Big Dog Master Class - Day 1 - KEYNOTE (Block 1) - Irreconcilable Differences? Maybe Not! A New Look at 50 Years of Data about Behavioral Incompatibilities and Dog Relinquishment to Shelters (49 minutes)
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Presenter: Janis Bradley, Director of Communications and Publications, National Canine Research Council
A review of research into reasons owner surrender dogs, with the surprising finding that behavior concerns were not a primary risk factor for owner surrender.
An examination of 12 peer-reviewed papers on pet relinquishment, 6 on dogs who were returned after being adopted, and 14 on the behaviors of dogs living in homes revealed no strong evidence supporting the prevailing belief that behavioral incompatibilities are a primary risk factor for owners surrendering their pets to shelters. Only 2 studies (one from the 1990’s and the other published in 2000) in the literature contained actual risk analyses of specific behaviors. Neither found strong evidence of behavioral risk factors. Dogs living in homes do not appear to be behaviorally different from dogs living in shelters. Moreover, the studies on dogs living in homes revealed no consensus regarding behaviors that owners considered problematic or how any of them affected their satisfaction with the relationship. When combined with the low validity levels and poor predictive ability of battery style behavior evaluations commonly administered in shelters, the relinquishment literature makes the use of such instruments highly questionable. What does this mean for adoption policies and placement procedures in shelters?
- Analyze claims of risk factors and reject those that do not meet basic scientific definitions
- Develop adoption policies and procedures free of behavioral bias regarding the shelter population of dogs
- Develop adoption counseling procedures free of generalizations about adopter expectations
- Understand and be able to explain the inefficacy of battery behavior evaluations
- Earn 1.0 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits from The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and from the National Animal Care & Control Association.
- This course has been approved for 1 hour of continuing education credit for each block of presentations until February 14, 2024 in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval. Pass the quiz with a score of 70% or higher to access your CE certificate and then upload it to https://CEBroker.com. This is the broker that the AAVSB uses to track your continuing education credits.
Key Words: animal behavior, big dogs, large dogs, Maximize In-Shelter Welfare, Maximize physical and behavioral health, Animal & Population Management, Strategic & Operational Planning, Policies & Procedures, webcast, owner, surrender, reasons, risk, factors, behavior, concerns
BD Day 1
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Director of Communications and Publications
National Canine Research Council
Janis holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a Masters in English. She first pursued a career as a college teacher, counselor, and administrator. Leaving academia, she then took up professionally her passion for the human-canine relationship. From 2000 through 2009, Janis trained more than 400 professional pet dog trainers.
Janis is the co-author of the articles: “No better than flipping a coin: Reconsidering canine behavior evaluations in animal shelters” , “Who is minding the bibliography? Daisy chaining, dropped leads, and other bad behavior using examples from the dog bite literature,” and “Defaming Rover: Error-Based Latent Rhetoric in the Medical Literature on Dog Bites”. She is also the author of Dogs Bite, But Balloons and Slippers are More Dangerous (James and Kenneth), the complete guide to research on dog bites; Dog Bites: Problems and Solutions (Animals and Society Institute); and The Relevance of Breed in Selecting a Companion Dog (National Canine Research Council Vision Series). All of this comes from an abiding interest in finding the very best information about the remarkable relationship between dogs and people. She lives in California with her rescued Greyhounds.