Development of a questionnaire to comprehensively quantify behavior and temperament traits in dogs relinquished to an animal shelter
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Behavior problems are some of the leading reasons for relinquishment of pets to animal shelters. The result of all these unwanted pets is the destruction of millions of pets in animal shelters each year. Despite the prevalence and importance of behavior problems in dogs, only a dearth of literature focuses on this issue. The central goal of this paper is to introduce an instrument that is designed to comprehensively and effectively quantify dog behavior and temperament. Six instruments used in previous research will be introduced and evaluated against six criteria, and will be utilized in the development of a new instrument. This new instrument will improve animal welfare by providing a multi-purpose tool necessary for researchers to examine pet problem behavior across a variety applied animal contexts: Animal sheltering, service-dog selection and clinical behavioral medicine. A snapshot of data from 291 completed Pet Owner Relinquishment questionnaires will demonstrate the usefulness of this newly constructed instrument.