Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Lucas A. Keefer, Ph.D.
Several factors affect how guide dogs in training fare during the period before the dogs are paired with their future handler. One factor that has not been researched in the past is personality compatibility between the puppy raiser and the dog in training. For the needs of the visually impaired community to be met, guide dog schools need to efficiently train and match dogs to handlers without the dogs failing. To help reduce the number of dogs that fail guide dog training, this study suggests the assessment and comparison of personality for the dog and potential puppy raisers to better pair the team. A survey was sent via social media and email to several different guide dog schools for puppy raisers to complete. The Big Five Personality Assessment (Mezquita et al., 2019) and the Dog Personality Questionnaire were used to assess five factors of personality for both humans and canines respectively. Then training-specific satisfaction, stress, and positive and negative emotions questions were included in the survey to monitor progress of the training period. A total of 105 responses were viewed for this project. Preliminary results have shown that dogs high in responsiveness are the least stressful dogs to train. Raisers high in neuroticism are the most stressed and least satisfied with the experience. Pairing people and dogs based on their responses to personality questionnaires could lead to a higher passing rate from guide dog schools.
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Wood, Cassidy D., "Assessing the Role Personality Plays in Puppy Raisers and Guide Dogs in Training" (2020). Honors Theses. 736.