Positive Start: Dog Training - Michigan Humane Society

Positive Start: Dog Training


To provide structured quiet time, reward-based training, and social time with people and other dogs (when appropriate) to help to reduce stress in dogs. To reinforce polite default behaviors. To improve their chances for finding a “forever” home by giving them the ability to show off for potential adopters.


Taking dogs (one at a time) to and from kennels safely for:

  • Walks
  • Enrichment activities in designated areas (will be specific to each location)
  • Teach dogs specified behaviors to improve their chances of being adopted

To assist staff when a potential adopter is interested in viewing the dog, and to briefly show off the dog’s skills.


  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Must learn to accurately read dog body language
  • Ability to handle dogs of all sizes safely
  • Willingness to learn new skills that maybe different from your own personal experience
  • Ability to bend, stoop, kneel
  • Report behavior concerns
  • Center for Animal Care (inside and outside in designated areas)


  • General Orientation
  • Initial reading of the Pawsitive Start Training manual, on-the-job training. You will also receive on-going support from your team captain.
  • On-going training with Behavior Program Manager and/or designated staff and volunteers.


  • Canine Personal Trainer Team Captain (if applicable)
  • Behavior Program Managers
  • MHS Volunteer Manager
  • Facility Supervisor/Volunteer Contact
  • Animal Care Center Manager


  • Once per week
  • Same shift (minimum 2-hour shift) each week or every other week, etc. (same day/time)
  • Minimum 6 month commitment


  • Inability to agree/conform to dog handling and training requirements
  • Use of “aversive” type handling techniques (any physical or harsh verbal corrections)
  • Inability to physically handle dogs in non-threatening and safe manner
  •  Inability to immediately retain critical safety/training instruction
  •  Failure to fulfill time commitment
  • Inability to interact appropriately with staff, volunteers and customers
  • Inability to adhere to the philosophy of the Michigan Humane Society

Sound like you? Apply to be a dog walker at one of our 3 locations (Berman, Detroit, or Rochester Hills). Apply now!


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