Animal Behavior Specialist
Almost There Rescue (ATR) is seeking a Behavior Specialist who is comfortable handling dogs of all sizes and temperaments. The Behavior Coordinator will use fear-free, force-free, positive reinforcement-based practices to enrich the lives of the dogs during their stay at ATR, as well as work to correct poor or difficult behavior and train towards basic obedience and skills to set them up for success in their future homes. Behavior Specialists should be confident, organized, passionate, and have good communication skills.
Responsibilities and Duties
- Work closely with Behavior Programs Manager; Perform duties as assigned by the Behavior Programs Manager in a timely manner.
- Maintain behavior & enrichment equipment, keeping inventory and ordering supplies or asking for donations when necessary.
- Assess the behavior of each ATR adult dog upon intake, and again on a weekly basis or as needed.
- Determine if a pet is not suitable for adoption through ATR.
- Maintain and update reports on the behavior of each ATR dog in Animal Shelter Manager, including assessment of dog with men, women, other dogs, temperament, and personality notes, behavior modification, training progress, and enrichment.
- Speak directly and professionally with owners, adopters, staff, and volunteers in regards to the dog’s behavior and suitability for adoption through ATR.
- Assist Medical Coordinator with providing treatment for animals as needed.
- Create and implement enrichment, behavior modification, and training plans for each adult dog to be followed by yourself, the behavior team, staff, and volunteers; Gauge effectiveness of said enrichment, behavior modification, & training with specific dog and change if necessary.
- Help to enforce, oversee, and improve the use of Puppy Culture in shelter and in foster homes.
- Recruit, manage, and train a group of behavior volunteers to assist in and perform tasks when deemed safe, including various enrichment, training, and behavior modification.
- Handle dog introductions between dogs of potential adopters and ATR dogs.
- Recruit and manage a list of solid “Shaper” Dogs to be used as needed for dog intros, puppy socialization, & puppy classes.
- Handle introductions, learning, and play-time with Shaper Dog and puppies.
- Create, schedule, and run Puppy Classes.
- Be the point of contact for adopters with behavior questions or concerns to point them in the right direction and help them create a course of action.
- Create and schedule continued education for staff & volunteers including dog behavior, dog body language, etc.
- Train staff and volunteers on appropriate handling and bite prevention.
- Work closely with staff, volunteers, fosters, and adoption counselors as needed to help avoid problems before they start.
- Interact with and assist other staff and volunteers as needed.
- All other tasks as needed.
- CPDT-KA or comparable certification in training or animal behavior.
- Use and promote fear-free, force-free, positive reinforcement-based training.
- Shelter/Rescue experience preferred.
- Excellent customer service skills.
- Must be able to function in a fast-paced environment.
Physical Demands: This position requires continuous standing, walking and kneeling, reaching, stooping and bending with little opportunity to sit down. This person must be able to lift and carry up to 70 pounds. The Behavior Technician works with and around others nearly all the time; seldom works alone and must deal with constant interruptions. The position requires repetitive motion of the hand, wrist and elbow as well as good vision and hearing. Must be able to hear above the sound of the animals and be able to speak clearly and communicate well with employees and the public. This individual handles a high volume of animals, has a great deal of contact with the all departments and works closely with co-workers; is exposed to poor ventilation, heat, cold, sudden temperature changes and wet quarters as well as noise, toxic conditions, animal odors and dander as well as potentially dangerous, fast-moving animals.
This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts, or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change. For example: emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs, or technological breakdowns and developments. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls, reach with hands and arms, climb stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl, talk or hear, taste or smell. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Work Environment: There will be exposure to dust, heat, cold and temperature changes; occasional wet floors, and animal noises, odors and dander.