Behavior & Training Classes
Looking for our pet training classes? Find them here.
Behavior & Training Resources for Pet Owners
We are here to help pet owners. Together, we can get ahead of behavior challenges before they become a problem.
We offer training classes, lectures, events, consultations, and a free Behavior Helpline, all giving the community direct access to our professional trainers. These vital resources reduce relinquishments due to behavior issues. Our public Behavior & Training Service options have expanded!
About Our Behavior Center
San Diego Humane Society's Behavior Center provides specialized training for animals who display shy/fearful or defensive behaviors, kennel stress or reactivity while in the shelter environment. It opened in 2013 and rehabilitates animals who, prior to its start, may have been euthanized due to being unsafe in a home environment. As the only comprehensive animal behavioral rehabilitation center in San Diego, we are the only hope for hundreds of our community’s most at-risk animals. These animals are often out of options by the time they arrive at our doors and facing euthanasia for behavioral concerns that are treatable. Without our intervention, these animals would have nowhere else to turn to receive the support they need to become ready for adoption. The Behavior Center is one of our most important tools in achieving our mission of saving lives, preparing animals for successful transitions into loving homes and keeping them with their families once they are adopted.
There is no other animal behavioral rehabilitation center like this in San Diego, making us the only hope for hundreds of our community’s most at-risk animals who would otherwise be unadoptable. What’s more, our center is one of only two in the country, allowing us to share these lifesaving practices with organizations nationwide.
A key component of the Behavior Center is our public Behavior and Training Services, which play a central role in our commitment to eliminate euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in San Diego County by giving people the tools and support necessary to resolve behavior challenges in the home, so the animal never needs to be relinquished to a shelter. This vital, multi-faceted program provides community training resources and support through public training classes and workshops, online training resources and access to our professional trainers through our Behavior Helpline.
Behavior issues are among the most significant challenges animal welfare organizations face today. With nearly 35,000 companion animals entering our shelters, we’re grateful to be able to offer them a true rehabilitation program, without which, many of these animals would not be able to be adopted into homes. The Behavior Center is one of our most important tools in achieving our mission of saving lives.
Our behavior team works intensively to address complex challenges such as anxiety, fear, resource guarding, overstimulation and other behavior issues. Whether for a few days or a few months, animals in the Behavior Center benefit from individual rehabilitation plans to help them become adoptable and ready to share their lives with their new families.
Our Behavior Center, directly across the street from our Gaines Street location, is one of only a handful throughout the country and the only one with the capacity to serve hundreds of animals each year. It provides a uniquely designed space that removes the noise, unpredictability and other barriers to rehabilitation found in a traditional shelter, and replaces them with an environment that supports the intensive work these animals require. This Center plays a vital role in ensuring zero euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals throughout San Diego County and is the only hope for hundreds of our community’s most at-risk animals every year.
The New Behavior Center Features
44 dog habitats, specifically designed with:
- Privacy and sound-proofing to reduce stimulation.
- Access directly into shaded outdoor play yards, allowing trainers to work with dogs in a safe environment who are too shy or fearful to be leashed without extreme anxiety.
Cat housing for more than 40 cats in an isolated wing that provides separation from dogs to reduce stress and facilitate their individualized training plans. This cat housing provides unique features, including:
- Hiding places for shy and fearful cats.
- Use of primarily-horizontal bars on habitats – research shows that cats naturally scan their surroundings horizontally, and that vertical bars interrupt this process and cause unnecessary stress.
- A community cat room with access to the outdoors for enrichment.
More than 3,000 animals have received a second chance thanks to our Behavior & Training program that started six years ago.