Some days ago I filled out the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) from the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society of the University of Pennsylvania. Atlhough mainly directed at people working with dogs (such as vets, breeders, shelters, researchers, etc.), it is also open for owners of pet dogs for a limited period. According to the website, it is
currently the only behavioral assessment instrument of its kind to be extensively tested for reliability and validity on large samples of dogs of many breeds. The current version consists of 101 questions describing the different ways in which dogs typically respond to common events, situations, and stimuli in their environment.
And these are Kali’s scores:
101 is probably a lot if you’re talking about dalmatians, but it isn’t much if those are the question to evaluate complex dog behaviour.
As you can see, Kali has no score for familiar dog aggression. This is because the questions to this segment were focused on the reactions towards other dogs in the same household (Kali is the only dog here) and towards other dogs visiting your household (we never have visiting dogs because of the cats, who are afraid).
Kali has never shown aggression towards familiar dogs, it’s the strangers she has issues with – as visible above. Both bars for dog-directed aggression and dog-directed fear are yellow and higher than average – some concern. That was to be expected.
This is what C-BARQ has to say about the coloured bars:
Kali’s reactivity towards other dogs is a problem, and we’re working on this with management and training. I think we’ve come quite far already, altough stranger dogs running towards her directly will always be an issue.
She also got a high yellow bar for chasing. See this post for an example. Training her recall and getting used to the usual neighbourhood cats has helped a lot, but we’ll have to keep that up, or it might become an orange bar…
The questionnaire is supposed to have both a follow-up & a reassessment, we’ll see what the next results will be…