Animal Behavior Manager

Essential Duties and Primary Job Purpose

Develops, implements and monitors all facility programs intended to identify, correct and prevent problem behavior in animals. Includes but is not limited to directing canine behavior training classes, evaluating shelter animals for adoption and conducting behavior consultations for community pet owners. Trains and manages the behavior department staff to meet department goals.

Representative Tasks & Major Responsibilities

  • Designs and conducts canine behavior and training classes for adopters of shelter animals and other community pet owners. Oversees all volunteers and employees who serve as trainers or assistants and provides them regular feedback and performance evaluations. Develops class curriculum to ensure consistency.
  • Serves as facility's chief behavior consultant for community pet owners via phone, written correspondence, Email and personal appointment. Provides referral information and advice on animal behavior issues, training methods, training equipment and animal trainers.
  • Evaluates behavior of shelter animals for adoptability as family pets and assists shelter staff with adoption counseling, safe animal handling and euthanasia decisions. Designs individual training programs for shelter animals to improve behavior and chance of adoption. Oversees volunteer and staff trainers as they work with individual animals.
  • Manages the daily activities of the behavior department. Schedule training and behavior classes, oversees registration fees and selects and maintains training equipment. Uses computer to maintain department records and prepare operational reports. Monitors department revenue and expenses in relation to annual budget and assists in preparing year budget.
  • Assures all department staff are trained to properly identify problem behaviors and assist with the modification or prevention of such behaviors. Screens trained handlers who apply to participate and personally directs or arranges for training of novices. Continually monitors staff activities providing guidance and support. Recommends education and training programs to ensure staff development.
  • Directs all special behavior programs such as puppy and cat socialization classes, behavior "hot line," animal massage and relaxation sessions, volunteer dog-walking programs and behavior web site.
  • Develops and directs behavior seminars and workshops for staff, volunteers and the public to help them better understand animal behavior, enhance the human-animal bond and increase shelter animal adoptions. Prepares articles for shelter publications and serves as animal behavior resource for local media. Continually strives to promote the behavior training services offered by the shelter. Fulfills speaking engagements when appropriate.
  • Maintains resource library of animal training, obedience and behavior materials including but not limited to books, journals, videotapes, relevant Internet sites and lists of professionals in the field. Networks with other professionals and attends appropriate animal behavior and training seminars to remain current in the field.

Qualification Requirements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and task satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Animal training and behavior knowledge to include theory of positive reinforcement, animal training techniques, canine temperament testing and the ability to assess and evaluate new animal training methods and equipment.
  • Demonstrated teaching knowledge to include basic teaching methods, curriculum development. Ability to design training aids.
  • Animal control knowledge including knowledge of breed characteristics and behaviors, skill in animal restraint and handling techniques, and the ability to interpret animal body language.
  • Program management to include knowledge of budgeting principles, decision-making techniques, skill in identifying the strengths and weakness of assistant trainers. Ability to train and effectively direct the activities of department staff and volunteers.