2015 APDT Annual Educational Conference & Trade Show

SA07 - Behavioral Interventions Outside the Kennel: Increasing Shelter Dog Adoptions

Oct 17, 2015 1:30pm ‐ Oct 17, 2015 3:00pm

Standard: $20.00


One of the leading preventable causes of death for a dog is euthanasia at an animal shelter. In fact, approximately every 10th dog currently lives at an animal shelter and only a portion will make it out alive. In this talk, I will describe the research on how we can improve adoption rates through behavioral training. First, I will describe what morphology and behavior of the dogs adopters are looking for when selecting a dog from the shelter. Then, I will demonstrate which training programs have been empirically validated to reduce inappropriate behavior both OUTSIDE OF the kennel and, subsequently, how these behavioral programs influence adoption rates. Specifically, I will describe programs been shown to improve adoption rates by approximately 70% at our experimental shelter and may be used by shelter professionals and volunteers to increase adoption rates and thereby decrease euthanasia rates at their local animal shelter.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess what adopters are looking for when they are selecting a dog from the shelter
  • Review how to train the specific dog behaviors that are shown to be important to adopters
  • Review how to develop a behavioral program at your shelter that is specifically aimed at increasing adoption rates of dogs


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