NKC Good Canine
Temperament Testing 1 & 2
The National Kennel Club has implemented a Canine Good Temperament Testing Program. The purpose of the NKCGTT1 & NKCGTT2 Program is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected member of the community. To receive the NKCGTT1 certificate, dogs take the 10 section GTT1 Test, and to receive the NKCGTT2 certificate, dogs take the 7 section GTT2 Test. To be awarded either of the NKCGTT Awards, dogs must past every every section of the test, IF they fail any section they will fail the entire test and will have to retake the test at a later date. GTT tests will be given at sanctioned NKC events and the hosts of those events will advertise if testing will be available. To view the guidelines for the NKCGTT1 and for NKCGTT2.
National Kennel Club Good Temperament Testing 1
Section 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog.
The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.
Section 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
Section 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomed or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility.
The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot.
It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.
Section 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.
The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.
Section 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.
Section 6: Sit and down on command – staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers).
Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance.
When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.
Section 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.
Section 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of 20 to 30 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.
Section 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane.
The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.
Section 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.
All tests must be performed on leash. Dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, etc. are not permitted in the GTT test. We recognize that special training collars may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the GTT test at the point at which they are transitioned to regular collars.
The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring written proof of rabies vaccines and the dog’s brush or comb to the test.
Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.
Failures – Dismissals
Any dog that does not pass any one of the above 10 Sections or eliminates during testing will be marked as failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in Section 10, but only when Section 10 is held outdoors.
Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.
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National Kennel Club Good Temperament Testing 2
The NKC – GTT 2 is designed to evaluate individual canines in order to determine whether that dog shows the proper characteristics of working canine temperament.
Because of breed-specific dog legislation and negative publicity associated with many breeds of dogs, temperament testing has assumed an important role for today’s dog owner. The NKC GTT 2 provides breeders a means for evaluating temperament and gives pet owners insight into their dog’s behavior. It can have an impact on breeding programs and in educating owners about their dog’s behavioral strengths and weaknesses as well as providing a positive influence on dog legislation.
The NKC – GTT 2 focuses on and measures different aspects of temperament such as stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness as well as the dog’s instinct for protectiveness towards its handler and/or self-preservation in the face of a threat. The test is designed for the betterment of all breeds of dogs and takes into consideration each breed’s inherent tendencies.
The test simulates a casual walk through the park or neighborhood where everyday life situations are encountered. During this walk, the dog experiences visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Neutral, friendly and threatening situations are encountered, calling into play the dog’s ability to distinguish between non-threatening situations and those calling for watchful and protective reactions.
The decoy/trainer can only determine the temperament of any individual dog on the day the test is given and is not certifying future temperament potential (due to environmental and/or training factors).
The dog must be at least 12 months of age to be evaluated. This evaluation is done with the dog on a fur-saver collar. Corrections are not to be given during this evaluation. Corrections will result in the failure of the dog.
- This degree is earned on a pass/fail basis and is judged on the following factors:
- The ability of the dog to distinguish threatening situations from non-threatening situations
- The willingness of the dog to trust their owner’s judgment.
- The willingness of the dog to protect himself and his owner.
- The confidence level of the dog in unusual situations.
- The ability of the dog to interact with the world in a safe and stable manner.
- If a dog fails any part of the 7 Section Test, it will fail the entire test.
A. Dog and handler walk along track casually. Stranger approaches handler and shakes his hand and engages in light, brief conversation. Stranger leaves. [Dog must display either neutral or friendly reaction]
B. Dog and handler continue along their walk. Different stranger approaches in a very happy and upbeat manner. Stranger enthusiastically interacts with dog, petting him and speaking directly to him. [Dog must display either neutral or friendly reaction.]
A. Dog and handler continue to walk casually along track. Assistant lightly tosses plastic milk jug filled with pebbles ten feet in front of handler and dog. [Dog must display an inquisitive reaction without fear or aggression.]
A. Dog and handler continue to walk along track. At a distance of 20 paces behind the team, Assistant fires 22-calibur starter pistol. [Dog must display inquisitive or indifferent reaction without fear or aggression.]
A. Dog and handler approach Assistant holding a folded umbrella. When team is between 5-6 feet away, Assistant opens umbrella. [Dog may display a startled reaction but must recover immediately without any excessive display of aggression.]
A. Dog and handler continue to walk along track. The footing changes. Dog and handler must walk a 20 x 6 foot length of clear plastic (tarp or drop-cloth type). [Dog must trust owner’s direction and quickly recover from any initial fear the dog displayed.]
B. Dog and handler must continue off plastic and directly on to a 10 foot length of unrolled chain-link fencing (no less than 3 foot wide). [Dog must trust owner’s direction and quickly recover from any initial fear the dog displayed.]
A. Dog and handler continue along track. Assistant approaches on bicycle from behind and passes ringing bell. [Dog must be neutral.]
Dog and handler continue along track, stopping at designated marker. At a distance of 40 feet ahead, Assistant crosses path wearing a raincoat and hood. [Dog must show an alert posture for situation.]
Assistant proceeds 15 feet toward the dog and handler, approaching in a suspicious manner (unusual gait, low pitched and angry muttering). [Dog must show willingness to protect in situation.]
Assistant proceeds another ten feet toward dog, this time in a very threatening and aggressive manner. [Any display of cowardice will result in failure.]