my temper is worse than my pit bull.

and perhaps your dog’s is, too.

after my outing with houston pit bulls and bully breeds, whose purpose is to show the public how well-behaved and safe pit bulls are when raised responsibly, i realized it might be interesting to share the temperament scores of the more recognizable and popular breeds of dogs compared to pit bulls.

the following information is sourced from, the home page of  The American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS). according to its website, it is “a national not-for-profit organization for the promotion of uniform temperament evaluation of purebred and spayed/neutered mixed-breed dogs”.

here is a description from ATTS regarding how the test is set up, administered, and why:

ATTS is the only non-profit organization that gives the TT (Temperament Tested) title for a dog. The TT, our logo and test procedures are copyrighted. The test is for all breeds and it is uniform throughout the country.

The ATTS Temperament Test 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 simulates a casual walk through a 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.

Dogs must be at least 18 months old to enter this test. The test takes about eight to 12 minutes to complete. The dog is on a loose six-foot (6′) lead. The handler is not allowed to talk to the dog, give commands, or give corrections.

Failure on any part of the test is recognized when a dog shows:

* Unprovoked aggression

* Panic without recovery

* Strong avoidance

The ATTS Temperament Test consists of ten sub-tests divided into five subcategories:

1. Behavior Toward Strangers

Objective: To measure the dog’s reaction to strangers in a non-threatening situation.

2. Reaction to Auditory Stimuli

Objective: To measure the dog’s reaction to auditory stimuli and the dog’s investigative behavior.

3. Reaction to Visual Stimulus

Objective: To measure the dog’s reaction to a sudden visual stimulus.

4. Tactile Stimuli

Objective: To measure the dog’s reaction to unusual footing.

5. Self Protective/Aggressive Behavior

Objective: These tests collectively evaluate the dog’s capacity to recognize an unusual situation, its threshold to provocation, its protective instincts, and its propensity to realize when the situation becomes a threat.

finally, here are some results (copyrighted 2009) from ATTS. i have listed some of the most common dog breeds; for a complete list, please visit their website. also, i did not list common breeds that did not have at least 30+ test candidates, to ensure a more even evaluation across the board.

AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER – 665 tested, 567 passed, 98 failed = 85.3%

AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER – 570 tested, 478 passed, 92 failed = 83.9%

BEAGLE – 63 tested, 51 passed, 12 failed = 81.0%

BORDER COLLIE – 248 tested, 200 passed, 48 failed = 80.6%

BOXER – 396 tested, 331 passed, 65 failed = 83.6%

CHINESE SHAR-PEI – 209 tested, 148 passed, 61 failed = 70.8%

COCKER SPANIEL – 221 tested, 181 passed, 40 failed = 81.9%

COLLIE – 831 tested, 660 passed, 171 failed = 79.4%

DALMATIAN – 321 tested, 263 passed, 58 failed = 81.9%

DOBERMAN PINSCHER – 1522 tested,  1178 passed, 344 failed = 77.4%

GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG – 2929 tested, 2452 passed, 477 failed = 83.7%

GOLDEN RETRIEVER – 720 tested, 609 passed, 111 failed = 84.6%

GREAT DANE – 265 tested, 210 passed, 55 failed = 79.2%

JACK RUSSELL TERRIER – 59 tested, 49 passed, 10 failed = 83.1%

LABRADOR RETRIEVER – 721 tested, 663 passed, 58 failed = 92.0%

PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI – 192 tested, 149 passed, 43 failed = 77.6%

POMERANIAN – 32 tested, 24 passed, 8 failed = 75.0%

RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK – 346 tested, 285 passed, 61 failed = 82.4%

ROTTWEILER – 5097 tested, 4228 passed, 869 failed = 83.0%

SIBERIAN HUSKY – 288 tested, 250 passed, 38 failed = 86.8%

WEIMARANER – 212 tested, 170 passed, 42 failed = 80.2%

conclusion: hopefully to your new found surprise, american pit bull terriers as well as american staffordshire terriers scored higher (showing better temperament) than collies, doberman pinschers, german shepherds, and rottweilers, as well as scoring comparably to the all-american favorite, the golden and labrador retriever.

know your facts, and educate those who don’t.

for additional information on crimes against pit bulls and defending yours, please refer to two older posts, “frustrated & heartbroken“, and “owner peeves“. for all pit bull related posts, type “pit bull“, or “dog” in the search box in the top right corner.

*photo property of bettiepagestyled. click the photo below to see her Flickr album, “Pit Bull Death Row”, a heartbreaking and troubling documentation of the undeserved fate of these members of man’s best friend.

female apbt in houston city shelter - scheduled to be euthanized 8/23/09. photo by bettiepagestyled

female apbt in houston city shelter - scheduled to be euthanized 8/23/09. photo by bettiepagestyled


One response to “my temper is worse than my pit bull.

  1. Pingback: when will people learn? « Gloria P. Cheng

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