middle aged persons. An experienced trainer and calm atmosphere is needed for this puppy. This will be the best police or guard dog if trained gently and without physical punishment.

Mostly B's – self-assured and dominant puppy. It can be provoked to bite, but it accepts human's leadership. This puppy is not for a timid and hesitatory person. The puppy has great potential to training. It can become a working or a show dog in the right hands. Not recommended for families with children.

Mostly C’s – this Bulldog puppy is social and friendly. It is well trained, easily adapted to various satiations. Needs regular training and exercising. Excellent dog for family with children and persons of middle age.

Mostly D's, especially with one E or more – very submissive puppy, which need much attention, companionship, encouragement and love. Suitable for children and elderly couples.

Mostly E's (with one from the 5th test) – this puppy is hard to train. It can bite due to stress or fear. The puppy is not recommended for the families where children or elderly persons live. Professional trainer is needed for this pup.

A and E's mix – test the puppy once again in the other place. If results are the same - this Bulldog will be unpredictable.

To be continued...