1. Put a bag of groceries on the floor in front of your dog. Fill it with the following items: a squeaky toy still in its packaging, a rawhide toy, a fresh meat bone with some meat left on it, a head of lettuce, and a container of catnip. Say, “Stay!” in a firm voice. Leave the room, but stay in a position where you can observe your dog’s behavior.
a. If your dog is still sitting obediently in front of the grocery bag, but they don’t move, score 1 point.
b. If your dog has knocked over the bag, went right for the meat bone and is eating it in the middle of your carpet, score 2 points.
c. If your dog has emptied the bag, but their head is stuck in the bag and they’re running in circles trying to get free, score 3 points.
d. If your dog used their claws to rip down the side of the bag, has found the container of catnip, has opened the container of catnip, and is rolling in it, score 4 points.
2. Take your dog to a fenced-in park where it is safe and permitted to let dogs run free. Remove the leash and say, “Okay!” or whatever release word you use so your dog knows they have been given permission to roam.
a. If your dog remains seated at your side, score 1 point.
b. If your dog runs around looking for other dogs, sniffing each one then moving on, score 2 points.
c. If your dog runs to a tree, looks up, and barks aimlessly at something in the branches even though there is nothing there, score 3 points.
d. If your dog runs off, climbs a tree, and refuses to come down, score 4 points.
3. Spill a puddle of milk on the kitchen floor. Tell your dog to “Stay” and pretend to be getting a mop to clean up the mess. Leave the room, but stay where you can observe your dog’s behavior.
a. If your dog remains seated in the position it was in when you left the room, score 1 point.
b. If your dog is licking up the spill, score 2 points.
c. If your dog is standing in the puddle of milk, slapping it with its paw, score 3 points.
d. If your dog walks over to the puddle, sniffs it, then walks away, score 4 points.
4. Position yourself so you are face down on the floor. Be dramatic, then pretend to be dead.
a. If your dog runs over to you and lies down by your side, not moving for a second until help arrives, score 1 point.
b. If your dog runs over to you, sniffs you, jumps out the window, and brings back paramedics, score 2 points.
c. If your dog runs over to you, runs around you several times, pulls at your clothes, then gets his squeaky toy and keeps pressing it into your hand so you can throw it, score 3 points.
d. If your dog ignores you, score 4 points.
5. Bring home a hamster in a cage. Put it down on the floor so your dog can observe it. Say, “Stay!” Watch your dog’s behavior.
a. If your dog sits obediently and watches the hamster run in its wheel, score 1 point.
b. If your dog sniffs the cage, walks around it, and seems to be trying to figure out what exactly that furry thing in the cage is, score 2 points.
c. If your dog runs around the cage, barking madly, sniffs the cage, continues barking, pushes the cage with its head, and tries to knock it over, score 3 points.
d. If your dog figures out where the door of the cage is and waits in a stalking position for someone to open the door to the cage, occasionally hissing and spitting, score 4 points.
If your dog scored from 5-8 points, the money you spent on the obedience school and the time you spent reinforcing the lessons was well worth it. Your dog is perfectly obedient.
If your dog scored from 9-12 points, then you can count on your dog to act like, well, a dog. Your dog knows that he or she has a job to do, and it is done well. You may want to change your dog’s name to Lassie.
If your dog scored from 13-16 points, then your dog still thinks that being a puppy is a lot more fun than growing up and being mature. Your dog goes on to be messy and silly and full of surprises.
If your dog scored from 17-20 points, then your dog thinks he is a cat. Or maybe your dog is a cat. Your dog (or cat) is fiercely independent and can be counted on for… um… well, if he lets you, you can pet him.