For the Breeder/Evaluator. Need to print out some worksheets to test a litter of puppies? Click here for a copy of the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test or click here for a copy of the Barrett Puppy Evaluation.
WHAT IS PUPPY TESTING?
Puppy aptitude and temperament tests use were developed as long ago as the 1930s for dogs bred to become Guide Dogs. In the 1950s, using children’s learning stages as a baseline, studies on puppies were done to determine how quickly they learned. In the 19602, additional tests were developed to determine if puppies could be tested for dominance and submission. It was determined that future behavioral traits of adult dogs could be predicted in puppies at 49 days of age. The Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test was subsequently developed and is still used today by many breeders. Barrett Weimaraners takes it one step further: We use the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test as a core element of the Barrett Puppy Evaluation. To obtain better data on the Weimaraners we produce within our breeding program, our evaluation method also includes prey drive and structure/conformation.
Elements: The Barrett Puppy Evaluation includes three elements: aptitude, prey drive, and structure/conformation.
Method: The following ground rules apply for each element of the puppy evaluation:
- Tester and scorer should be an unknown/unfamiliar person to the puppies
- Location must be unfamiliar to the puppies, preferably a 20×20 space
- Puppies are tested one at a time
- No other dogs or people should be in the testing area
- Puppies should be awake, alert, and healthy
- Puppies should not be fed prior to testing
- Puppies should not be tested within 24 hours of being vaccinated
The below is a summary of what your Weimaraner puppy’s Volhard Aptitude Test score means:
Mostly 1’s – This puppy has a “look at me!!!” attitude and has the potential to be a handful. This dog may is likely to be the alpha, pack leader, is vocal, pushy, and mouthy. Only the most experienced Weimaraner or other working or sporting dog homes should have this type of dog. Firm, consistent and regular training is mandatory. Mouthy puppies are not recommended for inexperienced homes, or those with small children or small animals. If this dog was a character in a movie, he would be Hannibal Lector. As another animal, he would be a tiger. Barrett dogs that are # 1s include Blaise Pascal, Stark, Cowboy, and Baja:
Mostly 2’s – This puppy is similar to the “look at me” puppy but is not as mouthy or vocal. Only the most experienced Weimaraner or other working or sporting dog homes should have this type of dog. If this dog was a character in a movie, he would be The Joker. As another animal, he would be a cheetah. Barrett dogs that are # 2s include Steven, Boulder, Gracie, and Stevie Nicks:
Mostly 3’s – This puppy is generally “happy and cheerful” and a great candidate for the first- or second- time Weimaraner or other working or sporting dog home who is looking for more of an active companion. This is the dog that will happily go anywhere you go, and will happily do anything you do. This dog is also likely to be good with people and other animals. If this dog was a character in a movie, he would be Will Ferrell in Elf. As another animal, he would be a monkey. Barrett dogs that are # 3s include Sookie, Luna, and Bliss:
Mostly 4’s – This puppy is the “go along get along” kind of puppy, and is a great candidate for the first-time Weimaraner or other working or sporting dog home. If this dog was a character, he would be Winnie the Pooh. As another animal, he would be a (teddy) bear. Barrett dogs that are #4s include Jynni and Mango:
Mostly 5’s – This puppy is “sensitive and introverted.” He may also be independent, and cop an attitude if he’s not into what you’re into. He tends to be very loyal to those in his family, but downright suspicious of those who are not. This dog would do best in a quiet home with not a lot of activity. In a movie, this dog would be Rain Man. As another animal, he would be a house cat. Barrett dogs that are #5s are Friday, Avery, and Josie:
Mostly 6’s – This puppy is the extreme version of “sensitive and introverted.” Think Eeyore. or Walter White. Take ’em or leave ’em. But don’t think you can change them. We’ve never produced a # 6.
As you can see, Volhard scores do not correlate to show, hunt, or pet dogs. Pets can be a # 1 just as much as they can be a # 5. (We’ve never had a # 6.) So can field trial dogs, or show dogs. Along those lines, the right home for a # 2 dog is not the right home for a # 4 dog, and so on. Please contact me with any specific questions you may have about temperament testing. Thanks! – Kim