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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Assessment of Canine Temperament: Predictive or Prescriptive?


Canine temperament testing has historically been linked to the predictability of future behavior. A predictive model of canine temperament testing assumes that a dog’s behavior in one situation will likely be similar to its behavior in a variety of other situations. An alternative model is proposed for a canine temperament test that could identify areas in which a dog might fail to perform certain test items, but by using modern behavior analysis techniques, behaviors could be modified through a prescriptive approach. This article describes the AKC Temperament Test (ATT), which is the first prescriptive canine temperament test. The ATT is designed to provide pet dog owners with information about potential problem areas that can be modified through training.


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