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In order to understand a dog’s behavioral needs, behavior should be carefully monitored starting at intake and continuing daily thereafter. An Intake Form [PDF] which includes a dog’s behavioral history, is important in order to understand a dog’s needs in a shelter.

A formal behavior evaluation is recommended to increase knowledge of a dog’s behavioral traits and needs. The Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program, includes a behavior evaluation that should be administered a few days after a dog enters a shelter and has become accustomed to the new environment.  The results of the evaluation help a shelter look at a dog as an individual, provide required enrichment, and implement behavioral interventions when necessary. This is very important in order to find the most suitable home for a shelter dog and to make the best dog-adopter matches.
The test is not about passing or failing. It’s about learning about that dog and trying to figure out how to best match him/her with an adopter.
- Dr. Gary Patronek, VP of Animal Welfare and New Program Development at the Animal Rescue League of Boston