At The Academy for Dog Trainers, it is not lost on us that many dogs are relinquished to shelters for their behavior. In fact, one of our key missions is to help dogs stay in their homes. It’s unsurprising, then, that many Academy students found their way to the program via shelter and rescue work, and many continue that work in some capacity well beyond graduation. 

The Academy is always keen to support its alumni in these types of endeavors, and the Pet Rescue Resource is one such example. The program is a product of the Pet Professional Guild’s (PPG) Shelter & Rescue Division, where many Academy graduates are proud to serve as volunteers. Over many months, this Committee pooled their collective resources and developed a behavior and training toolkit to help shelters and rescues improve adoption and retention rates. 

But how best to deliver it to the public? The Committee felt strongly that the content needed to be accessible online at no cost. It also needed to be simple, user-friendly and easy to use. And, it needed to be beautifully designed. Because The Academy had the bandwidth and resources to build a dedicated site in-house, we were happy to help and provided an in-kind donation of graphic design services.

 

Illustration of different management strategies to prevent jumping

 

Screen grab from the site breaking down the two main interventions for addressing jumpy/mouthy behavior

 

Both the Committee and The Academy are delighted with the end result, which combines articles, training plans and in-depth videos with intuitive design to support staff and volunteers working with animals in shelters and foster homes. The project aligns with The Academy’s aversives-free training philosophy and with its mission to provide the highest quality education that ultimately prevents dogs from being relinquished to shelters. 

 

Excerpt of the Resources Index page

 

Excerpt from the Training Plans page

 

The toolkit is geared toward handlers with varying levels of experience in behavior modification, from novice to expert. All materials are presented in a step-by-step framework that is easy to implement: it is specifically designed with the highest level of efficiency in mind so that busy staff and volunteers don’t waste a single minute with ineffective and/or irrelevant training practices.

 

Sample page from one of the many download-able training plans on the site

 

You can download a high-res PDF of this plan here: Teaching a Dog to Sit

The first project of the Pet Rescue Resource is all about jumpy/mouthy dogs—why they do it, how to prevent it, and how best to train more appropriate responses. This project launches April 2, 2020. Recently, Academy staffers were given an opportunity to review the website and were delighted at the quality of the materials.  We hope that you agree, and that the shelter and rescue dogs in your life reap the benefits. 

What’s next? 

We encourage you to join the Virtual Summit celebrating the launch here

Reserve some time tomorrow to comb through the extensive resources on the site, and share it far and wide: https://www.thepetrescueresource.com/