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Comparison of canine behaviour scored using a shelter behaviour assessment and an owner completed questionnaire, C-BARQ
journal contributionposted on 09.11.2020, 05:06 by L Clay, MBA Paterson, Pauleen BennettPauleen Bennett, G Perry, CCJ Phillips
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. In shelters, it is usual to conduct a standardised behaviour assessment to identify adoption suitability. The information gathered from the assessment is used to identify the behaviour of the dogs, its suitability for adoption and to match the dog with an ideal home environment. However, numerous studies have demonstrated a lack of predictability in terms of the post-adoption behaviour in these assessments. We investigated if the owners’ perception of dogs’ behaviour in the home was reflected in the RSPCA Queensland behaviour assessment, conducted on the same dogs during a visit to the shelter. A total of 107 owners and their dogs aged 1–10 years were assessed inhome and in the shelter. The owners of the dogs completed a questionnaire (the Canine Behavioural Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) survey) 1–2 weeks before bringing their dog to the shelter for the standardised behavioural assessment conducted at the RSPCA Queensland. An ordinal logistic regression analysis identified positive correlations for fear, arousal, friendliness and anxiousness, identified in in-home behaviour and the behaviour assessment. Furthermore, the behaviours of friendliness, fearfulness, arousal, anxiousness, and aggression were positively predictive between home behaviour and tests in the behaviour assessment. This research therefore led to a greater understanding of current canine behaviour assessment protocols used at the RSPCA Queensland in regard to the predictability of behaviour, behavioural problems and the efficiency, effectiveness and predictability of current behaviour testing procedures.