Is Fido Right for Your Family?

Finding a new puppy or adult dog is a great, fun experience. Along with having fun getting all those warm kisses, there are several ways you can check a dog’s temperament in order to figure out whether or not it will be a good fit for your home and family.


We at Blog on Dogs have two tests we’ve found helpful. We learned these from Brian Kilcommons and SarahWilson’s book, “Good Owners, Great Dogs.” The book isn’t new – it was published in 1992 and 1999 – but the tips it gives for dealing with our canine friends are as effective as ever.



Is he the one for you?



Sound Sensitivity Test

While the dog is paying no attention to you, drop a set of keys on the floor. Of course the dog should startle – if he doesn’t, he might have a hearing problem! But shortly afterward, he should recover from his fear, and may come over to the keys to investigate. If he cowers under a chair indefinitely, keep looking! You might not mind if the dog is afraid of your vacuum cleaner, but the problem is, he my be constantly frightened by noise from traffic, children, or the television. There’s no point in adopting a dog that lives a stressful life. Neither one of you will get the enjoyment out of the relationship that you should.


The Attraction Test

In a quiet room, squat down in front of the dog, with a big smile on your face, clap your hands a few times. Don’t say anything – just smile and act excited. Again, the dog that runs off and stays frightened is only a good choice if you can work with it consistently in a very quiet environment. If you – as most people do – want to have it a lively home, find a dog that is happy you’re excited and wants to join in on the fun.

Good luck hunting for your new family member!


September 22, 2006. Choosing a new dog.


  1. wittyliz replied:

    This is great to know and is good information. I know that when I decided to get my first dog I was very exciting. It was a new experience for me and the family. It was still fun though. When I went to pick the dog I wanted at the pet stoe, I saw the cutiest little puppy. I took her into one of those small rooms to see how she would react to me. She was so playful and cute. I knew that she was going to be a great pet. Daisy, the dog I chose, is still that way. She waits for me everyday by the door when she hears the garage door open. She wags her tail and sometimes she does this half-smile thing. It is so cute. I think that if I decide to get another puppy then I will defintely will think about these tests.

  2. scooper replied:

    I’m not really an animal person, but if I ever gave in to my children’s plees for a pet this information would prove invaluable. It’s really great that you’re taking the time to post dog info in an easy to understand format.

  3. Sandy Till replied:

    This is great advice!

    My family and I are going to pick out a dog a few weeks before Christmas.

    This is great!

    I also think I’ll get the book you mentioned!!!!

    North Carolina

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