Shelter & Rescue Essentials Collection

Shelter & Rescue Essentials combines three ClickerExpo video sessions and our bestselling shelter training book designed to inspire and engage shelter staff, volunteers, managers, and trainers. The collection features the live-stage presentations of Lindsay Wood Brown and Kathy Sdao, and includes a bonus digital copy of the bestselling book Click for Life! Training for the Shelter Environment by Karen Pryor, Emma Parsons, Dee Ganley, and Nancy Lyon!

The collection includes:

  • Words Matter: The Impact of Language Choice
    As a social species, we recognize and acknowledge that thoughtful word choice is important within our interactions with others. In a shelter environment, the words we use can have a significant impact on staff, animals, and adopters. Traditionally, the vocabulary used in a shelter environment is, often quite unintentionally, unhelpful to the shelter’s mission and the interests of its stakeholders. In this Session, Lindsay will be proposing and discussing a vocabulary rich with language that is both accurate and neutral, and that is rooted in descriptions of observable characteristics of behavior. Discussion of language impact will focus on behavioral examples within the shelter environment. The goal is not to create “politically correct” vocabulary in the shelter, but to use words that are scientifically accurate and accessible to consultants, shelter staff, and owners. Accurate is not “soft” or “harsh.” It’s simply accurate! Learn a new vocabulary… in a language you already know! Preview this video.
  • Behavior Management on a Budget: Solutions for Cash-Strapped Shelters
    Every shelter has expectations about what they want and hope to accomplish. But, too often, staff members in shelters become discouraged or fail to succeed because of a wide range of factors. There may not be staff members with an understanding of behavior, the number of animals can be overwhelming, and/or the number of problems is so large that staff members are focused on “putting out fires.” Many shelters have difficulty throwing organizational budget and time behind behavior management, leaving it on the “nice to have if we had budget and time” wish list. Lindsay will help you understand how to build behavior-management programming on a limited budget and expand the program over time. She’ll share the common challenges she has seen, and the solutions she believes will help cash-strapped shelters implement useful, practical, behavior-management programming. Let’s get going! Preview this video.
  • Keep Your Candle Burning: Avoiding Professional Burnout
    You’re a professional dog trainer. You may be self-employed, or you may work at a training school or shelter. You’re working in your dream job. And yet…why do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a barista instead? Our work as trainers can be relentless, exhausting, and heartbreaking. Often, clients hire us to “fix” a pet’s destructive or dangerous behavior after they’ve intervened in ways that, unwittingly, made the problem worse. We need to empathize with our clients’ disappointment and frustration while teaching them new habits, all while knowing the pet’s life may be at risk. How can we keep doing our work with both skill and joy? You already know how to teach a long-duration behavior to a dog. The variables that lead to success in teaching an enthusiastic down-stay also apply to our own behaviors as training professionals. We will examine these variables as they pertain to humans. In addition, we’ll look at peer counseling as one beneficial, yet underutilized, resource. Preview this video.
  • Click for Life: Clicker Training for the Shelter Environment
    An introduction to clicker training just for shelter staff and volunteers! Clicker training is transforming the way shelters manage behavior and prepare animals for adoption. Now Karen Pryor, Emma Parsons, and Dee Ganley and Nancy Lyon of the Upper Valley Humane Society in New Hampshire have pooled their knowledge and experience in a state-of-the-art working guide. Find out what clicker techniques can do for your shelter!

Lindsay Wood Brown | Kathy Sdao

Lindsay Wood Brown

Lindsay Wood Brown, is a board-certified applied animal behaviorist (ACAAB) who specializes in resolving behavior conditions and consults for animal shelters on the design and implementation of behavior programs, effective modification methods for a range of behavior conditions, and development of robust operational strategies to achieve behavioral health within the shelter. Lindsay served as the Director of Operations for Lynchburg Humane Society (LHS) where she oversaw all shelter operations, with a strong focus on behavior and behavior modification to increase the number of animal lives saved and rehomed successfully. Prior to her role as Director of Operations in Virginia, Lindsay served as the Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado. She developed Boulder Humane's Training and Behavior Department as well as a behavior modification program that focused on rehabilitating dogs with specific concerns, including food-guarding, fearful behavior, body-handling sensitivities, separation anxiety, and dog-dog aggression.


Kathy Sdao

Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has spent more than 30 years as a full-time animal trainer, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. Kathy received a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Hawaii. The United States Navy then hired her to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Kathy next worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Later, Kathy co-created Tacoma’s first dog-daycare facility, where she began teaching clicker-training classes. Since 1998, Kathy has owned Bright Spot Dog Training. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs, teaching private lessons, and mentoring professional trainers. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member at Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo conferences. Kathy has traveled extensively across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and to Australia, Israel, Japan, and Mexico, educating students about the science of animal training. Her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace was published in 2012.