Benefiting the animals & our community
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.
We offer a variety of resources to assist pet owners with their pet’s behavior:
- Free 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.
- This service provides:
- Handouts – Find helpful tips about common behavior issues in our behavior resource library. Our free handouts are available to all pet owners.
- Classes – The Dumb Friends League does not provide classes for cat or dog owners but we highly recommend visiting
www.apdt.comto 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.
- Private consultations – If you wish to have a private, in-person consultation you must first schedule a phone consultation with one of our behavior specialists. You will receive immediate advice and management strategies at the time of the phone call. If at the end of the phone consult you still need additional support and you have adopted the dog from our shelter, we can schedule an in person consult with one of our behavior consultants.
- The in person consultation is a one-hour session to help address the behavior concerns you are experiencing with your pet, It is not intended to immediately fix or resolve these issues. All behavior concerns take time and patience to work on, and this consult will provide you with the foundational tools to do so.
- We do not offer in-person consults for cats due to the high level of stress cats can experience at the shelter, but we do provide over the telephone consults. If you adopted a cat from us, please set up an appointment through our Behavior 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 that you hire 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.