The Volhard Puppy Aptitude Testing and our Thoughts…


Years in the past this check was developed by a person (Wendy Volhard) that felt it might predict the temperament of a pet or canine by assessing the litter at a younger age. Simply so that you get an concept of what it entails, right here is an outline: (Source)

“High Canine Ideas: The perfect age to check the pet is at 49 days of age when the pet is neurologically full and it has the mind of an grownup canine. With every passing day after the forty ninth day the responses will likely be tainted by prior studying.

Afterward within the early 60’s extra exams had been developed to find out if pups may very well be examined for dominance and submission. These exams decided that it was certainly attainable to foretell future behavioral traits of grownup canine by evaluating puppies at 49 days of age. Testing earlier than or after that age, effected the accuracy of the outcomes, relying on the period of time earlier than or after the forty ninth day.

We took these exams, added a few of our personal, and put collectively what’s now often called the Volhard Pet Aptitude Take a look at, or PAT. PAT makes use of a scoring system from 1-6 and consists of ten exams. The exams are accomplished consecutively, and within the order listed. Every check is scored individually and interpreted by itself deserves. The scores should not averaged, and there are not any winners or losers. The complete objective is to pick out the suitable pet for the suitable house?”

I received’t lie, after 35 years of manufacturing litters in our breed, I’ve all the time discovered this check to be a bit amusing, and maybe incomplete as you learn in my feedback beneath.

My first word is that 16 WEEKS IS THE AGE OF FULL DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY AND BEHAVIOR! At 7 weeks previous, they aren’t absolutely psychologically developed like a full grown canine but.

ALSO- This isn’t BREED particular in any respect. If you would like a guard canine (one of many end result varieties), a Labrador might be not your best option. Not solely do we all know our BREED, we all know our LINES. I’ve individuals say they’d be in search of the pet with this or that rating within the litter. And after I have a look at these rating choices, that’s the entire litter, ha.

The Checks Encompass the Following:

  1. Social Attraction – diploma of social attraction to individuals, confidence or dependence.
    This may be useful when in search of a searching canine or service canine, however I’ve not discovered this to comply with via when a stranger walks as much as my pet and begins doing all of those “issues” to it. They might get nervous. My drawback with that is that my litters react otherwise with me at 8 weeks than with strangers who’re simply assembly them for the primary time. It takes them about 5-10 minutes to settle and focus on YOU.
  2. Following – willingness to comply with an individual.
    Once more, if you’re a stranger, there could also be a hesitancy at first, relying on how the grownup or baby approaches the pup—I’ve had individuals actually scare my pups doing this check—it shouldn’t be a pressured factor.
  3. Restraint – diploma of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of dealing with in troublesome conditions.
    Most individuals roll my pups over on their stomach as a result of they’ve been instructed to do that to see in the event that they “submit”, besides the MAJORITY of individuals do that the flawed method and no pet reacts the best way they *suppose* it ought to . If you already know canine packs and conduct, that could be a weak place to be put in. In case you are a stranger and abruptly roll the pup over onto his again, it’s such as you simply pinned him down as his mom would do to scold or right. I don’t agree with this methodology and have seen absolute fails by doing it the flawed method, then individuals assume it’s indicative that the pet isn’t the temperament they’re in search of. Our recommendation? Gently cradle the pup in your arms on his again, to see in the event that they loosen up in your arms and make eye contact. THAT is an effective signal!
  4. Social Dominance – diploma of acceptance of social dominance by an individual.
    Once more, bear in mind, you’re new—give the pup time to heat as much as you—watch out the way you dominate—should you go about it flawed or with out our permission, we should ask you to go away our house as we’re VERY protecting about how individuals deal with our pups. One flawed transfer at an impressionable stage can imprint on a canine ceaselessly! Please be mild with pups when selecting—it should assist your pup and everybody else who’s getting a pup from the litter—it builds TRUST.
  5. Elevation – diploma of accepting dominance whereas able of no management, corresponding to on the veterinarian or groomer.
    To check this, the check suggests lifting the pet up and suspending mid-air for 30 seconds to evaluate their response. Once more, not against this general, however once more, be GENTLE. That pet does must really feel supported and never hanging mid-air. To date, I’ve by no means had a pup not tolerate this when accomplished proper.
  6. Retrieving – diploma of willingness to do one thing for you. Along with Social Attraction and Following a key indicator for ease or problem in coaching.
    This may take endurance and time—please– don’t count on a pup to retrieve and produce again on the primary strive. It’s all coaching, and sure, it’s a pure intuition, however it should come alongside as you start to play with them extra. In case you begin rattling off phrases, instructions and phrases they don’t know—they are going to fail the check each time. And probably stroll away from you! LOL
  7. Contact Sensitivity – diploma of sensitivity to the touch and a key indicator to the kind of coaching gear.
    Our pups are socialized to totally different textures, feels, dealing with, and so forth. You’ll obtain an in depth guidelines from us on how one can proceed socialization after you permit our home to proceed via the NEXT 8 weeks in your house!
  8. Sound Sensitivity – diploma of sensitivity to sound, corresponding to loud noises or thunderstorms.
    Once more, you possibly can smash a canine by doing this incorrectly. I had a girl stroll within the pet room and abruptly drop her clipboard so loudly on my basement flooring, that each one the pups crouched (naturally!). I left the room as a result of I used to be so mad at her (and needed to cry for a minute)—she did this with out warning or permission! Loud sounds needs to be launched slowly and regularly. I eliminated her instantly and did some constructive cuddling and trust-building.
  9. Sight Sensitivity – diploma of response to a transferring object, corresponding to chasing bicycles, youngsters or squirrels. The tester ties a string round a shower towel and jerks it throughout the ground, two ft away from the pet.
    Okay so most lab puppies are going to most likely chase the towel or attempt to play with it haha. I’m undecided how this means a motivation to chase bicycles or youngsters. Do puppies wish to chase? Sure. Are you able to prepare them to not chase a toddler? Sure.
  10. Stability – diploma of startle response to a wierd object.
    They recommend opening and umbrella and putting it on the ground to see how the pet reacts to it, so as to assess its stability apparently. Once more, like with quantity 8, it’s a must to proceed exposing your pet to various things, sights, sounds, and so forth. to proceed socializing past what will be accomplished with an entire litter. They might all react somewhat otherwise to the an umbrella (most of ours not less than will likely be curious or attempt to play with it haha), however I don’t suppose I might soar to conclusions about their entire temperament primarily based on that act.

