HH Litter Police/Narcotics Test

HH Litter Police Dog/Narcotics Dog Temperament Test

The HH Litter was tested at 57 Days

Mr. Blue & Mr. Lime went to Colorado for Search & Rescue.  Mr. Yellow went to Portland for Search & Rescue.  Miss Rainbow went to Idaho for Search & Rescue.  Miss Purple went to Casper, WY for agility competition.  Miss Red went to Colorado for rally obedience.  Miss Pink stayed here for a pet.  Miss Orange went to Colorado to help her new dad with his construction business, be a therapy dog and possibly raise Search & Rescue puppies.

My good friend, Suzan Guilford, came to do the police/narcotics test.  She is a former K9 handler and police officer, former police chief, and has taught at the Wyoming Police Academy.  She has done my temperament tests for over sixteen years, except for a two year absence while she was working in Florida.  Suzan and I over the years have incorporated most of the SAR exercises into our testing.  When Janet Wilts can’t come do the SAR testing, Suzan does it.

The main difference I see between the police/narcotics test and the SAR test is the attitude of the tester.  In the police test, the tester is very quiet, talking little and using very little body movements.  No other people are present and the environment is kept quiet.  In the SAR test, the tester is more enthusiastic, uses some verbal praise and body movements to get the pup “up” and gives praise.  Other people are sometimes present to watch, though they are asked to be as quiet as possible.  This would fit well with the ultimate purpose of the dogs being tested for both types of training.  In police work the dog must be able to dig down deep inside himself or herself to find the courage and aggression to confront a criminal and/or to search independently and at great distance from the handler.  In SAR the handler is usually closer to the dog and is able to praise and encourage him, especially in extended searches.  There is also generally all kinds of activity and distraction at a search scene so the dog must be able to filter out the extraneous activity and focus on her job.  Both tests are fascinating to watch as is the difference in the pups’ responses in each test.

Results are listed after the description of each part of the test, rating first, then any additional comments made by the tester. Options were excellent, above average, average, minimal, insufficient & unacceptable.  If the tester put the “X” on the line between two rating columns, I noted it with a slash between the two ratings.  If she put the “X” far to one side or other of the column, I noted it as “high” or “low”; though sometimes it’s hard to decide if she intended that or were making more room for writing a comment. 

1.  Acceptance/Attachment     The first test involves evaluating the pup’s acceptance of the strange place and its willingness to interact with the stranger.  Ideal reaction is eye contact and interest in the stranger but no sign of nervousness in the interaction (we don’t want a “Protect me!” attitude), followed by visual investigation of the surroundings and then a return of attention to the tester.

Blue Male:  above average; took him about 20 seconds to acknowledge me

Lime Male:  excellent; very nice – licked my face & wagged tail within 20 seconds

Orange Female:  high above average; acknowledged me within a minute.

Pink Female:  high average;  didn’t acknowledge me until confidence test in air

Purple Female:  high above average

Rainbow Female:  average; never really looked at me

Red Female:  excellent; acknowledged me within 30 seconds

Yellow Male:  excellent; Wonderful, wagging tail from time I had him in my arms


2.  Pain Sensitivity     The loose skin over the ribs is gently pinched and the pup’s reaction is noted.  Ideal reaction is to notice the pinch but be unconcerned by it.  We also look for a willingness to forgive the tester.

Blue Male:  excellent; no problem

Lime Male:  excellent; very good

Orange Female:  excellent; great

Pink Female:  excellent; nice

Purple Female:  excellent

Rainbow Female:  excellent; great

Red Female:  high above average; good; reached back 2 times when pinched

Yellow Male:  excellent

3.  Retrieve     Next, willingness to retrieve is evaluated using different toys:  a stuffed toy, and a tennis ball.  Ideal reaction is to repeatedly being the toy back to the handler rather than moving off to “possess” it.  The type of bite on the toys is evaluated:  a full mouth bite shows more confidence and drive than a front-teeth-only bite.

