The study, published in the December 2014 issue of the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, used a shortened version of the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) to compare the reports given by relinquishing owners to subsequent evaluations conducted by shelter staff.
The results of both also correlated with the behavior of the dogs in their future adoptive homes, in terms of stranger-directed aggression, chewing, and inappropriate urination.
The study authors concluded the C-BARQ is a valid tool for assessing canine behavior, saying, "Overall, the findings confirmed the value of this type of shelter intake survey instrument for screening owner-surrendered dogs for the presence of behavior problems."
Additionally, as shelters move increasingly toward a non-judgmental, open-ended, conversational approach to both relinquishment deterrence and adoption, these findings reinforce the idea that owners don't lie or seek to hide information about their dog's behavior when talking to shelter staff.
Deborah L. Duffy, Katherine A. Kruger, James A. Serpell; Evaluation of a behavioral assessment tool for dogs relinquished to shelters. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Volume 117, Issues 3–4, 1 December 2014, Pages 601–609. doi doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.10.003.