Julie Brewer is excited to tell you all about the NEW AKC ATT Title offered… AKC Temperament Test
What is Dog Temperament?
It is defined as “a person’s or animal’s nature as it affects their behavior”. This is their makeup, disposition & personality.
Temperament is an individual’s natural predisposition to react in a certain way to a stimulus. Behaviors related to temperament may be modified over time with exposure and learning. –Burch & Ljungren, 2019
I’m excited about the new AKC Temperament Test (ATT). This test provides an important evaluation of temperament for the individual dog tested. Why is this important? The test can determine if your dog’s temperament is comparable to the standard for that breed.
Why is the AKC ATT test important?
The thought process behind the ATT is that it is prescriptive in nature. This means that we have a good idea of the traits of the dogs tested, where they may have some inhibitions, shyness or fear in some situations or stimuli presented. With this knowledge a dog owner and their companion can work on these issues and with the guidance of a trainer can overcome many of the undesirable behaviors. Not all behaviors can be changed, but this is a good starting point to pinpoint what to work on. A professional dog trainer can help with modifying behaviors.
It is very important at an early age to expose your dog to many sights, surfaces and sounds. A dog who is used to many stimuli in their environment will not have the adverse reaction to it as one that was rarely exposed to them.
The ATT test will cover 6 categories of stimuli:
6. Unexpected stimulus
The Social category will test approaching the dog holding an item such as a backpack, greeting the dog, and then petting the dog with a slight evaluation over the dog with a brief exam.
The Auditory category will test with shaking a plastic bottle with coins, a vacuum cleaner, loud whistle or a bike horn.
The Visual category will test with opening an umbrella, a rolling object such as luggage, streamers on a stick or shaking a hand towel.
The Tactile category will test walking over a wire grate, a plastic tarp, a lattice board on memory foam or a pegboard over an air mattress.
The Proprioceptive category will test walking through a PVC ladder or low bars, intersecting hoops, a low teeter or up and over a low platform.
The Unexpected Stimulus will test the dog with someone approaching carrying a large box or object, dropping a chair nearby, using a walker or crutches to walk by or quickly approaching
wearing unusual clothing such as a large hat or bright raincoat.
AZ Dog Sports is offering a class that will slowly introduce all these categories of stimuli to your dog in a controlled setting. This Versatility/Temperament (ATT) class is offered on Wednesdays at 1pm with Julie Brewer. Julie is an official AKC ATT Evaluator.