Skip to content Skip to navigation

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.

    Read More

Most recent Tools and Resources > Animal behavior and training

  • Magazine Article

    Fired up

    Justin Davis, a K-9 handler for the city arson bureau in San Antonio, Texas, says his former shelter dog Kai is a bundle of energy who’s found a great outlet in arson investigation.

    Former shelter dogs train to sniff out suspected arsons

    A stray found roaming the streets of Bloomington, Illinois, in 2009, Kai didn’t make the best first impression.

    “I thought she was crazy,” says Justin Davis, an instructor for the San Antonio Fire Training Academy in Texas and K-9 handler for the city’s arson bureau. “I didn’t know what I had gotten into or how it was going to work out. She was like lightning out of her crate. She was off the walls and all over the place.”

    Read More

  • Blog Post

    Are they getting the care they deserve?

    Using the Five Freedoms to ensure quality of life for animals in our care

    In my days working in a shelter, when I turned out the lights and left at the end of the day, I would ask myself one very important question: “Did I give each and every animal the best possible care today?” 

    I’m guessing you do the same. But how can we be certain? How do we know for sure that any animal is living a good quality life, let alone an animal living in a shelter environment? The answer lies in something called “The Five Freedoms.”

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Greener pastures

    Taryn Hillman, an administrative assistant at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, leads a horse through a training exercise.

    Equine facility provides safe haven for abused and neglected animals

    When the trailer finally pulled to a stop, the horses shuffled nervously as the rear door rolled open. One by one they exited the trailer, hooves clopping slowly down the metal ramp. The place they’d come to wasn’t home, but it was just as good—a resting place where wounds, both visible and hidden, could be healed.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Shaping kinder kids, Part IV: Life lessons

    A lifelong animal lover, Virginia Hamilton has never been shy about promoting compassionate ideals to her K-6 students.

    Students help train adoptable dogs and gain valuable life lessons

    As animal welfare leaders continue to push the sheltering and rescue field into the future, finding new strategies to tackle the roots of animal homelessness and cruelty, it pays to keep in mind that kindness has roots as well.

    Read More

  • Blog Post

    The ogre that wasn't

    My cats, including 17-year-old Monroe who had never shown interest in going outdoors before, now spend the majority of their time in the catio.

    I finally got my catio built, and my cats couldn't be happier

    A few years back I attended a panel discussion at Animal Care Expo where Barbara Carr, then director of the Erie County SPCA, talked about the Ogre of Procrastination. You know—that big ugly monster of an incomplete project that looms over you, causing you to lose sleep and remaining undone? It’s the thing that, no matter how simple or how complicated, has morphed into a mythical creature of such proportions that the task seems impossible.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Not here, kitty, kitty

    Gardens and landscaping can present tempting lounging spots, but not every homeowner welcomes community cats.

    Practical solutions can keep community cats away from areas where they’re not welcome

    High- and low-tech solutions keep community cats away from where they're not wanted.

    Read More