Professional Development

We provide consulting services, workshops, and seminars for professional trainers, behavior specialists, and Animal Shelters. For more details and cost information, please call Allison Hartlage, Manager of Animal Training & Behavior at 303-442-4030 x369.

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s Behavior Modification Program provides individual attention and support to shelter dogs and cats with behavior concerns such as anxiety and fear, intra-specific conflict, body handling sensitivities, and litter box aversion. This program saves lives by increasing an animal’s chances at a successful adoption, and as such, it is common for animals to be transferred to us from other shelters that do not have the resources to provide level of treatment. If your organization is interested in developing your own Behavior Modification Program or adapting one already in place, please contact Allison Hartlage, Manager of Animal Training & Behavior at 303-442-4030 x369 or via e-mail at

Program Summary:
This program is designed to provide students, shelter staff, and animal trainers with a unique opportunity to develop professional experience in behavior modification using effective and efficient force-free, science-based strategies. Participants will assist with daily enrichment, training, and behavior modification sessions for shelter dogs and cats enrolled in the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s Behavior Modification Program. Participants may observe and support Training and Behavior Consultants during behavior consultations and training classes and will also provide administrative support as needed. Participants will learn to implement treatment plans for behavior conditions including resource guarding, fearful and/or under-socialized behavior, body handling sensitivity, and separation anxiety.   Additionally, participants will learn treatment plans for efficient socialization of feral kittens and for resolution of feline house-soiling/inappropriate elimination. Skill development for low-stress animal handling, observation of animal behavior and body language, and appropriate use of counter-conditioning and desensitization techniques will be emphasized. Participants may choose a specific area of concentration and may have the opportunity for weekly crossover participation in other departments of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

Clicker training skills are required. Applicants should have a solid understanding of animal learning theory as well as applied experience in force-free animal training. Some experience as an animal shelter employee or volunteer is strongly desired. Must be at least 18 years old. High school diploma required. Work is performed in training arena, kennels, and office environment including some work outdoors. Participants must be able to safely handle large dogs on leash. Participants may be exposed to zoonotic diseases, cleaning agents and chemicals. Shifts are spent walking, standing, sitting, bending, lifting, answering telephones, and performing data entry.

A three-month commitment of 30 hours/week is required. Participants must be available during business hours with some evening and weekend hours.

A $950 non-refundable tuition fee will be charged to participants.

Application Deadlines:
January 15th for Spring candidates, April 15th for Summer candidates, July 15th for Fall candidates

To apply please send a resume and cover letter to