Temperament Testing for Service Dogs

Prior to being trained as a service dog, all dogs must go through a “Temperament Test” to determine if the dog has the correct disposition to become a service dog. If you are wondering if your personal pet would make a good service dog, here is a great “Temperament Test” to try. If your dog passes with flying colors then it may be a candidate for service dog training.

AKC Temperament Test

AKC Temperament Test

The AKC Temperament Test (ATT) was developed to bring focus and provide a meaningful evaluation to assess the temperament of our canine companions.

The ATT tests how a dog reacts to a variety of stimuli. Desirable traits are that the dog will be emotionally stable, inquisitive, cooperative, appropriately social for its breed, biddable, and demonstrates the ability to recover from a startling situation in a reasonable amount of time.

Undesirable traits are fear, shyness, lack of cooperation, and an inability to recover from unfamiliar or unexpected situations. Examples of undesirable behaviors include being afraid of friendly strangers or unfamiliar stimuli, obsessive barking, and aggression.

In the ATT, dogs are tested in 6 categories of stimuli that include:

  1. Social
  2. Auditory
  3. Visual
  4. Tactile
  5. Proprioceptive (motion)
  6. Unexpected stimulus