Unvalidated, unreliable, and unnecessary: Evidence for the case against formal behavior evaluations for shelter dogs

Posted on March 22, 2019March 18, 2021Categories News, Research & PublicationsTags , ,   Leave a comment on Unvalidated, unreliable, and unnecessary: Evidence for the case against formal behavior evaluations for shelter dogs

A 2019 article demonstrates that no canine behavior evaluation used for shelter dogs meets accepted scientific criteria that would justify routine use in shelters.

A 2019 article demonstrates that no canine behavior evaluation used for shelter dogs meets accepted scientific criteria that would justify routine use in shelters.

There’s No Place Like Home

Posted on April 9, 2018March 18, 2021Categories News, Research & Publications   Leave a comment on There’s No Place Like Home

A stay in a foster home before adoption and even adoptions that end in the return of a dog to the shelter enhance the chances of rehoming for dogs who find themselves between owners.

A stay in a foster home before adoption and even adoptions that end in the return of a dog to the shelter enhance the chances of rehoming for dogs who find themselves between owners.

What type of dog is that? Can you tell just by looking?

Posted on August 14, 2017March 18, 2021Categories News, Research & PublicationsTags ,   Leave a comment on What type of dog is that? Can you tell just by looking?

Take a look at the growing body of evidence on visual breed identification, and commit to shifting the paradigm of how we identify and discuss dogs in our daily lives.  

Take a look at the growing body of evidence on visual breed identification, and commit to shifting the paradigm of how we identify and discuss dogs in our daily lives.  

Is it practical or possible to give a dog a test that will predict how he is likely to behave in real life situations?

Posted on June 9, 2017March 18, 2021Categories News, Research & PublicationsTags ,   Leave a comment on Is it practical or possible to give a dog a test that will predict how he is likely to behave in real life situations?

Is there a need for such a test, particularly regarding whether he is likely to get into harmful conflicts with people? This entry in our research library is our attempt to summarize what the best science to date has to say about these questions.

Is there a need for such a test, particularly regarding whether he is likely to get into harmful conflicts with people? This entry in our research library is our attempt to summarize what the best science to date has to say about these questions.

When you do the math, behavior evaluations flunk

Posted on August 22, 2016March 31, 2021Categories News, Research & PublicationsTags , ,   Leave a comment on When you do the math, behavior evaluations flunk

Article authors demonstrate why when a shelter dog tests positive for dangerous behavior, it is much more likely that the test has failed the dog, rather than the dog having failed the test.

Article authors demonstrate why when a shelter dog tests positive for dangerous behavior, it is much more likely that the test has failed the dog, rather than the dog having failed the test.

Incoherent definitions confound attempts to label dogs as “pit bulls”

Posted on May 7, 2014March 18, 2021Categories Research & Publications   Leave a comment on Incoherent definitions confound attempts to label dogs as “pit bulls”

Most animal shelters continue to assign breed descriptors to dogs whose origin they do not know[1], even though current university research has shown that breed identification based on visual inspection correlates poorly with DNA breed signature, and that observers will disagree with each other when examining the same dog. These difficulties are only compounded when the descriptor itself is subject to different interpretations. A study by researchers in the US and UK examines the question of whether animal shelter workers … Continue reading “Incoherent definitions confound attempts to label dogs as “pit bulls””

Florida animal services agency strikes breed labels from kennel cards and website

Posted on February 14, 2014March 18, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on Florida animal services agency strikes breed labels from kennel cards and website

Evidence has mounted in recent years that guesses as to a dog’s breed or breeds usually do not correspond with breed identification using DNA technology. Different observers, even those engaged in dog-related professions, frequently disagree with each other when looking at the same dog. Animal behavior and ethology studies have demonstrated that we cannot reliably predict the future behavior of a purebred dog on the basis of its breed or breed mix, whether or not we have documented the pedigree … Continue reading “Florida animal services agency strikes breed labels from kennel cards and website”

Assumptions about future behavior of shelter dogs seen as food aggressive are unfounded.

Posted on August 30, 2013March 18, 2021Categories News, Research & PublicationsTags   Leave a comment on Assumptions about future behavior of shelter dogs seen as food aggressive are unfounded.

Animal shelters may conduct what they describe as behavioral evaluations of the dogs they receive, in order to discover what they presume will be problem behaviors when the dogs are adopted into new homes. Among the behaviors that evaluations are designed to detect are those labeled “food aggression.” The behaviors described by that term include growling, showing teeth, lunging, snapping or biting, when a person attempts to interact with the dog while it is eating, or to interfere with the … Continue reading “Assumptions about future behavior of shelter dogs seen as food aggressive are unfounded.”

Animal professionals shown to disagree with each other when assigning breed(s) to dogs of unknown parentage.

Posted on May 7, 2013March 18, 2021Categories News, Research & Publications   Leave a comment on Animal professionals shown to disagree with each other when assigning breed(s) to dogs of unknown parentage.

Summary A survey of more than 900 people in dog-related professions and services showed that they frequently disagreed with each other when making visual breed identifications of the same dog, and that their opinions may or may not have correlated with DNA breed analysis.  More than 70% of the study participants reported that now, or at one time, their breed descriptors were used in record keeping.  The results of this survey call into question the validity of a variety of … Continue reading “Animal professionals shown to disagree with each other when assigning breed(s) to dogs of unknown parentage.”