Blue Male:  above average; good retrieve on ball 7+ times; toy more prey

Lime Male:  low average; really likes the prey but wasn’t too good about bringing it back – both toy & ball

Orange Female:  high above average;  brings back when encouraged – both ball & toy

Pink Female:  above average; prey was higher than retrieve; retrieved only a few times; had interest in most all objects

Purple Female:  high excellent; retrieved ball 8+ times; also retrieved toy

Rainbow Female:  above average; had to encourage to bring back; lots of prey on both ball & toy

Red Female:  minimal on ball/average on toy/metal; didn’t bring either toy or ball back; prey was good; liked the metal

Yellow Male:  above average; retrieved 6+ times, both ball & toy; high prey

4.  Perseverance  Then perseverance is evaluated by seeing how enthusiastically they will pursue, grab hold, and tug on a sack.  Ideal reaction is to pursue enthusiastically, grasp with a full mouth bite, tug and do everything possible to posses the sack.  We like to see a pup get its whole body on the sack in an effort to subdue it.

Blue Male:  above average; liked soft rope.  Just front-tooth bite.

Lime Male:  excellent; loved the tug of war with soft toy – held on with firm grip and enjoyed game

Orange Female:  above average; good prey drive

Pink Female:  above average; liked the tug and really got into it

Purple Female:  high excellent; good follow through

Rainbow Female:  high above average; good middle-of-mouth bite, not full

Red Female:  average; OK.  She played tug but full bite, not long time

Yellow Male:  excellent; good mouth bite with front teeth only

5.    Fear  A metal can filled with metal items (horseshoes, nails, bolts, etc.) is dropped behind them from a height of about 2 feet while they are looking away from it.  Will the pup hold its ground and then go look at what dropped from nowhere?  Excellent reaction is to acknowledge and turn towards the sound and then confidently go see what made the racket.  The tester encourages the pup to investigate, if it doesn’t on its own.  She notes how much encouragement is needed.  I find most of my pups look towards the racket and keep on playing with the toy they had, rather than stopping their play to go investigate.

Blue Male:  excellent; looked & sniffed

Lime Male:  excellent; good reaction; investigated

Orange Female:  above average; noticed but no huge reaction

Pink Female:  above average; did well

Purple Female:  high above average; noticed but no bad reaction – was OK!

Rainbow Female:  high excellent; calm

Red Female:  above average; good reaction; went & sniffed

Yellow Male:  high excellent; looked & acknowledged; went about playing

6.  Courage and Aggression Courage and aggression is evaluated using an electric train that when turned on moves erratically, whistles loudly, clanks, etc.  Will they stand their ground?  Will they go investigate it?  Excellent reaction is to go to the moving, clanking train and check it out.  Extremely excellent reaction is to actually attack it while it moves.  Good reaction is to investigate it after the tester turns it off.  The tester encourages the pup to investigate after it is turned off, if it wouldn’t while it was “whistling” and moving.  She notes how much encouragement is needed.

Blue Male:  excellent; very nice!  Stayed there and watched train.

Lime Male:   above average; OK!  Did a circle around train to come behind me, then sniffed.

Orange Female:  average; didn’t like noise of train.  I was able to encourage her to come back when it was off.

Pink Female:  high average; made large circle around then sniffed

Purple Female:  high excellent; nice; interested

Rainbow Female:  high excellent; nice – looked & stayed with me

Red Female:  high above average; made a large circle around train & me then came to sniff

Yellow Male:  high excellent; very nice; stayed with me to watch it and then sniffed

7.    Surprise   The last test involves getting the pup to chase you (or a toy) towards a  place with a hidden person, from behind which an umbrella is opened suddenly and then lowered to the ground, still open.  The pups are evaluated on how they recover from being startled and if they’ll go investigate.  Ideal reaction is for the pup to startle but hold its ground, then move right up to check out the umbrella.  A super excellent reaction is to go up and bite it and/or walk all over it. The tester encourages the pup to investigate after the umbrella is on the top step, if it doesn’t on its own.  She notes how much encouragement is needed.

Blue Male:  above average; OK.  Was looking full at it when it opened.  Gave a yelp but continued to face it, then sniffed.

Lime Male:  above average; OK.  Held his ground, sniffed umbrella when encouraged

Orange Female:  average; OK.  Didn’t like it but not too stressed.

