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Dog Body Language Interpretation: The Future of Adoption?


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The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is approaching dog adoption from a unique and extremely effective angle in an effort to better match dogs with new owners.

HSSA Vice President Kerri Burns says seven employees have been nationally certified by the ASPCA to read a dog’s body language. Assessors note such behaviors as “tails down, ears up, lip-licking.” Burns says this alternate method of evaluating dogs will help to ensure long-term adoption success.

Burns also said that thanks to the extra attention to detail, in addition to positive results with adoptions, the shelter is even catching medical problems that they’re addressing before the dogs go to a new home. It’s a winning formula that offers greater hope for the 350 animals currently housed by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, and one that may very well find widespread acceptance with publicly funded shelters nationwide as word of the program spreads.