CRAH Doggie Daycare Temperament Test

The purpose of this temperament test is to help CRAH Doggy Daycare maintain a safe environment for the employees and the dogs in their care.

All dogs are individuals, and they have their own unique behavior profile. This test will help you determine if a dog who is new to the playgroup will be comfortable and enjoy the doggy daycare setting.

How does the temperament test work?

Each section will be graded as pass/fail. If the dog who is being tested passes one section, they go on to the next section, and so on. If they pass all five steps, they will move into the observation period. The observation period lasts for the first five days that the dog visits after the initial temperament testing day.

If the dog fails any one of these sections, the temperament test is then over, and the dog is disqualified from attending the daycare. Not all dogs are meant to be in a doggy daycare setting, and that’s alright. If the dog is disqualified, and the client would like to have other recommendations, we will make those available.

How to safely set up the temperament test:

You’ll need two employees to perform the test. The dog who is being tested should be on a slip lead to begin. One employee will hold the lead, while the other employee works through each step. There will be steps in each section where the dog is off lead. Make sure to put them back on the lead before moving to the next section.

Observe the dog’s body language with each new step. If they seem loose and comfortable then they are ready to move on to the next step. If they appear slightly nervous, take a little extra time to make sure they’re ready to move forward.

If the dog shows high levels of anxiety or stress at any step, or if they react aggressively towards either an employee or another dog, they will be disqualified.

Temperament Test

Basic Information

Step 1: Interactions with humans P / F

Start in an empty play yard with the dog being tested, and two employees who have been
trained in temperament testing. Have the dog on lead initially for each new section. If the dog
shows extreme anxiety or stress, or if the dog shows aggression by snarling, lunging or
snapping, the dog will be disqualified. Move through each of the following steps in order.

Approach the dog directly in a friendly manner. Pet the dog on their chest, side or back first. If they’re comfortable with that, then pet their head. We want to make sure the dog does not show hand-shy behaviors. If they are slightly hand-shy, and do not aggress, you can move forward. *
Perform a routine check for scrapes and injuries. If they are comfortable being checked, they are ready for the next step. *
Let them off the lead, and give them a minute to sniff around. Approach them with the lead, and calmly slip it over their head. *
Keep the lead on them, and bring out multiple types of toys. We are observing for resource guarding behavior. Approach them when they have a toy. If they are comfortable, try to engage them in play. Are they comfortable with you reaching for the toy? If so, they pass this step. If they run away with the toy, approach in a happy way, and observe their reaction. If they stand between you and the toy with stiff body language, and lower their head and stare, this indicates that they are guarding the toy. Do not make this a challenge. Make a safe trade by tossing several treats across the room until they relinquish the toy on their own. Wait until the dog has moved several feet away from the toy, and then remove it. If aggressive guarding behavior is present, the dog will unfortunately not pass the test. *

Section 2: Interactions with a calm dog P / F

Put the dog who is being tested on the lead again before bringing out a calm dog to the play
yard. Both dogs should be on lead until they successfully greet each other. Try to keep the leads
loose as the two dogs greet. Be prepared to quickly remove the dog if they react aggressively. If
they greet in a loose and friendly way, move on to the next step. If the dog being tested reacts
aggressively, then remove them immediately. The dogs may stand tall, and possibly even have
their hackles up while greeting. This does not necessarily indicate aggression. However, if the
dog is growling, snarling, lunging or snapping, then they will fail the test. We will test the dog in
the following areas in order.

Initial greeting on lead *
Play time off lead *
Put the dog being tested back on lead. Play time with toys down *
Play time with toys down off lead *

Section 3: Interactions with a second, more energetic dog P / F

Bring a second, more energetic dog into the play yard. We will need to test the dog with both male and female dogs. All dogs should initially be on lead when a new dog is coming into the group.

Initial greeting with the second dog on lead *
Play time for five minutes off lead *
Put the dog being tested back on lead. Play time with toys down *
Play time with toys down off lead *

Section 4: Interactions with a third, dominant dog P/ F

All dogs should be on lead as the third and final dog is brought into the group. You’ll want a dominant dog for this section.

Initial greeting with the third dog on lead *
Play time off lead for five minutes *
Put the dog being tested back on lead. Play time with toys down *
Play time with toys down off lead *

Section 5: Interactions with the whole play group P / F

Observe how the dog being tested does within the whole play group off lead. The dog being tested should be evaluated with the whole play group for at least two hours. If you notice high anxiety and stress, or if the dog shows aggression by snarling, lunging, or snapping at another dog or employee at any point during section 5, then the dog will be disqualified.

Initial greetings with the dogs within the playgroup *
Play time with toys down *
Removal on slip lead *
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