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Canine Behavior Programs Specialist

Job Description

Title: Canine Behavior Programs Specialist


Reports to:Director of Operations

Salary Level: $14.50/hr to $22.00/hr D.O.E


The Canine Behavior Programs Specialist is responsible for preparing, planning, implementing, training, promoting and overseeing HSSA’s existing canine behavior programs and oversees the  behavior modification program New Beginnings that is  designed for fearful and unruly dogs to increase their adoptability. The Canine Behavior Programs Specialist will maintain programs currently being utilized within the shelter, as well as identify and assist in developing new programs and relationships with external community partners.

    • Oversee the design and implementation of in house shelter canine training programs using positive reinforcement training methods. Includes evaluation of animals, preparation of written training plans and hands-on work with animals in shelter.
    • Develop creative behavior modification plans that will work for a variety of skilled handlers (kennel staff/volunteers/foster parents/adopters/DOC crew) and a variety of pet needs (fearful shy/barrier frustration/high arousal/food aggression)
    • Train staff, volunteers and selected DOC members to work with dogs on individual behavior modification plans.
    • Provide behavioral assessments of shelter dogs for adoption suitability and proper placements. Provide retesting and training/behavior modification for failed or borderline assessments.
    • Work with volunteers and staff on canine enrichment implementation.
    • Assist in further development and implementation of an intake behavior evaluation protocol for dogs and for initial and quarterly/as-needed refresher training of admissions, adoptions, DOC crew and volunteers.
    • Generate monthly reports, maintain statistics and submit weekly/monthly reports for the Director of Operations.
    • Refine and improve the dog introduction protocol for shelter and customer pets
    • Liaise with the Animal Care, Adoption and Admission Supervisor in implementing additional shelter behavior modification, behavior rehabilitation and training enrichment strategies
    • Responsible for keeping accurate records for all Shelter Animals participating in behavior modification, community and enrichment programs. Conduct all necessary research and data collection to facilitate program(s) development
    • Assist Operations Supervisors in communicating and implementing behavior modification and training program policies, guidelines, and procedures to HSSA staff and volunteers
    • Identifies behavior modification requirements, concerns, and changes in individual animal behavior, and alerts appropriate staff
    • Utilizes positive behavior modification techniques and training methods when working with individual animals to increase their adoptability.
    • Works with Marketing staff to promote New Beginning dog participants.
    • May participate in special events including fundraisers, media events, public lectures and demonstrations.
    • May assist in decision making for euthanasia as part of a three person decision making team.
    • Maintain behavior handouts and update materials when necessary
    • Public speaking at community groups, as assigned
    • Contacts Rescue groups on specific animals for transfer or placement alternatives
    • Other duties as assigned.

This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions or qualifications associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change,  for example, emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs, or technological breakdowns in departments.

Please email your resume and application to