Pink Female:  low average; turned, walked away but coaxed back easily

Purple Female:  average; noticed – stopped – turned to walk away – came to me but wouldn’t go to umbrella

Rainbow Female:  above average/average; jumped back, watched from “safe” distance – would come to sniff

Red Female:  minimal; turned and trotted away but eventually encouraged to come to me

Yellow Male:  high excellent; good – looked and stood ground

Search And Rescue Tests

Submission Test  The submission test is designed to give an idea of the pup’s tractability, trust in humans, and willingness to submit to a human’s directives. In the submission test the pup is held firmly on its back for a short period of time.  The tester counts the seconds it takes for him to resist, then accept, the restraint.  She should not passively accept the restraint, nor should she panic or show avoidance of eye contact.  Ideal reaction is to resist, then submit and look the tester in the face.  We also look for a willingness to forgive the tester.

Blue Male:  high average; struggled right away

Lime Male:  average; struggled right away

Orange Female:  above average; 3 seconds before struggling

Pink Female:  above average; 10 seconds, looked at me then struggled

Purple Female:  above average; about 2 seconds – began struggling

Rainbow Female:  average; struggled right away

Red Female:  average; struggled right away

Yellow Male:  excellent; 10 secs & began struggling

Confidence Test  The confidence part of the test involves holding the pup out at arm’s length for several seconds.  Again, the pup should accept the handler putting it in position and remain calm.

Blue Male:  excellent; nice

Lime Male:  above average; started squirming after about 12 seconds

Orange Female:  excellent; no problem or concern

Pink Female:  above average; good; 20 seconds before squirmed

Purple Female:  high excellent;  very good

Rainbow Female:  high excellent; no issues

Red Female:  average; struggled in 8 secs

Yellow Male:  high above average; wiggle worm

Unstable Footing   Since SAR dogs will search in all kinds of terrain and areas of destruction, they must be confident in insecure situations.  We used tarps and sacks.  All the pups were fine.

Hunt for Food This test begins with a piece of jerky tied on a string and dragged to attract the pup’s interest and see how interested it is, how hard it will work to get it, and how hard it will work to keep it as the tester jerks, tugs and generally prevents the pup from easily eating it.  She then entices the pup to follow it to the area where she has hidden food (test 2).

Blue Male:  excellent; great – tugged & got treat right away

Lime Male:  excellent; smelled food in building and immediately set about finding it

Orange Female:  excellent; caught it & liked the tug

Pink Female:  excellent; nice

Purple Female:  above average; did well with food on string

Rainbow Female:  excellent; caught smell of food right away; slow eater

Red Female:  above average; did well; picked food on string

Yellow Male:  **excellent; pulled & caught scent right away

Hunt for Food II  Suzan placed bits of dried meat under a tarp in the middle of the room.  The pups had to use their noses to find where the meat was.  They were judged on how they followed her direction for where to search and how systematic their searching was.

Blue Male:  excellent; very nice – systematic & worked well with handler

Lime Male:  excellent; good – became more systematic by himself – independent

Orange Female:  excellent; very methodical plus liked working with someone

Pink Female:  excellent;  picked up on following handler’s pointing

Purple Female:  above average; OK – methodical & used nose.  Checked with handler a few times but more independent.

Rainbow Female:  excellent; methodical; used eyes & nose

Red Female:  excellent/above average; pretty good – went over everything; only worked with handler a few times

Yellow Male:  excellent; systematic first time finding food under tarp

Tester Comments:

Blue Male:  Nice pup. Confident.

Lime Male:  People friendly – likes voices & encouragement.  Licked & sniffed metal object – wouldn’t pick up.  Confident young boy.

Orange Female:  Great on all footing.  Good pup. Fairly good bite on objects.  Picked up metal when saw it and I presented it to her.

Pink Female:  Good on all footing.  More independent.  Could hear her sniffing on food tests.

Purple Female:  Picked up metal object & carried it.  Good on all surfaces; walking across tarps, etc. – no problem.  Very confident & comfortable puppy!  Full mouth bite on everything.

Rainbow Female:  Nice girl – sweet.  Likes vocal.  Very methodical.  Very good on all unstable surfaces.

Red Female:  Footing good on all objects.  Nice, friendly dog – needs voice for confirmation on things.  More independent and liked to ignore handler.

