Analysis of "Development and Validation of a Questionnaire for Measuring Behavior and Temperament Traits in Pet Dogs"

Essay by requiemHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2006

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Original study by J. Serpell and Y. Hsu, analysis written according to Intel Science regulations.


Behavioral problems are among the most common reasons for the euthanasia of pet dogs in the United States and Europe. Of all dogs placed in animal shelters by their owners, 17 to 25% were given up because of problematic behavior. Many other dogs suffer from less severe but still undesirable behavioral disorders. It is thought that this issue might diminish if there were a method of screening for and categorizing behavioral problems in pet dogs. Currently there is no way to do this without an intrusive study by a professional. Owners are often reluctant to screen their dogs because of the inconvenience involved. This study sought to produce and validate a simple and accurate method to screen for and categorize behavioral problems in dogs.

Review of Literature

Companion Animals in Society. 1988. This study describes some of the ways in which animals and their owners interact with society, including dogs with problematic behaviors.

Companion Dog Temperament Traits. 1998. This study describes several potentially measurable traits of companion dogs, including some common problems.

Behavioral Testing of Dogs in Animal Shelters to Predict Problem Behavior. 1991. This study attempted to create a test useable to screen dogs for behavioral problems, but it had to be administered by a professional behaviorist.

Development and Validation of a Novel Method for Evaluating Behavior and Temperament in Guide Dogs. 2001. This study formulated a questionnaire that screened dogs for their suitability as guide dogs.


There are several reasons that prior to this study there were no methods of accurately but simply determining problem behaviors. There is no single system for classifying dog behaviors, which has led to difficulty producing easily understood screening results. None of the many systems...