It’s no doubt that we think our shelter dogs are all good boys and girls. But sometimes, we can all use a little extra help to stay on course with our discipline, and our furry friends are no exception. Thankfully, a generous donor has partnered with ARL to help shelter dogs in need through a new scholarship program designed to assist struggling pups master self-discipline and develop healthy behavioral habits.

Named after a beloved rescue pet who was adopted with challenging behavior issues, Bogey’s Academy is a dog training scholarship meant to help dogs that are struggling with common behavior challenges, just like Bogey did. Recognizing that many shelter dogs are overlooked due to behavior issues such as anxiety, fear, and inappropriate play, Bogey’s family knew that these scholarships have the potential to save a lot of lives if new adopters can be given the tools to work with certified dog trainers right away.

While the number of scholarships available at this time will be limited, we anticipate this program to assist over 80 families and their canine companions stay together and overcome the common issues we see dogs experience every day.

The training program includes a partnership with GoodPup, a virtual dog training platform that connects owners with expert dog trainers in the convenience of their own home. After having partnered with GoodPup since spring of 2021, the ARL saw significant value in utilizing this program for the scholarship after seeing incredible results and progress in shelter dogs who were adopted by families who went on to utilize the online training program. The scholarship itself offers 4 targeted sessions of 1-1 training via video conference with an expert dog trainer as well as a 24/7 unlimited chat line with dog behavior and veterinary experts. During the private sessions, essential skill mastery and behavior modification training is custom and unique to each dog and their family, and daily guided practice and check-ins are available on the app to actively monitor progress as well. This way, families are receiving the individualized support they need to work through any issues they are experiencing in the moment and gain the skills to keep working through those behaviors in the future.

This vital scholarship will not only go on to aid in the behavioral enrichment of struggling shelter dogs available for adoption, but it will also be available for families on the verge of surrendering their dog due to behavior issues. Commonly, behavioral issues in the home can lead to the devastating decision of surrendering a beloved pet. What’s worse, some families who are experiencing financial difficulties often do not have a feasible choice of affording private dog training. The Bogey’s Academy scholarship will serve as a significant remedy of struggling family-pet dynamics and ultimately keep families together during a significant time of need. Thanks to Bogey and his family, the establishment Bogey’s Academy will strengthen the ARL’s surrender prevention services while simultaneously increasing adoption rates in the new year, expanding on the Human-Animal-Support-Services model of sheltering that prioritizes keeping families and pets together.