Volhard's Puppy Aptitude Test
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TEST  PURPOSE  SCORE 
Social Attraction: 
Place the puppy in test area. From a few feet away the testor coaxes the pup to her/him by clapping hands gently and kneeling down.Testor must coax in a direction away from the point where it entered the testing area. 
Degree of social attraction, confidence or dependence.Degree of social attraction, confidence or dependence.  1. Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands 
2. Came readily, tail up, pawed, liked at hands. 
3. Came readily, tail up. 
4. Came readily, tail down. 
5. Came hesitantly, tail down. 
6. Did not come at all. 
Following: 
Stand up and walk away from the pup in a normal manner. Make sure the pup sees you walk away. 
 Degree of following attraction. Not following indicates independence.  1. Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot, bit at     feet. 
2. Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot. 
3. Followed readily, tail up. 
4. Followed readily, tail down. 
5. Followed hesitantly, tail down. 
6. No following, or went away. 
Restraint: 
Crouch down and gently roll the pup on his back and hold it with one hand for a full 30 seconds. 
Degree of dominant or submissive tendency. How it accepts stress when socially and/or physically dominated.  1. Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit. 
2. Struggled fiercely, flailed. 
3. Settled, struggled, settled with some eye contact. 
4. Struggled, then settled. 
5. No struggle. 
6. No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact. 
Social Dominance: 
Let pup stand up and gently stroke him from the head to back while you crouch beside him. Continue stroking until a recognizable behavior is established. 
Degree of acceptance of social dominance pup may try to dominate by jumping and nipping or it is independent and walks away.  1. Jumped, pawed, bit growled. 
2. Jumped, pawed. 
3. Cuddles up to testor and tries to lick face. 
4. Squirmed, licked at hands. 
5. Rolled over, licked at hands. 
6. Went away and stayed away. 
Elevation Dominance: 
Bend over and cradle the pup under its belly, fingers interlaced, palms up and elevate just off the ground. Hold it there for 30 seconds. 
Degree of accepting dominance while in position of no control.  1. Struggled fiercely, bit growled. 
2. Struggled fiercely. 
3. No struggle, relaxed. 
4. Struggled, settled, licked. 
5. No struggled, licked at hands. 
6. No struggle, froze. 
TEST
PURPOSE
SCORE
Retrieving: 
Crouch beside pup and attract its attention with crumpled up paper ball. When the pup shows interest and is watching, toss the object 1 to 2 meters in front of pup. 
Degree of willingness to work with a human. High correlation between ability to retrieve and successful guide dogs, obedience dogs, field trial dogs.  1. Chases object, picks up object and runs away. 
2. Chases object, stands over object, does not return. 
3. Chases object and returns with object to testor. 
4. Chases object and returns without object to testor. 
5. Starts to chase object, loses interest. 
6. Does not chase object. 
Touch Sensitivity: 
Take puppy’s webbing of one front foot and press between finger and thumb lightly, then more firmly till you get a response, while you count slowly to 10. Stop as soon as puppy pulls away or shows discomfort.  
Degree of sensitivity to touch.  1.  8 - 10 seconds before response. 
2.  6 - 7 seconds before response. 
3.  5 - 6 seconds before response. 
4.  3- 4 seconds before response. 
5.  1 - 2 seconds before response. 
Sound Sensitivity: 
Place pup in centre of area. Testor of assistant makes a sharp noise a few feet from the puppy. A large metal spoon struck sharply on a metal pan twice works well. 
Degree of sensitivity to sound (also a rudimentary test for deafness).  1. Listens, locates sound, walks towards it barking. 
2. Listens, locates sound, barks. 
3. Listens, locates sound, and walks there curiously. 
4. Listens, locates sound. 
5. Cringes, backs off, hides. 
6. Ignores sound, shows no curiosity. 
Sight Sensitivity: 
Place pup in centre of room. Tie a string around a large towel and jerk it across the floor a few feet away from the puppy.  
Degree of intelligent response to strange object.   1. Looks, attacks and bites. 
2. Looks, barks and tail up. 
3. Looks curiously, attempts to investigate. 
4. Looks, barks, tail-tuck. 
5. Runs away, hides. 
Structure: 
The puppy is gently set in a natural stance and evaluated for structure in the following categories: 
Degree of structural soundness. Good structure is necessary.  Good:  The puppy is correct in structure. 
Fair:  The puppy has a slight fault or deviation. 
Poor: The puppy has an extreme fault of deviation. 
 


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