Shelter Behavior Mentorship

The shelter dog behavior mentorship is a must for any shelter with behavior programs.

This three month, 13 module course looks at shelter dog behavior from many of different angles, starting with intake and assessment, and continuing through behavior modification, enrichment, adoption and beyond. Along the way, you will review your shelter’s current behavior programs and create SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) for every link in the chain where behavior is involved.

Ideally, mentees will have access to their shelter’s policies and procedure manuals. If you are not currently working at a shelter, this is an opportunity to create your own SOP’s for that next job opportunity. Having written protocols for every part of our jobs is one of the most important things a shelter behavior department can do, to ensure dogs are handled consistently and kindly, and to capture behavior and behavior changes along the way, so that we can determine the dog’s pathway and placement options.

The behavior lead or behavior team make so many decisions for every dog in our care. We can choose to stand in the way of animals moving through our system and into homes, or we can be an integral part of speeding the process up, saving more lives and getting our dogs adopted (while keeping them behaviorally sound during the time they’re with us.)

Zoom meetings to discuss these topics as a group, go over homework, and to troubleshoot your shelter’s issues will be held every two weeks, and we have a discussion forum to talk about ideas and troubleshoot issues in between meetings. Meeting times are Tuesdays at 7 PM EST or Wednesdays at 10 AM EST. You can attend one or the other; the topic will be the same on both days.

  • Module 1 starts July 6/7: The Five Freedoms, ASV Guidelines and Capacity for Care
  • Module 2 starts July 13/14: Intake
  • Module 3 starts July 20/21: Canine Communication and Low-Stress Handling
  • Module 4 starts July 27/28: All things SOP with Ann Jorgensen
  • Module 5 starts August 3/4: Working with Volunteers
  • Module 6 starts August 10/11: Enrichment with Mik Moeller
  • Module 7 starts August  17/18: Shelter Ninja Handling Techniques
  • Module 8 starts August 24/25: Dog Play and Social Rehab
  • Module 9 starts August 31/Sept1: Behavior Modification 1
  • Module 10 starts Sept 7/8: Behavior Modification 2
  • Module 11 starts Sept 14/15: All Things Foster
  • Module 12 starts Sept 21/22: Criteria-setting, BE and Compassion Fatigue
  • Module 13 starts Sept 28/29: Adoption and Post Adoption Support

Wrap-up and farewell zoom meetings will be October 5/6.

Registrations for this mentorship are now closed, but you can sign up for our mailing list to be notified of the next one!