Applying the Campbell puppy test to your English bulldog

Recently, many prospective dog owners have asked me whether the Campbell Puppy Test can accurately predict an English Bulldog puppy’s long-term behavior. So, I’ve decided to post this short Question and Answer article that hopefully addresses your concerns.

Question 1: Should I have my English bulldog puppy tested at all?

The Campbell Test and other similar evaluations are never foolproof but can provide some useful insights for any English Bulldog owner. However, it is generally acknowledged that breeds like English 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.

There is no such thing as a perfect English bulldog puppy. In fact, you as an owner will exert the greatest influence over how well disposed your pet becomes via your personal training methods.

Question 2: What is the best way to set up the Campbell Puppy Test?

To avoid any bias, place your English bulldog in unfamiliar surroundings, so that children and other distractions do not divert his attention.

Although most puppies’ personality traits are set after eight weeks, their relative non-attachment to humans at his time makes them ideal candidates for the test.

Make sure that the Campbell test is conducted by a qualified person who your puppy does not recognize. Owners, breeders, etc. should not be involved.

Question 3: What are the Campbell Puppy Test Guidelines?

The focuses on five (5) key issues:

1. Social Attraction
2. Response to Obligation
3. Social Domination
4. Facility to Follow
5. Acceptance to be Lifted

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

Social attraction: Evaluator sits a few feet away from the puppy and observes his behavior and reactions to the surroundings. For example, does the puppy follow 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 test location?

Response to obligation: Your puppy is placed on his back and held down by the chest by the evaluator’s flat palm. Then, the reactions are observed:

– 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? Is the puppy eager, nipping at the tester’s heels or jumping on him? Or, does he choose to follow from a distance?

Acceptance to be lifted:

The evaluator lifts your puppy away from him only by his chest without the dog seeing him.

What happens? Does your bulldog remain calm, or does he become anxious and try licking 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?

The Campbell puppy test should give you, the dog owner, a good feel for your English bulldog’s personality. Ideally, he will be in the middle of the dominance-submissiveness spectrum. First-time owners in particular should avoid puppies that are on the extremes of the performance scale. Advanced training (i.e. time-consuming and expensive) from professionals would be the other option should you decide on a more challenging pet.

Hope that helps!!

Leave a Comment