Recording is now available to watch on-demand!
We hope to see you on Monday August 28, 2023 at 11am PT for our next Community Conversations call. We will be joined by @Shonyae Johnson, Behavior Manager at Operation Kindness for a presentation, "Behavior on a Budget: Accessibility for Behavior Assistance." This discussion aims to explore the critical need for accessible dog and cat training resources, tailored for marginalized communities that may not otherwise have access. The increasing importance of keeping pets in their homes while animal shelters are overflowing emphasizes the need of providing training techniques that accommodate limited financial resources, transportation, and time availability. By examining the challenges faced by low-available income families in accessing conventional training programs, this conversation delves into innovative and cost-effective approaches to cater to their needs. The discussion will also address the potential benefits of improving pet training for both the well-being of animals and the overall community. Join Shonyae Johnson as she discusses strategies to bridge the gap and promote effective training methods, fostering healthier and happier relationships between pets and their marginalized owners who visit our organizations.
#Behavior,TrainingandEnrichment#EducationandTraining------------------------------Maddie's Pet Forum AdminMaddie's Fund------------------------------
I am SO very excited and hope to see everyone there!!!
Thank you to everyone who joined me today. It was a pleasure having the call hosted by @Jose Ocaño and @Lawrence Minnis! As promised, here's the information!
View my presentation | Or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFruQm9p-s/ZKguGLkvf-tAFYYXCOwvBA/view?utm_content=DAFruQm9p-s&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink
Visit me and learn more about my team here: Operation Kindness - www.operationkindness.org
Sharable resources + slide credits:
Special shout out to: Everyone at OPK, including Ed, Paige, Angelica + Chanel my superiors and teammates who make it easy to do the work we do! To the Maddie's team, + my amazing co-host for welcoming me and being supportive! To Allison + Rachael for being absolute supporters in my corner from afar. To everyone in our collective, for encouraging, uplifting, and reminding me that we can do this. Wishing you all well.
------------------------------Shonyae Johnson - CPDT-KAProgram + Operations ManagementBehavior ManagerOperation Kindness------------------------------
Curious how financial considerations come into play. Did you collect if they were able to afford the resources they needed? - Emily D ;We do not collect payment for anything outside of our public facing workshops and a $50 which is secured at time of setting up with a trainer for 3 sessions. The deposit can be returned or donated at the completion of training. If a client can afford training, they can donate back into our fund to assist other clients. We take the approach that if someone is seeking out financial assistance, than they DO need the help. And if they have extra to spare, they can help the next dog in line.
What type of training methodology are you looking at? - Ana Marie J.;At OPK we follow the LIMA protocol, better known as Leash Intrusive, Minimally aversive. We do not add labels to our training, but to focus on reinforcing positive behaviors first. You can find more about LIMA here (https://www.ccpdt.org/about-us/least-intrusive-minimally-aversive-lima-effective-behavior-intervention-policy/)
Locally, I have yet to find a trainer that does not send people home with shock collars (and an untrained dog). - E Watson ;You can use the Fear Free Directory or the CCPDT-KA website to find trainers local to your area:
It may not be much, but I wonder if you can roll that "donation for sign up" back into the adopter's scholarship? April K;Definitely worth mentioning! We roll over our deposits into our next training cases!
What are the shelters doing to counsel people about matching the dogs to the lifestyle before they select a dog? A lot of mismatches can be avoided, but I've been in shelters that are so fixed on getting the pets out the door that there's no attention given to this topic. - Penny L;Our adoption counselors rely on our assessments to counsel adopters for the behaviors they are seeing with their pets. We have a scale that identifies our pets based on their behavior (1-2 easy to handle, 3 fearful responses, 4 arousal responses, 5 custom consultation needed). In addition to having that snapshot, they rely on internal notes from staff and volunteers, play group notes, medical handling notes, etc to counsel to the adopter the understanding of the pets personality that we have. We focus on open adoption policies and offer support while helping clients find the best pet. Maddie's has some great information on counseling + marketing your pets.
Can we get the drawing link posted? - Penny L;
------------------------------Charlotte OteroCommunity Strategist at Maddie's Fundshe/her------------------------------
I found this video very interesting. We live in a very rural area - we struggle with programs in the area to help keep pets in their homes. SNIP will give food, put up fences, provide basic training tips, etc. Watch the pets if families have emergency and can't take the pets. We do everything possible to keep that pet in their home.
