Behavior and Training
At the Humane Society of Pinellas, we understand that one of the many reasons pets are surrendered to shelters is because of undesirable behaviors. In our efforts to end pet homelessness, HSP offers a free Behavior Helpline and affordable training solutions to help your pet be successful!
We encourage you to contact the Behavior Department at (727) 797-7722 ext. 233 or via email at BehaviorHelp@HumanePinellas.org. Our Behavior Technicians can assist you with preliminary evaluations, over the phone (and free!) advice, behaviorist referrals and in some cases, behavior consultations. Pet owners must always be mindful when choosing a trainer and should avoid those that guarantee results or utilize force/corrections before positive reinforcement.
Our team members are certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and adhere to the ethical obligation of using science-based, humane, and minimally aversive/invasive methods. Staff is trained to discuss and modify a range of behavior problems for both dogs and cats, including housesoiling, litter box avoidance, unruly behavior, destructive behavior, separation anxiety, leash reactivity and aggression. While the staff is highly trained and professional, we reserve the right to refuse service if we believe your pet would benefit from another program or if your pet may put the staff at serious risk.
Training Classes and Obedience
The Humane Society of Pinellas is excited to offer affordable canine obedience training classes! Basic obedience, advanced tricks and Canine Good Citizen courses are offered on a rotating schedule. Classes range from four to six weeks and each class is one hour. All classes require pre-registration. Please call (727) 797-7722 ext. 233 or email BehaviorHelp@HumanePinellas.org with any questions. Can't commit to 6 weeks? Check out our one-hour obedience seminars!
All dogs 6 months and over must be spayed or neutered to attend class. Pre-registration, as well as vaccination records, are required. All dogs must have a rabies vaccine (if old enough), distemper and bordatella vaccines.
training classes calendar
Behavior consultations are scheduled on-site at the shelter or in your home! Our Behavior Technicians will evaluate your pet’s behavior and needs using our behavioral questionnaire. This questionnaire will help guide us in determining how we can best help you and your pet. For on-site training sessions, our Behavior Technicians will work one-on-one with you and your pet to help curb undesirable behavior and set you up for success. On-site consultations are typically 1-2 hours and fees are $50/hour for an on-site training session. In-home consultations are provided by HSP's consulting partner, Jasmine Johnson, who provides positive-based training in the comfort of your home. While we do accommodate in-home consultations for special cases, these are at the discretion of the Behavior team and vary in price depending on distance and travel time. Please inquire for details.
For behavior advice or to make a consultation request, please complete our Behavior Questionnaire.
Behavior Consultation Package
Schedule four one-hour on-site consultation sessions with our behavior team for only $175! Get the benefit of one-on-one training. This package is perfect for shy or reactive dogs that may be overwhelmed by group classes, but would benefit from basic or advanced obedience training! Makes a great holiday gift for that naughty dog (or owner!) you know!
CANINE GOOD CITIZEN TESTING
Looking to fine tune your dog's obedience commands? Ready for your pup to be recognized for his or her skills? Then join us at The Humane Society of Pinellas and have your pet certified as a Canine Good Citizen through the widely recognized American Kennel Club (AKC). The Canine Good Citizen test, or CGC, is intended to promote responsible pet ownership and requires dogs to complete a series of ten tests without treats.
CGC Prep Seminar - These one-hour long seminars allow for you and your dog to prepare for the CGC Evaluation. Contact BehaviorHelp@HumanePinellas.org for seminar dates and information!
$25/test. Contact the Behavior Department to schedule your CGC Test. It is recommended you bring your own 20-foot lead and brush/comb. See the AKC website for testing requirements.
Lucky Dogs Lure Coursing's Reddy to the Rescue program donates $100 from every lure course purchase to the Humane Society of Pinellas! Lure coursing is a great form of exercise and stimulation for your dog!
seminars for animal welfare organizations
The Humane Society of Pinellas believes all animal welfare employees should be equipped with the most up-to-date knowledge when it comes to animal behavior. Therefore, HSP's Behavior Department offers seminars for businesses and organizations looking to learn about science-based, positive reinforcement training methods, animal behavior, enrichment and more!
4-hour seminar for 1-10 people (1 speaker) = $325
4-hour seminar for 11-20 (2 speakers) = $550
Non-profit discount 25%
1-hour seminar on one of the below topics for 1-10 people (1 speaker) = $95
1-hour seminar for 11-20 people (2 speakers) = $135
Non-profit discount 25%
Seminar includes lecture, audio-visual presentation and hands-on training on the following topics:
Shelter-specific behavior problems (stress induced behaviors, stereotypies and common behavior issues)
Positive reinforcement and low-stress handling
Enrichment for shelter dogs
Canine body language and behavior
Proper equipment for shelter dogs
Please note, there may be an additional travel charge if driving to out-of-county facilities.
Meet our Behavior & Training Department
Heather Gibbs, CPDT-KA, Behavior and Training Manager
Heather Gibbs received her training certification through the Animal Behavior College. She worked in behavior modification and animal care for several organizations including Southeastern Guide Dogs and the Animal Rescue Foundation of Texas before joining the Humane Society of Pinellas team.
Heather practices positive reinforcement training through bonding exercises, enrichment, and reward-based behavior modification. She currently owns four rescue animals; three dogs and her horse, Mike. Heather is a certified CGC Assessor, as well as a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (Knowledge Assessed) from the esteemed Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).
Monica Morgan, CPDT-KA, Behavior Technician
Monica graduated in 2017 from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Psychology, Criminology, and a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis. During her college career, Monica always found ways to improve the lives of the animals and people around her by volunteering with local rescues and running obedience classes for her classmates' dogs on campus.
Monica's adopted furry family consists of three dogs and two cats! Her pups Major, Sasha, and Rufus even run their own Instagram account called @the.rescue.squad! Monica offers her cheerful attitude and dedication to reward-based training methods as the primary Obedience and Agility Class Instructor at HSP. When she's not saving the world one fur-kid at a time, Monica is practicing her slack lining skills, kayaking, or hiking. Monica recently earned her CPDT-KA certification, and became a CGC Certified Evaluator to help all those good citizens out there!