Maddie’s® Fearful and Fractious Dog and Cat Handling Apprenticeship

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Shelters are scary places even for the most social animals. Does your organization need help with cats and dogs who are scared, shy, or lack human social interaction? Learn how to recognize different types of fearful behaviors, minimize your stress and theirs and handle even the most fearful and fractious animals with confidence and care. Leave with the skills you need to safely intake, medicate and care for all the animals that enter your organization. This class will help you to reduce disease and increase lifesaving in your organization. If you are struggling with handling feral, fractious, shy or scared animals, come to this class, it will only be offered for a limited time, so act fast!

How Does it Work?

Two full, busy days of hands-on training in Austin. You will learn from experienced animal handlers to build your skills and confidence to safely and effectively care for scared, unsocial and shy dogs and cats.

You will learn:

  • Hands-on training in low-stress, safe handling techniques for cats and dogs
  • How to recognize different types of fearful behaviors in cats and dogs
  • Understand what your organization handles these animals now and how to improve
  • Tips and tricks to reduce stress fearful and fractious animals while in your care
  • Lifesaving alternatives to fearful behavioral related deaths in your organization
  • Ensure that all animals, regardless of behavior are vaccinated on their intake
  • Without compromising care, how to move quickly and reduce stressful interactions

Who Should Apply?

This apprenticeship opportunity is for shelter/rescue organization directors, staff, and volunteers who are interested in learning how to be the most effective, safe, low-stress handling techniques for fearful and fractious dogs and cats.


February 13 - 14

March 9 - 10

March 11 - 12

Open Enrollment


“Being able to take home standard operating procedures from a city that focuses on maintaining No Kill is a game changer in bringing our community forward from the animal control mentality to engaging the entire community in achieving high standards of animal welfare.”

Maddie's® Lifesaving Leadership Master Class Student

“It was fantastic. I enjoyed it [the apprenticeship] so much and took away more valuable information than I ever thought possible… thank you as does all of the Eastern Madera County SPCA. You have made an imprint on my life that I will be forever grateful for.”

Maddie's® Dog Foster Program Apprenticeship Student

"While participating in an apprenticeship at APA! I learned more effective and cost-saving ways to better serve the animals in our care, while also providing established protocols and procedures to staff members. I was able to more easily and clearly create a framework for common symptoms and illness. Other takeaways from the apprenticeship would be HR development, crowdfunding, and drug and illness protocols."

Maddie's® Clinic Apprenticeship for Managers Student

"I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to attend your master class. I was shocked at the amount of information I learned from your class. Your candor and non-judgmental attitude made receiving information when I was admitting I had been wrong so much easier. Again, thank you for the opportunity, and I look forward to staying in contact with you!"

Maddie's® Feline Lifesaving Master Class Student

"Thank you for giving us the tools we need and the continued offer of support. I feel confident that between this course and the feline course I’m attending next month, our shelter is going to be able to save most of that last 10% and that is HUGE. You are amazing. Your staff is amazing. Your volunteers are phenomenal. Thank you."

Maddie's® Canine Lifesaving Leadership Master Class Student
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