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Behavior Evaluation Resources


Great Dog Adoptions: A Guide for Shelters

A must-have guide for helping organizations conduct behavior evaluations and improve the quality of life for shelter dogs through training and enrichment programs. Includes the Assess-a-Pet “temperament testing” methodology used by many shelters. Written by Sue Sternberg and published by the Latham Foundation. $18.50. Visit and click on “Products and Services.”

Assess-A-Pet: Dog to Dog Aggression Testing

Explores dog-to-dog interactions, which are perhaps the most complicated to interpret, and helps readers understand the signals, signs, and actions a dog gives. $10. Visit and click on “Shelter Shop.”

SAFER: The Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming

A behavior evaluation system designed for shelters to help them accurately and efficiently select safe dogs. Also includes informative behavior evaluation history, data, and studies in appendix. Developed by Emily Weiss, PhD, and published by the American Humane Association. Book & CD: $20; video $5. Visit

Canine Behavior: Body Postures & Evaluating Behavioral Health

A two-video-plus-workbook training program for evaluating canine behavior and understanding their body postures. Created by Suzanne Hetts and Daniel Estep and produced by Animal Care Training Programs in collaboration with The HSUS. $149 for the video and workbook set. Call 800-357-3182 or visit

Meet Your Match: The Canine-ality Adoption Program Guide

A comprehensive set of materials to help your shelter develop a Matchmaker program similar to the one created by Emily Weiss, PhD, in conjunction with the Kansas Humane Society. Part 1, the Canine-ality Assessment, is designed for use with animals who have already been deemed safe for adoption. Part 2, the Dog Adopter Survey, helps people identify the kinds of animals who may fit their lifestyles. $15. For more information or to order, e-mail



Use this product to evaluate dogs for resource guarding much more safely. A rubber hand on a stick, this fake arm appears real to the dog without causing more stress. $20.

Small Dogs, Big Issues

This one-hour, 20-minute video includes evaluation of five small/toy shelter dogs and was filmed live at All About Dogs in New York. Covers evaluation process; stress and coping abilities; placement guidelines; sheltering difficulties; difference between fear- and dominance-based aggression. $49.95;


Pets for Life Regional Training Centers

The HSUS Pets for Life Training Centers have trained more than 400 animal care professionals to improve or implement behavior programs that help keep pets in their homes. In 2004, The HSUS will offer a new three-day course on implementing a behavior helpline. In addition, Pets for Life Training Center graduates from across the country have been trained to teach a three-day basic behavior course in 2004 to new students from organizations in their area. If you are interested in attending either three-day class, please contact Nancy Peterson, Pets for Life Training Center coordinator, at or 301-258-3129.


Certification courses are intensive four-day, hands-on courses offered throughout the year. Courses are limited to five hands-on participants and an unlimited number of observers. For an Assess-A-Pet packet of certification information, call Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption at 845-687-7619.


Check out these national organizations’ websites for current seminar schedules, many of which include topics directly or indirectly related to behavior evaluations. Also, look close to home for seminars provided by regional and state humane organizations.

The Humane Society of the United States:;

HSUS Animal Care Expo:

American Humane Association:

Open Paw:

Association of Pet Dog Trainers:


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