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Just for Shelters


Saving Dogs in Cyprus: KPA Shelter Course Graduate Making a Difference

Fri, 01 Nov 2013 19:10:37 +0000

A pioneer overseas

Carole Husein, one of the first graduates of the new KPA Shelter Training & Enrichment course, is putting to good use everything that she learned in the course recently. Not only is she integrating lessons and tips from the Shelter course in her dog training business, School for Dogs, but she is making tremendous improvements in the lives of rescue dogs. Working through CyDRA (Cyprus Dogs Rehoming Association), an organization that supports private rescue kennels (Carole is the group's education and training coordinator), she oversees a private rescue kennel herself. Carole's volunteer and professional work is in Cyprus, a tiny ancient island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, and northwest of Israel.


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Improving the Life of Shelter Dogs: A Conversation with Karen Pryor

Mon, 02 Sep 2013 01:12:29 +0000

Editor’s note: Dogs are relinquished to shelters for many reasons. People move, have a new baby, get divorced, lose their homes.


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From Pipe Dream to Positive: Lindsay Wood's Impact in Animal Welfare

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 17:03:27 +0000

Editor's Note:

Lindsay Wood, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) and the newest member of the KPA faculty, once thought her lifelong desire for a career working with animals was nothing more than a pipe dream. Fortunately for both Lindsay and the animals in her care at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Lindsay's pipe dream is now a reality. Since 2007, Lindsay has served as the Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. She developed and implemented the Humane Society's comprehensive behavior modification program created to rehabilitate dogs with specific concerns, including food guarding, fearful behavior, body-handling sensitivities, separation anxiety, and dog-dog aggression. As a result, adoption and retention rates have increased at the Humane Society, and many dogs that might have been euthanized have been re-homed successfully.

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Helping Shy Dogs Blossom Using Targeting

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 15:00:00 +0000

Shy dogs are an especially difficult challenge in the shelter environment because it is so hard for them to establish trust. We have found that teaching these dogs to target our hand can help many shy dogs develop confidence with people fairly quickly. You can't begin to try this method until there is at least one person (staff or volunteer) the shy dog has a little trust in.

Target training teaches the dog to touch his nose to some object or person for a click and then treat. (If the shy dog is very noise reactive, you may choose to use a "soft" voice marker or a muffled clicker)

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It's a Clicker Win-Win: Shelter Animals and their Volunteers

Sun, 01 Mar 2009 17:00:00 +0000

If you've ever had a rewarding experience volunteering, you know that it's not always clear who benefits more: the person donating their time and services, or the recipient. This is especially true when working with animals. That win-win scenario is exemplified in The Latham Letter article "A New Wrinkle in Animal-Assisted Therapy," written by Lynn Loar, Ph.D., LCSW, President, The Pryor Foundation and Ken White, President, Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.

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SHIP for Battered Mothers and their Children

Wed, 01 Jun 2005 05:00:00 +0000

The six mothers and their 15 children are housed in a transitional living apartment complex for battered women. In many ways, these are the "lucky" families. These courageous women have made the difficult decision to leave their abusive partners. They have spent up to 30 days at the battered women's shelter and, subsequently, have made the even more difficult decision to not return home—ever. In seeking a safer life for themselves and their children, they live in TLP, the Transitional Living Project, run by the Greater Cincinnati YWCA. For up to two years the women are offered job counseling, employment support, skills training, and therapy groups.

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FAQs for Shelters

Sat, 01 Jan 2005 06:00:00 +0000

Clicker Training uses a clear, distinct signal that is unemotional and consistent. Animals learn quickly from an occasional click and treat, here and there, for desirable behavior such as sitting instead of jumping on the kennel door, or being quiet instead of barking. The more information an animal receives about its environment, the more calmness and confidence that animal will display. The calmer and more confident the animal appears, the sooner it will be adopted.

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Media Files:

Success with Puppy Weaned too Early

Wed, 21 Apr 2004 05:00:00 +0000

From Charleen Cordo: I am a member of APDT and have been clicker training and teaching clicker training in my classes for about the past 7 years now. I also have the youth at the Colorado Boys Ranch learning to use it. We work with shelter dogs whom we adopt out to appropriate homes through a program called New Leash on Life. These are "throwaway" dogs but they respond so well that they adapt readily and appropriately into their adoptee families after we work with them for 9 to 10 weeks.

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Clicking Feral Cats

Sun, 01 Jun 2003 05:00:00 +0000

Trying to desensitize and tame a hissing, feral cat, whether kitten or adult, can be a slow business. You can speed it up immensely with the clicker. Use a highly-preferred treat, such as canned tuna or any freeze-dried fish cat treat. Approach the cage, let the cat retreat, put a pea-sized treat in the front of the cage, click, and instantly back away.

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New Hampshire SPCA Clicks for Life!

Sun, 01 Jun 2003 05:00:00 +0000

Susan Carney is Community Programs Manager at the New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham, New Hampshire. Spurred by the success of other New England shelters, her organization is planning to incorporate clicker training in their program. Earlier this spring Susan wrote to our Shelter Resource Center, "I've taken the hints and information from your shelter pack and I think we will be OK. I am really excited about all that I have learned. I am going to try to take a crack at training the staff myself. Our first training session is May 6th."

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Keeping Clicker Records

Tue, 01 Apr 2003 06:00:00 +0000

A little clicker work goes a long way toward helping dogs adjust to kennel life. Many different people can work with the same dogs, if they all click for good behavior.

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Volunteers Can Play the Clicker Game

Sat, 01 Mar 2003 06:00:00 +0000

Clicker training can seem mysterious until you experience it personally.

Pick one person to be the subject, and someone else to be the clicker teacher. Use pennies, paperclips, or wrapped candies for treats. Send the 'animal' out of the room while the group chooses an everyday behavior: switch the light on, pour a glass of water, pick up a book, turn in a circle.

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Teaching Adopters the Meaning of Click

Sat, 01 Feb 2003 06:00:00 +0000

Now that the dog knows what the clicker means then potential adopters should know, too. Make clickers a part of getting acquainted. Show adopters how to hold the clicker, click it, and give a treat. Clicker dogs quickly focus on a person with a clicker. Two people can take turns calling the dog, clicking it, and treating, so the dog goes back and forth between them.

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Shelter Volunteer: Clicker Training Changed My Life

Sat, 01 Feb 2003 06:00:00 +0000

I wrote you months ago when I first read Don't Shoot the Dog. I wrote then that I would be a "clicker maniac"...guess it was an understatement.

Since then, I'm working towards my CPDT with Animal Behavior and Training Assoc., became a member of APDT, acquired an extensive Positive library, signed up on some really great online groups, and volunteer at the local shelter.

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Click for Focus

Sun, 01 Dec 2002 06:00:00 +0000

Creating an atmosphere that's calm helps dogs get adopted. Try this simple focusing exercise as a first step. Put a good treat in your closed hand (e.g. a tiny cube of cheese) and put your fist against the wires. When the dog sniffs your hand, click and toss in the treat. Repeat twice, then put your empty fist against the wires; click for touching, and give the treat from your other hand.

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