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Join Erica Feuerbacher and Lisa Gunter to learn the state of the art in animal sheltering! 

Tentative Schedule:

Sunday: Welcome Dinner

6-8 pm location TBD

Monday AM:

  • Lecture - Introduction to Dog Behavior, Shelter Edition.

  • Who Are Dogs In Shelters? Evidence-Based Interventions Aimed at Improving Adoptions & Reducing Relinquishments

Monday PM

  • Working field trip - Observing Behavior in Shelter, Identifying Behaviors

  • Through Lens of Research & Observations: Use ABA Techniques to Develop Intervention or Use Research-Based Intervention. They Try It, Record Results, Discuss

  • Topic Salon @ Nearby Bar/Restaurant - Best & Worst Practices at Your Shelter

  • Dinner on own or continue where Salon was held

Tuesday AM 

  • Lecture - Behavior Assessment - What Does the Science Say? How Do We Use Intake Info, Observations from Staff & Volunteers, Assessments to Make Decisions & Recommendations

Tuesday PM

  • Working field trip - Assess Dogs, Gather Information, Make Recommendations (Teams Can Evaluate Dogs in Two Groups, Come Back Together to Discuss Findings)

  • Hike with Dogs at to enjoy Montana's Big Sky country

  • Dinner at restaurant in town or on own

Wednesday AM:

  • Lecture - Housing (Co-Housing Project), Environment Enrichment, Dog-Dog Interactions & Playgroups

  • Drive to working field trip out of town: Get food on way or bring along

Wednesday PM

  • Working field trip: Tour Dog Kennels, Observe Environment Enrichment Already in Place, Discuss Differences. Do Shelter Dog Meet & Greets, Discuss Behaviors Observed, Playstyles that Work Well Together, Lead into Relationship-Based Playgroups

  • Dinner out of town as group

  • Drive back to Helena

Thursday AM:

  • Lecture - Interactions with People (Quiet Time, Sleepovers), Training & Behavior Modification

  • Drive to working field trip out of town: Get food on way or bring along

Thursday PM:

  • Working field trip - Tour Dog Kennels, Observe Volunteer Programs (Walking, Outings, Etc.) Already in Place, Discuss Participating in Sleepover Project (Staff Describe Benefits of Sleepovers)

  • Brainstorm Ways of Meeting Dogs’ Needs in Dog and People-Centered Interventions at Your Shelter - Observe dogs & make recommendations based on behaviors

  • Dinner out of town as group

  • Drive back to Helena

Friday AM:

  • Lecture - Adoption Process, Post-Adoption Support, Safety Net Programs & Community Involvement

Friday PM:

  • Individual Brainstorming (Or in groups if from same shelter): Understanding the Needs of the Dogs in Your Shelter, What is One Program You’d Like to Implement at Your Shelter & Why - Describe Logistics of Implementation: What Would You Do, Who Would Do It, How Would You Measure Success

  • What is One Research Study You’d Like to Carry Out at Your Shelter (Based on Behavior of Dogs or Current Program) & Why - Describe Logistics of Implementation: What Would You Do & How Would You Carry It Out

  • Cocktail Hour & Program/Study Presentations at TBD

  • 7-9 Farewell Dinner at restaurant in town