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As an AKC CGC evaluator I received an email this morning about a new program being offered called the ATT (AKC Temperament Test) which will be a titling program. Here is a link to information about what the program is going to be like. https://www.akc.org/akctemptest/?ut...190827_jud_att-announcement-judges-evaluators


I am interested to know whether any of you would do this testing and if not why not. ATT evaluators have to do a certification program that involves online education and testing. They must already be AKC rally and/or obedience judges and/or CGC evaluators. This is definitely a step up from a CGC test.
 

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I’m not interested because I take my dog to many places: running errands, training in different clubs, competitions in several locations including scent work competition in a local university. I know her temperament well because she has been in such a wide variety of situations.

Temperament testing in puppies is very helpful in finding the right puppy to meet the needs of prospective owners but this isn’t testing puppies.

Both of my clubs have had Temperament testing by American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS). We didn’t take the test when it’s been offered. It looks like AKC is copying their concept.
https://atts.org/tt-test-description/

I’m not sure who would be interested in this. Seems odd to make it a title when you can’t train for some of these things.
 

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Watched the video, and no, I won't be taking this test. Because, there's no circumstance in the real world where I would allow someone to shake a gallon container with pennies in it at my dog. Also, this happens in a training ring. The last thing I want my dog being startled in a training ring. Especially during an about turn, which is one of the hardest parts of the heeling pattern for us as a team.

Drop a glass container in a metal garbage can yes, repeatedly shaking pennies in a container, no. It's my job to protect Noelle from scary things, and that's a scary thing, not just a loud thing.
 

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I am not sure I understand the purpose - is a dog that does not exhibit the exact "temperament" defined for her breed somehow less a member of that breed? I can see the point of gentle temperament testing to identify areas that need remedial support, but that is something I would expect any good professional dog training instructor to be able to observe. I can also see why it is sensible to test a dog to ensure it will be happy fulfilling a certain role. But temperament as a title, or as a measure of breed compliance? Disentangling innate from learned responses? Ummmm...

I would not do anything that might unnecessarily startle or upset my dogs - especially if, as Click says, it was in a place where I needed them to be relaxed and confident. I know their temperaments inside out - I live with them, observe them, walk with them, think with them. No, I cannot see myself ever wanting to put them through a test like this.
 

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I am not sure I understand the purpose - is a dog that does not exhibit the exact "temperament" defined for her breed somehow less a member of that breed? I can see the point of gentle temperament testing to identify areas that need remedial support, but that is something I would expect any good professional dog training instructor to be able to observe. I can also see why it is sensible to test a dog to ensure it will be happy fulfilling a certain role. But temperament as a title, or as a measure of breed compliance? Disentangling innate from learned responses? Ummmm...

I would not do anything that might unnecessarily startle or upset my dogs - especially if, as Click says, it was in a place where I needed them to be relaxed and confident. I know their temperaments inside out - I live with them, observe them, walk with them, think with them. No, I cannot see myself ever wanting to put them through a test like this.
 

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"Undesirable traits are fear..."

Think about that. Really, really think about that. Fear is not an undesirable trait. Fear is required for survival. Fear is what keeps you from stepping off a cliff. Fear is what keeps you from approaching a stranger in a dark parking lot. Fear keeps you alive. It's one of the most desirable traits you can have as a living creature. Reacting to startling stimuli with fear is normal. Loud sounds and danger are often linked. It's normal to be afraid at a sudden loud sound, especially if you cannot comprehend the source. I fundamentally disagree with fear being negative.

Right now at my house, roofers are putting on a new roof. My house is being shaken and rattled by sounds my dogs cannot comprehend. I know why there's all this banging. I know why there are strangers thumping around. My dogs do not know why. Is it a temperament flaw that makes them bark and jump when a container of shingles gets thudded on the roof? Or a normal reaction to weird stimuli?

How does shaking a container of pennies test just a reaction to sound? It could also be a reaction to a large unknown object moving up and down like a swung hammer. Testing a reaction to sound would require a speaker without a human source. Or, just come over to my house and listen to pneumatic hammers and stomping roofers. Heck, I know what they are doing and I'm rattled! Noelle, Francis and the kitties are doing the best they can.
 

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I watched the video and read more. OMG I’m not stepping into that ring. I agree with Click.

Some of the things tested are part of the CGC testing (part in the more advanced ACGC and UCGC). In the context of CGC testing, having someone walk by using a walker or dressed oddly makes sense. Strangers petting a dog and being able to greet someone with your dog calmly at your side are functional behaviors you can train and expose your dog to in a positive manner. Some of the textures and movement are trained and tested in agility.

But trying to elicit fear in the ring is not my cut of tea.

Comparing your dogs result to the breed temperament is silly. There’s always a range of temperament and the ones listed by each breed are not scientific based, they are just what the people who wrote the standard years ago entered without any great consideration that in the future dogs would be tested against that standard.
 

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Thank you all for your thoughts. I frankly agree with most of what you all have said. We have an opportunity to ask questions about the program and I do have questions. I may do the certification since I can do it now for no fee, but unless the points you all have thoughtfully raised here are answered with some changes I would never offer the test.
 

