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Animal behavior and training

People don’t always know how to meet all of their pets’ emotional and environmental needs. Affordable, professional help can keep pets in their homes. By understanding pet behavior, knowing how to effectively communicate with struggling pet owners and building your behavioral help and training capacity, you can help avoid unnecessary surrenders and keeping as many pets as possible in the homes they have.

Chihuahua on leash climbing leg
  • Guide to cat behavior counseling

    Advising pet owners on cat behavior issues can mean the difference between a cat keeping or losing his home. The Guide to Cat Behavior Counseling was developed to help address pet homelessness at its roots — to keep more cats in their homes. This guide provides comprehensive information, giving you the confidence to advise cat owners when they call prepared to give up their pet for a behavior issue.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Animal behavior and training

  • Magazine Article

    Kindred spirits

    At Dakin Humane Society, Alanna Regan cuddles spirit cat, Maui.

    Shelter programs focus on finding new homes for shy or frightened 'spirit' cats

    Vinnie Van Gogh, a reticent feline, spent four months at Dakin Humane Society before his photo appeared on the shelter’s website with the headline “The Socially Awkward Cat for the Socially Awkward Adopter.”

    “Seriously all this guy requires is a couch and someone to give him his daily necessities,” the write-up by the Springfield, Massachusetts, shelter read. “Take him home, and have a perfect buddy for all those times that going out is just not worth the effort. He understands.”

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  • Magazine Article

    How far can fostering go?

    Apprentice trainee Sarah Brasky, founder of Foster Dogs, Inc., in New York City, takes Dakota for a stroll at the Pima Animal Care Center.

    A new vision for sheltering is trending—and being tested—around the country

    Recognizing that most animals do best in a home environment, shelters are testing the limits of high-volume foster care programs and teaching other shelters to ramp up their efforts to get more animals into foster homes. Could the future of sheltering be all around us?

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  • Magazine Article

    Food for thought

    Cooper, a 1-year-old pointer mix, was enrolled in the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s behavior modification program to work on his  food-guarding issues. Cooper’s face shows the pleasant, anticipatory response staff members look for when working with dogs.

    Modifying food guarding behavior in the shelter environment

    Charlie, a social, wiggly, young miniature poodle mix, was the highlight of my days at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) for a 10-day stretch last spring.

    He was a joy of a dog, actively greeting and entertaining visitors, his little white body almost humming with exuberance, his open mouth panting the joys of puppyhood and painting unsuspecting faces with enthusiastic licks. When greeting a dog playmate, Charlie became a bouncy, bounding, white streak of play!

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