Volunteering with SafeHaven shelter dogs can go beyond talking them for walks walks and socializing them. The skills taught in this Level II Volunteer Prep course will provide you with the training needed to make a significant impact on the lives of shelter dogs! You have the ability to not only to teach level I and II dogs basic behaviors and skills that increases their adopt-ability but you can help make their stay in the shelter more enjoyable!
To earn Volunteer Level II status the following requirements must be met and signed off on by a SafeHaven Trainer and the Volunteer Coordinator. This is to ensure that Level II Volunteers can safely and properly handle level II dogs.
- A minimum of 75 recorded volunteer hours
- Participation in 3 separate SafeHaven Training Department activities (level II training class, shelter dog fun day, walking group, volunteer in a workshop or seminar, attend or assist in a group class, attend lecture or movie night, etc.)
- Watch the "Language of Dogs"
- Must complete the Level II Volunteer Training
- Complete Level II Checklist
- Participate in annual training reviews
Level II volunteers must still adhere to SafeHaven volunteer rules and polices. Your level II status may be revoked if you are found to be handling or interacting with dogs or other shelter animals in an improper, unethical or unsafe way.
- Basic Body Language
- What is never allowed
- Using training equipment
- What is a clicker
- Train another person!
- Handling level II dogs properly
Understanding body language gives you insight into what is happening with a dog in a specific moment in time. If a dog is showing signs of stress you may need to change your training tactics by going slower, giving more space, giving the dog a break, speaking to a staff member for help and always recording what you see in the training laptop.
Signs of stress in the face and body: Whale eye, clown mouth, bunny ears, avoidance, stress panting, lip licks, lifts one paw, leaving sweaty paw prints, etc.
Signs of arousal: Closed mouth, focused stare, body tense and appearing very stiff, ears pricked forward, possible wrinkles on brow, rail raised over level of back, tense tail, body weight leaning forward, taking treats especially rough, height seeking, facial grimace, mouthing and or jumping.
Signs of severe stress: Know the 3 F's! Fight, Freeze, Flight. Do not engage with a dog displaying one of the 3 F's, instead make sure you and the dog is safe then go speak to a staff member and record your findings in the training laptop.