Behavior & Training Open House Was a Hit!

What do you get when you bring enthusiastic supporters, happy dogs and a beautiful training facility together? A smashing success of a party! Thank you to everyone who came out to participate in our Behavior and Training Open House this past Saturday! We had about 75 people visit our Canine Classroom and several dozen brought the family dog along, too!

We saw dogs of all shapes and sizes competing for the Leave It Challenge,  or the “Eat –it” challenge, as some called it! Every dog had a great time anyway. There was some stiff competition in our Obstacles and Obedience challenge with top winners earning a new toy each. Congratulations to Angie with Hanna, Catherine with Mason, and Linda with Kiko for taking the top three places!

One of our teen dog walking volunteers, Caitlyn, organized her friends to host the paw-painting table where visitors had the opportunity to memorialize their dog’s paw print in color! One participant, super volunteer Marianne Fox, posted her dog Patience’s  framed pawprint on her Facebook page, saying that she was so happy to have made it.

Volunteers Sherrie, Jolene, and Nancy walked adoptable dogs – with one of our foster dogs, Opie, making a special appearance (and, he’s still available! Let’s get this boy a home!) Read about him here on volunteer Martha’s blog Adopt An Oregon Dog and here on our website!

It was fun to see WHS shelter dog alumni come back for a visit – Freckles, Patience, Sally and others who came back to show off how great they are doing in their happy, forever homes.

Behavior Program Manager Catherine Comden, CPDT-KA did demonstrations on Shy Dog Greetings and getting an automatic sit for the bouncy dogs. She and Chelsea Rock, our Behavior and Training Coordinator, also answered personalized training questions on the spot for those who asked about changing their dogs or cats behavior at home.

The Humane-a-Teens, a WHS youth club led by staff member Mandy Boyer showed up and were indispensable during set up, clean up, games and cake serving. Thank you, Humane-a-Teens!

In the Education Hall, we served coffee and cake while visitors watched video from our playgroups, and puppy classes. There was a dog-fact trivia contest, too. One winner was drawn. Congratulations, Scott!

If you were able to join us at this event, thank you very much for taking the time to visit! If you were unable to come this time, we hope to see you soon either in a group class, a private lesson or at a future event. Be sure to watch for us at playgroups during Yappy Hours, at WillaMutt Strut and of course at our monthly PETtalk events every second Thursday in the Ed Hall.

Our Behavior and Training Department is well-supported by the Willamette Humane Society staff, volunteers, donors and customers. We’re thrilled to bring quality dog training and cat behavior help to the public as well as helping our sheltered pets be more successful in their new homes. Please reach out to us and let us know how we can help you enjoy your pet more!

Catherine Comden, CPDT-KA

Behavior Program Manager at Willamette Humane Society
Named “the dog lady” by peers in grammar school, Catherine Comden, CPDT-KA first became a California licensed veterinary technician, then finished a BA in Psychology while doing undergraduate research on the human-canine bond at the University of Montana. After that, she was recruited by the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital to develop the ABC puppy school, to assist during veterinary behavior consultations and to help create and instruct the Purdue DOGS! behavior modification course for veterinary staff. Catherine is now an adjunct faculty member at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon and instructor for the state’s only community college level professional dog trainer certification preparation program which began in Fall 2014.
Catherine Comden, CPDT-KA