Shelter Behavior Workshop, Level 1

Dogs Out Loud

March 2016

Shelter Behavior Manual, Level 1


The purpose of this training is to improve life at the shelter for both the dogs and the humans! Knowledge is power and the more we understand about dog behavior, the more effective we can be as their handlers, trainers, and advocates, and the more positive & FUN our interactions will be!


  1. To learn clear and consistent techniques for handling our dogs, ensuring that staff and volunteers are trained in the same methods and approaches and veterans are able to help reinforce those methods for new volunteers & staff.
  2. To use small changes to create big results. Quality of life is directly proportional to the behavior we see in our dogs. We will answer the questions, "What can staff do with the time they have to improve quality of life, positively influence behavior, and create more adoptable dogs?"" and "How can volunteers best use their time to focus on the dogs who need them and their particular skill set most?"
  3. To provide clear and actionable information that enables staff and volunteers to safely and comfortably manage, support and adopt out dogs with varying behavioral needs.

Dog Body Language

What is the dog saying to you and how are you using that information?

  • Promote Appropriate Behavior
  • Redirect Unwanted Behavior
  • Reinforce Calming Signals
  • Recognize Eye Contact

Human Body Language

What are you saying to the dog and how is the dog using that information?

  • Model the behavior you want.
  • Establish and communicate clear boundaries.
  • Be present.
  • Speak their language.

Removing From and Returning to
Kennels & Pens

First impressions matter.

  • Approach
  • Entrance
  • Leashing
  • Exit
  • Repeat

Leash Skills

Good leash manners = adopted dogs.

  • Equipment
  • Handling the Leash
  • Engagement
  • Loose Leash Walking Techniques

Quality & Enrichment

There is no better way to prevent undesirable behaviors from developing and/or escalating than through providing enrichment and quality of life! So many of the behaviors we see in the shelter environment are due to stress. But the good news is, there’s much we can do to help!

  • Basic Needs
  • Quality Enrichment
  • Easy Training Games for Adoptability and Enrichment

Easy Training Games

Meet & Greets and Facilitating Adoptions

Send those doggies home!

  • Adoption Matchmaking
  • Networking

Resources, Programs, and Sharing Information

Diva says sharing is sweet! (Almost as sweet as donuts.)

  • Where to find info on dogs?
  • How to get more training?


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