Tips for Interpreting the Results of the Wesen Test in German Shepherd Dogs

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German Shepherd Dog Intelligence

In the world of dog breeding and ownership, understanding a dog’s temperament, behavior, and natural instincts is paramount. For German Shepherd enthusiasts, the Wesen test, also known as the Character Assessment test, offers invaluable insights into a puppy’s personality and suitability for various roles. In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the Wesen test, its purpose, and what it entails, providing prospective owners with a comprehensive understanding of this essential evaluation tool.

What is the Wesen Test?

The Wesen test, or Character Assessment test, is a standardized assessment conducted on German Shepherd puppies between the ages of 9 and 13 months. Developed to evaluate a German Shepherd Dog’s Intelligence and instincts, this test serves as a valuable tool for breeders, trainers, and prospective owners alike. It assesses various aspects of a puppy’s temperament, including sociability, responsiveness to stimuli, and reactions to unfamiliar situations.

Assessment Tasks:

The Wesen test consists of a series of tasks designed to gauge a puppy’s temperament and behavior. These tasks are based on those used by service organizations when selecting puppies for working roles. Some of the key assessment tasks include:

  • Sociability with people and animals
  • Reaction to noise stimuli
  • Preference for play
  • Response to unusual situations

Key Components of the Assessment:

The puppy undergoes a structured evaluation process during the Wesen test, including on-leash and off-leash tasks. Some of the key components of the assessment include:

  •  Identification check and physical examination
  •  Social interaction with strangers and other dogs
  • Response to noise stimuli, such as engine running and gunshots
  • Play behavior with the handler
  • Navigation of obstacles, such as ramps and tables
  • Retrieval of a toy hidden under a box
  • Reaction to smooth surfaces and unfamiliar environments
  • Response to temporary separation from the handler

Assessment Criteria:

Unlike traditional tests with pass/fail criteria, the Wesen test focuses on observing and analyzing the puppy’s reactions to each task. The assessor evaluates the puppy’s behavior in relation to breed standards and expectations for German Shepherd dogs. Comments are provided on how closely the puppy’s reactions align with breed characteristics and what they reveal about the puppy’s aptitudes and temperament.

Benefits of the Wesen Test:

The Wesen test offers numerous benefits for breeders, trainers, and prospective owners:

  • Early Detection of Behavioral Traits: The test helps identify potential behavioral issues or temperament traits early on, allowing breeders to make informed breeding decisions and prospective owners to select puppies that align with their preferences and lifestyles.
  • Selection for Working Roles: For German Shepherds destined for service, protection, or working roles, the Wesen test provides valuable insights into a puppy’s suitability and aptitude for specific tasks and environments.
  • Enhanced Understanding: By observing a puppy’s behavior in various scenarios, owners gain a deeper understanding of their pet’s personality, preferences, and potential areas for training and socialization.
  • Breed Preservation: The Wesen test contributes to the preservation and improvement of the German Shepherd breed by promoting the selection of dogs with desirable temperament traits and working abilities.


The Wesen test is a valuable tool for evaluating the temperament and behavior of German Shepherd puppies. By providing insights into a puppy’s natural instincts, reactions, and aptitudes, this assessment helps breeders, trainers, and owners ensure the well-being and suitability of these remarkable dogs. It is especially beneficial for female German Shepherd puppies. Whether destined for a life of companionship, service, or work, German Shepherds selected through the Wesen test are equipped with the temperament and traits to excel in their respective roles.

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