Frequently Asked Questions

about American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS)

1. How do I find out about scheduled tests?

Write or call:
American Temperament Test Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 502268
Indianapolis, IN 46250-2268
317-537-2749
Note: The telephone is connected to a 24-hour answering machine to take your calls at any time.

Subscribe to the K9EVENTS e-mail list on the internet, or check the Upcoming Tests section of this web site (http://www.atts.org/).

2. What is the entry fee?

ATTS’ suggested entry fee is $30.00 per dog. However, clubs are allowed higher fees due to expenses involved in holding the test such as rental fees for test grounds.

3. Who may enter an ATTS temperament test?

  • All pure-bred dogs
  • All spayed or neutered mixed-breed dogs.
  • Mixed-breed dogs which are not spayed or neutered may enter and be tested but WILL NOT receive a certificate.

4. What is the minimum age at which a dog may be tested?

Minimum testing age is 18 months.

5. What equipment do I need for my dog to enter a temperament test?

  • A slip collar.
  • A six-foot leash.

6. What, if any, preparation does my dog need?

No special preparation or training beyond normal socialization and exposure to normal living is necessary.

7. What is required on the entry form?

  • All information on the entry form must be filled out.
  • The entry form must be signed.
  • The entry form must contain BOTH front and back to be valid.
  • Entry fee payable to the host club must accompany the entry.
  • Information on the entry form MUST be legible.

8. To whom should entry form be sent?
Send entry form to the host club or organization.

9. When may I expect to receive dog’s certificate?

  • Due to heavy volume, certificates are issued within 10 to 12 weeks after test results are received at ATTS headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Certificate errors due to illegible information on the entry form as submitted require a $10.00 correction fee.
  • Failure of an entry fee check to clear will result in withholding of the certificate until proof of payment is submitted.

10. May I retest my dog?

  • A dog may be retested after a 5-month waiting period.
  • A dog may attempt the temperament test only twice.
  • Retest of any dog requires full entry fee.
  • ATTS may on rare occasions request a retest of a dog. This requires no entry fee.

11. How have you ensured that no one breed is being discriminated against?

There are three evaluators assigned to each ATTS Temperament Test, including one Chief Tester. Each Chief Tester has undergone several years of training and has passed two examinations in addition to having fulfilled other requirements, i.e. worked as subtest station worker, evaluated the required number of dogs, worked as Test Secretary or Test Organizer. All breeds are treated the same and we do not advocate one breed over another.

12. Where do funds come from and how do you ensure those funds do not apply any pressure towards the outcome of the tests?

The funds we receive are from the entry fees paid for each dog taking the test. There is no outside funding. Each Chief Tester receives their expenses in getting to the test and a small stipend for each test he/she officiates, regardless of the number of dogs tested or the breeds involved.

13. Why do some hosting organizations charge more than others?

There is a basic ATTS entry fee on the entry form. Additional charges must be clearly indicated on the flyer each participant receives. These, for example, could be for rental of the testing area, local permits, or fund raising for the SPCA. Please check with the host organization for any extra fees.

14. As an evaluator for ATTS, many people ask me what it costs and can the host organization make a profit. How can I get this information?

You have to be a current evaluator with a paid up registration. Send an e-mail to info@atts.org with your name and address. We will verify your status and e-mail you the information unless you wish to have it mailed to you via USPS.

15. Do I get the scores back and how are they interpreted?

You will receive a copy of the entry form from ATTS with the averaged score from the three testers at the bottom. Each dog starts with a 5 on each subtest, with positive response raising the score and negative response lowering it. Most dogs score in the 4-6 range. Failure is a 0 on any subtest given by at least two of the three evaluators. Remember the score is dependent on the conditions at the time of the test (weather, dog’s health and nervousness, human’s health and nervousness, etc.). Comparing scores with other dogs is not a good idea. Also the total score has no meaning. Theoretically, a dog may pass with a score of 10, or fail with a score of 90. Each subtest stands on its own merits.