Play the SPA Way


During this session you will learn about the Shelter Playgroup Alliance (SPA), including the SPA inter-dog playgroup guidelines and differentiate “play” from “not play”. The SPA playgroup guidelines are driven by the notions of choice, empowerment, and adherence to the ethical guidelines that are accepted by certifying bodies, like the IAABC and CCPDT. Through the application of the science of choice as well as the Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) ethical principles, we promote healthy dog-dog interactions.

This webinar is suitable for veterinary professionals, animal trainers, animal behaviorists and anyone with an interest in evidence-based behavior intervention.


About Mara:

Mara Velez, MS, CPDT-KA is the Executive Director of the Shelter Playgroup Alliance and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Prior to co-founding the Shelter Playgroup Alliance, Mara spent over a decade in sheltering, including several years as a behavior and training consultant at Contra Costa Animal Services, an open-admission county shelter, where she collaboratively designed, developed, and implemented behavior program structures, including a robust volunteer training program, a behavior evaluation, and canine enrichment and playgroup guidelines. Mara holds bachelors and master’s degrees in psychology and completed all of the course work for a doctorate in education.