A Temperament Test is Required Prior to Enrollment of Doggy Daycare
Group play is designed for social dogs to interact, play, and have fun. It is not for every dog, and that’s OK. The safety of the pets participating in group play is a primary concern for the pets in our care. Among the best practices for doggy daycare management is to require a temperament test (aka ‘behavior evaluation’) prior to enrolling the dog into daycare. Behavior evaluation is an invaluable tool in helping staff to ensure the success and safety of dogs in their care.
At Brook-Falls Luxury Pet Resort, each dog wanting to join our open group play needs to be professionally evaluated to ensure their safety and compatibility.
What is temperament?
Some define temperament simply as the dog’s ‘personality’ or as “the general attitude a dog has towards other animals and people.” More accurately, it is the physical and mental characteristics of an individual dog, made evident through its reaction to stimuli in its environment.
A temperament test is a process in which an individual dog is evaluated with regard to its physical and mental characteristics and its reaction to the characteristics/behaviors of other dogs; thus, helping to ensure their safety and success in group daycare.
Temperament tests enable staff to identify which pets are ‘qualified’ or ‘accepted’ to participate in daycare activities. They help to reduce the chance of accepting pets that may exhibit characteristics/behaviors that could expose themselves to injury or result in harm to another dog in daycare or a staff member.
A temperament evaluation of dogs before inclusion in group play should include:
- A written/formal acceptance policy indicating defined behaviors required from dogs to participate. This policy should outline the evaluation process and behavioral and temperament traits as are necessary for acceptance, as well as those traits that would disqualify a pet from participating in daycare (or define certain limitations for participation).
- Individual Dog Evaluation for Appropriateness to Group Play means body language provides evidence that participation is enjoyed by the pet and not just tolerated.
Let’s review the evaluation process first
PART 1. The behavior assessment begins with the personality profile, which allows the staff to catch a glimpse of how the pet behaves at home when they are the most comfortable with their surroundings. The profile will be filled out by the pet owner and sent back to the facility before the scheduled temperament test.
PART 2. The temperament test starts with an initial ‘interview’ with the pet. The Interview part of the test generally involves looking for any overt aggressive behaviors of a pet towards people. The pet is also evaluated for general personality characteristics/behaviors, such as separation anxiety, timidness, toy aggression, leash aggression, and other behaviors that may present a risk to the pet or other participants.
Once the temperament of the pet is determined, it then needs to be determined whether or not the pet should be accepted into a daycare program.
Part 3. The next step is to introduce the dog into a play area with the other dogs to evaluate their behavior, body language, personality with other dogs, etc. The introduction starts by removing all other dogs from the play area. The new dog is then brought in and is allowed to check out the play area. Then, one at a time, other dogs are introduced to the newcomer. The goal of the introduction is to observe how the dog reacts. The first several dogs introduced are usually ones known to be “low-key,” mild-mannered, or submissive dogs. Our staff watch for warning signals, such as stiffness, stress, high tail carriage, and ears/body forward – all signs of potential increased aggression. If aggression is observed, it must be very mild (i.e., snapping to send a message, without actual contact). Obviously, for the safety of all, any dog that appears overly aggressive will not be allowed. Once a dog is deemed “safe for play” or is “accepted” into our program, it is free to participate in group activities.
Brook-Falls Luxury pet resort reserves the right to rescind these privileges, at any time, based on the behavior of an individual pet.
Brook-Falls Luxury Pet Resort requires a Trial/Temperament Day before first Day-Play Day and Lodging Stay.
Testing is by appointment only and is performed by a Senior Brook-Falls Luxury Pet Resort Staff Member. On the day of the test, we ask that you bring your pet in between 7:30-9:00 A.M. We will keep them for approximately 4-6 hours, this will allow us adequate time to slowly evaluate and hopefully integrate your dog into our system.
Our temperament test has a one-time fee of $20 and is generally done Monday-Friday.
Brook-Falls Luxury Pet Resort is happy to discuss behavior and obedience concerns; we can offer recommendations that will allow you to move forward in structuring the lifestyle you seek for you and your dog.