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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an actual temperament test that is done by an animal shelter to test whether dogs may be put up for adoption or not. Honestly, how many of our dogs would pass?! :eek: 8-[

The TT consists of 8 "stations".

The dog is judged on its reaction at each station (or lack of reaction), and if it startles, how long it takes the dog to recover, and after it recovers, is it willing to investigate the thing that startled it.

At no time during the test is the handler allowed to say the dogs name or talk to the dog. They are allowed to encourage the dog to investigate the umbrella (station 5) and noise maker (station 3) but can not speak directly to the dog when doing this.

Instead, they must say things like, "what a nice umbrella, pretty bucket of rocks". The dog is on a 6 foot leash, with the handler holding the end only (except for the footing tests, the handler can shorten the leash to help guide the dog over the footing). If a dog fails one test (or sub-test) then it fails the entire TT.

Station 1 - Neutral Stranger Dog and handler are approached by a neutral stranger who stops and talks to the handler for a moment, ignoring the dog. The dog is graded on its response to the stranger.

Station 2 - Friendly Stranger Dog and handler are approached by a friendly stranger who stops and talks to the handler for a moment, making friendly advances towards the dog. The dog is graded on its response to the stranger.

Station 3 - Hidden Noise The dog and handler walk towards a blind that has a person hidden in it. The person in the blind shakes a bucket with bolts/rocks in it then steps out of the blind, puts the object down, and retreats back into the blind. The dogs is graded on its reaction to the noise, and willingness to investigate.

Station 4 - Gunshots The dog and handler stand about 10 feet from a blind that has a person hidden in it. The handler has their back to the blind. The person in the blind fires a starter pistol once. Then after a pause, fires the pistol two more times. The dogs is graded on its reaction to the noise.

Station 5 - Umbrella The dog and handler walk towards a person sitting in a chair. When they are about 5 feet from the tester, the tester opens an umbrella (dog and handler continue to walk forward). The dog is graded on its reaction, recovery time, and willingness to investigate. It must be willing to get within a few inches of the umbrella to pass.

Station 6- Plastic Surface The dog and handler walk across a plastic surface (tarp on the ground). The dog is graded on its reaction to the surface and willingness to walk across it.

Station 7- X-Pen The dog walks across an x-pen laid out on the ground. The dog is graded on its reaction to the surface and willingness to walk across it.

Station 8 - Weird Stranger A stranger comes out of a blind and approaches from approx. 40 feet away, dressed in lots of baggy clothes and acting drunk, reeling around and making weird noises. When the stranger is approx. 30 feet away, they begin to act more aggressive, hitting the ground with a stick or riding crop and making more noise. When they are approx. 20 feet away, they retreat back to the blind. The dog is graded on its reaction to the stranger.
 

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That looks close to the ATTS test.

The scoring of THAT test allows for some variation due to breed - for example the threatening stranger response.

"The stranger is never closer than 10 feet from the dog. The handler's 2 foot arm and the 6' lead is added in for a total of 18 feet. Aggression here is checked against the breed standard and the dog's training. A schutzhund trained dog lunging at the stranger is allowed, but if an untrained Siberian husky does the same, it may fail"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That IS the ATT test, according to the shelter, but they didn't give any information about how each station was 'graded.'

How are they going to know whether a dog has had SchH (or similar) training, unless it's an owner turn-in and the owner specifically tells them? I'm glad there is some variance due to breed and all, but I'd say most shelters are not going to let a lunging, barking, aggressive dog pass. :(
 

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Al Curbow said:
Kristen, are you saying that a dog shelter uses a gunfire test on pet dogs? No way i'm buyin that a rescue does all this,

AL
Yes, what shelter IS this? :lol: It sure isn't any shelter around here, none of which use (or even have) a blind, a starter's pistol, or a riding crop in the pet adoption TT.

This test:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_Temperament.php#s4
is pretty much what I have seen done in shelters.
 

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Al Curbow said:
Kristen, are you saying that a dog shelter uses a gunfire test on pet dogs? No way i'm buyin that a rescue does all this,

AL
The stray dogs in my area hear gunfire all the time. No biggie! :lol: :lol: :wink:
 

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Bob Scott said:
Al Curbow said:
Kristen, are you saying that a dog shelter uses a gunfire test on pet dogs? No way i'm buyin that a rescue does all this,

AL
The stray dogs in my area hear gunfire all the time. No biggie! :lol: :lol: :wink:
Well, then, Bob, if you have a blind and a riding crop, you're all set to do TTs for your local shelter!
 

