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Sue Sternberg’s Train To Adopt Program

Humane Guidelines and a Training Program for Dogs in Shelters

Imagine a potential adopter walking into your shelter and visiting with a dog who can sit, show self-control, and calm himself even when excited. Imagine a potential adopter who sees a shelter dog as partially trained and is inspired to do more training with the dog since the dog knows more than their previous dog ever did!

I created the Train To Adopt (TTA) program to encourage, promote and provide quality of life for dogs in shelters.

When a shelter spends time training and working with its dogs, everyone benefits. The mental stimulation from the training can help prevent the dog from succumbing to the stressful and harmful effects of kenneling.

The methods outlined here teach shelter dogs how to LEARN. They can get relief from the frustration of life in the shelter through their success at learning new skills. It is not enough to simply house a dog and care for its physical needs. A dog’s quality of life is about his present mental state. A dog does not live for a future—he spends his time in the present. It’s what we love so much about a dog. Dogs keep us in the moment. They don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the past, nor can they sit in a cage and fantasize about a future in a home. We can do that.

It is therefore our responsibility to do more than just keep our shelter dogs alive. We assure that they are living humanely, each and every day while in our care. We must make sure that their mental, behavioral and emotional well being is better each day they are with us.

It is my hope that the Train to Adopt program can help us all meet that goal.

Sue Sternberg





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