CARAT - The Clothier Animal Response Assessment Tool
"looking for the gem in every individual"
Developed by Suzanne Clothier in 2007, CARAT (Clothier Animal Response Assessment Tool) is a novel assessment system that categorizes behavior traits in multiple components that are intuitive and practical. It is the assessment system currently in use at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, one of the world's largest guide dog schools, and is used to evaluate puppies, breeding stock and dogs coming in for training.
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. In the profile created by the nuances and specifics of this complex interaction of multiple traits, an accurate picture is created of the individual, regardless of breed or age.
CARAT is unique in its recognition that a response to any given stimulus can either inhibit or activate the animal, attract the animal or create avoidant behavior, and that the distinction between the two is critical in understanding the individual. For example, a dog who reacts quickly and avoidantly to a sudden noise is demonstrating a different response than a dog who reacts quickly and towards the same noise.
At all times, behavior is assessed according to how productive, functional, or adaptive it may be, with a full understanding that what may be productive, functional or adaptive in one context may not be in another context. For example, there would be great differences in the CARAT profiles for a successful guide dog, competitive agility and a suitable companion for an elderly person with mobility issues.
WHO NEEDS CARAT? CARAT is a must-have tool for any serious animal professional who is involved in assessing behavior. Whether you are a trainer, a behaviorist, a breeder, a veterinarian, in rescue/shelter work, or involved in service dog organizations, CARAT can open a new world of observation and understanding. CARAT will fine tune your assessments, your behavior modification & training plans, improve your selection of suitable dogs for a given task, sharpen your breeding program's focus on desired traits, and help find the best possible job/task/home for an individual dog.
To learn more about CARAT & how it might help you, click here for INTRODUCTION TO CARAT.