Yellow Male:  Very people friendly.  Liked being held and the comfort of lying on something.   Footing didn’t bother him.


Excellent:  confidence, sensitivity, fear (can), aggression/courage (train), hunt for food I & II, unstable surfaces
Above Average:  attachment, retrieve ball & toy, perseverance, surprise (umbrella)
Average:  submission

Excellent:  attachment, sensitivity, perseverance, fear (can), hunt for food I & II, unstable footing
Above Average:  confidence, aggression/courage (train), surprise (umbrella)
Average:  retrieve ball & toy, submission

Excellent:  confidence, sensitivity, hunt for food I & II, unstable surfaces
Above Average:  attachment, retrieve ball & toy, perseverance, fear (can), submission
Average:  aggression/courage (train), surprise (umbrella)

Excellent:  sensitivity, hunt for food I & II, unstable surfaces
Above Average:  confidence, retrieve ball & toy, perseverance, fear (can), submission
Average:  attachment, aggression/courage (train), surprise (umbrella)

Excellent:  confidence, sensitivity, retrieve ball & toy, perseverance, aggression/courage (train), unstable footing
Above Average:  attachment, fear (can), submission, hunt for food I & II
Average:  surprise (umbrella)

Excellent:  confidence, sensitivity, fear (can), aggression/courage (train), hunt for food I & II, unstable surfaces
Above Average:  retrieve ball & toy, perseverance
Average:  attachment, surprise (umbrella), submission

Excellent:  attachment, hunt for food II, unstable surfaces
Above Average:  sensitivity, fear (can), aggression/courage (train), hunt for food I
Average:  confidence, retrieve toy, perseverance, submission
Minimal:  retrieve ball, surprise (umbrella)

Excellent:  attachment, sensitivity, retrieve toy, perseverance, fear (can), aggression/courage (train), surprise (umbrella), submission, hunt for food I & II, unstable surfaces
Above Average:  confidence, retrieve ball


Test 1



Above Average





Attachment Lime, Red, Yellow Blue, Orange,   Purple Pink, Rainbow
Confidence Lime, Orange,   Purple, Rainbow, Lime, Pink, Yellow Red
Pain Sensitivity Blue, Lime, Orange,   Pink, Purple, Rainbow, Yellow Red
Retrieve Ball Purple Blue, Orange,   Pink, Rainbow, Yellow Lim, Red
Retrieve Toy Purple, Yellow Blue, Orange,   Pink, Rainbow Lime, Red
Perseverance Lime, Purple, Yellow Blue, Orange,   Pink, Rainbow Red,
Fear (can) Blue, Lime,   Rainbow, Yellow Orange, Pink,   Purple, Red
Aggression & Courage (train) Blue, Purple, Rainbow,   Yellow Lime, Red Orange, Pink
Surprise (umbrella) Yellow Blue, Lime Orange, Pink,   Purple, Rainbow Red
Submission Yellow Lime, Orange,   Pink, Purple, Blue, Rainbow,   Red
Hunt for Food I (jerky on string) Blue, Lime,   Orange, Pink, Rainbow, Yellow Purple, Red
Hunt for Food II (hidden pieces) Blue, Lime,   Orange, Pink, Rainbow, Red, Yellow Purple
Unstable Footing all


For interest, I include the puppies’ parents, grandparent’s and great-grandparent’s temperament test results below.  All three of these tests were done by Suzan, former police K9 handler, except for Lively’s & Quinta’s SAR tests, done by Janet Wilts.

 Chaos’ Temperament Tests (father of this litter)

Chaos’ breeder did not do a formal temperament test, so Suzan did one when he arrived.  He was 8 weeks old. 

Attachment:  Above Average.  Nice!  No problem with adjustment.

Sensitivity:  Excellent

Retrieve:  Average.  Somewhat interested in other things as well.  Easily encouraged.

Perseverance:  Average.  Very nice. Looked at other objects.

Fear:   Excellent.  Looked at can, then went about business.

Aggression & Courage:  Excellent.  Did everything but pick it up.  (toy used was an electric train that when turned on moved erratically, whistled loudly, clanked, etc.)

