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Education Programs and Certifications
Foster Home Education
This is TBone (Top photo). He was on the kill list at a shelter for aggressive behavior toward humans, but after going through a special foster training program designed specifically for dogs like him, he is now an amazing family dog.
Rescuing dogs from animal shelters is an awesome thing to do, but national statistics show that on average, 10% of all adopted dogs are returned to the shelter or rescue they came from. The primary reasons are behavior issues, like biting, jumping, aggression, or fear.
Most people don't realize that when they adopt a dog, it will often have suffered a trauma and might have difficulty adjusting to a new home. There are also cases where a dog is in the shelter for too long and becomes institutionalized. It becomes difficult for them to connect with people the longer they stay in the shelter.
Many shelters and rescues try to combat this issue by creating foster programs. For the most part, they're a great success, but there are still dogs that fall through the cracks.
"Many fosters don't feel they have the education that they need to help at risk dogs become adoptable." - Foster Coordinator CT-Animal House Rescue
Being a Foster-Trainer for several national rescues, I've worked with over 400 death row-dogs with complex behavior issues that have been successfully rehabilitated and adopted. In the 10 years that I've been doing this, I've optimized the rehabilitation process. I feel that the knowledge that I've gained needs to be shared to save more dogs. Implementing a Mind-Body-Spirit approach made it possible to help dogs in foster care reach their maximum education level in the shortest possible period of time.
Austin Animal Center, the country's largest no-kill shelter with over 8000 adoptions a year, invited us to share that knowledge with fosters and staff. A grant from Maddie's Fund made it possible to do a workshop that was free to the fosters and behavior team.
The results from that workshop were amazing. A pre-workshop survey showed that only 30% of the fosters attending were comfortable taking in reactive or aggressive dogs. After the workshop, 73% said they would be fine with it. Before the workshop, only 17% felt comfortable rehabbing a reactive dog. After, an astounding 100% felt confident that they could rehabilitate a reactive dog. Fosters also felt more confidence in educating new adopters about their foster dog, and helping them create a healthy relationship. The numbers went from 27% to 82%.
The program was so successful that we've been asked to do Holistic Foster Training workshops all over the country, and even internationally. Rescues from England, Ireland, Canada, and Australia have all invited us.
This workshop makes it easier for no-kill shelters and rescues to build a path to adoption for long-stay dogs, and decreases the likelihood of euthanasia due to behavior issues, and adopter returns.
Unfortunately we've run into a problem; money. Most shelters and rescues have limited funds to pay for foster education, even though fosters are a big part of every successful no-kill shelter. We would like to use the money we raise with this campaign to offer the program for free to at least 3 shelters or rescues who currently have foster programs, but have budget constraints.
The funds will pay for us to take time off from work to facilitate the workshops, traveling expenses, and venues. We eventually want to do this program in every no-kill community in the country so that we can support their work to save lives. We're asking for your help to make our dream come true.
Here are a few testimonials from Austin Animal Center and Friends of Austin Animal Center volunteers and fosters about the workshop:
The workshop is facilitated by myself and co-taught by Barbara Buck, an energy medicine practitioner and certified Holistic Handler.
I guide dog owners, trainers, behaviorists, and fosters to finally solve even the most complex challenges. I use holistic, emotion-based, force-free training methods to get results. I am a firm believer in educating not only pet professionals, but the public about emotionally positive training and the damaging effects that negative reinforcement and alpha theory can have on dogs, especially ones with trauma.
Holistic Dog Training is based on the law of nature that a whole is made up of interdependent parts. An individual dog is more than just an animal to be controlled. Emotions, energy, and health are all involved in creating and maintaining a positive human/dog relationship naturally, for life. Holistic training addresses all of these elements so that they can exist in harmony to heal an out of balance dog.
Here is a link to to Friends of Austin Animal Center's blog post about the workshop at Austin Animal Center:
Service Professionals Education Program
The Holistic Dog Handler workshops are designed specifically for professional pet services like veterinary offices, boarding facilities, and groomers. Staff will learn the holistic approach to dog training and be given the tools they need to handle dogs in a safe and supportive manner.
When the Holistic Handler workshop is completed, participants will understand how dogs think in binary terms, using simple exercises to show how each individual dog has a different thinking pattern based on his breed, sex, age, experience, trauma, and emotional intelligence.
They will learn how to deal with multiple dogs, handle aggression and reactivity, and resolve complex disputes and behavioral issues. Diagrams, videos, and practical application will show how emotions and excitement can lead a dog from calmness to arousal, and what state of mind a dog is in at any given moment.
What Staff Will Learn
Dog personality traits and how they behave in social settings
Excitement and engagement
How trauma affects dogs
Understanding reactivity and aggression, and the difference between the two
Handling disputes between dogs and breaking up fights
Reading and understanding body language
Getting dogs in and out of kennels and play yards
Using safety equipment properly
Transporting dogs, getting them in and out of cars
Restraining a dog safely without harming them
All workshops are tailored to the specific needs of your business and are flexible regarding staffing issues. Pricing is based on the number of staff, location, and other logistics.
Host a Local Workshop
Help your city become Non-Kill and host a local foster training workshop with Roman
Host An online Workshop
Improve and suport your foster network by offering a online training class with Roman
Become a Certified Holistic Foster parent
Help your foster heal from trauma, eliminate bad behavior, and improve his