@Alisa Fraser - That's great that you are helping those pets stay in their homes!! Living in a big city, I can only imagine it can be a bit more difficult in finding some solutions, so kudos to you and your team. Here are a few recommendations on increasing that reach:
I would also like to learn from what you all do and offer so to bring that into my community as well. (We have no county shelter).
Is the bottom line that training needed within shelters is outsourced, a logistics problem, a financial burden, but integral for successful adoptions?
The biggest asset for understanding, evaluating, managing and modifying dog behavior is observation.
I love the direction the industry has taken over the last 20 years, and I believe I have something still needed to add in this area that's lacking and will increase each persons abilities to meet the needs of/ understand/ train/ help more dogs and their families meet and/or stay together. And, it isn't dependent on money. It can actually generate it.
Absolutely, dogs teach us! We learn from our experiences, which I especially value in others when leading down a common path. I have a long and unique history with dogs!
As a professional, I built around me with dog perspective in mind so I can provide each and every dog what it needs, and more, maintain daily, where we can all learn about each other naturally, communicate safely and effectively, and build on a solid foundation. Safety first. Happy dogs. Working together.
How can a shelter full of untrained dogs get what they need (at any level, from any level of handler)to increase their chances of successful lasting adoptions, especially if living in an environment non-conducive for learning? (Even in the best environment, dogs usually begin in an unavailable mental state, so "training" starts at a stand still. ) The dog still needs handling and care. How can that be done comfortably and productively for dog and handler? And at little to no additional (if any) cost? Is this the question?
If so, I'd like to help.
If not, what am I missing?
I believe shelters should be and can be the epitome of dog care and understanding. Management Modification and Training are active in the routine I provide for all the dogs in my care. All 3 are of equal importance for my (and their) success but all the attention I see out there seems to fall under "training". (And$$).That's just a tree in the forest. And what each dog needs is not an "extra".
If I can do it, by myself, others can too, (do what?), and a team will surpass me with endless opportunities. It won't disappoint. It should be able to self-sustain. My end goal isn't the training that gets/keeps dogs in homes, or what makes me successful in my business. It's the emphasis on providing for and understanding dogs and their needs, developing positive communication to achieve baseline training, and solid relationship attachments, all part of routine care.
If you know of shelter dogs struggling to cope, or shelters struggling for help, they don't have to be. Every dog should feel safe and comfortable and improve in their environment daily, meaning learning needed skills while receiving care, and all caretakers should love being in and working in the dogs' environment too. If not, changes should / must be made.
What changes, if any, would you (collectively) like to see for shelter dogs and staff? What are they already getting? Is it good enough? What do you think they need? Where is the focus?
More importantly, I don't want any adopted dog from shelter or rescue to be involved in a fatal dog mauling. Dogsbite.com has a statistic that I think was 17% of dogs involved in fatal maulings over 13 years were adopted thru shelters or rescues. (Not all pit type dogs) Controversially, this statistic should be and can be Zero %. This is not a behavior training problem, and shouldn't be overlooked. Any questions about this or how to get there?
I am 100% responsible for the dogs in my care. Every shelter and rescue should be too.
I'd like to know, what are the daily experiences like for the shelter dogs you know of? What does their day/week look like? Are they mostly waiting for someone other than existing staff to come in to 'get out' or 'train'? How /how often are the dogs observed being themselves outside of a closed room or not on a leash? How much direct human interaction / handling does each dog encounter on an average day? How often does a dog move out of its sleeping area and what types of spaces are available?
I believe, if people out there, especially those already interested in understanding and doing the work, are given a maintainable shelter/work environment where dogs are given time and space to freely and safely express themselves (good, bad, and ugly), acclimate, socialize at various distances, …, dogs will be healthier (mentally, physically, emotionally), more adoptable, and people will become (better) knowledgeable /thoughtful "trainers". Any outside training help can advance and contribute, but there's no dependency on them.
As we watch, care for, and interact with dogs, they help us to better understand dogs in general, as individuals, how to best provide, protect, teach and learn from them. Currently, from what I can tell, shelter dogs also need an environment that adheres to LIMA as well as any chosen methodology.
Is any of this up for discussion?
Plus, there are so many avenues to study, I'm particularly curious about biology of behavior and the brain. 'My' environment /system /routine can encourage and support further research. There's science behind it. Its replicable. It's adaptable. It's loved by the dogs I keep and the people who know them. It's taught me more than I can say, but I'm trying.
I'd like to become part of the team. Is anyone interested in talking about anything I've posted?
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