As soon as we enter any discussion about assessing behavior we are immediately hit by several challenges:
- Terminology: behaviour, personality, temperament, instinct... or ??
- Are we interested in evaluating an individual dog? Or are we trying to determine aspects of a breed?
- If we are doing a 'test' what is the purpose?
- for the general interest of an owner?
- because of a behavioural 'problem' or clinical condition?
- to assess an individual dog for fitness - in general or for a specific activity (e.g. therapy dog)?
- to determine whether the dog should be bred?
- to evaluate heritability of traits within a breed or a litter?
Focus, terminology, approach, tests and testing and more may vary by country or area; breed and other factors.
Some of these challenges have been included in discussions at the International Dog Health Workshops, where there has been an attempt made to define the issues that should be addressed among international collaborators.
Selection for Behavioural Traits as discussed in plenary sessions at the 2nd International Dog Health Workshop
Plenary presentations (Saturday 14th February 2015)
Prof. Peter Friedrich: Selection for Behavioural Traits
Prof. Erling Standberg: New developments and assessment tools for behavior Challenges and needs
As well as a summary of the group workshop:
Selection for behavioural characteristics_Post-workshop conclusions
One of the new developments discussed was the BPH Tool (see other article in this section)