I just scored my dog on the Volhard Temp test that I found. I'm not sure if it is 100% correct because my dog has been with me for 10 weeks and I just went by my experience with her. If you have read my previous post you will see I've had trouble with biting. Here are her scores...if you know anything about these tests I would love some insight...
Social Attraction- 1
Elevation Dominance(I assume this means holding your dog up)- 4
It says that a puppy with mostly 1-2 is not fit for a home with children or elderly. I am so upset with this because I have a large family with both children and elderly and I want my dog to be apart of my family. I wish I would have known about this test before I picked my puppy.
Am I reading too much into this and just experiencing a normal puppy or is there hope that my dog will be able to be around children and go to the nursing home to visit my grandma?
My dog is smart but has been a handful to train and she is stubborn...especially with biting! She isnt much of a cuddly dog either.
It appears that this test needs to be administered by a third party to be accurate. Are you testing your pup yourself? Additionally, if the test is to be administered at 49 days old (7 weeks) and your pup is much older (16 weeks?), it likely has minimal usefullness.
In general, temperament tests are a good guide in selecting the right dog for your home – that is the pup that will fit most easily into your lifestyle. But any temperament dog can fit in your home with enough work. I think what this test does is support what you already know – you are going to have a bold puppy that will need lots of guidance. This website completely sells short “1” dogs, as well as first time owners. “1”- “2” dogs per their description are dogs that thrive under firm and consistent training and turn into very stable and trustworthy dogs. You find way to continually remind them that you are the leader, implementing a thoughtful training program.
A first time owner is capable of finding the right assistance and training programs, and tend to be open to suggestions and new ideas that maybe someone that has only ever owned a string of “easy” dogs is not. If you had a dominant terrier or spitz type breed I would be concerned. But you have a poodle, a very trainable breed. You can definitely handle this, and your pup is more than capable then being good with children and the elderly. Just remember your pup is bright and intuitive – you have already begun the training process. Everything you do on a day to day basis teaches this pup something. Get a good trainer that can guide you into identify potential problems early and incorporate solutions into your day.
She doesn't have to like cuddling, but she has to let you touch her all over, hold her feet, touch her ears, manipulate her body. She may be pre-disposed to be mouthy (our submissive girl is also mouthy, and the Spoo we had as a kid was also mouthy), but she is not permitted to put her mouth on people (start that now). Being around lots of kids now is fantastic, as long as you are supervising and making sure she is developing good habits. Depending on the age of the kids, they should also be involved in the training process.
And what the heck is with the “elderly” thing, it’s not like they are mentally deficient, afraid of dogs, or going to need to do hand to hand combat with your dog!
I wouldn't worry about it. The Volhard is a popular test, especially with the performance crowd, but it is designed to be given at a very specific age (49 days or 7 weeks) and under very specific circumstances (by a neutral person not familar with or known to the puppies). If not given in this way, it's not valid to evaluate a puppy within its parameters.
Younger or older puppies will score differently due to maturation rate and brain development. Puppies will behave differently with "their" people than with a stranger.
Some breeders really like the test and swear by it; others do it but take the results with a grain of salt. Others don't consider it valid or worthy at all.
My puppy's breeder did the test on Sugarfoot's litter. He scored 3's and 2's, indicating he might be a bit of handful for some owners, but a good worker if properly channeled. This has turned out accurately, I would say.
So, in short, don't worry. Your pup is too old to be evaluated with the Volhard test.
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I totally agree that you can help your puppy to be the kind of dog that will suit your household. Socializing is an important part of any dog's upbringing, and obedience training makes any dog better. I think it's a great idea to train the puppy how to act around children and any other situations it will be in. Besides, poodles love a job, so if you make obedience training fun your puppy will thrive on it. I think the fact that you looked into this test and care about the results shows that you are a very good dog owner! Your puppy will turn into a great dog, I'm sure.
Temperament testing gets mixed reviews, even when done exactly as recommended at 49 days by someone the pup does not know, so I would not get too anxious about results from your own testing of an older pup, at a very different stage of development, who knows you and the environment well.
What I would be doing is observing her general behaviour, and working hard on anything that might need changing. Poppy was shy and rather nervous as a puppy - for months and months I took care to avoid things that might reinforce that fearfulness, and to seek out encounters with nice, treat bearing humans and friendly dogs. It worked. Behaviour change doesn't happen in days or weeks, it comes from months of repeated reinforcement with Good Stuff - while working through puppy fear periods and adolescent bolshiness at the same time! Puppies have a short attention span and many hate being restrained by being cuddled - there is a whole exciting world out there and they want to get off your lap and explore it. And the primary tool they have for exloring is their mouth and teeth!
Have you tried clicker training her? It is a brilliant way of training, especially with very intelligent dogs or those often considered "stubborn". I would also recommend "How to train your dog like a pro" by Jean Donaldson - it really opened my eyes to how easy it is to think a dog understands a cue after just a few repetitions, and blame the dog for refusing to obey rather than my own inadequate training!
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.