Shelter Behavior Series - Part 1: Biting the Hand that Feeds You


The pandemic has resulted in many more households adopting and rescuing pets. With more people working from home, the interest in adding a pet to the household has significantly increased. Dog Trainers and Behavior Consultants are slammed with cases from newbie pet owners to dogs biting in the home. Shelters and rescue groups have been working double time to match families with dogs in need while trying to offer post-adoption support at a rate higher than ever before.

We thought this would be a good time to talk about shelter behavior with Trish McMillan in a 3-part webinar series.

With two decades of involvement in animal sheltering in three countries, including nearly 8 years with the ASPCA, Trish has worked with a wide variety of shelter behavior issues. Her shelter work includes intakes, enrichment, rehabilitation, assessment, adoptability criteria-setting, and post-adoption support.


Part 1: Biting the hand that feeds you

Working with resource guarding in dogs

Why do some dogs just let you approach their food bowls or take things out of their mouths, and others growl, snap or bite? We will review what research has been done on this common dog behavior, and bust some of the myths that you might have heard. Most importantly, we will go over techniques that can be used to teach dogs that we are actually no threat when we approach them when they have a coveted resource.

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


About Trish:

Trish McMillan holds a Master of Science degree in animal behavior, and is a certified professional dog trainer, certified dog behavior consultant and associate certified cat behavior consultant. She has been involved in the animal rescue and sheltering world since the mid-1990’s, starting out as a volunteer and working her way up to director of animal behavior. She worked for the ASPCA for nearly eight years; first as Director of Animal Behavior at their NYC shelter, then as a behaviorist on their field team, helping assess and rehabilitate dogs from cruelty cases, dogfighting and hoarding situations, then she joined the Shelter Research and Development team.

Trish currently does animal behavior consulting near Asheville, North Carolina, working with dogs, cats and horses. Her farm, Pibble Hill, is home to a happy herd of animals of five species. Trish speaks and consults nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, dog, cat, and horse behavior, dog aggression, and defensive handling. Her online shelter dog behavior offerings have helped students from around the world apply best practices at their respective shelters and rescues.

Trish now has her own behavior and shelter consulting business near Asheville NC, www.trishmcmillan.com.