Surprise:  Above Average.  Not fair test but no problem.  Looked at umbrella and investigated person.

Submission:  Above Average.  5 seconds.  Was squirming.  Made eye contact once.

Hunt for Toy:  Above Average.  Pretty good.  Couldn’t decide which toy he liked better.

Hunt for Food:  Above Average.  Very good. Fairly systematic.

Tester Comments:  Nice pup – very solid and courageous.  Has a good bit, full mouthed with toys and pull toy.  Nice reaction to train and umbrella.  Gets along with other dogs well (met her dogs afterwards).  Good nose – found food easily and liked looking for it, followed direction of handler.  Nicely encouraged.  Great little boy!

 Lively’s Temperament Tests (mother of this litter)

Search And Rescue Test by Janet Wilts, done at 52 & 53 days of age

Rated SAR & Schutzhund prospect   (10 is top score)

Saturday:         9 – 10              Confident, good prey

Sunday:           10                    Good noise, good eye contact, good prey, good tug

The Police Dog/Narcotics Dog Temperament Test, done at 54 days

Since Janet can seldom come to test my pups, Suzan and I over the years have incorporated most of the SAR exercises into our testing.  This was especially nice this time because Janet was unable to do her regular tests due to the weather.

Rating is listed first, then any comments:

Acceptance/Attachment:  Excellent; Great.  Ran up, licked & nipped at my face

Pain Sensitivity:  Excellent; Excellent!!

Retrieve:  Above Average; Lots of chase – no bringing

Perseverance:  Excellent; Lots of prey, good speed

Courage and Aggression (Train):  Above Average; Good!!

Fear (Can):  Above Average; Good – didn’t investigate

Surprise (Umbrella):  Above Average; OK – looked and stopped

Search And Rescue Test

Submission & Confidence Tests:  Above Average;  Good – no eye contact right away

Unstable Footing:  Excellent

Hunt for Toy:  Above Average; Stayed with specific toy for a long time

Hunt for Food:  Excellent; Great.  Not intimidated, willing to go the distance

Tester Comments:  Full of “Reckless Abandonment.”  Fantastic.  Good full mouth bite.  Drug on blanket (perseverance test). Cel’s note:  What Suzan is referring to is that she had her whole body on the blanket and stayed there while Suzan drug her all around.)


Excellent:  Sensitivity, Perseverance, Hunt for Food, Attachment

Above Average:  Submission, Aggression/Courage, Retrieve, Fear, Hunt for Toy, Surprise

Quinta’s Temperament Tests (Lively’s mother; maternal grandmother of this litter)

The Q Litter was tested on October 30th & 31st, when they were 46 & 47 days old.  Results are listed after the description of each part of the Test.  An
extensive Search & Rescue test was done on the 30th, with some retesting on the 31st after the police/narcotics test, if the SAR tester (Janet) hadn’t been satisfied with the pup’s reactions the day before.  For the SAR test, we took the pups to a rural schoolyard which had a very large grassy field.   Heavy rain the day before made the field too soggy for the entire test, so most of the exercises were done in the playground area which is deep in wood chips.  The chips proved to be way too highly tempting to the pups and Janet had to clear their mouths often to get them to go after the toys rather than the chips.  Results are listed after the description of each part of the Test.  You will note that some exercises are done in both tests and other exercises are unique to one test or the other.  Janet was the primary tester, with Kelly, another SAR person, adding her ratings on some tests.  A table with scores from every phase of the test is listed after the test explanation.  Pups reactions are rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent.

Temperament Test 1:  the Search & Rescue test

Tug, Prey Drive, Chase, Retrieve Drive, Bite The first series of tests involve the pup’s desire to play, chase the toy, how well the pup bites and hold the toy when he or she gets it, and whether the pup will bring it back to the tester.

Strange Noise, Unstable Surface  The pups are exposed to both a strange, potentially scary noise and an unstable surface.  In this particular test we used a plastic tarp draped over a camp chair.  Janet also invented some additional tests by asking the pups to negotiate a metal grating on the playground equipment, to climb a series of wood sections that ended with a widow and a 6’ drop to the ground.  Janet tested the pups’ trust by handing them down to a helper and noting their reactions.

