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5 thoughts on “Comment: High Marks on the ATTS Test is Pit Bull Propaganda

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  1. Looking at the latest statistics, 91 breeds tested equal to or higher than the American Pitbull Terrier including Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Curly-Coated Retrievers, English Cocker Spaniel (gasp), Flat-Coated Retriever, and the Labrador Retriever. The Golden Retriver was a mere tenth of a point behind. And yet I’ve seen pit bull advocate sites claim pit bulls were rated fourth out of all breeds. There’s a big difference between 4th and 91st.

  2. A dog could pass the ATTS with flying colors, even if it was dangerously horse aggressive, or goat aggressive or pig aggressive or bull aggressive or pony aggressive….

  3. Also, an interesting read from Jim Engle, Founding Secretary of AWDF (American Working Dog Federation) and member advocate, Schutzhund USA.

    “The danger is that such tests” [His reference point is ATTS, specifically, not another organization] “could do a great deal of harm by certifying, at least in the minds of the public, very poor dogs as having “good temperament” and failing good dogs because they walk around a plastic sheet or grating on the ground or because an inexperienced person was not able to evaluate a dog’s reaction properly. The simple fact is that there is no real evidence for their validity, and a lot of experience to indicate that they very often provide terribly misleading results.”

    No doubt, Alfons Ertelt, the originator of the test would be turning in his grave. Today, ATTS exist for one purpose, “Because of breed-specific dog legislation and negative publicity associated with many breeds of dogs…”

    This was never the intent. Jim Engle identified the potential for abuse 20 years ago and this is exactly what has happened.

  4. What I like to mention to people is the fact that dogs which are known to be aggressive by their owners do not take the ATTS test. Most of the participants in ATTS are dogs which the behavior is unknown, or to confirm that the dog doesn't have underlying aggressiveness.

    An owner of a KNOWINGLY aggressive animal is not going to take the test.

  5. A previous commenter nailed it. The dogs of any breed brought the ATTS test are not a random sample. Therefore, you cannot use the results to generalize about a breed or compare them. Even if 100% of pit bulls pass, all it would mean is that only owners of well-mannered pit bulls opted to take time on the weekend to have their dogs tested.

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