Behavior Help

In our Behavior department, we offer kindness and compassion to pets at our shelters that are timid, anxious or in need of gentle behavior training in order to become the best possible candidates for adoption.

Our Animal Behavior program helps pet owners have positive relationships with their pets through the sharing of best behavior practices.

We also collaborate with other Colorado shelters that have homeless pets with behavior issues. By bringing these pets to the Dumb Friends League for behavior support, we can give them the best possible chance of being adopted.

And finally, our behavior specialists work daily to provide training and enrichment to the pets at our shelters, making their stay with us as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

Ultimately, keeping pets in homes by educating owners as well as pets will help us achieve our mission of ending pet homelessness and animal suffering.

Resources

We offer a variety of resources to assist pet owners with their pet’s behavior:

  • icon-behavior-helplineFree help line – Use our online appointment calendar to schedule a time to speak with one of our behavior specialists. You can use this free service whether or not your pet was adopted from the Dumb Friends League.
    • This service provides:
      • One-hour free phone consultation with a behavior specialist
      • Training advice to help modify the behavior concern
      • Management strategies to prevent the behavior from escalating
    • This is a one hour phone consult to help address the issues you are experiencing with your pet, but it is not intended to immediately fix or resolve these issues. All behavior issues take time and patience to work on and this consult will provide you with the foundational tools to do so.
    • We cannot assist with cases involving aggression towards people and other animals in the home. We recommend a private trainer to come out to your home to assist you. Please visit www.apdt.com (dogs) or www.iaabc.org/consultants (dogs and cats) if further work is needed to find a local positive reinforcement trainer.
  • icon-behavior-handoutsHandouts – Find helpful tips about common behavior issues in our behavior resource library. Our free handouts are available to all pet owners.
  • icon-behavior-classesClasses – The Dumb Friends League does not provide classes for cat or dog owners but we highly recommend visiting www.apdt.com to find a local positive reinforcement trainer in your area. You can refer to this handout on how to find a trainer that best suits your needs.
  • icon-behavior-classesPrivate consultations – One free, one-hour, private consultation is available to you if you adopted your cat or dog from us and need assistance with specific behaviors.
    • This service provides:
      • One-hour free in-person consultation with a behavior specialist
      • Hands on training advice to help modify the behavior concern
      • Management strategies to prevent the behavior from escalating
    • This is a one hour in-person consult to help address the issues you are experiencing with your pet, but it is not intended to immediately fix or resolve these issues. All behavior issues take time and patience to work on and this consult will provide you with the foundational tools to do so.
    • We do not do in-person consults for cats due to the high level of stress cats can experience from the shelter, but we do provide over the phone consults. If you adopted a cat from us please set up an appointment through our Helpline to speak to a behavior technician over the phone.
    • For safety and logistical reasons we cannot assist with cases involving aggression towards people and/or other animals in the home. We recommend a private trainer to come out to your home to assist you. Please visit www.apdt.com to find a local positive-reinforcement trainer.

Additionally, we recommend the ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist website, which offers numerous behavior tips.