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gillbear

What Is The Story With The New Temperament Assessments At Blacktown Po

159 posts in this topic

shmoo   

I totally agree Steve. I'm not complaining at all about BP now temp testing. :)

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~Anne~   

Congratulations to Ric, Russ and the team. Another leap forward for a progressive Council. The Council deserve recognition for the changes they have implemented over the last 5 years. :thumbsup:

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Boronia   

Good Stuff Blacktown Pound!

What is puzzling me though is why PR are upset about the new policy, I can't see why it can affect their present arrangements in finding homes for the dogs, unless of course, that there are less dogs to find homes for = less funds coming in. Surely they can now advertise that the dogs have been tested, therefore are more likely to find homes quickly which would bring funds to their organisation? much faster.

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Steve   

They don't believe that dogs should be assessed they want to save them all.

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Katdogs   

They don't believe that dogs should be assessed they want to save them all.

... from 'murder' - poor sweet doggies.

There appear to be so many wonderful big-hearted people with good intentions - there must be a way for ethical rescue to tap into this resource ethically!

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Boronia   

They don't believe that dogs should be assessed they want to save them all.

okaaaay, that seems to be logical from PR prospective...rescue at all costs and never mind the consequences

thanks Steve

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Sheridan   

They don't believe that dogs should be assessed they want to save them all.

The article quotes MN saying the dogs were 'executed'.

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Leema   

Temperament testing is a flawed process. At most, they should be used to determine what kind of home the dog goes to. They should never be used to determine if a dog lives or dies.

I like Pound Rounds as much as the next person (i.e. not much). That doesn't mean that killing dogs before PR can get their hands on them is the solution.

I used to temperament test dogs in a large pound/shelter in my state. It was stupid, and dogs died needlessly. Of the 30 or so dogs that I have fostered in my home over the last 3 years, only about 2-5 of those would have passed that temperament test. They were rehomed to suitable homes that were prepared to work or live with any 'temperament' issues that the dog may have.

Food guarding, fence jumping and dog reactivity should not be a death sentence, and this is all pound based temperament testing does - justify the destruction of imperfect dogs.

I don't believe all dogs are rehomable, but I believe that temperament testing does nothing more than to justify killing - regardless of whether Pound Rounds exists or not.

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As a close relative of one of the Blacktown AHF employees, I'd just like to say thanks for all of your balanced thoughts on this matter, It's been a tough few days since Friday under the barrage of over-emotional rhetoric from the PR crew. There's even been threats messaged via facebook profiles by members of the PR FB page.

Being able to read the more balanced views posted by those in this thread has helped put things in perspective. Thanks again.

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Sheridan   

As a close relative of one of the Blacktown AHF employees, I'd just like to say thanks for all of your balanced thoughts on this matter, It's been a tough few days since Friday under the barrage of over-emotional rhetoric from the PR crew. There's even been threats messaged via facebook profiles by members of the PR FB page.

Being able to read the more balanced views posted by those in this thread has helped put things in perspective. Thanks again.

Sorry to hear there have been threats made. Hope everyone is okay and that any threats have been reported to the police. Suggest screencaps be taken of any of these threats.

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Temperament testing is a flawed process. At most, they should be used to determine what kind of home the dog goes to. They should never be used to determine if a dog lives or dies.

I like Pound Rounds as much as the next person (i.e. not much). That doesn't mean that killing dogs before PR can get their hands on them is the solution.

I used to temperament test dogs in a large pound/shelter in my state. It was stupid, and dogs died needlessly. Of the 30 or so dogs that I have fostered in my home over the last 3 years, only about 2-5 of those would have passed that temperament test. They were rehomed to suitable homes that were prepared to work or live with any 'temperament' issues that the dog may have.

Food guarding, fence jumping and dog reactivity should not be a death sentence, and this is all pound based temperament testing does - justify the destruction of imperfect dogs.

I don't believe all dogs are rehomable, but I believe that temperament testing does nothing more than to justify killing - regardless of whether Pound Rounds exists or not.

So how do you determine what is not rehomeable without temperament testing?

TT also protects adopting families from danger or heartbreak - a factor that a few rescuers need to consider. Rescue is NOT just about saving dogs but about matching them to appropriate families and the number of families that would knowingly take on an aggressive resource guarder or a fence jumper is minimal. The number that could successfully manage such a dog is even fewer.

