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What is a temperament test, why it matters, and why results differ?

With each new client, we explain that to attend our daycare and boarding services, we require a temperament test. Other places may refer to these with different terms: assessment, interview, evaluation. While the terms differ, the basics should be relative.


Meeting your dog prior to a boarding stay ensures we’re the right facility for them. It ensures we can properly care for them, and they are the right fit for our standards of care. Our boarding standards require that we can safely leash your pet, let them out for restroom breaks and play time (if applicable), that we can safely approach them, transport them (if necessary), and administer medications as needed. Not all dogs that board with us have to be dog friendly, or enjoy play time. We specialize in individual care plans to allow for all types of dogs to utilize our services. It’s important that we follow what the dog tells us they want to do as well. Owners might want their dog to play the entire time, but if a dog lets us know they are tired, anxious, uncomfortable, that is the priority we follow. A dog showing these signs do not need to be forced to socialize.


For daycare, the temperament test is a bit more involved, with a good amount of attention focused on dog behavior. It’s critical that dogs participating in our daycare services pass our temperament test. Some behaviors allowed at other facilities may not meet our standards, and Vice versa. In professional groups I am a part of, I read about other facilities allowing behaviors that would be an immediate fail at Paws and Paw Paws. What others deem as “safe”, we know to have potentially dangerous consequences.


Dogs that pass or fail, can be re-evaluated as situations change. If an unaltered male fails due to excessive humping, that behavior may improve once/if the dog is neutered. Opinions on neutering vary, and that’s not a hill we’re going to die on. We’re concerned with how this contributes to dog behavior in group play.


Behavior can often improve with training, structured, proper introductions and increased socialization to help reduce anxiety, for example.


Daycare is not the proper place to socialize a dog that is older and has had little to no experience in a group play setting.


Every facility has their own standards of care and expectations for behavior. Our number one concern is safety for our staff and the dogs that attend our services. To successively to do this, temperament tests are required, and behaviors that do not meet our standards are not allowed.


We often hear “my dog passed at (insert facility). That’s awesome! Every dog that wants to play should have a safe outlet to enjoy socializing with others.


We hope you not only understand, but appreciate our perspective. If you’ve been a follower for years, or if you’re a new fan, you’ll know that we put people and safety over profits. Always have, always will.


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