Volhard Temperament Test
Volhard Temperament Test For Yorkies
It is my opinion to do my best to match the puppy to the right owner, and not the other way around. By knowing what the new owner is looking for in a canine companion and then knowing the temperament tendencies of the puppy– a lasting relationship can form. For example, if a new owner is looking for just a friend and couch potato, then selling him a new puppy that bounces off the walls will ONLY end in disaster for them both. Ideally, the temperament test is given on the 49th day after birth, or during his/her 7th week of age. This is the ideal day when the puppy is neurologically complete and it has the brain of an adult dog.
The tests are done consecutively and in the order listed. Each test is scored separately, and interpreted on its own merits. The scores are not averaged, and there are no winners or losers. The entire purpose is to select the right puppy for the right home. In other words, the MORE information you give me on your Puppy Application Form, the better I am able to match a lasting puppy to your lifestyle. So please, be HONEST and tell me everything about your lifestyle, travel habits, work schedule, other pets in the home, etc. The more information the better!! Short of telling me your blood type and favorite color, information is KEY!! A blank Temperament Test can be found here: Download File
The tests are as follows:
1. Social Attraction – degree of social attraction to people, confidence or dependence.
2. Following – willingness to follow a person.
3. Restraint – degree of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations.
4. Social Dominance – degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person.
5. Elevation – degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control, such as at the veterinarian or groomer.
6. Retrieving – degree of willingness to do something for you. Together with Social Attraction and Following a key indicator for difficulty in training.
7. Touch Sensitivity – degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required.
8. Sound Sensitivity – degree of sensitivity to sound, such as loud noises or thunderstorms.
9. Sight Sensitivity – degree of response to a moving object, such as chasing bicycles, children or squirrels.
10. Stability – degree of startle response to a strange object.
During the testing, I make a note of the heart rate of the pup, which is an indication of how it deals with stress, as well as its energy level. Puppies come with high, medium or low energy levels. You have to decide for yourself, which suits your life style. Dogs with high energy levels need a great deal of exercise, and will get into mischief if this energy is not channeled into the right direction.
Finally, look at the overall structure of the puppy. You see what you get at 49 days age. If the pup has strong and straight front and back legs, with all four feet pointing in the same direction, it will grow up that way, provided you give it the proper diet and environment in which to grow. If you notice something out of the ordinary at this age, it will stay with puppy for the rest of its life. He will not grow out of it.
This is how the test is Conducted:
• The testing is done in a location unfamiliar to the puppies. (This does not mean they have to taken away from home.)
• The puppies are tested one at a time.
• There are no other dogs or people, except the scorer and the tester, in the testing area
• The puppies do not know the tester.
• The scorer is a disinterested third party and not the person interested in selling you a puppy.
• The scorer is unobtrusive and positions him or herself so he or she can observe the puppies’ responses without having to move.
• The puppies are tested before they are fed.
• The puppies are tested when they are at their liveliest.
• Do not try to test a puppy that is not feeling well.
• Puppies should not be tested the day of or the day after being vaccinated.
• Only the first response counts!
- Social attraction – the owner or caretaker of the puppies places it in the test area about four feet from the tester and then leaves the test area. The tester kneels down and coaxes the puppy to come to him or her by encouragingly and gently clapping hands and calling. The tester must coax the puppy in the opposite direction from where it entered the test area.
- Following – the tester stands up and slowly walks away encouraging the puppy to follow.
- Restraint – the tester crouches down and gently rolls the puppy on its back and holds it on its back for 30 seconds.
- Social Dominance – let the puppy stand up or sit and gently stroke it from the head to the back while you crouch beside it. See if it will lick your face, an indication of a forgiving nature. Continue stroking until you see a behavior you can score.
- Elevation Dominance – the tester cradles the puppy with both hands, supporting the puppy under its chest and gently lifts it two feet off the ground and holds it there for 30 seconds.
- Retrieving – the tester crouches beside the puppy and attracts its attention with a crumpled up piece of paper. When the puppy shows some interest, the tester throws the paper no more than four feet in front of the puppy encouraging it to retrieve the paper.
- Touch Sensitivity – the tester locates the webbing of one the puppy’s front paws and presses it lightly between his index finger and thumb. The tester gradually increases pressure while counting to ten and stops when the puppy pulls away or shows signs of discomfort.
- Sound Sensitivity – the puppy is placed in the center of the testing area and an assistant stationed at the perimeter makes a sharp noise, such as banging a metal spoon on the bottom of a metal pan.
- Sight Sensitivity – the puppy is placed in the center of the testing area. The tester ties a string around a bath towel and jerks it across the floor, two feet away from the puppy.
- Stability – an umbrella is opened about five feet from the puppy and gently placed on the ground.