Yesterday my friend/dog-sitter extraordinaire came over the help 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:
3. Acceptance of Restraint
4. Acceptance of Dominance
5. Elevation Test
7. Sound Sensitivity and
8. 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 gol
Annie scored many 3’s which means she is pretty outgoing, friendly and flexible. She did score low on the Elevation test (a 2) as she struggled, stiffened and cried loudly. Then, she accepted restraint (being held on her back for 30 seconds) without any protest and watched Lori the whole time. And as for Sociability and Following, Annie did not come or follow readily mainly because she was too busy exploring! I don’t think it had anything to do with being anti-social.
Alvin scored mostly 5’s which likely means he quite submissive and perhaps needing in the self-confidence department. He did come readily to Lori when she called him, so he is very responsive to people. And he had no problem accepting dominance. When restrained he was relaxed and looked about the room, then making eye contact with Lori. And, along with Arthur, he was slightly more upset about the loud bangs on the pasta pot than the others. He will do best, then, in a structured, patient home with a predictable schedule.
Abby, like Annie, was not at all interested in coming to Lori but preferred to check out her unfamiliar surroundings. She did, however, follow Lori readily as she walked away. When restrained on her back she did not struggle but she did not make eye contact either…a very submissive gesture. All in all, though, Abby will be quite friendly and will adjust well with regular training and attention.
Arthur was another puppy that liked to explore rather than make new friends. He didn’t even have much interest in following Lori. He accepted restraint well, had no issues with being held elevated and was pretty nonchalant about the retrieving and sight sensitivity.The loud banging on the pasta pot did bother him more than it did the others as he hid for cover under a stool! (My bad on an earlier report that this did not bother Arthur. I had my notes mixed up!)
Alfi came to Lori right away but didn’t follow her. Instead she checked out other parts of the room.
She was one of the pups who did not like being restrained at all…a sign of a slightly more dominant personality. Funny since she has the most placid appearance! On the other hand, the elevation test did not rile her at all. And, she was one of the puppies who went after the balled up paper in a playful gesture. Then she walked away from it.
Ariel did not come to Lori for a while and did not follow her either. Actually we think she mostly wanted to nap! She had no trouble with the restraint exercise. Nor did she make any eye contact. She loved being petted during the Dominance exercise and was totally relaxed for the Elevation test. She should be reliable with children, will be easily controlled and may be a bit less outgoing than some of the others but still gentle and affectionate.
Albert, with the exception of Retrieving and Sound Sensitivity, scored all 3’s. Pretty even keeled.He will likely be outgoing, friendly and respond well to structure. He will adapt well and should be easy to train.
Aloha is our explorer extraordinaire. I think she’d explore her way to Alaska if offered the chance! But, when Lori walked away Aloha followed her readily. During the Dominance exercise she licked Lori’s t-shirt and when Lori tossed the paper ball Aloha just licked Lori’s shoes! Aloha, however, did not like the elevation test one bit. She struggled and cried which makes me think she doesn’t like to be out of her comfort zone.
I should add to this assessment that all these puppies did warm up to Lori quickly…some just not right out of the chute! It is no surprise that they cared little about restraint, dominance or elevation. It’s in their nature to be calm under most circumstances. That they don’t readily retrieve the balled up paper was not a surprise either. They aren’t retrievers! However, they will retrieve a ball if you make a game of it with them and play it consistently while they are still puppies. They love a good game!
With the exception of Arthur and Alvin, none of the puppies seemed to bothered by the loud pot banging sound. Alvin was slightly more disturbed and Arthur cringed and actually tried to hide but the others simply noted the sound and where it came from then went about their business of sniffing.
All these puppies are well within the range of well-adjusted, confident and adaptable puppies. There is not a mediocre one in the bunch! It is so much fun to watch their little personalities develop. If you have any further questions about any of them, please drop me a note.