Why do we assess behaviour?

Why do we temperament assess?

dog (2)Assessing a dog’s behaviour helps us to understand its needs in an adoptive home. This is information that we share with potential adopters so that they can make informed decisions about the animals they are considering for adoption. Assessing behaviour also helps us to ensure that we are adopting safe animals into our community.

We want to make sure that each adoption is a positive and successful experience — for both the dog and the adoptive family. When someone adopts a dog that isn’t suitable for their family or their lifestyle, the chances of bonding with the dog, of keeping the dog, and of caring responsibly for the dog are low. This will usually end with the dog either being returned to the OHS, or worse yet, being passed from home to home to eventually be abandoned. In the process, the adoptive family has been emotionally scarred, someone has possibly been bitten, and the dog itself feels lost and confused.

We assess behaviour by reviewing a dog’s previous history where it is known, as well as by evaluating how it behaves in the shelter with people, other dogs, and in different situations. While many dogs need little behaviour support beyond the regular daily enrichment we provide, others take part in one of our extensive behaviour intervention programs to help them become more adoptable. Some dogs are unsafe to place in our community, despite any efforts we may take.

After adoption, we support new dog owners by providing behaviour advice and support, as well as by offering post-adoption dog behaviour training to ensure that our adoptees and their canine companions get off on the right foot in their new life together.