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Behavior Program

Our Behavior Program focuses on rehabilitating, improving, and expanding our dogs' physical, mental, and behavioral health during their time in our care. We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve, and leading national standards on the quality of care shelter dogs should receive daily.

The program includes two aspects: a behavior program that focuses on shaping a dog's view to have positive and healthy interactions with people, their surroundings, and other animals. The enrichment program provides endless hours of fun entertainment to each of the dogs housed at Adopt-A-Dog.

Our Philosophy

Each dog coming into our care is an individual, and no judgments are passed onto them based on their breed, size, and condition at intake. Dogs are living creatures, and they must be treated with respect when working with them in all aspects. Our training method is committed to providing the most humane techniques and an individually tailored learning path that will serve each dog with the highest chance of success during their stay at the shelter, in foster, and ultimately in their adoptive home. Our methods and tools used are modified to fit the dog's individual needs and are consistently re-evaluated as they progress in their program. 

Life at the Shelter

Once a dog arrives at our care, we run an entry assessment based on their presentation towards us, previous history (if provided), and their initial days in our care either in the shelter or in foster. For dogs staying at our shelter, every interaction with them is an opportunity to help the dog become as adoptable as possible. They are provided with a minimum of three outings daily from their rest areas to spend in the play yards, in playgroup, walks, car rides, etc. While staying in their rest areas, they are also provided with comfortable bedding and plenty of enrichment to keep inquiring minds occupied. Feedback from all activities and interactions our dogs have with staff and volunteers helps build their full behavioral assessment and adoption profile. These interactions are also vital to their overall health and well-being during their shelter stay.

Our behavioral assessments are completed by our Shelter and Behavior Manager and our partner Christopher Duonola of Duonola Dog Training. At the time of adoption, our adopters receive a full behavioral history of their dog and are provided educational materials to build their behavioral knowledge. For dogs in our Diamonds in the Ruff program, adopters are provided with free hands on lessons before adoption to learn the skills their dogs have obtained in our program.

Quality of Life

Quality of life is our top priority, and every aspect of care provided is to benefit the dogs' mental and physical well-being. Since we are very hands-on with our dogs, we can identify notable changes, and if there are signs of discomfort or stress, we will create a plan to target those areas poorly affecting their quality of life.

We build trust and bonds with dogs, which many have never experienced this type of love before, and we have seen dogs flourish through the care we provide. We love providing adopters with as much information as possible regarding their dog's likes, dislikes, quirks, and preferences, which all help make a successful match and lifelong happy adoption.