Volhard Personality Testing Results

Yesterday my daughter helped me conduct our Puppy Personality Assessments. You need someone the puppies do not know in order to get an accurate read. If you are interested in the test itself, how it is conducted and what the results mean, you can find it in this blog at: http://www.havanesehaven.blogspot.com/2012/08/volhard-puppy-personality-profile.html.

Each puppy is tested separately. The only difference this time is that I eliminated a few tests. The ones we performed were for:
1. Sociability
2. Following
3. Acceptance of Restraint
4. Acceptance of Dominance
5. Elevation Test
6. Sound Sensitivity
7. Sight Sensitivity

I should also mention that this test was originally created to test dogs for the military. The Leader Dogs people also use a version of it to select their puppies. Much of the results do not apply to Havanese. For instance, some of the possible reactions by the puppies are biting, growling, etc. Havanese just don’t have these reactions in their make-up! They are lovers….not fighters!
Still, we glean some insight into each puppy when we conduct the test. So here we golWe did seven tests this time.
#1-Social Attraction
#5-Elevation Test
#6-Sound Sensitivity
#7-Sight Sensitivity

 I skipped one test this time around because it pretty much overlapped with the #4 Dominance testing.

Zazu scored mostly 3’s on his testing. Exceptions were #4 where he scored a 4.5. So, he is a confident puppy that likes to interact with people and has no really dominance issues.

Ziggy scored in the mid-range for the first four tests and 6’s and a 5 on the last three. Like Zazu, he was relaxed, not stiff, for the Elevation Test. And he was pretty much disinterested in the keys tossed on the floor. He is a very social puppy and pretty calm.

Zola was a little more hesitant to come to and follow my daughter when called. But still she had her tail up, so she was happy about it. She did not like to be on her back in Test 3 but the other dominance tests did not bother her at all. She scored 5 on Sound and Sight Sensitivity. Basically she is a little more on the timid side but will likely grow out of this as she matures.

Zoey scored more on the high side of the numbers. She didn’t come to Julie when called…was more interested in exploring her surroundings. Her tail was up for both tests 1 and 2.  She squirmed a bit in test #3 and #4 but then settled down so she is not terribly dominant. She had no interest in the keys…the noise did not startle her either. But she did explore the towel Julie dragged in front of her for test #7. Zoey is quite curious, loves to play and will likely be a better puppy for an adult.

Zia is a little more on the independent side. She did come to Julie readily with her tail up. However she did not like to be restrained at all…basically struggling through the next three tests. She ignored the tossed keys and, like Zoey, was curious about the towel in test #7. Zia is very social but will need more consistency in her training.

Zenia got very excited when she saw Julie. She scored a 1 and a 2 for the Social testing. Like Zia, she did not like to be petted in a restrained mode, however. She did not like being on her back or elevated at first; but did settle down after a few seconds. And she was very curious about both the tossed keys and the dragged towel and readily investigated both of them. Zenia appears to be very social, confident and willing to please.

Zhubin is pretty much a carbon copy of Zenia. An overall wonderful boy that is just a bit more outgoing and vocal.

Zusa is one of those puppies that doesn’t test like my observations of her. For instance, she was not very interested in Julie at all. And, like many of the others, did not like to be restrained. The tossed keys did not bother her but she was a little frightened by the towel. What I have observed about Zusa, though, is that she is a real lap buddy despite her apparent moderate confidence levels. She will make a wonderful companion for someone who does not need her to engage with a lot of other people. Not that she won’t engage. It’s just that she’s likely to prefer being with her family.

I’ve studied all these puppies very carefully. Especially when families came to visit…and we had a LOT of families come visit. They are all very responsive to people…no surprise there, they are Havanese!! Some are a little slower to engage…Ziggy for one, and Zusa. But those two are really lap buddies when picked up and respond very well to petting and stroking. None of the pups are at the far ends of Social, Dominance or Sensitivities.

I hope these assessments help. I find the process very interesting and, for the most part, accurate.

