What is a Temperment Class?

Temperament has been defined as an animal’s personality, makeup, disposition, or nature.  A longer definition of temperament is “individual differences in behavior that are biologically based.  “Temperament is not the physical characteristics of a dog, and it is not learned behaviors such as sit, down and stay.  In past several decades, there has been an increase in dog trainer knowledge about behavior. We now know that behavioral procedures can be effectively used to modify behaviors (such as fearful reactions) that may be related to temperament.  Considering that we can change behaviors often related to temperament (such as when a dog refuses to walk on an unfamiliar surface), here is a modern definition of temperament:

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

When you go to a dog show and meet a variety of breeds, you’ll notice that some breeds are cheerful, friendly and outgoing, while others may tend to be more reserved and stoic. What you are looking at when you see these characteristics is temperament.

Welcome to the AKC Temperament Test! There are 198 AKC recognized breeds. One of the things that makes a specific breed unique is not only the dog’s physical appearance, but each breed also has its own distinctive temperament.  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:

  • Social
  • Auditory
  • Visual Tactile
  • Proprioceptive(motion)
  • Unexpected stimulus

The ATT is a Pass/Fail non-competitive test.  All dogs who pass the ATT twice under 2 different approved ATT Evaluators may earn the AKC Temperment Test title.  Anything’s PAWSable can help you prepare to take the test and earn your ATT title.

Price:  $160/4 class of 1 hr each                               This is offered by request, so please reach out to me if you are interested

Why Train With Anything’s PAWSable?

Why Hire a Certified Positive Reinforcement Trainer?
The professional dog training industry is widely unregulated. This means anyone can jump in and call themselves a dog trainer without having actually studied training methods and their effects, canine psychology and the science of how learning in the animal’s brain actually takes place. More than being ineffective, an uneducated “dog trainer” can inflict irreparable damage to a dog’s behavior & trust of humans. When hiring a dog trainer with certifications, you’re getting peace of mind knowing they’ve been vetted by an objective, third-party certifying body such as the CCPDT. Additionally, dog trainers who want to keep their accreditations must regularly attend continuing education workshops & education events to stay up-to-speed with science-based modern dog training techniques.