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Dog Walking Class

Saturday, September 9

CDHS holds a volunteer dog walker's class designed to introduce our volunteers to the proper way of handling and walking the shelter dogs. This one-hour session is free and is required for any volunteer who wants to walk dogs at CDHS.

Owner of Pawsitive Motivational Obedience, Betsy Hamkens, originated the class at CDHS and continues to be a volunteer trainer, along with Mandy Schaaf.  Mandy introduces the volunteers to things like the proper way to get a dog in and out of his kennel, the correct way to take a dog in and out of the building past other dogs and walkers, how to use positive praise, what commands to use and what tone of voice to speak in, the proper types of leashes and collars to use on the dogs, winter and summer safety, and age requirements for volunteers.

"The class is very helpful in making sure that our volunteer and our dogs are safe," said Schaaf.   "Many people comment that they feel more comfortable and confident handling the dogs after they go through the session."

Besides safety, another reason that everyone need to attend the class is to make sure that the dogs are given commands and handled in a consistent manner, no matter who is walking them. "It's pretty important that we are all on the same page," Schaaf said. "Our goal is to be consistent with commands and treatment of the dogs. This makes things less confusing for the dogs and they learn more quickly how to behave. And, hopefully, their good behavior makes them a more adoptable animal."

Mandy Schaaf leads the dog walking class for CDHS volunteer dog walkers. This training is designed to help all dog walkers be safe and consistent in their handling of the dogs; and hopefully, helping our dogs become obedient and more adoptable. Training sessions are scheduled for specific Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. in the lobby of the CDHS dog building. Dog walkers must pre-register by calling the shelter at 667-2020 during office hours of 1 pm to 6 pm Tuesday through Friday and 1 pm to 4 pm Saturday and leaving a message for Mandy Schaaf, CDHS Volunteer Coordinator or emailing Mandy at The class will be limited to 15 participants and does fill up. We prefer those who take the dog walking class plan to visit the shelter on an ongoing basis rather than using the class for hours needed for specific one-time projects.  If families are interested in attending the dog walking class those under 14 will NOT be allowed to hold the leash and a parent or guardian must accompany them in the class and while interacting with the dogs.   

Some class dates may change if CDHS has other events on those dates.