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Training shelter dogs potentially increases their adoptability by teaching them behaviors that make them more desirable to adopters.
Another technique used to reward calm behavior is to teach dogs to move to the back of the kennel and remain calm when visitors enter and exit the kennels.
Using the right rewards will help motivate dogs to learn new behaviors and to interact with us.
The Say Please Program creates and maintains relationships with people, in a non-confrontational manner, by teaching the dog to sit (or perform another trained behavior) in order to gain access to what he or she wants. Teaching dogs to walk nicely and NOT to pull on a leash is an important foundation behavior for our shelter dogs. We use martingale style collars with all of our dogs, to prevent them from slipping out of their collar on walks.
Dog Behavior and Training Level 2 is a 32 hour course and consists of 2 modules plus final exams. Some dogs will become less shy or more social or learn impulse control, and most will gain some basic manners from the class.
It can be an easy project to get a shelter dog training class set up and running at your rescue or shelter.
After 45 minutes to an hour, the dogs and people participants walk out of the class smiling and tired. Jackie McKenzie is one of the 14 Animal Behavior College students in the On-site classroom program for Dog Training this semester. Animal Behavior College is an animal vocational school that offers dog training, veterinary assistant and pet grooming certifications. A good training program will motivate dogs to learn and provide them with mental stimulation. We use treat buckets to create positive associations with people and to reward desirable behavior from outside the kennel.


This can prevent dogs from escaping and teaches them to pay attention to cues when they are excited. Dogs that are pulling on leash are often paying attention to their environment (and not us) which can get them into trouble. For starters, it enriches the dogs' lives, as it gives them time out of a kennel, human interaction, experience in a room with other dogs on leash, and confidence while learning basic cues. It reduces stress and is an energy burn for the dogs; bodies and brains, which can result in quieter and better-behaved dogs in their kennels.
If a dog displays fearful or reactive behaviors, we can make adjustments to their space with barriers and distance. An empty lobby or hallway when your organization is not open can work if you have no room dedicated to training. With some planning, and a little bit of work, setting up a Shelter Dog Training Class can enrich the lives of all the participants. This specific On-site Dog Training class is held at the Animal Behavior College Valencia, Calif. It will also educate staff, volunteers, and owners about the value and fun of basic dog training. It's an opportunity for volunteers (and employees) to become more interested in the dogs as they learn about behavior and training, and all while having fun. Brady is receiving more advanced training and going through his repertoire of tricks that include touch, spin and paw.
We find that the human participants often take these experiences in the class to the street, using what they've learned to benefit the dogs at other times, too. Every week Jackie and her classmates volunteer at Best Friends Animal Shelter in Mission Hills, CA.
Jackie McKenzie says the skills she has learned in school like: back chaining, patience, and motivation, makes dog training a breeze.


Candy is barking and lunging at other dogs, so a barrier is set up to manage the distraction and to help her concentrate while learning. Whether it's during basic interactions or on a walk, the dogs are getting more consistency throughout the week! Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity for the student dog trainers to receive real-life training experience.
All the students love Best Friends and really enjoy the opportunity to help train shelter dogs. Back at home she has 2 other dogs (SGT and Ralphie), 3 cats (Layla, SMAC, and Zumiez), and a snake named Cocooi.
That same consistency can help volunteers and employees as well, providing the tools and giving them the confidence to handle dogs more effectively.
Each student works with different shelter dogs that need to improve socialization skills, house training, and better manners. Both volunteers and employees participate in bringing these resident shelter dogs for training and much needed enrichment each week.
This is a typical Wednesday night in the Shelter Dog Training Class at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Shortly after she returned from her last deployment her wife suggested that she pursue a career in dog training.



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