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I'm in charge of club equiptment so I've got portable blinds, whips (no idea where the patent leather one came from :eek: ) and lots of wierd strangers here.
I'm ready! :lol: :lol: :wink:
 

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This reminds me of back on Leerburg how Will Rambeau made fun of me for wanting to know which kind of agitation whip to order for hubby. 'Twas purely for helper work, I swear! :oops: :D 8)

Anyways, Connie, yeah, you're pretty much right on with that link. Some do even less. I almost bought one of Sue Sternberg's assess a hands at the APDT conference, but then I figured I could probably make one for less. Then again, I only feed my fosters in the crate so they associate good things with it.
 

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I'm not quite 100% on the tests I've seen. If anyone watches animal precinct or anything like that on animal planet, you know they immediately put down dogs that are food aggressive. I think this may be in fact to the lack of knowledge/time on the evaluators part. This is an EASILY solved problem, and I don't think a dog with a great temperament otherwise should be put down just for that. Given time in the proper environment (a shelter is NOT one, IMO) a dog can improve with correct handling and leadership. I also don't like the breed-specific problems I've seen. Here's an example of what I'm talking about: A Labarador Retriever mix and a Pit Bull both come into the shelter from the same home. They are a cruelty case, and both have mange and intestinal parasites. Neither have heartworm, and both have good temperaments. The Lab recieves treatment for the mange and parasites and soon goes to a good home. The Pit bull, being such, is put to sleep due to his breed.
I've seen this exact scenario happen locally. I think I should just buy like, 15 acres, put up kennels, and make a rescue for such dogs. Shelters will give such dogs to rescues as long as they are accredited or a non-profit. :roll:
 

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The food aggression thing is purely a liability issue for the shelters; adopting out a dog that has a known aggression problem that they have elicited, even if trainable, makes them vunerable to a big fat lawsuit, and on reasonably justifiable grounds, IMHO. They just can't take the risk of little Bobby's face being torn off because the Smith family wasn't able to maintain a training program for food aggression.

At least the death is swift, in the well run shelters.

I can't watch Animal Cops anymore; my stomach knots every time I see the snarl over the bowl.
 

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Sarah Hall said:
I also don't like the breed-specific problems I've seen. Here's an example of what I'm talking about: A Labarador Retriever mix and a Pit Bull both come into the shelter from the same home. They are a cruelty case, and both have mange and intestinal parasites. Neither have heartworm, and both have good temperaments. The Lab recieves treatment for the mange and parasites and soon goes to a good home. The Pit bull, being such, is put to sleep due to his breed.
I've seen this exact scenario happen locally. I think I should just buy like, 15 acres, put up kennels, and make a rescue for such dogs. Shelters will give such dogs to rescues as long as they are accredited or a non-profit. :roll:
Yeah, it's absolutely not fair, but if a dog is large and black, down it goes even if it has a fairly decent personality, sometimes right after the turnover time is up. People for some reason just have this spooky thing about black dogs. That's why the yellow labs tend to get adopted over the black labs. Not to mention I foster working and herding breed mixes (I have a VERY cool female border collie foster who is INSANE on playing two ball and who has good obedience...anyone interested? :D ) and no one else wants to. They like doing the little beagles and little terriers. The pit bulls in our shelter are not even put up for adoption. They are euthanized immediately after their turnover. Not fair, but yeah. :-( So yes, if you have the resources to take those big problem dogs, GO FOR IT. Please!! But I'd expect to get overwhelmed pretty fast unfortunately. Maybe volunteer to foster difficult cases for your local shelter or check if there's a nearby GSD rescue or whatever. The local GSD rescue in town is really try to get me to help them, even though I'm already booked up with the shelter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok I clarified with the shelter I got this from and they don't actually do ALL of these things with their adoptable dogs, but they offer it in its entirety as a test for new adopters to do with their dogs to earn a certificate. :oops: They DO do several of these as part of their temperament test on adoptable dogs, though.


I don't like watching the Animal Cops shows either. I mean, c'mon! You rescue a dog that had been starving on the end of a chain, give it food, and stick a plastic hand in its face and expect it not to react? That's really unfair.
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
I don't like watching the Animal Cops shows either. I mean, c'mon! You rescue a dog that had been starving on the end of a chain, give it food, and stick a plastic hand in its face and expect it not to react? That's really unfair.
Just about as unfair as the dog who doesn't have a mean bone in its body who gets dumped at the shelter because its owners couldn't decide on custody due to a divorce and so it gets put down because it's a 5 year old "senior" dog and therefore less adoptable than a puppy or young dog. :( :roll: Way too many otherwise decent dogs get PTS for no reason other than just human inconvenience. Let alone those that snap at the assess a hand. That's exactly why I intentionally foster bigger dogs like shepherds, Rotts, huskies, that otherwise would get put down just because they are big and/or black. People...ugh! :evil:
 

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X-pen = portable exercise pen. Usually six sections, 2x3 each, that is seen by the gajillions at dog shows.
For temperment testing they are laid flat on the ground and the dog has to walk over it without spooking.
A section of chainlink fence could be used the same way.
 
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