Over seventy percent of all dog behaviour problems presented are connected to aggression of one type or another.
When conducting a temperament test(s) and rehabilitation training the following safety and dog handling skills are required. Some critical skills take many years to learn and hundreds of repetitions of handling dogs of many breeds, but they are crucial to the knowledge of a canine behaviour practitioner who leads by example and is confident in their ability to reform a dogs behaviour and moreover demonstrate that change can take place in front of the owner.
Spacial environment time & distance assessments
- Location of the test (centre, street, park, country area, other)
- Public Security fences and possible canine escape routes
- Centre security testing areas with safety systems in place
- Assistant (stooge) test dogs suitability and temperaments
- Assistant (stooge) dogs sex, size, docility, reaction levels and sensitivities
- Assistant (stooge) dogs temperament and adverse effects from being threatened/attacked on a regular basis
- Client owner/handler capabilities and handling skills with their dog
- Stand in handler trainer/practitioner to supplant the owner’s key role if necessary or when owner is physically psychologically unsuited
- Other skilled assessors who might be required for distance/ acting
- Riding bicycles, walking a dog
- Equipment to be used, safety, canine body devices, sound attention/training devices
- The temperament sensitivity timorous over reactive nature suitability to use the equipment (e.g. muzzles)
- The problem dogs aggression, levels sensitivities, risks and dangers to persons involved in tests
- Possible scenarios that may take place; anticipatory ideas applied
- Indoor/out door locations the differences of space safe distances and canine radius triggers appertaining to behaviour in question
- The practitioner in charge, issues instructions and safety information clarity of instructions
- Practitioner/trainer use and wear or offer safety equipment
- Practitioner conducts and relays instructions and counter instructions as the action begins and instant changes of the said instructions
- Critically watches the owner handlers movements at every stage and advises accordingly
- Controls the owners, the (stooge) assistant dogs used, watches canine behaviour acutely and relays the information to others present
- Practitioner uses their voice, dog training skills to intervene, stop, and trigger whatever behaviour is required for the tests assessments
- To assess stress levels of all dogs involved and know when to cease tests increase or decrease levels of suspicion, agitation, triggers etc.
- To change assistant dogs as and when the situation dictates and according to the dogs reactions to the tests involved
- To read all human and dog behaviour (body language) to maintain testing
- Give a verbal running commentary to the owners when required and explanation as and when behavioural information’s extricated
- To know when to help the owners confidence levels when serious aggression is triggered expectantly and unrepentantly and assist
- To observe lead, line distances when dogs are given more freedom and space
- When muzzles are used to decide if and when dogs can be released with or without muzzles and in what stages, distance and control
- To know when to ignore minor aggressive spats and not intervene
- To understand and explain clearly when aggression displayed is green, orange or red levels
In conclusion it takes about 5 years and no less than 300 dogs (aggressive) facilitated in all locations public and private. A good understanding of criminal law responsibilities for practitioner & dog owner(s).
The above cannot be learnt in theory at any college or degree in animal behaviour. Only courses hands on which teach the above are able to deliver a professional skilled practitioner and most important taught by equally skilled professionals of at least ten years full time field experience. University tutors DO NOT HAVE SUCH SKILLS or experience.
At present many academics simply pick books of shelves and regurgitate to students on dog aggression not knowing what they teach is accurate, dangerous or as in most cases simply ineffective. This leaves the student open to serious injury and or criminally responsible in law when dogs bite under their jurisprudence.