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Just for Shelters

Upper Valley Humane Society: A Clicker Success Story

Upper Valley Humane Society started over 40 years ago as a foster care network. They purchased a small kennel in Plainfield, New Hampshire in 1972, but were crowded out by development, with new neighbors objecting to the barking dogs. Executive director Joan McGovern undertook the design of a new shelter. With a land swap facilitated by a benefactor, and the help of many donors and volunteers, they moved north to Enfield, near Dartmouth College, in 1991.

Reducing Barrier Aggression In Your Kennel

Some dogs will charge and bark aggressively at any dogs walked in front of their kennel indoors or at outdoor edges of their kennel. It is seeing the other dog moving closer that triggers the barrier aggression. Very likely these dogs were left alone many hours fenced or tied in locations where they were often stimulated visually by people and other dogs. Along with clicking for not barking and for not jumping up on the front of the kennel, UVHS has added nylon fabric panels to cover the chain link panel of the offending dog's kennel door. The panels are hooked to the chain link and can be removed as the dog develops self control which will happen as your clicker wise shelter staff and volunteers reinforce for calm, quiet, and not jumping up.

Clicking in the Shelter Environment

I've become very interested in clicker training dogs and cats in shelters. I've visited shelters around the United States and the UK and seen clicker programs in use. I often use shelter dogs for clicker demos at scientific and professional meetings. I've also gone into shelters, usually at the request of some TV team, and just started clicking and treating one dog or cat after another, in their cages—an interesting and often amazing experience.

Documents on Clicker Training for Distribution

These helpful documents on clicker training are available for you to download to your computer.