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 low-cost behavior consultations to help your pet be successful!

We encourage you to contact the Behavior Department at (727) 692-8435 or via email at Our Behavior Technicians can assist you with preliminary evaluations, over the phone (and free!) advice, behaviorist referrals and in some cases, behavior consultations. 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.

Behavior Consultations

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. Consultations are typically 1-2 hours and fees are $50/hour, with an additional cost for travel if we come to your home.

Behavior Consultation Package

Schedule four one-hour 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!

Training Classes and Obedience

The Humane Society of Pinellas is excited to now offer canine obedience training classes! Both puppy and adult basic obedience classes will be offered on a rotating schedule, are six weeks and each class is one hour. All classes require pre-registration. Please call (727) 692-8435 or email for registration and availability.

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.

Adult Basic Obedience

The Humane Society of Pinellas’ Adult Basic Obedience classes are geared towards parents of adopted adult dogs (ages 6 months and older). While teaching owners and their new pets basic manners and commands, our trainers also focus on questions new pet parents may have such as housetraining, jumping, loose leash walking, and more. Dogs also have the opportunity to play and get some energy out!

Adult Basic Obedience Class Schedule:

Saturday, August 20th at 11am hosted by our friends at the Broderick Rec Center (6101 66th Ave. N, Pinellas Park, FL)

Saturday, October 15th at 11am hosted by our friends at the Broderick Rec Center (6101 66th Ave. N, Pinellas Park, FL)

$115 per 6-week course. Adopted from us? $95 for HSP Alumni!

Puppy Basic Obedience

Get your puppy started on the right track with our Puppy Basic Obedience classes! Using positive-reinforcement, force-free methods, our trainers teach new puppy owners about housetraining, crate training, puppy mouthing and basic manners. The classes also provide puppies with proper socialization during those early months to aid in their comfort around other animals, people and new situations. Please, dogs under 6 months only. Puppy play time included!

Puppy Basic Obedience Class Schedule:

Saturday, August 20th at 10am hosted by our friends at the Broderick Rec Center (6101 66th Ave. N, Pinellas Park, FL)

Saturday, October 15th at 10am hosted by our friends at the Broderick Rec Center (6101 66th Ave. N, Pinellas Park, FL)

$115 per 6-week course. Adopted from us? $95 for HSP Alumni!


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. 

$50/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. 


Agility classes coming soon!

Rowland, Inc. has graciously sponsored HSP agility equipment. Agility is an amazing way to bond with a newly adopted pet, increase confidence in shy or fearful dogs, and to have fun! Agility classes will begin Spring 2017!


Meet our Behavior Department!

Our Behavior Department is managed by our Director of Operations, Amanda Audia. Amanda received undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Neuroscience, with a focus in Animal Behavior from the University of Connecticut. After working as an independent trainer and managing a doggie-day-care, Amanda began working as the Behavior Department Manager for the Connecticut Humane Society. While working at CHS, she continued her graduate education with the American College of Applied Science in Companion Animal Behavior and Counseling. Amanda is happy to lead a team of excellent technicians that are dedicated to improving the lives of shelter animals.

our technicians

Heather Gibbs, CPDT-KA, Behavior Technician


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. One of her dogs has achieved service dog status through Southeastern Guide Dogs and has earned his Canine Good Citizen certification. 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).

Danielle Nieuwkerk, Assistant Behavior Technician

Danielle joined the Humane Society of Pinellas as our Assistant Behavior Technician in June of 2016. Practicing her obedience skills as a trainer at PetSmart, Danielle knew she wanted to work with the more at-risk shelter population and make a difference in her community. Danielle brings a great energy to the HSP team and has a great understanding of canine body language. At our shelter, Danielle provides HSP dogs with enrichment, reward-based training, mental stimulation and off-site adventures at local parks.