Identify dog-to-dog aggression or potentially challenging behaviors, such as growling, hysterical barking and lunging
Identify dogs who would benefit from behavior modification and "meets and greets" or who need placement in a home without other dogs
Note: In this item, only the approach behavior is assessed. A dog who approaches with body held high and tail up within the first couple of seconds of approach is more likely to have dog aggression issues than dogs who do not display this behavior.
Watch Item 7 in Action
Tips for Success
Use an appropriate helper dog:
A dog who has already been SAFER assessed
A dog who is the same gender as the dog being assessed and at least six months old
A dog whose size is within 20 pounds of the dog being assessed
A dog who is stable and social with other dogs
Do not conduct the Dog-to-Dog assessment if there are no suitable helper dogs in the facility. Instead, observe how the dog responds to other dogs when moving him in and out of the cage and around the shelter.
Place the helper dog in the room before bringing back the dog being assessed.
Observe and note only the approach behavior for assessment. Interaction beyond the approach is not part of the assessment.
Make sure video camera is set up to catch approach behavior, not actual dog-to-dog interaction.
Be sure to take your observational "snapshot" in the first few seconds of the approach. Dogs do not have to touch.
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