Behavior Correlations

Behaviors I’ve Listed that are Observed from Outside Assess-A-Pet ™ Testing:

A couple of the behaviors listed I see outside of the testing environment, but wanted to include them anyway. Once a behavior is pointed out to someone, he or she will see it everywhere, so it’s always of interest to point out to dog professionals behaviors so that we might all share in a discussion of when they occur, in what context, and throw around interpretations.

One of the behaviors I observe in some dogs are two different kinds of yawns: one without revealing any teeth, and the other yawn in which at some point in the event, all the teeth show (incisors, canines and premolars). Since they are two distinct types of yawns, I can’t help but wonder that they mean different things. I have noticed that the yawn-with-teeth occurs most often when one of my dogs is close to me and my other dogs approach or are already close.

Poop and Urine Marking usually occur outside the Assess-A-Pet ™ test, but are observed during the normal course of caretaking of shelter dogs, and certainly regularly observed by owners and professionals.

In Conclusion:

The more I assess shelter dogs, the more I videotape, the more I review the footage, the more I see. I discover new observations and behaviors all the time, even though with some familiar clips it feels like it’s not possible to see anything more. Once I observe something new, I can then easily identify it everywhere, and then I wonder how I could possibly have ever missed it!

The benefits to breaking down behaviors into tiny, observable parts is that it takes the personal responsibility out of describing dogs—instead of ‘that dog gave me a funny feeling’ or ‘that dog scared me to death’—the description becomes ‘that dog froze, hard stared, blinked less than once every two seconds’ or ‘the raised his tail while making frontal, aligned contact with me’. These behaviors are undeniably observable by anyone, and therefore there’s less room for blame and excuses.