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Shorter Test Accurately Assesses Behavior of Relinquished Dogs

Study Results:

Canine behavioral problems are a leading risk factor for relinquishment of dogs to shelters. The decision to euthanize a relinquished animal with behavioral issues is often made using subjective assessments made when the animal is in the sometimes frightening and unfamiliar environment of the shelter. The Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) is a reliable and valid method of assessing behavior and temperament traits in dogs, but its length precludes its use in many shelters. Behavioral scientists from the University of Pennsylvania tested a shortened version of the C-BARQ to determine its effectiveness as a tool for providing shelters with reliable, objective data on a dog’s behavior in the home environment. They also looked at the reliability of the behavioral information that relinquishing owners provide, in an effort to test the hypothesis that relinquishing owners conceal or understate the prevalence and severity of behavior problems if they believe information may lead to euthanasia rather than adoption of their animal. Results of the study validated that shelters can use the shortened version of the questionnaire to collect valid and reliable behavioral information from people relinquishing dogs to shelters, and that the C-BARQ may be a valuable adjunct to existing behavioral and temperament screening methods currently in use. D07CA-071


Posted by MAFon October 5, 2009.

Categories: Animal health, Animal studies, Animal welfare, Dog health

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