Puppy Personality Profile
PART I - PUPPY APTITUDE
___ litter _____________________________ date ____________
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.
|Degree of social
tail up, jumped, bit at hands.
-Came readily, tail up, pawed, licked at hands.
-Came readily, tail up.
-Came readily, tail down
-Came hesitantly, tail down.
-Didn't come at all.
Stand up and walk away from
pup in a normal manner. Make sure
the pup sees you walk away.
|Degree of following
tail up, got underfoot,
bit at feet.
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot.
-Followed readily, tail up
-Followed readily, tail down.
-Followed hesitantly, tail down.
-No follow or went away.
Crouch down and gently roll the pup
on his back and hold it with one
hand for a full 30 seconds.
|Degree of dominant
How it accepts stress
-Struggled fiercely, flailed.
-Settled, struggled, settled with some
-Struggled then settled.
-No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.
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.
|Degree of acceptance
of social dominance.
Pup may try to
dominate by jumping
and nipping or is
independent and walks away.
-Cuddles up to tester and tries to lick
-Squirmed, licked at hands.
-Rolled over, licked at hands.
-Went away and stayed away.
Bend over and cradle the pup under
its belly, fingers interlaced, palms
up and elevate it just off the ground.
Hold it there for 30 seconds.
|Degree of accepting
dominance while in
position of no control.
-No struggle, relaxed
-Struggled, settled, licked
-No struggle, licked at hands.
-No struggle, froze.
PART II - OBEDIENCE APTITUDE
Crouch beside pup and attract
his attention with crumpled up
paper ball. When the pup shows
interest and is watching, toss the
object 4-6 feet in front of pup.
|Degree of willingness
to work with a human.
between ability to
retrieve and successful
guide dogs, obedience
dogs, field trial dogs.
picks up object and
-Chases object, stands over object,
does not return.
-Chases object and returns with object
-Chases object and returns without
object to tester.
-Starts to chase object, loses interest.
-Does not chase object.
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
NOT use fingernail.
|Degree of sensitivity
|8-10 counts before
6-7 counts before response.
5-6 counts before response.
2-4 counts before response.
1-2 counts before response.
Place pup in the center of area,
tester or assistant makes a sharp
noise a few feet from the puppy.
A large metal spoon struck
sharply on a metal pan twice
|Degree of sensitivity
sound. (Also can be a
rudimentary test for
sound, walks toward
-Listens, locates sound, barks.
-Listens, locates sound, shows
curiosity and walks toward sound.
-Listens, locates the sound.
-Cringes, backs off, hides.
-Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.
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.
|Degree of intelligent
response to strange
-Looks, barks and tail up.
-Looks curiously, attempts to
-Looks, barks, tail-tuck.
-Runs away, hides.
Interpreting the Scores
- Mostly 1's
A puppy that consistently scores a 1 in the temperament section
of the test is an extremely dominant, aggressive puppy who
can easily be provoked to bite. His dominant nature will attempt
to resist human leadership, thus requiring only the most experienced
of handlers. This puppy is a poor choice for most individuals
and will do best in a working situation as a guard or police
- Mostly 2's
This pup is dominant and self-assured. He can be provoked
to bite; 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 know
what they are doing.
- 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
- 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 uninterested
in people. He will mature into a dog who is not demonstrably
affectionate and who has a low need for human companionship.
In general, it is rare to see properly socialized pups test
this way; however there are several breeds that have been
bred for specific tasks (such as basenjis, hounds, and some
northern breeds) which can exhibit this level of independence.
To perform as intended, these dogs require a singularity of
purpose that is not compromised by strong attachments to their
The remainder of the puppy test
is an evaluation of obedience aptitude and working ability and
provides a general picture of a pup's intelligence, spirit,
and willingness to work with a human being. For most owners,
a good companion dog will score in the 3 to 4 range in this
section of the test. Puppies scoring a combination of 1's and
2's require experienced handlers who will be able to draw the
best aspects of their potential from them.
Important note from Wendy Volhard...regarding
the Touch Sensitivity test - Do not use your fingernail when
performing this test. Press between the finger and thumb lightly
then more firmly until you get a response.
Developed by Joachim and