The Volhard Personality Testing


Volhard Puppy Personality Profile
Purpose: To determine degree of social attraction, confidence or dependence.
Procedure:Place puppy in test area. From a few feet away the tester coaxes the pup to her/him by clapping hands
gently and kneeling down. Tester must coax in a direction away from the point
where it entered the testing area.
-Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands.                       1
-Came readily, tail up, pawed, licked at hands.                   2
-Came readily, tail up.                                                          3
-Came readily, tail down                                                       4
-Came hesitantly, tail down.                                                  5
-Didn’t come at all.                                                                6         
Purpose: Degree of following attraction. Not following indicates independence.
Procedure:Stand up and walk away from the pup in a normal manner. Make sure the pup sees you walk away.
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot, bit at feet.        1
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot.                         2
-Followed readily, tail up                                                 3
-Followed readily, tail down.                                            4
-Followed hesitantly, tail down.                                       5
-No follow or went away.                                                 6

Purpose: To determine degree of dominant or submissive tendency.
How it accepts stress when socially/ physically dominated.
Procedure:Crouch down and gently roll the pup on his back and hold it with one hand for a full 30 seconds.
-Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.                                            1
-Struggled fiercely, flailed.                                                  2
-Settled, struggled, settled with some eye contact.            3
-Struggled then settled.                                                      4
-No struggle.                                                                       5
-No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.                      6

Purpose: To determine degree of acceptance of social dominance. Pup may try to dominate by
jumping and nipping or is independent and walks away.
Procedure: Let pup standup and gently stroke him from the head to back while
you crouch beside him. Continue stroking until a recognizable behavior is established.
-Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.                                   1
-Jumped, pawed.                                                        2
-Cuddles up to tester and tries to lick face.                3
-Squirmed, licked at hands.                                        4
-Rolled over, licked at hands.                                      5
-Went away and stayed away.                                    6

Purpose: To determine degree of accepting dominance while in position of no control.
Procedure:Bend over and cradle the pup under its belly, fingers interlaced, palms up and elevate it slightly. Hold it for 30 sec.
-Struggled fiercely, bit, growled.                   1
-Struggled fiercely.                                       2
-No struggle, relaxed                                   3
-Struggled, settled, licked                            4
-No struggle, licked at hands.                      5
-No struggle, froze.                                      6
Procedure:Place pup in the center of area, tester or assistant makes a sharp
noise a few feet from the puppy. A chain of noisy keys tossed on a ceramic tile floor works well.
Purpose:To determine degree of sensitivity to sound. (Also can be a rudimentary test for deafness.)
-Listens, locates sound, walks toward it barking                                    1
Listens, locates sound, barks                                                                 2
Listens, locates sound, shows curiosity and walks toward it.                 3
Listens, locates sound                                                                            4
Cringes, backs off , hides                                                                       5
Ignores sound, shows no curiosity                                                         6
Procedure: Place pup in center of room. Tie a string around a large towel and jerk it across the floor a few feet away from puppy.
Purpose: To determine degree of intelligent response to strange object.
-Looks, attacks and bites                                                                       1
-Looks, attacks and barks                                                                      2
-Looks curiously, attempts to investigate.                                              3
-Looks, barks, tail tucked                                                                       4
-Runs away, hides                                                                                  5

 Interpreting the Scores
  • Mostly 1’s A puppy that consistently scores a 1 in the temperament section of the test is dominant, and his dominant nature will lead him to attempt to resist human leadership. He may require an experienced professional for obedience training.
  • Mostly 2’s This pup is dominant and self-assured. However, he readily accepts human leadership that is firm, consistent and knowledgeable. This is not a dog for a tentative, indecisive individual. In the right hands, he has the potential to become a fine working or show dog and could fit into an adult household, provided the owners are consistent in their training.
  • Mostly 3’s This pup is outgoing and friendly and will adjust well in situations in which he receives regular training and exercise. He has a flexible temperament that adapts well to different types of environment, provided he is handled correctly. May be too much dog for a family with small children or an elderly couple who are sedentary.
  • Mostly 4’s A pup that scores a majority of 4’s is an easily controlled, adaptable puppy whose submissive nature will make him continually look to his master for leadership. This pup is easy to train, reliable with kids, and, though he lacks self-confidence, makes a high-quality family pet. He is usually less outgoing than a pup scoring in the 3’s, but his demeanor is gentle and affectionate.
  • Mostly 5’s This is a pup who is extremely submissive and lacking in self-confidence. He bonds very closely with his owner and requires regular companionship and encouragement to bring him out of himself. If handled incorrectly, this pup will grow up very shy and fearful. For this reason, he will do best in a predictable, structured lifestyle with owners who are patient and not overly demanding, such as an elderly couple.
  • Mostly 6’s A puppy that scores 6 consistently is independent and less interested in people. He will mature into a dog who is not demonstrably affectionate and who has a low need for human companionship. To perform as intended, these dogs require a singularity of purpose.