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Canine Colors and Dog Matching

So, you know those management training seminars and tools that try to help people understand each other and communicate more clearly on the job and in life? A fan of Myers Briggs, am I. But there are others, like DISC and even True Colors. It’s this last one that has been adapted for use in better matching people and dogs. They call it Canine Colors.

Sometime before all hell broke loose around here, I took some time while relaxing outside with Lilly and Ginko to take the test for both ME and LILLY to see how we are suited (or not) for each other.

And, we can put any doubt about our soulmate status aside because BOTH of us tested out as BLUE personality types.

I’m not sure how I feel or what I think about that. I don’t know this personality system well, but I’m not sure it told me anything I didn’t already know.

Oddly enough, border collies typically test out as GREEN, not BLUE. When I balked at that online because I fear slanting the results somehow, those who gave me the book replied: “The breed colors are a starting point…doesn’t lock a particular breed into a color. I think the fact you are both blue makes total sense…you are both caring, compassionate individuals who probably crave one another’s company (lots of cuddling, I’m sure!)”

We ask ourselves a lot around here whether we conditioned Lilly to be SUCH a cuddlebug or whether she just naturally loves to snuggle up. I guess this test would say that it’s in her personality to want that attention and close contact.

The Process

There are questions and cards for people

There are questions and cards for dogs

And, then the book explains how we can better provide what our dog wants and needs from us. Everyone has a bit of every color, I guess, but most of us (dogs included) lean one direction or another.

It says BLUE dogs’ strength lies in giving affection. The card lists many of the toy breeds as BLUE dogs.

Interestingly, all dogs test more BLUE as they age.

My Canine Colors Vote

As entertainment, Canine Colors amused me, but I’d be curious what those of you in the sheltering world think about it. My gut tells me that it does not have the oomph of the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match system, which also uses colors to identify dog personality and needs, so that adoption counselors can better match people’s expectations to dogs who can deliver.

Give Away!

Based on a random drawing of those who comment on this post before midnight, Sunday, June 27, 2010, I’ll give away my review copy to the winner so that you can try out this system and see what it reveals to you.

I’ll contact the winner on Monday, June 28, 2010, to arrange for shipping of the book.


FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of the Canine Colors book from Brenda Tassava who works for Broad Ripple Animal Clinic & Wellness Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. She brought me a copy of the book, when we hooked up at BlogPaws in April. I was under no obligation to review the book or to say anything other than what I really thought of it.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Meredith - June 28, 2010

I love this! It makes perfect sense to me yet I never knew such a book or method existed. I hope the winner of your contest will weigh in about how the personality testing went!

Dianne - June 26, 2010

I am a sucker for any of these “matching ppl w/ correct dog” concepts. I have seen matches made in heaven fall apart and mismatches work like a charm! Share my home w/ 3 dogs, all diff personalities and breeds–what does that say about my pups and me?? Love to read book and find out. Can’t remember my Myers Briggs, was too long ago! Recollection is that it was spot on.

AC - June 24, 2010

That looks like fun! I think Kona would be an anti-blue. I sometimes feel like Kona’s personality is an extreme version of mine. Don’t know if that makes us the perfect match, but I’ve sure learned a lot with her-both about working with her and about myself.

Rod@GoPetFriendly - June 23, 2010

ENTP am I!

    Roxanne Hawn - June 24, 2010

    Too funny, Rod. I’m an ENFJ.

Laura, Lance, and Vito - June 23, 2010

Ooh sounds interesting!

Dawn - June 23, 2010

It would be interesting to test out each of the dogs and myself and see how close, or not the results were. I have 4 cardigans, but they are all very different from each other.

Amy@GoPetFriendly - June 23, 2010

I’m pretty sure Ty has only a sliver of blue in his personality. He’d sooner sleep on the hard floor than cuddle up with me most days. Buster, on the other hand is very affectionate and cuddly – perhaps a bit unusual for a German Shepherd. It would be interesting to win the book and see where we come out!

Crystal (and Maisy) - June 23, 2010

Oh, neat! I LOOOOOVE personality tests.

I think Maisy MIGHT be a gold dog, but she could be blue.

Hilary - June 23, 2010

Interesting theory! There are probably thousands of dogs and people in the blues, greens, yellows, or whatever colors. I would think that not all within a blue have the same personalities necessary, just like those born under a specific horoscope sign. So I’m not sure how generalizing would be helpful–but I don’t know anything about this!

I would love to find out more–maybe I’ll ask our training manager at our shelter if she’s heard of this.

Thanks for bringing this theory to attention! I’ll have to take the test with my dogs to see if it reveals some insight!


Kim - June 23, 2010

Hm. Makes me wonder how I would match with my two pups… one of them is quite the cuddlebug, and I’d wondered the same thing (whether it was conditioning from when he was very small, or whether it was his personality from the start…)

Rita - June 23, 2010

Wow…intersting to say the least! How great would it be to have this resource to find a new pet? My husband and I lost our dog 3 years ago and (hopefully) will be looking again soon!

KB - June 23, 2010

I suspect that K and I will test out to be very different from each other – but that’s part of what has made her such an amazing dog for me. I can’t handle her the way that I’d want to be handled myself. I have to think from her viewpoint to figure out how to handle situations.

E.g., she has a long-standing fear of steps. It took THREE years to convince her to use the basement steps. A few days ago, she slipped and belly surfed all the way down them, with NO injury. I pretended that she’d just made up the greatest trick ever and jackpotted her at the bottom of the steps.

If it had been me, I would have forced myself to confront the scary thing immediately. I started to ask K to do that and then I remembered – that’s the worst thing to do with her. I think that it cements object’s status as very scary (like our teeter totter experiences). So, we headed away from the stairs and didn’t try them again until the normal time the next morning. She didn’t even hiccup – she tentatively walked down the steps like she always has… So, I’ve learned a less aggressive approach to handling fear by learning about K’s personality.

If by any chance I win your drawing, I won’t be here on June 28. I’ll be away until July 3, assuming that my current back flareup gets better soon enough to let us go away.

barrie - June 23, 2010

I am also a complete sucker for personality tests. Proud INFP am I 🙂 At first glance I dubbed myself a green then looked to see where cattle dogs as a breed fell and yup, sure enough, Jellybean is a green if only by breed! I couldn’t see where JRTs were listed but if I had to guess, I would say Gold?

Murphydog - June 23, 2010

Fun! Mom would love to see how well her & I are matched up!

is there one for alien kitTONs?

wags, wiggles & slobbers

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