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Thank you all for your thoughts. I frankly agree with most of what you all have said. We have an opportunity to ask questions about the program and I do have questions. I may do the certification since I can do it now for no fee, but unless the points you all have thoughtfully raised here are answered with some changes I would never offer the test.
I'm glad you can see my concerns. On the surface, it sounds awesome, but dig a little deeper and you see how this test could screw up a perfectly good performance dog. There are signs on the floor and Noelle would recognize that as a rally course. We've practiced ring entry skills. Over and over, go in the ring, ignore the nice person with the clipboard. Temperament test, judge says hi and gives out loving? Might as well hit the ring entry behavior undo button. Add the loud pennies and whistle and we're retraining the ring is a safe fun place.

There's a judge that I really like near me. He has rally courses that are all designed for speed with a solid grasp of rally ring feng shui. No back up three steps, either, because he doesn't like that sign. Most of the signs are Noelle's favorites and we score well under him. I love showing to this judge.

Except... Except he is on your six the entire time in the ring. He follows so closely that it completely freaked out my friend's novice dog and poor Mamie melted down. Noelle is able to ignore a close following judge. But, I think if she was frightened by shaking pennies in the ring, she would worry that would happen during a trial. And with this judge following so closely, it could knock Noelle's training back months. It might even undo her. I don't want to set my dog up to fail and I can see how this test risks a lot of hard work on my end.

If you get a chance to raise my concerns, I would appreciate that more than you know.
 

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I didn't want to create any bias to you all looking and deciding for yourselves by saying I had a skeptical view myself before you looked at the linked materials. I don't think any of my dogs would pass, nor would I particularly want them to be able to do so, but as with many things the original is not the finished product. I wish they had surveyed the audience of potential evaluators before they announced this to the world.
 
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I am familiar with the ATTS test, but I haven't seen a video of the AKC test--does anyone have one? I would not rule it out for my dogs. They are pretty bombproof in most public situations, so I don't think it would damage them to put them through the test. My friend did the ATTS test with a couple of her dogs who also compete in rally and they didn't have any problem confusing the two. However, I also see it as another money maker for AKC, and I'm kind of tired of spending tons of money on titles.
 

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I didn't want to create any bias to you all looking and deciding for yourselves by saying I had a skeptical view myself before you looked at the linked materials. I don't think any of my dogs would pass, nor would I particularly want them to be able to do so, but as with many things the original is not the finished product. I wish they had surveyed the audience of potential evaluators before they announced this to the world.
I was at an AKC judges seminar for ScentWork. They made the most onerous changes to the buried element. The clubs must use these large containers of sand and since the scent can be buried 6 inches, that’s a huge amount of sand when you add up all the containers of sand required in a trial. And the sand is considered “contaminated with essential oils” so you can’t easily dump it. Considering our last trial was at a local university, and they used much smaller containers and had to pay a landscaper with a heavy duty truck to transport the sand back and forth. Then they added buried in water that requires a huge volume of water, I mean how many gallon jugs of water can our mostly retired woman carry for a very long and tiring trial. And again “contaminated with essential oils” so you can’t dump anywhere. They made the rules and told us they won’t be changing them for a while since they just changed them.
 

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I am familiar with the ATTS test, but I haven't seen a video of the AKC test--does anyone have one? I would not rule it out for my dogs. They are pretty bombproof in most public situations, so I don't think it would damage them to put them through the test. My friend did the ATTS test with a couple of her dogs who also compete in rally and they didn't have any problem confusing the two. However, I also see it as another money maker for AKC, and I'm kind of tired of spending tons of money on titles.
https://jwp.io/s/d4u9fsgl This is the video. It was a link from this page https://www.akc.org/akctemptest/evaluators/

I feel the same way about things like farm dog testing. My friend had her dog tested for the easy title and was encouraging me. My dog loves to visit my daughters farm, I don’t need to pay someone when I know she’s capable. I prefer to participate in dog sports that requires training.
 

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Thank you for posting that for me, Skylar. Yeah, I think I'll probably pass! It is similar to the Pet Partners Therapy Dog test with one MAJOR difference--PP lets you talk to your dog and support your dog throughout the test! I wouldn't want to just ignore my dog and let them recover on their own. Not my philosophy at all. Also, I see what y'all are talking about with it being in a rally ring. The American TT is outdoors so it's totally different, and way less stressful for the dogs.
 

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The signs on the floor do look like rally signs to a dog. Noelle would be completely confused by this. I watched the video again. The example dog is clearly frightened of the pennies, doesn't like the whistle, and the hand held vacuum was scary, too. Is that a reaction to sound? Or a reaction to deliberately cruel behavior?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Skylar that is interesting that the scent work people's responses about the difficulties imposed on those buried finds was essentially tough, don't hold your breath waiting for us to change it again. In obedience and in rally changes were made and then new changes were made in less than a year based on the actual outcomes of the first changes. There were changes made to the rally point schedule and a few signs and in open changes were made in the stay get your leash part of the routine.


I am getting ready for the start of the fall semester (on 9/3) so I don't know that I will get to pursue our concerns before then, but I really appreciate your comments and agree with nearly all that has been said.
 
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