C.A.R.A.T. ™ (Clothier Animal Response Assessment Tool)
The Clothier Animal Response Assessment Tool (CARAT) was developed in 2007 by Suzanne Clothier as an assessment system that categorizes behavior in multiple components that are intuitive and practical. CARAT takes a detailed view of the individual dog as a unique combination of many factors working together to influence, exacerbate, mitigate and enhance each other. Taken as a whole, the CARAT profile offers a richly detailed view of an individual dog in terms of functional behavior and adaptability.
Currently in use at Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB), one of the world's largest guide dog schools, CARAT is used to evaluate the GEB puppies (between 400-500 yearly), breeding stock candidates and all dogs coming in to the GEB Training School for guide training. CARAT is proving its value as a strongly predictive assessment tool.
CARAT provides a common language to describe and understand temperament at Guiding Eyes for the Blind and with other organizations. We are delighted that the analysis of CARAT scores done on adult dogs entering our training program has identified multiple traits that were predictive and heritable. These temperament measures can be used in our selective breeding program to improve the genetic quality of our dogs’ temperament. It was exciting to be in on the ground floor of the development of this tool.
Senior Director, Canine Development Center & Genetics
Guiding Eyes for the Blind
CARAT will continue to prove its value for temperament and behavior assessment for trainers, veterinarians, behaviorists, animal shelter and rescue personnel, caretakers and breeders.
Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.
― Charles Darwin
- Development of exceptional observation skills
- Cutting edge approach to behavior assessment
- An understanding of “the ethology of the individual” More humane and effective training
- Skill in developing behavior modification & training plans tailored to the individual
- Improvement in matching individual dogs to the best possible home
- Ability to define and focus on appropriate selection of desired traits for specific jobs and/or within a breeding program
The mission of the CARAT Certification Program is three fold:
- Promote deeper understanding of animal behavior as a whole
- Promote deeper understanding of & respect for individual animals as complex and dynamic beings
- Promote humane, effective training and quality of life appropriate to the individual animal’s abilities and needs
Please be aware that CARAT is a program in development, and changes and improvements in this program are inevitable. We anticipate on-going refinements and improvements, and possible changes to the information provided here.