How resilient are our canine friends, particularly those who’ve been dropped off at a shelter and then re-adopted? In an effort to improve quality of life for abandoned dogs, a Ph.D. candidate in animal welfare and behavior at the U.K.’s University of Lincoln School of Life Sciences is looking for pet-owner volunteers to help her study the role of behavioral flexibility in the success of shelter dog “rehoming.”
The Dog Rehoming Project will assess behavior flexibility in two populations of dogs: 1) those who are part of shelters, rescue organizations, etc. who need to be rehomed, and 2) owned dogs who have been in the same family for at least three years. In order to assess behavioral flexibility, Karen Griffin has created a battery of game or puzzle-like tests that use items most people would already have around the house or shelter (e.g. cups, dog treats, chairs).