Future Training Of Service Dogs Case Study

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Humans and dogs have been living side by side for over 14, 000 years (Prestrude and O’Shea, 1996; Riddle, 1987). Throughout the years dogs have served as hunters, guards, herders, medical subjects, companions and guides for humans. Dog selection for a particular task is often based on pairing the task to the breed, attempting to choose one with the appropriate physical, personality, and psychological attributes (Weiss and Greenberg, 1997) (e.g. Jack Russell Terriers’ high stamina and high energy means they are well suited hunting, originally bred for fox hunting).Personality refers to the behavioural characteristics of individuals that describe and account for consistent patterns of normal behaviour that are stable across time and situations …show more content…
Svartberg and Forkeman (2002) identified the main variables describing personality in dogs as; playfulness, curiosity, fearlessness, desire to chase, sociability, and aggressiveness. An animal’s personality derives from the impacts of both genetics and environment, including previous experiences (Lofgren et al., 2014). Genetics – the breed and breed line – have a powerful influence on personality. The Irish Guide Dogs have a very successful Dog Supply and Breeding Programme, which was established in 1984. At the start, there were two brood bitches (females) and outside stud dogs (males) were sourced. Since 2000, the programme has advanced and expanded to produce high quality dogs for training as service dogs – guide dogs and assistance dogs. At present the breeding programme has thirty brood bitches and seven stud dogs and they produce around 140 puppies a year. Breeding stock has to be regenerated on a consistent basis. On average a bitch will breed six litters in her lifetime and will be mated every 12 months or so, the breeding supervisor will monitor Puppy Walking Scheme when the puppies are around 12 months’ old, removing puppies for new …show more content…
The most common breeds used for guide and assistance dogs are Labrador, Golden Retriever, Labrador cross Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, German Shepherd cross Golden Retriever, (Ennik et al., 2006) Labradoodle (Labrador cross Standard Poodle). Labradoodles are used for service dogs for people who are hypoallergenic As well as genetics, the environment in which the puppy is brought up will also play a big role in the development of its personality. Critical periods in early life are known to affect the long-term behaviour of the dog (Scott and Marston, 1950). The lack of proper socialization during critical socialization periods of a puppy’s life can also lead to different personality traits such as excessive fearfulness or aggression. Puppies progress through learning and development stages just as human children do. By introducing dogs to different kinds of people, animals and environments, the puppies will grow in their confidence and in turn develop their individual personality (Freedman et al., 1961). At eight weeks of age the puppies are given to their puppy walkers who will raise them and socialize them according to a set of recommendations provided by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT (Batt et

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