Shepherd's Way

Fearsome Foursome: Temperament Testing


Week 7 is a great time to put the puppies through their paces in some structured evaluations. The first evaluation was a "temperament" test using tasks drawn from some working aptitude tests, the Volhard test, and experience. The evaluation is really a big stress test, providing an opportunity to see how the puppies handle a new environment, new person, and new tasks, without the support of friends & family. Overall, this is a lovely and diverse group -- there were no extreme scores but each pup approached the challenge with a unique personal style; all the pups are sociable, sensitive, and very interested in attention, food, toys & play.

It's always a challenge to summarize the detail in these tests but here is the run down as observed by myself and my three excellent assistants -- Deb Jensen, Jennifer Kuehn, and Juliette Mcmillan. Thank-you ladies for your help!!


Puppy #1 -- Solid 3 (Volhard scoring system)... Honest Dog

Super social and engaging with people; happy, busy, and bold but not hard-headed
Uncomplicated - what you see is what you get; stellar natural retrieve, playful, highly food motivated, excellent nose
Moderately distractible, struggles a bit with patience and impulse control
Wants to be where you are and part of whatever you are doing

Puppy #2 -- 3s and 4s... Sweetheart

Sweet, trusting pup, highly social and adoring
Playful, can be scrappy and mix it up with litter mates but likely to be handler-soft
Natural retrieve & loves to tug, nice natural herding instincts
Observant, biddable, wants you to be her anchor

Puppy #3 -- 3s and 4s... Farm Dog

Super smart, sociable & engaging with children, problem solver with a dash of independence and self-reliance
Very observant, thinks before acting, frequently first to surmount new challenges
Resilient but deferential ~ not a pushy dog and not one to be pushed
Likely to form deep connections and need a well-defined set of rules & responsibilities

Puppy #4 -- Mostly 3s, maybe shading towards a 2 in some areas... High Achiever

Strong presence, intelligent and piercing gaze -- sees and studies everything, sociable and confident
Athletic, assertive, collected, strong prey drive, loves food & tug
Affectionate but not needy, rock solid working partner for someone who is clear, confident and consistent
Capable of focus and intensity, can be scrappy with litter mates when pushed too far


PHOTOS ~ In no particular order: