Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Volhard temperament test results

The pups are now 7 weeks old and have been Volhard temperament tested (big thanks to Jane and Graeme Rowden for coming up to see the pups and do the testing). The results have been posted to the individual pups' pages on the website.

There are no real right or wrong answers for this test, but it works as a helpful indication as to what sort of homes and owners individual pups are best suited to. Parts 1-5 look at the temperament of the puppy and how it interacts socially with a stranger. Guarding breeds where strong leadership and training is needed are usually expected to score 1s and 2s, whereas hound breeds which are meant to be independent should score 6s. Poodles were not originally intended for either of these purposes and should ideally score somewhere in the middle. All the pups reacted calmly in response to the elevation, restraint, and social dominance tests, although some of the pups on the social dominance test sat calmly and enjoyed being stroked, and this did not fit any of the options given for the result. Some of the pups were not very interested in coming to or following the new person, unfortunately, although they did not hide or try to run away or otherwise act as though they were afraid of the situation, rather they just seemed a bit bewildered by the unfamiliar environment and lack of presence of other pups.

Parts 6-10 of the test are to do with working ability and suitability for different tasks. Pups who react to stimuli such as chasing a thrown object are likely to make good hunting and sporting dogs, and those who take lots of interest in strange objects will be good candidates for things like agility. On the other hand, a puppy who ignores the stimuli and is non-reactive is a better option for therapy or guide dog work.

All of the pups were tactile and showed no signs of aggression or fear in their responses. Benna and Pink were the most drivey and outgoing of the pups and would probably thrive with people who would like to take up a sport or activity with them. The other pups seem to be quieter and calmer and will do best as companions with a familiar routine.

Also, a lovely puppy from Germany came to visit, but I was too disorganised to take a picture.

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