Do Dogs Have Your Heart?

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So you love dogs and want to be around them more? Maybe you have even thought about being a dog trainer? But where would you go for that, you ask? Why not right here at Willamette Humane Society? We’ve got multiple ways for you to experience your passion, give your time and energy to homeless dogs and even become a professional or increase your knowledge for national certification! Here are some opportunities for you:
WHS Volunteer Program.

Training at WHS
Volunteer Training at WHS

Our dog walking and kennel buddy program is a great way to get started with learning how to handle a variety of dogs. You can participate in our comprehensive online training course, be matched with an experienced volunteer mentor and get your hands on dozens of dogs every week! Some volunteers love being a kennel buddy, visiting with dogs during down time while they wait for their new families to find them. Other volunteers walk the dogs through long paths on our property. Still other volunteers help bring dogs out for social time in our playgroups where we not only enjoy watching them romp but see who they really are, unleashed and free to choose. Our volunteer program continually offers training the more you get involved. There are classes to work with shy and fearful dogs, bouncy dogs and weekly classes to help dogs learn more adoptable manners. Our highly skilled behavior team receives extensive education and training to work with our most challenging dogs in order to get them to be able to succeed in a pet home. There is a one-time $25 fee which covers our administrative costs and then all of the hours of training you receive is at no additional charge. Crazy-amazing great deal. Volunteer orientations are twice a month – here’s a link to more information.
Chemeketa Community College (Community Education) Professional Dog Trainer Certification Preparation Lectures and Practicum.
Don’t let the official name scare you away. This course is for any dog nerd, whether you aspire to become a pro or not. This 10-week course can be taken as a unit or parceled out, in 2 or 3 week chunks. There are four lecture/workshop classes: Every Dog a Genius (Canine Learning and Training); Canine Body Language and Aggression; Canine Behavior, History and Health and Canine Behavior Coaching. Each of those classes meet one day a week for three hours and meet two or three times. Some students sign up for only one class because they have a particular interest in, say, aggression. Others sign up for the lecture bundle to earn a savings from Chemeketa. Some students sign up concurrently for the practicum while others split the cost, taking the lectures one term and the practicum the next. The practicum consists of 10, two-hour weekly sessions working shelter dogs through the concepts taught in class. A partnership between Chemeketa and WHS, this course will prepare you with the knowledge necessary to pass the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers exam (CPDT-KA). You must have 300 hours of specific kinds of hands-on dog training experience to sit for the exam, so check that out, here:
Dog in training
Dog in training

However, not everyone coming through this program wants to sit for this exam. You may just be a total dog nerd and want to learn alongside others who share your passion! If you’d like to learn more about these classes, why not join me at an informational meeting on Saturday, September 17 at 3 pm in the Education Hall at Willamette Humane Society? Please bring a bag of dog training treats as a donation. This is a great course, moderately priced for the wealth of information and practical mentoring through the process of developing your interests, skills and goals. These classes meet on Mondays starting September 26th. See the Fall Chemeketa Community Education Program Schedule for prices and more details or come to the Meet and Greet on Sept. 17th.
CATCH Academy Workshop, September 19-23.  
Training dog at CATCH Academy
Training dogs at CATCH Academy

New to WHS this fall, this week-long intensive and practical hands-on experience will stretch you, inspire you and is guaranteed to improve your dog training skills.  You’ll get written materials, video and live coaching from some of the best trainers in the industry. WHS is thrilled to partner with renowned CATCH Academy, a mentoring organization that has helped thousands of trainers reach their professional goals. The WHS behavior department toured to St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter in New Jersey this summer to participate as coaches and learn to teach this workshop. We were thrilled with the breadth and depth of the curriculum and are excited to be chosen as the first west coast location! For more information, please see this link.