So what do you do wtih such a dog in the months or years it might take to find the right home? If the answer is warehousing then I'm afraid I see PTS as a better option. The longer such dogs are warehoused with no work on their problems, the greater the issues for the adoptive family and the greater the chance that the adoption will fail. Those who choose do acquire a dog via rescue deserve to have a dog that will not bring heartache - and rescuers shouldn't abuse the trust of people who choose to adopt via them. Some of the unhappiest dog owners I've met have been saddled with dogs with serious behavioural issues (notably aggression) and cut adrift (or indeed blamed) by the rescue when they sought support. Charming. :(

Then of course there are liability issues to consider. Who wants to be responsible morally or legally for a dog that bites a child, even if it's adopted with full disclosure.

We CANNOT save them all. That's the reality pounds work under. And indeed, I'd argue that we SHOULD NOT save dogs that cannot be rehomed with safety and a good chance of success. If people want to get bent out of shape about such a poor state of affairs then their anger should be directed towards those who breed or buy irresponsibly, or who offlload at the first inconvenience, not the pounds left to clean up the mess.

Edited by Haredown Whippets

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mita   

As a close relative of one of the Blacktown AHF employees, I'd just like to say thanks for all of your balanced thoughts on this matter, It's been a tough few days since Friday under the barrage of over-emotional rhetoric from the PR crew. There's even been threats messaged via facebook profiles by members of the PR FB page.

Being able to read the more balanced views posted by those in this thread has helped put things in perspective. Thanks again.

I hope any threats will be referred to the proper authorities. Pound staff, even when trying their best, have a terrible job. Pounds are the places where a huge number of dogs are being dumped, for many reasons. Ethical rescues & pound rehoming processes do what they can to help the rehomeable. But even for the rehomeable, 'tickets out' aren't guaranteed. No wonder, as UQ reported, it's a risky job for pound/shelter staff in terms of mental health.

The general community turns a blind eye ... while those who are unrealistic about the huge problem turn a highly critical eye.

There has to be balanced ways of dealing with it. And less choruses from the armchair warriors who aren't the ones who have to work face to face with the dogs... as the pound staff and people from ethical rescues do.

BTW It's a fact that temperament tests given in the usual pound environment are in the context of high stress for the dogs (evidence for that). We wouldn't test humans' temperament in a situation where they were under high stress.

BUT it's also a fact that large numbers of dogs are dumped in pounds. That's the only starting point the pound staff have to work with.

In an ideal world, the dogs could be placed in a more natural setting before being tested. And any rescue offering a more natural setting, would need to be highly skilled re dog behaviour... as well as realistic about risk posed by any dog. Or pounds would be organised in ways designed to reduce stress.

BUT, meanwhile, back in the real world, pound staff & ethical rescuers can only do what they can in the face of considerable problems.

Edited by mita

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shmoo   

We CANNOT save them all. That's the reality pounds work under. And indeed, I'd argue that we SHOULD NOT save dogs that cannot be rehomed with safety and a good chance of success. If people want to get bent out of shape about such a poor state of affairs then their anger should be directed towards those who breed or buy irresponsibly, or who offlload at the first inconvenience, not the pounds left to clean up the mess.

:thumbsup::clap:

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As a close relative of one of the Blacktown AHF employees, I'd just like to say thanks for all of your balanced thoughts on this matter, It's been a tough few days since Friday under the barrage of over-emotional rhetoric from the PR crew. There's even been threats messaged via facebook profiles by members of the PR FB page.

Being able to read the more balanced views posted by those in this thread has helped put things in perspective. Thanks again.

Sorry to hear there have been threats made. Hope everyone is okay and that any threats have been reported to the police. Suggest screencaps be taken of any of these threats.

The appropriate action has been taken, yeah.

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Leema   

Temperament testing is a flawed process. At most, they should be used to determine what kind of home the dog goes to. They should never be used to determine if a dog lives or dies.

I like Pound Rounds as much as the next person (i.e. not much). That doesn't mean that killing dogs before PR can get their hands on them is the solution.

I used to temperament test dogs in a large pound/shelter in my state. It was stupid, and dogs died needlessly. Of the 30 or so dogs that I have fostered in my home over the last 3 years, only about 2-5 of those would have passed that temperament test. They were rehomed to suitable homes that were prepared to work or live with any 'temperament' issues that the dog may have.

