Dog Trainers

Primary Purpose

To contribute to Dogs’ Refuge Home (DRH) mission – the care and rehoming of lost and unwanted dogs and the active promotion of responsible dog ownership. This role will contribute to Dogs’ Refuge Home mission through the provision of effective training and behaviour modification; improving the suitability of the dogs in our care for adoption


  • Responsible for the effective initial assessment and intake of dogs into Dogs’ Refuge Home in line with Dogs’ Refuge Home Intake Policy, including but not limited to; intake from pound and private surrender.
  • Complying with policies and procedures – especially regarding intake, assessment, welfare and quarantine protocols.
  • Conducting comprehensive behaviour assessments of dogs accepted into the care of DRH and ensuring that these assessments are appropriately documented
  • Developing and implementing behaviour modification plans for dogs with behaviours of concern (where the behaviour is deemed modifiable)
  • Actively contributing to Dog Welfare Meetings (which includes staff from our clinic, foster care, animal care, management and quarantine teams) to ensure a consistent and collaborative approach to the support of the dogs in our care.
  • Implement – in line with Dogs’ Refuge Home Welfare Policy and the management team, kennel enrichment programs, dog pairings and socialisation activities, including structured playgroups.
  • Liaise with shelter management and relevant staff on appropriate placement of dogs within the shelter with the aim of reducing reactivity, fear and stereotypical behaviours.
  • Support new adopters of dogs regarding specific problems and queries regarding their dogs’ behaviour and escalate for support or referral where required.
  • To assist with the adoption of dogs as required, including but not limited to, trainer only adoptions, overseeing family meets, existing dog/cat meets and providing additional support to dog adoption staff and other staff as required.
  • To act on concerns in relation to the behaviour of dogs in our care (behaviour, behaviour changes, incidents)
  • To compile reports as requested including incident reports
  • To assist with inductions and ongoing training for volunteers assisting with dog walking, training, enrichment – and ensure that advice and support is in line with organisational training outcomes
  • Monitor the activities of volunteers engaged in dog rehabilitation and specific training
  • Ensure all activities are appropriately and accurately documented and recorded on the Dogs’ Refuge Home CRM system ‘Shelter Buddy’
  • To assist in fundraising and or promotional events for Dogs’ Refuge Home as required
  • Contributing to facilitating Dogs’ Refuge Home training programs where required
  • Effective management of own health and safety obligations

Skills and experience:


  • Certificate IV Companion Animal Services or equivalent


  • Minimum of two years’ experience in a similar role, providing training and implementing behaviour modification plans, preferably in a shelter environment or working with rescue dogs.
  • Commitment to ongoing post graduate professional development in the field of animal behaviour
  • Covid-19 vaccinations

Skills, Knowledge & Ability:

  • A deep concern for the humane treatment and compassionate care of animals
  • Confidence handling dogs of all breeds and sizes
  • Physically fit and capable of handling dogs of all breeds and sizes
  • Ability to explain technical information to a wide range of people
  • Effective written and verbal communication
  • Exceptional time management
  • Collaborative and team oriented approach
  • Exceptional work ethic with sound organisational and planning skills
  • Experience in Microsoft desktop products including Word, Excel and Outlook and proficient in the use of CRM databases
  • Sound judgment and decision making ability.
  • Professional mannerism at all times.
  • Knowledge of guidelines for standards of care in animal shelters or ability to quickly develop
  • Proven ability to build relationships with key stakeholders
  • Ability to balance multiple tasks and be flexible in prioritising workload

Other Requirements:

  • A National Police Clearance
  • C Class Drivers’ Licence
  • Permanent appointment to this position is subject to satisfactory completion of a three (3) month probationary period
  • Regular weekend work and some work outside of normal hours may be required

Benefits and perks

  • Work with dogs everyday!
  • Onsite car parking

Please submit an expression of interest if you think this sounds like the perfect role for you!