Shelter Behavior Analysis Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Shelter Behavior Analysis Deck (16)
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1
Q

What are the statistics and demographics of dogs relinquished to shelters?

A
  • Between 5 months and 2 years of age
  • Have not received proper vet care
  • Sick or injured
  • Intact
  • Outdoor vs Indoor
  • Untrained
2
Q

What are the statistics and demographics of cats relinquished to shelters?

A
  • Under 3 years of age
  • Have not received proper vet care
  • Intact
  • Allowed outside
3
Q

What is the shelter environment like?

A
  • Huge variability
  • Animals experience high levels o stress
    • Sources: new smells and sounds, different food, isolation, mixed-species areas, slippery floors, minimal soft substrates, vet exams
    • Animals are living in an environment that they have no control over (learned helplessness)
    • Limited structure and predictability
  • Constant stress ⇣ animal health and ⇡ problem behaviors
    • ⇡ euthanasia rates
4
Q

What are the unique challenges animals face in the shelter environment?

A
  • Overcrowding
  • Constant introduction of new, unknown animals into the group
  • Open access and accountability to the public
    • Constant scrutiny from the media, the public, etc
  • Inadequate healthcare programs
  • Mandatory holding periods
  • Limited resources
  • Inadequate staff and volunteer training and high turnover
  • Aging, poorly designed facilities
  • Admission of species other than dogs and cats
5
Q

How can the shelter environment be improved?

A
  • Enrichment
    • ⇡ behavioral choices for animals
    • allow them to express species-appropriate behaviors and abilities
      • exploratory and foraging behavior ⇡ public perception of adoptability
        • Toys (novelty is important)
      • Social, environmental, sensory…. in or outside of cage
      • Can add or remove something to enrich environment
        • Remove visual stimuli, add audio or sensory enrichment
      • Individual preferences
      • Tailor to personality type
6
Q

What are the types of Shelter Behavior Analysis?

A
  • Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ)
  • SAFER (Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming)
  • Assess-A-Pet
  • Feline Spectrum Assessment (FSA)
  • Feline-ality
  • Meet your Match
  • Dog-Dog assessment
  • Food/resource guarding
7
Q

What i the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionaire (C-BARQ)?

A
  • Behavior screening tool for dogs relinquished to animals shelters (100 questions)
  • Aggression and fear directed towards humans and other dogs correlated between relinquishing owner and independent subjective assessments
8
Q

What is the SAFER assessment?

A
  • Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming
  • Tool used to assess dog aggression
  • False-positive rate: 50%
    • unable to identify dogs with moderate aggression that could potentially be addressed with behavior modification
9
Q

What is Assess-A-Pet?

A
  • Temperament test
  • False-positive rate: 41%
  • Failed to predict lunging, growling, snapping, barking and/or biting that occurred in 71.2% of dogs after adoption
10
Q

What is FSA?

A
  • Feline Spectrum Assessment
  • Used to assess how social (or likelihood of being social) a cat is
  • Used to make decisions in a shelter environment
  1. Touch
  2. hand on cage and cracking the cage door
  3. Interactive toy
  4. touch with wand
11
Q

What is Feline-ality?

A
  • Developed to provide adopters with accurate information about an adult cat’s future behavior in the home
  • Was predictive of feline behavior post-adoption
12
Q

What is the Meet Your Match program

A
  • By the ASPCA
  • Identifies adopters rather than the animals
  • Cat adopters:
    • Green adopters: most successful with cats who adapt quickly to new situations
    • Orange adopters: good fit with easy-going cats
    • Purple adopter: comfortable with cats who need time and encouragement to adjust to new surroundings
  • Dog adopters:
    • Green adopters: most successful with dogs who like to be physically and mentally engaged
    • Orange adopters: good fit with middle-of-the-road dogs who are responsive and like regular activity and interaction
    • Purple adopters: are comfortable with dogs who have a laid back attitude and enjoy an easygoing lifestyle
13
Q

What is the dog-dog assessment?

A
  • Use of fake dog during behavior evaluation was not predictive of fearfulness and aggression towards live dogs
14
Q

What is Food/Resource Guarding?

A
  • Test are consistently unreliable at predicting behavior outside of a shelter setting
  • Many shelters euthanize or restrict adoption of dogs that exhibit food guarding in an animal shelter, as dogs are labelled as being aggressive
  • Most adopters with food aggressive dogs did not consider it a challenge to keeping the dog as a pet
    • Food guarding - return rate 5%
    • 9% for dogs not identified with guarding behavior
15
Q

Does a Shelter Behavior Analysis actually work?

A
  • Do behavior assessments in a shelter predict the behavior of dogs post-adoption
    • friendly/social, fear, anxiousness
    • Aggression, food guarding, separation-related behaviors
  • No better than flipping a coin
    • Lack of evidence of reliability and validity of canine behavior evaluation in the literature
  • Inaccurately label animal temperament or ability to live with other animals, kids
    • ⇣ adoption or ⇡ adoption + ⇡ return rate if expectations & reality of animal behavior does not match
    • Dangerous
    • Used to make life-and-death decisions
  • Flip-side: shelters down-playing dogs with aggressive behaviors to increase adoption rates
16
Q

What can be done to improve shelters?

A
  • Dog walking programs
  • “Dog day out” or sleepovers
  • Foster programs
  • Behavior modification +/- pharmaceuticals to reduce sever stress and anxiety
  • Offer free training post-adoption
  • Inform potential adopters that behaviors observed in the shelter environment may not be consistent with the animal’s behavior at home
    • Be honest and transparent
    • Support continued management or behavior
  • Continue to work towards developing and truly validating a behavior scale for shelter animals