Food guarding, fence jumping and dog reactivity should not be a death sentence, and this is all pound based temperament testing does - justify the destruction of imperfect dogs.

I don't believe all dogs are rehomable, but I believe that temperament testing does nothing more than to justify killing - regardless of whether Pound Rounds exists or not.

So how do you determine what is not rehomeable without temperament testing?

We start with the assumption that most dogs (about 90-95%) have a temperament that makes them rehomeable. Dogs that are aggressive and do damage are the exception, not the rule.

If, even with this assumption, you decide to do assessments, assessments of dogs should be made in foster care like environments to determine appropriate homes (not whether they live or die). Pound assessments of dogs are flawed and don't reflect the real world which the dog would live. (I know a dog that passed a hard temperament assessment in a SA pound, and went home and attacked the dog-savvy woman in the household within 72 hours.)

Any dog with a history of killing a person or a dog, or a history of doing significant damage of a person or a dog, does not fit my definition of rehomable, but this is not stuff you can ascertain from a temperament assessment.

To me, the term 'temperament assessment' is tainted with an intention of killing dogs. In Australia, they are chiefly used to justify destruction of animals - they pass or they fail. In reality, temperament and assessment of temperament is fluid, just like the animals, and just like the varied homes in which they could be placed in.

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To me, the term 'temperament assessment' is tainted with an intention of killing dogs. In Australia, they are chiefly used to justify destruction of animals - they pass or they fail. In reality, temperament and assessment of temperament is fluid, just like the animals, and just like the varied homes in which they could be placed in.

So what's the alternative? Send them out as blank slates for adoptive families to learn about their behaviour as they go? Do I find out my adopted dog is a resource guarder when it bites me or my child? Do I find out my adoptive dog is a fence jumper when I come home to find it killed on the road or wreaking havoc in the neighbourhood?

I don't think the perfect assessment method has yet been developed - unless it's foster care. But foster care places are not limitless and some dogs simply should not make it that far.

In the meantime, there are issues of liability and responsibility to ensure unsafe dogs are not placed up for adoption. And those dog are are safe deserve priority for rehoming.

If people choose to take on more challenging dogs and are up for the task? Good on them. But those homes are few and far between.

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Steve   

Leema. People have been coming in here and lamenting that dogs with unsound temperaments have been placed without assessment in the community.

That is evidenced by examples given of dogs killing other dogs, dogs being human and dog aggressive when they get to their new homes.Families and dogs have suffered because of this. I believe anyone who is doing the TT knows the issues and will give the dogs the best chance possible and whilst testing them isn't a perfect solution its better and quickly implemented than any real alternatives that have been presented. You cant just keep on and on hammering about what the problem is without trying to find a solution.

If PR are so convinced that this isn't a viable solution then they or someone is going to have to come up with something that will be.Protesting and making threats etc is not going to take them anywhere except give them less credibility and less chance of anyone working with them. The chances of finding a better solution which doesn't take a truck load of money and administration is negligible and PR are responsible for the fault in the system being exposed and made public.

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Cosmolo   

Beahvioural assessment is not perfect.

I have been assessing dogs for years and have never used behavioural assessment as a way to kill dogs. In fact i really resent the implication that all behavioural/ temperament assessments are an excuse to kill dogs. How incredibly insulting. Over many years and many many hundreds- maybe thousands, i don't keep count- of dogs our fail rate would hover around 5%.

We use the assessment as an initial matching tool- either to place the dog in a suitable home OR with a suitable foster carer. Assessment continues once dogs are in foster care if that's the path taken. You most certainly can ascertain which dogs have more serious behaviour problems MOST of the time if you know what you're looking at.

I have dog owners telling me they adopted dogs from pounds that displayed serious issues while in care that have then been given to novice dog owners wanting an all round 'easy' dog!! This is unacceptable and i am getting sick and tired of it.

So what if behavioural assessments can only be used as a matching tool? I don't believe they have great predictive value either. But a matching tool is a darn lot better than putting random dogs in random homes like it's an impulse buy at the supermarket.

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tdierikx   

How about the testing that is done at DAS - is that by volunteers? The info that testing gives is extremely well laid out and seems to be a good guideline for most of us to follow when we are looking at dogs from there.

Has anyone got a copy of how the DAS testing works, and how to do it? It may be a viable alternative to a test that does seem designed to make certain types of dogs fail more often than not.

T.

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