Take the Kindness Quiz

Think you are kind to your dog? Let’s find out!


Answer the following to the best of your ability:

1. How many of the following do you agree with/believe to be true:

  • My dog is stubborn.
  • My dog is stupid.
  • My dog does things deliberately to make me mad.
  • My dog knows some things are wrong and does them anyway.
  • My dog sometimes does things for spite/revenge.
  • Some dogs really need tougher handling. They respect it.
  • You have to be your dog’s “pack leader”/”alpha.”
  • I’ve trained all my dogs the same way, and they’ve all turned out fine. There’s no need for me to change/update my techniques.
  • The end justifies the means.

All the above statements are false. Give yourself 1 point for each statement you thought was true.

2. Rate the following by choosing the word that describes most accurately how often you have
done the following with/to your dog:

0-Never     1-Once     2-Occasionally    3-Often

Have you ever hit your dog in anger
or as a correction?

Have you ever yelled at your dog in
anger or as a correction?

Have you ever yanked your dog hard,
by leash, collar, tie-out, or any similar

Have you ever “popped” your dog’s leash
or collar to get his attention or correct him?

Have you pushed your dog’s butt down to
get him to sit?

Do you give more attention/energy to
correcting/stopping “bad” behaviors or
rewarding/creating “good” behaviors?

If you have a score above zero, you have at times been unkind to your dog. Add the number you marked for each statement to your score.

3. How many times a day do you say “No” to your dog? (Include the times you say his name/command in a stern tone to stop him from doing something.)

0 _____   1-10 _____  11-20 ______  More times than I can count! ________

Add the maximum number in each category to your score; for “More times than I can count!” use 30.

4. How many times a day do you say “Good dog” or similar?

0 _____   1-10 _____  11-20 ______  More times than I can count! ________

Subtract the maximum number in each category to your score; for “More times than I can count!” use 30.

Do your No’s outweigh your Yes’s? You may be guilty of unkindness. NOT SURE? Take our “Kindness Challenge” to get a better idea of just how many times you say No to your dog over a week’s period. 


If your score was:

-30 – 0: You are a TWiKi beast! Print out your certificate.

1 – 30: You are almost there! We applaud your efforts and encourage you to keep going. Print out your certificate.

31 – 46: You are on the journey. We applaud your efforts, but you need to do more exploring. This site is a good place to start!

47 – 57: You are just starting out. Please use this site and all its tools extensively to transform your current methods to kind ones that will please both you and your dog.

Did you get to print a certificate? Or did you go in thinking, “Well of COURSE I train with kindness! I love my dog. I don’t even need to take this quiz” only to finish it saying, “Holy cripe, I am evil incarnate! I don’t deserve to live!” or something similar?

Don’t panic! This quiz is meant to get your attention, to get you thinking, to start asking WHY. It’s to

Chloe "Say Cheese!"

Chloe “Say Cheese!”

make you aware that there is a lot of new information about dog training that you may not know about. This information in some cases radically changes the way we view our relationships with our dogs. If you love your dogs, this is great news, because it means you can take things like “pack leadership,” dominance” and “showing him who’s boss” out of your training lexicon. But along with that comes the unsettling knowledge that, one, you have done a lot of inappropriate things to your dogs thinking they were appropriate, and two, you now have to work to back out that thinking and methodology and replace it wtih the new, better, kinder stuff — a huge challenge. I know; I’ve done it (and continue to work on it).

I grew up with “yank and yell” training, full of No, smacking, etc. During those times, I hit my dog a few times and did all manner of things I was instructed to do at the time by the experts. Some of it worked, most of it didn’t, and often it made the situation worse. The lack of results — plus how awful I felt doing this stuff to someone I loved so much — pushed me to keep looking for answers, and thankfully I found the new thinking that had at its base a much clearer understanding of what made dogs work and a realization that it was much better, more effective, and simply nicer to convince dogs to happily cooperate with us rather than to force and intimidate them into doing our bidding.

As happy as I was to find this new information, I didn’t snap my fingers and magically drop all my old habits. It has been and sometimes still is a bumpy, arduous journey. Old habits die hard for both people and dogs!

But the most important thing I can tell you is it is soooo worth it. It is an absolute delight for me to have this knowledge to share with all those dog POGs like me who felt there had to be something else, a better way to commuicate. That old stuff just didn’t feel right. But what else was there to do?

This is it. “Trained with Kindness” means you are teaching by sharing information with your dog; realizing that he doesn’t understand our environment, and that it is our job to gently guide him through it; developing a strong, trusting relationship that will result in a happy, safe, responsive dog, not one that performs because of a fear of punishment.

Don’t let this quiz freak you out. Let it open your eyes to the new and wonderful possibilities that exist for you and your dogs. Explore the site and its resources and links to get you working toward that better, stronger, more satisfying and yes, kinder relationship with your dog. (And please REVISIT often because more content including workshop/seminar/product information will be added as we get going.)

Also please help us spread the word: tell someone else so they can Go Kind too!

But first and foremost, go to your dog right now and VOW never to work him with anger or intimidation again. Take the TWIKI Pledge to My Dog. The better way is here; embrace it!! Your dog will loooove you for it.

— TWiKi Founder Christy Paxton