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Personality assessment of domestic animals

Scientifically based, international protocol for personality assessment of animals.

All animals have an innate personality that shapes their behavior and how they respond to the environment. PADA is a behavioral test that objectivly assesses an animals personality.

PADA assessment

Become a certified PADA tester

We offer courses to become a certified PADA tester. PADA testers can use the protocol to assess animals and become a part of our PADA map that keeps track of all certified testers.

ICofA logo

It all started in Norway

The PADA test was developed by ethologists and researchers specializing in animal behavior. The test as it is today was created by ICofA, researchers from  Hungary and Ádám Miklósi - one of the leading researchers on behavior in dogs.

ICofA - International Community of Anthrozoology

has worked with animal assisted interventions for 20 years. They are a big name in the field of therapy animals and they educate and certify new AAI teams, they have conducted several studies on the effects of AAI and written books in collaboration with other organizations around the world.

ICofA developed the PADA test for screening dogs and other animals for work with animal assisted interventions. The test rules out animals that are not suited, ensuring the welfare of the animals that do pass the test and ensure that they react appropriate in challenging situations.

What is PADA used for?
Benefits and applications of PADA

Some of the many applications for PADA :

  • Screening animals for use as service animals

  • Assessing dogs and horses for targeted training in competitive sports

  • Professional assessment of animals mentality for breeding.

  • Assessing family pets with behavioral issues.

  • A tool for animal behaviorists and veterinarians

  • A tool for trainers

  • Rehoming of dogs

  • Documentation of an animals mentality

PADA stamp

PADA Stamp

Anyone that has tested their animal with PADA can use this stamp as evidence that the animal has undergone a personality test and that there is documentation of the result.

Breeders can demonstrate that they test their animals for breeding, that there is documentation, and that they focus on healthy temperament in their breeding.

Anyone using their animal as a working animal in various fields can show there is documentation of the animals temperament.

The stamp can be used on websites, social media accounts, pictures of the animal and in email signatures.

By using the stamp, you express your willingness to present documentation and a description of the dog's mentality.

After the test you will receive an email with the stamp from ICofA or from your Evaluator, if you don’t, do not hesitate contacting us.

Read about the PADA test for cats. Benefits and applications.

Personality assessment cat

Read about the PADA test for horses. Benefits and applications.

Personality assessment horse

Read about the PADA test for farm animals. Benefits and applications.

Personality assessment farm animals


Christine Olsen


Christine Olsen
Co-founder of International Community of Anthrozoology

Dr Christine Olsen has a master's degree in ethology, higher education in special needs education and rehabilitation, and a Ph.D. in public health focusing on animal-assisted interventions. Her research is frequently cited and is rated in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Almetric. Dr. Olsen is also a dog behaviorist and trainer and screens dogs' personalities around Europe. She travels with her lectures about AAI, dog mental tests, and animal welfare as a speaker at international conferences.

Mandy van Laar


Mandy van Laar
President of DAI Academy in The Netherlands

Mandy is the founder and owner of the DAI Academy in The Netherlands in which she offers several courses, workshops, and educational material and methods regarding dog behavior and dogs in Animal Assisted Interventions. She is educated in Veterinary Assistance, Animal Management and Cynological instructor and is a behavioural expert for dogs and dog training. She also offers courses regarding. Dog Assisted Coaching, fear of dogs and with many years of experience in AAI, besides being a PADA Evaluator, she is also the first point of contact at international level for everyone in contact with PADA .

Dennis Turner


Dennis C. Turner
Institute for applied Ethology and Animal Psychology

Dennis C. Turner received his doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore, then moved to Switzerland where he first became an Oberassistant in zoology, later with his Habilitation became a Priv.Doz. at the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Zurich. For some 30 years he was Head of the Companion Animal Ethology and Human-Animal Relations  Group at the Zoology Institute of that University and was Head of the Companion Animal Behavior Clinic at the Animal Hospital for 10 years. He has been the president of IAHAIO (15 years) and received the first IAHAIO Lifetime Distinguished Fellow Award (2021), was founding secretary of ISAAT, is a co-founder and Fellow of ISAZ, has been co-editor of Anthrozoös and Animal Welfare, is co-editor of People and Animals. The International Journal of Research and Practice (PAIJ), has written or co-editored scholarly books on cats, chapters on AAI and co-edited Attachment to Pets, and authored over 100 peer-reviewed research articles, mostly on cats and the human-cat relationship. For eight years he was a Trustee and Head of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (now WAP). In 2023 he recieved the Honoris Causa Doctorate from The University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, RO, and has been a team member in the Erasmus Plus (EU) project “Animals for People”.

Line Sandstedt


Line Sandstedt
Managing director of the International Community of Anthrozoology.

Line Sandstedt is a science lecturer and a postgraduate in special needs education and coaching. Sandstedt is also a dog behaviorist and dog trainer, and screen dogs' personality for AAI. Sandstedt gives courses in dog training both nationally and internationally. She is responsible for all of the education offered by Dyrebar Omsorg, both dog training and training of human-animal teams. Line has worked for the organization since 2006.

Tahira Tarquini


Tahira Tarquini
Owner of Flow Coaching & Training

She offers educational material within AAI. She is educated in Animal Husbandry, Equine Business and Economics and Positive Psychology. She also specialised in (Systemic) Coaching, following Dog and Horse Assisted Coaching courses, besides following several courses within AAI and dog behavior, including the PADA Evaluator course (for which she will give exams soon). She is also active in the Erasmus+ sector as a project coordinator and project facilitator.

See our Articles

We regularly post new articles on subjects such as:

Animal behavior

Animal welfare

Animal cognition

Service animals

and more + +

PADA knowledge illustration

PADA Collaborators

Foreningen Norske Etologer
Department of ethology
DAI academy logo
Norwegian university of life sciences
ICofA logo
Family dog project logo

What is a PADA test?

The PADA test is a personality assessment conducted by an ethologist (behavioral biologist) and provides you with an objective and professional assessment of your animal's innate personality. The temperament test is developed based on scientific research.

What animals can be tested?

All domestic animals can be assessed. Dogs, cats, horses and farm animals

Who is the PADA test for?

Pet owners and professionals that offer services to pet owners.

Trainers for competitive sports

Behaviorists that help animals with behavioral issues

Breeders who focus on healthy mentality in their breeding animals

Veterinarians that need additional information about an animal

Organizations that use working animals, for example police.

Who can work as a PADA evaluator?

We have courses for people that want to offer PADA test to customers.

Read more on our course page

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