Marion County Dog Shelter: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant

What was the money or product used for?

It paid for my DPFL mentorship training at Austin Pets Alive! from Sept. 11-15, 2018.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

I learned some new techniques and gained more confidence in my abilities. I feel more comfortable running multiple playgroups and working with dogs who have more-challenging behavior issues. I was able to come home and get started working with some of our more-challenging dogs and I was able to help several of them gain better dog-to-dog skills. I have been able to have more confidence in my ability to train our volunteers to help me run my playgroups and to be able to explain to them what behaviors I am seeing in the yard and why I might be making the decisions to move or to not move dogs in or out of the play yard. I have gotten some great feedback from my volunteers.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far 4-6, but I am still working with dogs currently as well.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We had Ace, a 3-year-old bulldog mix, who had selective dog-to-dog skills, but with what I learned at my mentorship, I was able to get him to the point to where he was playing with five other dogs unmuzzled. Ace was adopted and is doing well. We also had Diego, a 4-year-old bulldog mix, who was also selective and a status-seeking male. I was able to work with him to the point where I could take his muzzle off as well, and he could play with a smaller group of dogs, just no intact males. I had trained them both on Gentle Leaders and their adopters purchased those devices when they were adopted. I’ve included pictures of both Diego (fawn) and Ace (black and white). I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity to learn and grow. I am studying now to take my test to become a CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed).