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Animal Behavior Levels


 

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Behavior Levels In Dogs

What does it mean when we recommend older children for a particular dog?

Older children are recommended for certain dogs based on data from the Center of Disease Control which reports that among children, those 5 to 9 years old have the highest rate of dog bite-related injuries in the U.S. Most commonly, children are bitten by the family dog when hugging them, handling them or trying to take resources away from them. Our recommendations are made in order to make the best match possible between dog and human family members.

Fast Track Dog:  We elected to fast track this dog to adoptions.   Therefore no full, formal behavior assessment was performed.  This dog is behaviorally approved for adoption at this time.

Behavior Levels

Level one dogs will do well in most homes.  In general they are highly social with people and other animals. They tend to be very calm, tolerant of restraint, handling and having things taken from them. These dogs should be the first dogs considered for homes with young children.

Level two dogs will do well in a majority of homes.  In general they are highly social with people and other animals.  They tend to be fairly tolerant of restraint, handling and having things taken from them.  They can be easily excitable and may accidentally knock small children and objects over.  These dogs may be very active.  In general they will do well in most homes that give them ample exercise and consistent leadership.

Level three dogs tend to be shy and may need more time to figure out new surroundings and new people though they enjoy the company of humans.  They may come from homes where they were not socialized well with people and other animals.  Physically restraining, looming over and hugging can be threatening or unwelcome to these dogs. They may have some competitiveness over access to food, toys, etc. These dogs will be most successful and rewarding in homes with older children that can easily learn that the dog does not wish to be hugged, lied upon, etc. They will also benefit from positive reinforcement training that helps them become less shy and encourages bonding with their new family.

Level three dogs tend to be more independent and may need more time to figure out new surroundings and new people though they enjoy the company of humans. They may come from homes where they were not socialized well with people and other animals or they may be bred to work more independently from people. Physically restraining, looming over and hugging can be threatening or unwelcome to these dogs. They may have some competitiveness over access to food, toys, etc. These dogs will be most successful and rewarding in homes with older children that can easily learn that the dog does not wish to be hugged, lied upon, etc. They will also benefit from positive reinforcement training that helps them become less shy and encourages bonding with their new family.

Level four dogs tend to be excitable and can have a very hard time calming down at times. Because of this, they can be more challenging to own and can have a lower tolerance to being restrained and hugged.  They can be competitive over access to food, toys, etc. They may be at risk for inappropriate greetings with other dogs. These dogs will be most successful and rewarding in homes with older children that can easily learn that the dog does not wish to be hugged, lied upon, etc. The most successful placement for these dogs could be in a working situation, or with a skilled owner that has experience and the desire to train using positive reinforcement methods to build good manners. 

Level 5 dogs have specialized behavior needs. They have either shown aggression toward a staff member, a member of the public or another animal at some point in their past. Typically these are dogs that have lower sociability with humans, and/or low bite inhibition and low tolerance to being irritated, or are having a hard time to adjusting to shelter life. They require homes with older children that can easily learn that the dog does not wish to be hugged, lied upon, or have things taken from them, etc. They require commitment on the part of their new family to work on improving these concerns with a skilled, positive reinforcement dog trainer.

 
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