Your dog’s temperament is a complex statement about its personality that combines breed heredity and environment, meaning that it is based on both the kind of dog you have and the kind of environment it has been exposed to. This includes prior training from humans, interactions with other animals, and much more. Assessing a dog’s temperament is useful in a variety of ways, because it can not only help with adoption, it can also help to determine if a canine is fit for work in search-and-rescue, law enforcement, and a variety of other roles.
Assessment is a combination of research and evaluation, and to be accurate it should take into account the following factors:
- Breed information
- Past history of aggression (or not)
- Pregnancy status
- Health and well-being
The actual assessment exercise should be done in an environment that is clear of unpredictable distractions. This means that while you do want a couple of observers for safety purposes, you also want to avoid crowds or other heavily active areas, like busy streets. The exercises will involve a variety of tasks and your dog’s reaction to them, and they are most accurate when performed by someone with experience handling animals but without experience with your particular dog. This allows for a better representation of the dog’s general demeanor.
While assessment is used often for adoption purposes, it has a variety of other applications, including being useful as a planning tool if you need to travel with an animal. To learn more about temperament assessment, consult a veterinary clinic in San Jose.