We need strange stuff!
Help FSD create a behavior assessment “obstacle course”
FSD is asking our dedicated supporters to get involved with a fun and important new project that will help us more effectively evaluate and select potential service dog candidates for our training program. We are planning to implement a new dog behavior assessment test later this summer that has been successfully used by other service dog and guide dog organizations. The test utilizes a behavior scoring system called the Behavior Checklist (BCL) that provides a way to describe aspects of behavior important for service and guide dogs. By using the BCL, we will have the ability to measure dog behavior in a consistent manner and collect data that can be used to further refine how we evaluate and select dogs.
The behavior assessment test will take place at our training facility, where a room will be set up in a particular way so that dogs will have exposure to various stimuli, such as a vacuum cleaner, fan, loud noises, and novel objects. Following a set protocol, the dog being tested is allowed time to explore the room freely and then is guided through exposure to these stimuli in the same order and on the same time schedule. By doing this, each dog is tested in exactly the same manner.
Here’s where it gets fun—and where we need you!
FSD is in need of very specific items and materials to set up our training room for the behavior evaluation tests. Some of these items can be made at home, some may be found at thrift stores, and others can be purchased online. Our deadline for obtaining all these items is July 31.
Here is the list of items, along with helpful photos, that we currently need:
Items to be used as uneven surfaces for dog walking: plastic pallet, wavy plastic roofing material, 30” section of an exercise pen.
Two (2) statues of creatures other than a dog, ideally with large eyes and 20”-28” tall.
Electric box fan (higher-speed flow and quiet if possible).
Short table (24” wide x 42” long x 20” tall) for dog to jump up on for exam, with non-slip mat or other non-slip surface on top.
Child-size doll or mannequin that stands upright and is at least 2’-3’ tall.
Five (5) novel objects: mechanical toys that roll or make noise and move.
20” tall garbage can.
Ghillie suit (type of camouflage clothing) with hood and face veil that is large enough to fit different sizes (one Medium, one Large)
Small, artificial ficus-type tree in pot, approximately 4’ high.
Please contact Volunteer Manager Ryan Holman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-922-6231 x201 with questions or if you plan to donate any of these items so we know what to expect.
Thank you for helping us make this important improvement that will help FSD evaluate and select more successful service dogs for our clients in need!