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SAFER TESTING- Pros and Cons?

July 18th, 2005, 07:53 PM
Hi there,
I was wondering how familiar people are with something called SAFER testing. Do rescues generally do this for temperament testing and what are the pros and cons involved with this type of test? I would love to hear what people think/know etc.
Thanks so much and hope you are all beating the heat!

July 19th, 2005, 06:03 PM
Me again! Okay did a search on the site about temperament testing and/or SAFER testing and couldn't find anything.....(thought maybe nobody responded as lots had already been discussed about it). In any case, if anyone knows anything about temperament testing for dogs, I would be deeply appreciative.
Thanks loads!

July 19th, 2005, 06:13 PM
Our local humane society did an apparent temperment test on a 10 wk old JRT and determined that this puppy was aggressive and could not fix the issue. The person who had taken him in called to see what had happened with the test and was told that they were going to put him down later that day. She tried to get him back but was denied. I don't understand how a puppy of this age with no training/ socializing or history of any kind could be classified as aggressive and not able to be fixed. It was a sad day for all.

July 19th, 2005, 06:21 PM
The SAFER Test process consists of:
The Stare Test gives clues regarding the dominance and submission of an animal.
The Sensitivity Test assesses social skills, sensitivity levels and level of fear.
The Tag Test determines dominance aggression and fear aggression.
The Pinch Test determines sensitivity, dominance and lack of bite inhibition.
The Food Aggression Test determines food aggression
Dog-to-Dog Aggression Test determines sociability with other dogs

The SAFER Test uses standard grades A through F.
A & B dogs are easily adoptable.
C & D dogs may need behavior modification or be only appropriate for experienced owners.
F dogs are clearly unsafe dogs and not made available for adoption.

July 19th, 2005, 06:25 PM
Does a test such as this truely show aggression? If a dog that is brought into a shelter is scared of his surroundings, is placed in a kennel beside and across from many barking dogs, has new people constantly coming in and out, then he gets taken to a little room where he has this test performed on him, isn't it possible that he could get and F from just being frightened of this strange place he is in? Just curious.

July 19th, 2005, 07:37 PM
Quote (don't know how to do it properly with box and all :)

"isn't it possible that he could get and F from just being frightened of this strange place he is in? Just curious"

Hi - yes, this is what I was wondering as well and if there is a system in place to give the dog every opportunity to pass? Do they have various testers or is it just one person? Is there someone that can be called an expert in dog behavior present or is a vet tech experienced enough by pure virtue of the fact that they are manageing the front lines so to speak and see truckloads of dogs coming through?

And are rescues also responsible for doing a SAFER test or is this purely a shelter/spca testing?

Thanks for your help on this one.

August 24th, 2005, 04:35 AM
Temperament tests are a sequence of steps to be done in a very specific way and there are very specific guidelines for how, where, when, etc. the test should be done. In our shelter as in most I'm sure, a dog is given every chance. Usually a dog is given a few days, 3 or 4 to "settle in", get used to the surroundings and such. Test are given away from the sounds and smells of the kennels. Unless a dog is viciously aggressive, even if they don't pass with flying colors the first time, handlers will work with them in a way that doesn't stress them out more and then retest. We make every effort to take into consideration what they've already been through. Hope this answers your question.

I would think nearly every shelter does temperament testing. It's a valuable tool for placing a dog into a home where it will thrive.

August 24th, 2005, 09:32 AM
From experience, I can say that not all shelters give the dog every opportunity to pass. When some of our dogs were transferred to another shelter, they were tested on the same day - 4 of them failed and were slated for euthanasia before we stepped in and took them back. It's all going to depend on the shelter/person who does the testing.

August 24th, 2005, 10:03 AM
As far as I can see they are not very accurate. The idea is great but who does it and how/when/where it is done can set a good dog up to fail.

3 Laughing Dogs
May 14th, 2011, 05:58 AM
I highly doubt the Ottawa humane Society did a SAFER test on a 10wk old puppy. Guidelines stipulate that it should only be conducted on dogs 6mnths of age and older. That being said, time,space, personal mood, bias opinion of a certain breed when the test is being conducted. These set of tests are a quick but NOT 100% accurate shelters are a busy, overcrowded place and this form of triage is the most accurate of all previous testsyes. Sometimes a good dog gets a bad rap from the test but until a better, more accurate, test is developed, this will have to do