Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2513


Companion Animal

Summary and Implications

Over the last two decades, many animal shelters have employed behavior evaluations on a selection of canines prior to their adoption to (1) more accurately match the canine with the owner / family and (2) to reduce the probability that canines displaying aggression will not be placed up for adoption. Therefore, the objectives of this study was to (1) determine how successful canines were after completing the behavior test with being adopted and (2) if canines were returned to the shelter if reasons given related to an aggressive citation by the new owner. This study was performed at the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Iowa, located in Ankeny, IA. All canine behavior evaluations were conducted on a weekly basis (Friday afternoons) from the last week of January through the first week of April 2009. A standardized form for all canine behavior evaluations was used. The canine adoption information was collected on three separate occasions; April 1st, 22nd and 29th, 2009. The program used to find adoption information was PetPoint. A total of 41 canines were observed. Thirty-three canines were successfully adopted (87 %) and five were adopted but returned (13 %). Of these five canines returned, only one (20%) reason noted “aggression towards cat.” In conclusion, the majority of canines that underwent and passed the behavior evaluation were successful in their adoption. Furthermore, of the five canines returned after being placed for adoption, only one was linked to some form of aggression.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University