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United States Temperament Test Association

365 Boston Post Rd, #241, Sudbury, MA 01776
978/443-8387, fax: 978/443-0183

Established 1975

The USTTA has been temperament testing dogs for over 30 years, using the systems developed in Europe over 70 years ago. We have tested literally thousands of dogs. In the course of this We've helped many thousands of dog owners to better understand their dogs, and, even more important, to improve their breeding programs

Temperament testing is a proven, scientific manner of determining a dog's emotional stability, and how the dog can be expected to react under various social circumstances. The tests, with some modifications as introduced by the USTTA, have been used in much of the world for a number of years. They were introduced into the United States in 1975.

Dogs which are successful in passing the various tests are awarded the title, "TT." All phases of the test must be passed with a score of 70%. A dog need not be purebred. Mixed breeds are tested and certificates awarded.

The temperament test, as administered by the USTTA organization, puts a dog through a series of challenges. All testing is done with the dog on lead under his or her handler's control. At the end of a brief exercise a dog's owner knows more about his dog than he or she ever suspected. A passing score from the USTTA has been admitted into Court as evidence in dog attack cases, and has helped to assure buyers, as well as the breeders from whom they're buying, that the dogs with the coveted "TT" (Temperament Tested) after their names are stable, dependable companions.

The series of tests start with a dog being greeted by a stranger who ignores the dog. The handler is then approached by "friendly" stranger, who makes a fuss over the dog, ignoring the handler. The dog is then exposed, in turn, to unusual noises, gunfire, a strange surface (plastic bag and exercise-pen grating), an umbrella which suddenly snaps open near the dog, and, finally, by a "hostile" stranger, who, from a distance of 10 feet, "threatens" the dog and handler.

While the scoring is breed specific, any dog which shows no fear of the various stimuli, but healthy curiosity, will pass. The total score achieved by the dog depends on how closely his/her reaction to the various tests are consistent with the personality expected of that particular breed

Our association operates two programs that may be of interest to you and to the dog clubs with which you're affiliated. Both programs are fun, meaningful learning experiences that have a profit potential for clubs or individuals choosing to sponsor them.

The first program is to send a USTTA judge to your next match, show, or other event to conduct the tests. All successful dogs receive a lovely certificate, suitable for framing, and the right to use the title, "TT."

The second program we provide is a full or half-day seminar in which individuals learn how to conduct temperament tests, as well as what to look for in their own dogs and breeding programs. Additionally, attendees at the seminar fulfill one of the three requirements for appointment as a USTTA judge. The other two requisites are apprenticing at a minimum of 3 tests, with "hands on" experience, and a written test. Typically, clubs and individuals which sponsor seminars also arrange for a day of testing following the seminar to give attendees a chance to apprentice, and for the additional fund-raising potential.

If you, or your club, would be interested in sponsoring a seminar, and/or a day's testing, we'd like to hear from you. Please call or write if we can provide any further information, or to arrange a date. We'd love to introduce you to temperament testing.


William Burrell, Director