I'm in touch with a rescue group that has a dog who hasn't been in foster yet. I know I must be crazy, but I'm very interested in her and may take her for a trial. They said she was evaluated by the shelter with the SAFER test and I am wondering what those of you who are involved in rescue think of the reliability of this test.
- Lynne
I'm in touch with a rescue group that has a dog who hasn't been in foster yet. I know I ... and I am wondering what those of you who are involved in rescue think of the reliability of this test.

No hands-on experience with the test, so take it for what it's worth.

I don't believe that failing the SAFER test necessarily says anything about the suitability of a dog to be a good companion, but passing it is probably a very good thing. My own dogs probably wouldn't pass parts of it. The test consists of stare, touching the dog, touching the dog when unexpected, pinching between toes, food/rawhide aggression, interest in toys, resource guarding towards toys, dog/dog interaction, reaction to being pushed into a sit, reaction to stranger/approached by friendly stranger, etc.

Suja
I'm in touch with a rescue group that has a dog who hasn't been in foster yet. I know I ... and I am wondering what those of you who are involved in rescue think of the reliability of this test.

The shelter I work with uses it. It's not 100% comprehensive, but I think that for given resources, it's a valuable and accurate test. It's more limited than evaluation in a foster home will be, but that doesn't mean that a passing grade isn't a good one. Passing can vary though, and if you can, it would be nice to see the individual grades.
Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
food/rawhide aggression

Rudy didn't pass the rawhide portion.
The SAFER test is a guide for how or if to put a dog up for adoption. There are no strict recommendations - each shelter/rescue chooses what they want to try to rehab or not, using the grades as a guideline. With the same dog with the same grade, shelter A may euthanize, while shelter B will restrict adoption, while shelter C may undergo specific rehab work.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
The shelter I work with uses it. It's not 100% comprehensive, but I think that for given resources, it's a ... a good one. Passing can vary though, and if you can, it would be nice to see the individual grades.

Yeah, I asked for those. All I know right now is she passed all tests and by all accounts is very friendly to people, dogs and cats. I'm taking off work Wed-Fri just to meet dogs. =)

Lynne
The shelter I work with uses it. It's not 100% comprehensive, but I think that for given resources, it's a ... a good one. Passing can vary though, and if you can, it would be nice to see the individual grades.

I just found out that I will not be able to get the individual scores, but I'm still going to go meet her on Thursday.

Lynne
The shelter I work with uses it. It's not 100% ... can, it would be nice to see the individual grades.

Yeah, I asked for those. All I know right now is she passed all tests and by all accounts is very friendly to people, dogs and cats. I'm taking off work Wed-Fri just to meet dogs. =)

Actually, fostering dogs for a rescue can be a really great way to get a great dog. If the dog isn't right for you, you go ahead with adopting it out through the rescue. If it is right for you, you end up adopting the dog. You get a trial run without risk. Well, other than the risk of ending up with a bunch of dogs you find you can't bear to part with. Not that I would know anything about that phenomenon, but I've heard tell...

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
Well, other than the risk of ending up with a bunch of dogs you find you can't bear to part with. Not that I would know anything about that phenomenon, but I've heard tell...

LOL! I've only wound up with one, but if DH weren't around.. Rut roh!

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Well, other than the risk of ending up with a ... would know anything about that phenomenon, but I've heard tell...

LOL! I've only wound up with one, but if DH weren't around.. Rut roh![/nq]It's interesting to me how many of the dogs we thought were keepers for various reasons we ended up actually adopting out eventually. Sometimes long long after we had taken them in, the perfect situation would come up for them. It's easier to let them go when you can see that they will be going somewhere perfect for them. I think I could do rescue again and place a lot of dogs with neighbors from all the ones who want my dogs or dogs like mine (basically trained and polite), but it would be hard to pass dogs along to some of them.

I think the hardest was a great dog and a good home. It would be tempting to keep them, then. I wouldn't, because they needed a home more than they needed perfection, but I would worry more and would be more tempted to just keep the dog. Perfect placements don't happen as often, but are so much easier!

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay