S.T.A.R. A Training Program for Shelter Dogs

3 hours

In 1996, Nana developed S.T.A.R. (Specially Trained Adoptable Rovers), a training program teaching shelter volunteers to train shelter dogs at a local Humane Society. S.T.A.R. is now in its 9th year and Nana wants to share her insight with other trainers to help them implement programs in their areas. It is well known that the quality of life for the shelter dogs deteriorates significantly the longer they remain in the shelter environment without intervention. Mental stimulation from training reduces stress, counters the effects of living in a shelter environment, and provides the necessary care to meet the needs required for maintaining the mental health and emotional well being of shelter dogs. Through training, the staff knows the dogs better and this knowledge assists in making appropriate matches. The dogs leave the shelter better behaved and trained than when they first arrived. As a result successful adoptions occur and the dogs remain in the home living out the rest of their lives with their new family. Three major challenges of trainers working as volunteers at a shelter are getting the shelter to adopt the idea & give it a green light, working within the means of the system, and the logistics of getting the program off the ground. In addition to addressing the above problems, Nana will give you specific exercises to increase the dogs’ adoption appeal & chances of remaining in the home once adopted; talk about ways to enhance the quality of life for dogs while in the shelter; and address problems of individual dogs & how to develop training plans in a shelter environment.


Nana Will

Nana Will owns and operates “Dog’s Eye View” in Boulder CO, which develops training programs for organizations, trains apprentices, teaches workshops and classes, and also owned and operated “Guilt Free Boarding”, a boarding and training facility from 1988 – 2002. Nana has been a full time professional trainer for 16 years and has extensive experience in the fields of training pet dogs, service dogs, dog trainers and dog-training program development. She has an exceptional ability to “train the trainer” as well as the non-professional, providing extensive knowledge of canine behavior and dog-handling skills and is known for her flexibility and ability to modify, accommodating her clients’ needs working realistically within clients’ parameters to ensure their success within her programs. She is in the forefront and has been instrumental in promoting the use of humane training methods, incorporating a kinder, natural, gentle, and positive approach to training dogs in the Front Range of Colorado since 1988. Nana has been honored with numerous awards, included in several articles and television presentations, Nana is a charter member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis. She began her career in 1988 as an apprentice trainer and continues her education attending seminars, workshops and conferences yearly.

Nana’s areas of expertise include: practical dog training, behavior modification and rehabilitation, development of training programs for pet, shelter and service dogs for the disabled, as well as training programs for people. She has provided apprenticeships for dog trainers, staff training for doggy day care, veterinary clinics, shelters and their volunteers as well as service dog puppy-raisers, people with disabilities, in addition to programs for the public and their pet dogs. She has designed behavioral assessment tests for evaluation of dogs in shelters, animal assisted therapy and service dog programs, and has written manuals on training for pet and service dogs.

Nana resides in Gold Hill, Colorado with her two retired Service Dogs, a working Service Dog who is also a Therapy Dog for a local Hospital, and a house cat. They are: Fiat, her first service dog trained, who is a 16 year old male Labrador Retriever; Wells, a 12 year old female Golden Retriever; Weiss, an 8 year old male Golden Retriever; and Vladimir, a 5 year old male cat.

Refund Policy: The course fee will be refunded, in its entirety, so long as the enrollee requests a refund in writing no later than the 14th day after the course is purchased. Alternatively, the enrollee may request an exchange or credit toward a different course, instead of a refund.