So general… Can we do that check? No. We all know every pet’s temperament from observing them these first few weeks of their life, and likewise by realizing the mother and father and grandparents, and so forth. For extra info on this, see our youtube video on “The way to Select a Pet.”

And perhaps we’re a bit soured to this as a result of we’ve seen so many individuals stroll in and suppose they’re specialists on temperament testing after studying this, and but make so many flawed steps in attempting. One tip that I do recognize within the doc is that this:

“Throughout testing keep a constructive, upbeat and pleasant perspective towards the puppies. Attempt to get every pet to work together with you to carry out the perfect in her or him. Make the check a pleasing expertise for the pet. “

Sure! Your power and perspective will have an effect on the puppies greater than you may know. I’ve seen individuals get so critical in doing this “check” that once more, they don’t get the outcomes they could in the event that they had been friendlier and extra playful with the pup.

I do know everybody desires a crystal ball to see into the way forward for their pup, however I all the time inform individuals to speak with the breeder and talk about the persona and temperament of every pup and to attempt to match them as much as your loved ones or private needs. That is what we like to do!!! Be “Matchmakers!” We additionally know the mother and father of the pet very effectively and might evaluate and distinction them with the pups.

Only a few issues to contemplate should you’ve examine this testing and are considering that you must grasp it so as to choose your pet. PLEASE be happy to name us and go over this info, but additionally be able to spend time with us and your pup to do a full analysis of how they react personally to their atmosphere, different individuals and different animals. We would like your pup’s first expertise with you to be a pleasing one throughout as it should make adjustment to your house a lot simpler.

And let me simply make a disclaimer—there IS some GREAT recommendation in studying via the doc and testing overview. So I wouldn’t say I disapprove of it general, in actual fact I agreed with a variety of the ideas. I’ve no drawback together with her methods of discovering the suitable breed, breeder, and so forth… nice stuff. I simply have an issue with the strategies of doing this check, treating all breeds the identical, and that novices shouldn’t do that with out help (and PERMISSION) from the breeder.

For a listing of issues we do to socialize our pups, seek advice from the web page in your pet folder if you choose up your pup so you possibly can proceed to do coaching and socialization if you go house! 🙂

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