Visit our research library for evidence-based information that affect dogs and the people that care for them.
To best understand this article in the context of behavior evaluations, see National Canine Research Council’s complete analysis here. Article citation: Willen, R. M., Schiml, P. A., & Hennessy, M. B. (2019). Enrichment centered on human interaction moderates fear-induced aggression and increases positive expectancy in fearful shelter dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 217, 57-62. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.05.001 National Canine Research Council’s Summary and Analysis: Background One purpose of this study was to demonstrate that vulnerable subpopulations of dogs living in shelters
Summary and Analysis: This paper is included because it comprehensively evaluates every study to date that has made validity, and/or reliability, and/or predictive ability claims about animal shelter canine behavior evaluations.
This study is included because it investigates presumed selection for a complex personality trait (impulsivity) among working lines of 2 breeds (those lines presumed to be selected for the ability to perform the breed traditional tasks), but also because it provides an example of the difficulties in defining a phenotype for large personality traits.
Here are our picks for a few things to think about this quarter when you find yourself in the mood to reflect on the amazing connections between people and animals and on policies and attitudes that can get in the way
Companion Animal Welfare
Julie Falconer’s piece in Humane Pro, the Humane Society of the US’s publication, “Leap of Faith: what does it truly take to welcome adopters?” is an inspiring must-read. Falconer explores what it takes to learn to trust potential adopters, instead of confronting them with the suspicion and barriers that have long been a staple of the industry. It is particularly resonant during this pandemic when more people than ever are seeking the comfort of an animal companion.
A recent Forbes article defended insurance rules that restrict access to homeowner’s insurance according to the reported breed of the clients’ family dogs. These rules discriminate against people of color and the less affluent among these companies’ customers. We expose the author’s use of cherry-picked data and blatant misinformation.
When Major Biden, the President’s dog, bit someone, it became viral news. Dog trainers and self-proclaimed behavior consultants jumped at the chance to share their fact-free, out of context opinions on the dog’s state of mind and what could have triggered the incident. These kinds of context-free opinion pieces from professionals is one of the most egregious forms of malpractice
This is a two-part study that investigated factors that might mediate “aggression,” “fear,” and “anxiety” on behavior evaluations of shelter and pet dogs.
To estimate the number of injurious and severely injurious dog bites in the U.S., the CDC analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP).
This 2011 exploratory study used a large owner survey in an attempt to quantify behavioral commonalities among breeds and breed groups.
Our review has revealed no findings of breed based behavioral differences that successfully overcome all the difficulties presented by this question.
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 2018 study is beginning to unpack some of the genetic mysteries of the famous Russian farm fox experiment.
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.
Study finds that the literature on dog bites written by human health care professionals is rife with distortions and errors, and laden with rhetorical devices that mischaracterize dog behavior and grossly overstate the actual risk of dog bite injuries.