Shelter/Rescue Programs

Testimonials for the
Working Mind Program

"holy holy cow!... and I just walked her this morning... she's gotten so much better with the kennel training... double wow!

Finally, Daisy left for a new home today. Yea!!" - Shawn

"The Working Mind program is the best tool we have ever used at this Animal shelter, and without question the quickest thing to work. I can't tell you enough how the dogs just "get it". Teaching them to work for their food, or to work to come out of the kennel is so easy - even my staff that was very negative are "now on board" and want another training session. My volunteers were so "over the top" impressed that they are now the trainers for anyone new volunteering at the shelter. Another amazing transformation with the program is how much quieter the shelter is when the dogs are working - not all the barking and jumping that there use to be. We had a dog at the shelter named Maya, and she had been at the shelter since April. In June we started our training sessions with Tara and the beginning of July Maya was adopted. The people chose her to adopt because as they put it - "she is so trained". This amazing program is good for the dogs and also good for the staff as well as the volunteers - everyone feels empowered and the dogs are quiet and calm!

Thank you so much to Training by Tara - certainly the very best money this shelter director has ever spent."

Jackie Carey
Animal Services Manager
Georgetown Animal Shelter

"I thought it was great.  Working with the dogs in front of the kennels was amazing. Maximum distraction, ultimately focus and quiet.  It certainly addresses a lot of issues that get lost in other environments.
It really helps the pups put their best foot forward when it comes to potential adoptee’s.  Now, we usually have to explain/apologize until we get them away from the kennel area.  Think of Diamond not jumping."- J

"Thank you for setting up training with Tara.  I don’t get impressed very often, but today put me over the hill.  What a great session.  I really appreciate your commitment to the animals and the volunteers.  Not many municipal shelters would go to the lengths you do to make the best quality of life for all.
If you need help in my “off” days, do not hesitate to call me.  I will be there.  Summer is a tough time for everyone with the heat, number of animals and everything else." 

Handling & Safety Workshop
Ideal for anyone interested in or already in the dog profession. We demonstrate how to safely handle dogs in runs, on leash, during grooming and restraining for exams. We use live dog demonstrations as well as having real photographs and video of extreme situations.
• 3 hour workshop, 30 minutes of questions

Body Language Workshop
 This seminar is all about how a dog communicates; the subtle signs that could mean safety, frustration and potentially dangerous situations. We break down different stances, eye contact, actions and myths with real photographs and dogs for easier understanding.  A large majority of people mistakenly read certain cues as affection or fear, and some warning signs go unheeded; this typically leads to an injury to the human and quite possibly death for the dog.
Our goal for this seminar is simply to reduce the number of bite incidents and help our colleagues and dogs understand each other without frustration.
*All the photos during the seminar have been taken from cases I have personally worked with or of my own pack members.
-3 Hour Workshop 

Fostering with calm, confidence.
  This workshop is designed to help rescues and their fosters introduce new dogs to the pack, as well as create a calm environment that everyone will feel comfortable in.
We discuss foundation training and how to get your foster dogs into a "working mind" everyday. This increases their adoptablity and reduces the stress of transitions.
-3 hour workshop

To schedule a meeting or a workshop, please email us: or call: 512.402.4229

Out of state? We can still help!

Working Mind Program©
For Shelter Dogs


This is the program we developed for dogs living in shelter or rescue facilities, in order to reduce shelter stress.  Lack of social skills and exercise, coupled with the lack of resources most shelters and rescues have, inspired me to develop a program that was practical to start in this environment to help create a working state of mind in the dogs. The entire program can be implemented quickly and efficiently and can increase adoption and volunteer numbers as well.

The program is designed to fit your shelter. We know each shelter has different numbers for intakes, staff, and volunteers; so we make a plan that will fit your needs. The program can run in a very limited resource facility or a well staffed/volunteer base facility. 

With each program we give detailed volunteer/staff manuals complete with real life photos to help keep everyone on the same agenda. 

It can be started with one- 4 hour training session, or with three- 1 1/2 hour sessions. 

To see the progress in the Georgetown Shelter, please watch this video: Texas Shelter Makes a Difference!

If you are interested in starting this program in your facility, please contact us or call us at 512-402-4229.

Listen to Tara and director, Jackie discuss the program via radio interview with A Variety Of Pets Blog Radio by clicking here

Behavior & Aggression Assessments
I conduct a combination of the ASPCA's S.A.F.E.R. test, Dr Amy Mader's Match Up, and I apply certain tests from Netto and Planta's assessment, to evaluate your dog. Whether you are a rescue, shelter, a landlord feeling bad about not accepting certain breeds or a tenant wanting to document that your dog truly is a well behaved dog for your landlord. 

The test takes anywhere from 14-16 minutes.

Appointments are needed and the cost is $30.
I will give you a copy of your dog's results with an explanation of each test performed.