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Dog assessment - what does it involve?

(17 Posts)
freddiefrog Fri 29-Jun-12 10:41:03

Hi there, I hope someone can help.

We're coming to the end of the assessment process now, we go to panel at the end of July so we're just doing the last bits and bobs.

Our Form F assessor wants us to have our dog assessed by a behaviourist but I don't really know what it involves.

We have a 4 year old Springer Spaniel who is very friendly and sociable but exuberant and un-knackerable.

I'm slightly concerned it will involve poking him until he bites or pulling his tail to check his reactions or something, which if that's the case, I'm not sure I want to agree to it.

The dog is very friendly and I'm not worried that he would react in a negative way, I just don't think an hour of poking him is entirely fair on him iyswim


plrae Fri 29-Jun-12 13:16:52

Hi, we had our dog assessed but it was done by the assessing social worker. We were asked where he was from, if we had had him since a puppy, so full history. If he guards house. If he has been known to nip or bite. What he's like with strangers, children and babies. She observed him on her visits and was never prodded etc. I think as long as it's not on dangerous dogs list or has a history of biting etc you should be fine. Good luck!!

mistlethrush Fri 29-Jun-12 13:19:06

I've got a friend who is on the road to fostering, and I've visited him with DS - DS and I have both written something down about our visit including the fact that his dogs (ex racers) were fine with DS. If you've got any friends with children that might be able to do similar, that might be of assistance?

plrae Fri 29-Jun-12 13:20:51

Sorry forgot to say we were asked if there was an incident what we would do. We said we would get rid of dog but he has never been a problem and we are 3 years down the line. He is a chilled out labradoodle!!!

freddiefrog Fri 29-Jun-12 14:15:32


She's asked the basics about him - how old, how long we've had him, have we had any incidents with him, what would we do if there was an incident, etc, etc.

We've had him from a puppy (from a breeder friend, so we can go back to mum and dad if need be), they've had his full service history from the vet and we've also provided some testimonies from friends with children who have been around him lots, but she wants a full assessment from a dog behaviourist.

She says she has all family dogs formally assessed.

I don't mind him being assessed, as long as they're not going to spend the whole time trying to get him to bite iyswim, that's really not fair on him

Cazzmags Fri 29-Jun-12 20:29:01

Is your LA using an independent assessor for your form F? Like Plrae our dogs were checked by our assessing sw who incidentally is scared of dogs! smile

I was really worried about their assessment as they are very barky dogs, not nasty just noisy. In fact I was so worried I asked them to assess the dogs sooner rather than later as I though there may be an issue. Thankfully there wasn't, they were quite good and only barked a bit and then tried to lick sw to death so they passed. We've had a placement for a year and the dogs have been wonderful and we've never had the slightest problem.

Hope the rest of your assessment and panel goes well.

bonnieslilsister Fri 29-Jun-12 21:54:39

Yes, we just had our ssw assessing our dog. I have never heard of anyone having a visit to/from a behaviourist. If it happens I cant imagine they will do anything horrible to your dog. To go into that role you would need to be a dog lover. Are you with an agency op? I just cant imagine the LA having funding for this smile

bonnieslilsister Fri 29-Jun-12 21:55:22

Oh and good luck by the way smile

BusterTheDonk Fri 29-Jun-12 22:06:42

Our SSW 'assessed' our 4 dogs grin... she said that if she'd had any concerns, she would have referred us to a 'behaviourist' - we are with an LA... luckily no concerns...

I seem to remember we had to fill in a risk assessment about each animal (including one for the chickens !) about were they slept, which rooms they had access to, how food stored etc and they wanted confirmation that their vaccinations were up to date...

She certainly didn't try and tease them in the slightest... and boy, do our dogs bark if someone comes to the door, and sing when the phone rings grin

Dogs & other animals can be an amazing benefit to the LO's!!

Good luck freddiefrog x

freddiefrog Sat 30-Jun-12 12:33:10


Yes, we are with an agency, sorry, I should have said, I didn't realise the assessment process would be so different.

We're with FCA, we were forwarded on to them when we approached the LA

I'm are we'll be fine, he's a great family pet!

Gymbob Sat 30-Jun-12 23:07:35

Our doggy assessment involved the visiting sw looking at him to check he wasn't an illegal or dogdy breed and giving him a stroke Ithink. We'd already been fc's for a good while before we added our dog to our family.

He's better behaved than the fc....

Stellarforstar Sun 01-Jul-12 23:37:28

I have a springer too! Your doggy should be fine.

He's not on the danger list and any behaviouralist would assess him within the norms for that breed ie: bouncy? Check. Friendly? Check.

A dog is a good thing for a foster family- they provide unconditional love, don't judge and opportunities for lovely walks where you can chat and bond over their crazy antics!

Fosterangel Thu 16-Aug-12 19:50:35

Hi - Dogs are brilliant for teaching foster children about unconditional love. A dog also has needs (food, love, training, shelter, walks) so it is good for foster children to see how we meet these needs and view them as important. The rationale I suppose is that we are willing and able to ensure needs are met, dogs and children, and we take this seriously. The fun side is that we love taking the dogs out with our foster children. Our JRT is an expert football dribbler. The collie just runs and runs and the dachshund is just a whole lotta mini love. We have 3 dogs and love and use them as tools to foster. For their safety they sleep in baskets in our room (the two smallest dogs) and the collie has a gated off area under the stairs to bed down safely at night. I would find it really difficult to foster without my three helpers!

dadsLOVEtoo Sat 06-Oct-12 07:45:48

They won't provoke a dog but will touch him in places some dogs don't like like haunches / ears so on even then you would still be able to foster just not pre school age but I bet most children are over 10 yrs old mostly anyways so don't worry.

I've been in and out of care as a kid one family had a freindly but boisterous Dalmatian big male that would knock us down and mount us even in front of the sw but that's 15yrs ago now.

My mother in law pushed for my sbt dog be assessed by social but they wasn't intrested but I went to the office and said its more than welcome my 2yr old can literally do anything with him he's the most gentle dog in the world don't listen to the news staffs are not typically nasty when this was going on 2011 I found a statistics board from dog on human attacks the staffy was 7th the Labrador was 5th.

dadsLOVEtoo Sat 06-Oct-12 07:48:41

Sorry they will test for gaurd insticts too , food , toys , teddys , noise squeeky toys to see dogs reaction you can test all these now then it won't be new when they test him. Just think of common sence things how a dog will react to certain changes and interactions. Does he go mental when the post man comes or friends visit you will be fine.

dadsLOVEtoo Sat 06-Oct-12 07:56:29

As an adult came from foster care I find fosterangels message very belittling I've been through 8 foster homes going up and a residentual school so interacted with around 100 other kids in the exact same boat as me but I find the 1st half of that post to be better suited to a dog kennel forum foster children know all about love and especially responsiblity's most caring for adults. I am sorry but I view that comment like I view a lost little puppy I just want to rescue which I was never like.

Fosterangel Mon 08-Oct-12 15:22:42

So sorry DLT if I sounded belittling. That was not my intention and I am sad that you think so. I guess I came into fostering from an ok background just to try and make a difference. I am still fairly new and have a lot to learn, so it just shows how I will never really know how it feels to be "in care". Point taken.

I just wanted to make the point that we use all our resources (human and dog!) to help foster children settle in our family. Our ways of showing love will be different to their birth family's and dogs are sort of neutral so help break the ice. Our foster children are lucky to be able to see their birth family and we do see that they love them very much although they can't live with them.

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