Two Myths about Behavior Evaluations for Shelter Dogs

You might think behavior evaluations make placing shelter dogs safer. But, research shows that some of the most common beliefs about shelter dogs and evaluations are actually just myths. Myth #1 Dogs living in shelters are behaviorally different from dogs living with families There is a prevailing myth that shelter dogs are “damaged” or “have […]

Behavioral incompatibilities, not behavior problems

“It’s not a problem for the dog; it’s a problem for the human,” is among the first mottos regarding so-called dog “behavior problems” I learned as a novice dog trainer. The famed behaviorist, Dr. Ian Dunbar, would often begin a lecture on behavior modification with some version of this pronouncement. But even though he acknowledged the […]

There’s No Place Like Home

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.

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.

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 […]