age __________ Date ____________

Parents ___________________________________________ tester ___________________________
















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
attraction, confidence
or dependence.

-Came readily, 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 the pup in a normal manner. Make sure the pup sees you walk away.

Degree of following
attraction. Not
following indicates

-Followed readily, 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 or
submissive tendency.
How it accepts stress
when socially/
physically dominated.

-Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.
-Struggled fiercely, flailed.
-Settled, struggled, settled with some
eye contact.
-Struggled then settled.
-No struggle.
-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

-Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.
-Jumped, pawed.
-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.

-Struggled fiercely, bit, growled.
-Struggled fiercely.
-No struggle, relaxed
-Struggled, settled, licked
-No struggle, licked at hands.
-No struggle, froze.




























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.
High correlation
between ability to
retrieve and successful
guide dogs, obedience
dogs, field trial dogs.

-Chases object, picks up object and
runs away.
-Chases object, stands over object,
does not return.
-Chases object and returns with object
to tester.
-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 discomfort.

Degree of sensitivity to
*Do NOT use fingernail.

(pain tolerance)

8-10 counts before response.
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 works well.

Degree of sensitivity to
sound. (Also can be a
rudimentary test for

-Listens, locates sound, walks toward
it barking.
-Listens, locates sound, approaches
-Listens, locates sound, cautiously
walks toward sound.
-Listens, locates the sound.
-Cringes, backs off, hides.
-Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.












Tie a string around a small towel and jerk it around the room teasing the puppy with it.

How much stimulation does it take to get a chasing response, degree of response.

-Looks, attacks, bites and shakes.
-Looks, chases, pouncing, nipping.
-Looks, follows, no biting
-Looks, stays seated
-no interest, walks away













Drop a paper bag with a few pop cans in it a few feet away from the puppy

Degree of intelligent
response to strange

Immediately approaches, paws or bites

Immediately approaches, sniffs

Cautiously investigates

Looks, remains in place

Startles, moves away












Proportions, Build

Head shape, Ear set

Shoulder layback

Front angulation
Depth of chest

Length of ribbing

Croup angulation
Rear angulation
Tail carriage,









Coat color: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor

Coat length: short, medium, long

Pigment: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor

Nose, Lips & eye rims, Pads,

Skin, belly & ears, Toenails

Conformation: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor































Interpreting the Scores


       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 and affectionate.

       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 owner.

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 Wendy Volhard and reprinted here with permission of Wendy Volhard. 1996 Wendy Volhard.