Hunt for Food and Hunt for Toys  The pups are tested to determine their desire to find the toy when it’s hidden, and to find food.  The toy was hidden under the tarp and the pup encouraged to look for it.  A piece of bacon on a string was drug and bounced past the pups to test their desire to use their noses when they couldn’t see the bacon.  Janet took off fast with the bacon drag and ran way out into the field behind the school.  Quinta was one of only three pups that noticed this first run; Janet had to repeat it twice more to give all pups a chance to be tested.  It is fascinating to see those little noses go to the ground and guide the galloping pups after Janet when she outruns them.

Submission, Forgiveness, Socialability   The pups are graded on their desire to interact with and play with the tester.  For the submission test, each pup was placed on its back and held down firmly for about 10 seconds.  Desirable reaction includes struggle followed by acceptance.  Undesirable reactions include total passivity or frantic struggle with refusal to “give” to the human, or trying to bite.  The pup is judged afterwards on its willingness to forgive the tester for the submission test.  The pup is also held in the air at arms length to judge its confidence in being unsupported.

Confidence  Janet also invented some additional tests by asking the pups to negotiate a metal grating on the playground equipment, to climb a series of wood sections that ended with a widow and a 6’ drop to the ground.  Janet then further tested the pups’ trust and confidence by handing them down to a helper and noting their reactions.

Test Results

 Test                                         Janet’s Rating                        Kelly’s Rating

Tug                                          10+, really grips                      10

Prey                                         10                                            10

Retrieve                                     5                                              6

Unstable Surface                     10                                            10

Forgiveness                               8                                            10

Socilability                              10                                            10

Chase                                      10                                            10

Hunt for Food                         10

Hunt for Toy                           no

Noise                                       10                                            10

Submission                                8                                              8

Bite                                         10                                            10

Trust                                        Good


Temperament Test 2:  The police dog/narcotics dog test

Saturday had been a beautiful day, but Sunday brought a storm with wind and rain mixed with snow.  We had to do the test in a large unheated garage.  The police test is quite different from the Search & Rescue Test.  The main difference I noticed in the SAR test was that the testers played with the pups at the same time, and evaluated them for all of the above as they played with them.  They were also much more physically active and used excited voices and clapping to encourage the pups, while the tester in the police test is very calm and low key, asking the pups to draw the excitement forth from within themselves.  Another difference was that other people stood around just feet from and in full view of each pup as it was tested.  In the police test only the tester is within sight or scent of the pup during the testing and everyone was required to be very quiet. 

Suzan was the main tester, with Janet hiding to open the umbrella on the surprise test.  Janet also gave ratings on some of the test.  Her ratings are listed in italics after Suzan’s.  She used the SAR scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent.

1.  Acceptance/Attachment:  Excellent; 8

2.    Pain Sensitivity:   Excellent

3.  Retrieve:  High Average; 5

4.  Unstable Surfaces:  Excellent; 10

5.  Perseverance:  Excellent;  Tug:  10; Prey:  10

6.  Courage and Aggression (Train):  Above Average; 10

7.    Fear (Can):  Excellent; 10

8.    Surprise (Umbrella):  Excellent; 10

9.    Submission, Forgiveness, Social (Same as SAR tests):  Above Average; Forgiveness:  medium             Social:  8

 Tester Comments:  Very nice, independent pup.  For the most part, full bites & lots of interest.  Puts full body into what she is doing.  Very curious and friendly.


Jubilee’s Temperament Test (Quinta’s mother, Lively’s grandmother; maternal great-grandmother of this litter)

Jubilee was tested at 52 days (9/6/1998)

This was Suzan’s straight police/narcotics test, before Janet’s Search & Rescue influence caused us to incorporate more items into our test.

Attachment:  Excellent; Had no problem following another person

Sensitivity:  Excellent; High pain tolerance – came back to handler

Retrieve:  Above Average;  No retrieve – did not bring back

Perseverance:  Above Average; Chased everything.

Fear (Can):  Excellent; No reaction – turned and looked into can.

Aggression & Courage (Train):  Above Average; Stood over and sniffed

Surprise (Umbrella):  Excellent; Stopped.  Barked.  Looked at umbrella