A Temperament Test is Required Prior to Enrollment of any of our services
Group play is designed for social dogs to interact, play, and have fun. Group play is not for every dog, and that’s OK! The safety of all pets participating in group play is our primary concern for the pets in our care. Among the best practices for doggy daycare pack management is to require a temperament test (aka ‘behavior evaluation’) prior to enrolling the dog into daycare. Behavior evaluation is an invaluable tool in helping staff to ensure the success and safety of dogs in their care.
Your dog’s temperament test is performed during their first half or full day of daycare. All we need is your pet and a few hours to get to know your dog’s temperament with other humans, dogs, and group play. It is completely natural for first time pups to be a little shy and/or nervous. We take plenty of time to introduce each pup into their new environment.
If your dog does not do well in group play, we will let you know and customize individual activities for your pup until you are able to pick them up from daycare.
Let’s review the evaluation process first
PART 1. The behavior assessment begins with the personality profile, which allows the staff to catch a glimpse of how the pet behaves at home when they are the most comfortable with their surroundings. It is very important to share all information regarding your dog’s behavior such as resource guarding and food aggression. This does not disqualify your pup, but it does ensure that we keep our pack safe!!
PART 2. The temperament test starts with an initial ‘interview’ with the pet. The Interview part of the test generally involves looking for any overt aggressive behaviors of a pet towards people. The pet is also evaluated for general personality characteristics/behaviors, such as separation anxiety, timidness, toy aggression, leash aggression, and other behaviors that may present a risk to the pet or other participants.
Once the temperament of the pet is determined, it then needs to be determined whether or not the pet should be accepted into a daycare program.
Part 3. The next step is to introduce the dog into a play area with the other dogs to evaluate their behavior, body language, personality with other dogs, etc. The introduction starts by removing all other dogs from the play area. The new dog is then brought in and is allowed to check out the play area. Then, one at a time, other dogs are introduced to the newcomer. The goal of the introduction is to observe how the dog reacts. The first several dogs introduced are usually ones known to be “low-key,” mild-mannered, or submissive dogs. Our staff watch for warning signals, such as stiffness, stress, high tail carriage, and ears/body forward – all signs of potential increased aggression. If aggression is observed, it must be very mild (i.e., snapping to send a message, without actual contact). Obviously, for the safety of all, any dog that appears overly aggressive will not be allowed. Once a dog is deemed “safe for play” or is “accepted” into our program, it is free to participate in group activities.
**Top Dog Birmingham reserves the right to rescind these privileges, at any time, based on the behavior of an individual pet**