PUPPY APTITUDE TEST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUPPY APTITUDE TEST

Revised January 2003

 

Developed by Joachim and Wendy Volhard

PUPPY APTITUDE TEST

This score sheet has been prepared for the convenience of those who have
Dog Training For Dummies by Jack & Wendy Volhard (IDG Books, 2001),
which contains the information necessary for accurate results
and the correct interpretation of the scores.

Click here for Printer Friendly version

Wendy Volhard 2003

 

 

Puppy (color, sex) ________________ litter ______________________ date ____________

 
TEST
PURPOSE
SCORE
#
SOCIAL ATTRACTION

Place puppy in test area about four feet from the tester. Tester kneels, leans backwards and coaxes the pup to her/him by clapping hands gently.

Degree of social attraction to people, confidence, or dependence.


Pack Drive.

Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands.

1

Came readily, tail up, pawed, licked at hands.
2
Came readily, tail up.
3
Came readily, tail down
4
Came hesitantly, tail down.
5
Didn't come at all.
6

FOLLOWING

The tester stands up and slowly walks away encouraging the puppy to follow. Make sure the pup sees you walk away. Coax puppy to follow by talking to it and attracting its attention.

Willingness to follow a person.

Pack Drive.

Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot, bit at feet.

1

Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot.
2
Followed readily, tail up
3
Followed readily, tail down.
4
Followed hesitantly, tail down.
5
Did not follow or went away.
6

RESTRAINT

The tester crouches down and gently rolls the pup on its back and holds it down with light pressure with one hand for 30 seconds.

Degree of dominance or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations.

Fight or Flight Drive.

Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.

1

Struggled fiercely, flailed.
2
Settled, struggled, settled with some eye contact.
3
Struggled then settled.
4
No struggle, no eye contact.
5
No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.
6

SOCIAL DOMINANCE

Puppy sits or stands on crouching tester's left side and tester gently strokes it from the head to back. Continue stroking until a recognizable behavior is established.

Degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person.

Pack Drive.

Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.

1

Jumped, pawded.
2
Cuddled up to tester and tried to lick face.
3
Squirmed, licked at hands.
4
Rolled over, licked at hands.
5
Went away and stayed away.
6

ELEVATION DOMINANCE

The tester cradles the pup under its chest, with both hands, fingers interlaced, palms up and gently lifts it two feet off the ground, and holds it there for 30 seconds.

Degree of accepting dominance while in position of no control.

Fight or Flight Drive.

Struggled fiercely, tried to bite.

1

Struggled fiercely.
2
Struggled, settled, struggled, settled.
3
No struggle, relaxed.
4
No struggle, body stiff.
5
No struggle, froze.
6

RETRIEVING

The tester crouches beside the pup and attracts its attention with a crumpled up piece of paper. When the pup shows some interest, the tester tosses the paper no more than four feet in front of the pup, encouraging it to retrieve the paper.

Degree of willingness to do something for you. Together with social attraction and following, a key indicator for ease or difficulty in training.

Prey Drive.

Chased object, picked it up and ran away.

1

Chased object, stood over it, did not return.
2
Chased object, picked it up and returned with it to tester.
3
Chased object and returned without it to tester.
4
Started to chase object, lost interest.
5
Did not chase object.
6

TOUCH SENSITIVITY

The tester locates the webbing of one of the puppy's front paws and presses it lightly between his index finger and thumb. The tester gradually increases pressure while counting to 10 and stops the pressure when the puppy pulls away or shows discomfort.

* Do not use your fingernail when performing this test. Press between the finger and thumb lightly then more firmly until you get a response.

Degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required.
8-10 counts before response.

1

6-7 counts before response.
2
5-6 counts before response.
3
2-4 counts before response.
4
2-3 counts before response.
5

SOUND SENSITIVITY

The puppy is placed in the center of the testing area and an assistant stationed at the perimeter makes a sharp noise, such as banging a metal spoon on the bottom of a metal pan.

Degree of sensitivity to sound.
(Also a rudimentary test
for deafness.)

Prey Drive.

Listened, located sound, walked toward it barking.

1

Listened, located sound, barked.
2
Listened, located sound, showed curiosity and walked toward sound.
3
Listened, located the sound.
4
Cringed, backed off, hid.
5
Ignored sound, showed no curiosity.
6

SIGHT SENSITIVITY

The puppy is placed in the center of the testing area. The tester ties a string around a bath towel and jerks it across the floor two feet away from puppy.

Degree of response to a moving object, such as chasing bicycles, children or squirrels.


Prey Drive.

Looked, attacked and bit.

1

Looked, barked and tail up.
2
Looked curiously, attempted to investigate.
3
Looked, barked, tail-tuck.
4
Ran away, hid.
5

STABILITY

An umbrella is opened about five feet from the puppy and gently placed on the ground.

Degree of startle response to a strange object.

Fight and Flight Drive.

Looked and ran to the umbrella, mouthing or biting it.
1
Looked and walked to the umbrella, smelling it cautiously.
2
Looked and went to investigate.
3
Sat and looked, but did not move toward the umbrella.
4
Ran away from the umbrella.
5
Showed no interest.
6

STRUCTURE

The puppy is gently set and held in a natural stance and evaluated for structure in the following categories:

  • Straight front
  • Straight rear
  • Shoulder lay back
  • Front angulation
  • Croup angulation
  • Rear angulation

(see diagram below)

Degree of structural soundness.

Good structure is necessary.

The puppy is correct in structure.
good
The puppy has a slight fault or deviation.
fair
The puppy has an extreme fault or deviation.
poor

(First published in the AKC Gazette, March 1979, in an article by Melissa Bartlett.)

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Joachim and Wendy Volhard
Wendy Volhard 2003


As long as the material used is correctly credited with the authors' name,
a link to this website, the publication where it was printed from and the copyright,
Jack and Wendy encourage people to use their material.
Updated: February 22, 2007
e-mail us 

http://www.volhard.com/puppy/pat.htm


http://www.volhard.com/puppy/pat.htm