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Temperament Test Guidelines for Handlers

Do not hurry the dog through the test; it is not a time test to see who gets through the fastest. Dogs must be kept on a loose lead throughout the test.


Neutral Stranger: This test is to simulate a typical street situation. The stranger will carry on a conversation with you, but will not make overtures to the dog.


Friendly Stranger: The stranger will make overtures to the dog and will touch the dog and hander as well.


Can-rattling: After the rattling begins, the dog is allowed to approach the blind to investigate the source of the noise. DO NOT ALLOW male dogs to urinate on the blind. As the dog comes around the blind to discover the source of the noise and investigate the can, the dog is given 20 seconds to make a close inspection. DOB MAY BE ENCOURAGED by the handler, using phrases like “what’s that?” or “find it”.


Gun Test: Upon completion of the can-rattling test, move approximately 15’ beyond the next assistant who will shoot the gun. The spot will be marked on the course. Handler and dog will the stop facing away from the shooter. The handler stands with the dog in either a standing or a sitting position (no commands are to be given to the dog). If the dog turns and/or moves toward the sound when the gun is shot, the handler may follow. The dog may be encouraged as in the can-rattling test.


Umbrella Test: Handler and dog proceed toward the assistant sitting in a low chair directly in the dog’s path, but facing g90 degrees to the side. When the dog is 9’ from the tip of the umbrella, the assistant will raise it; and when the dog is about 3’ (no closer) from the tip of the umbrella, it will be opened directly toward the dog. The open umbrella is then lowered and rested on the ground while the assistant retains the handle in his hand. He dog is allowed to move forward (with encouragement if necessary) to investigate the umbrella.


Footing Test: Handler and dog approach a strip of polyethylene approximately 15’ long and 4’ wide. With the dog on a loose lead, they proceed directly along the length of this change of footing. Handler and dog proceed across at least a 10’ wide aisle of normal footing and proceed directly across an exercise pen laid flat on the ground. They move along the length of the pen, not the width.


Self-protective/Aggressive Reaction:

  • Handler and dog proceed downwind toward the hidden Tester. The handler ceases to move forward as soon as Tester comes into view and staggers across the dog’s path.
  • Tester will then turn toward the dog and slowly advance. If the dog exhibits a positive reaction, continues with Part C. THE HANDLER WILL REMAIN STATIONARY.
  • The Tester then becomes threatening. When positive reaction is forthcoming, the Tester should back off in a furtive manner.

NO CONTACT IS TO BE MADE BETWEEN DOG AND TESTER.FOR ALL PARTS OF THIS EXERCISE, THE HANDLER MUST NOT ALLOW THE DOG TO ADVANCE BEYOND LEASH LENGTH OF THE HANDLER’S STOPPING POINT. Pressure on the dog’s collar should not be in the form of a sudden jerk.