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.