Dogs Playing in Playgroup


Introducing our FREE WEBINAR Series

Our Every Dog, Every Day! Seminar Program is Now Available in Webinar Form!

Dogs Playing for Life wants to deliver education to shelters doing their best to get the dogs in their care Quality of Life-fast. While we work to get everyone who needs it hands-on, we invite you to get a head start (or a refresher!) by attending our 3-part Every Dog, Every Day! Webinar Series absolutely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of  Petco Love and the ASPCA. When you sign up, you’ll get access to three, 1.5-hour webinars.

Plus, each webinar course (three total) has been pre-approved for 1.5 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) continuing education unit (CEU) credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (AAWA), and 1.5 CEUs by the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). Please send us a request for CEU certification upon course completion!


In October, 2020, we unveiled our 3-part Every Dog, Every Day! Webinar Series absolutely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of the Petco Foundation and the ASPCA. We will re-post it to this page, on our social accounts, and through email if and when the webinar series becomes available again. We also plan to post any other webinar series directly to this page. To stay up to date, subscribe to our email newsletter below.

In the meantime, you can check out our extensive (and free) Learning Library – a comprehensive digital library of videos and educational resources. Within this library, shelter professionals can access a plethora of frequently updated video content that demonstrates some of the most common, beneficial, and important aspects of shelter dog playgroups and effective handling.

PLAYGROUPS Part 1: The Why


Learn about all the ways in which DPFL Playgroups are transforming shelters all across the country.

In this first of three webinars, we will present powerful examples of how playgroups can not only enhance the quality of life for your shelter dogs, but how focusing on their quality of life through enrichment can lead to game-changing benefits to your shelter’s everyday operations.

Attendees will get to view dynamic video examples and impactful data and experiences from some of the nearly 300 shelters that have embraced the power of letting shelter dogs play!

*Part 1 attendees will be sent the signup links to parts 2 & 3 upon completing the first webinar.

SIGN UP FOR "Playgroups PART 1: The Why"

PLayGroups Part 2: The WhAT

In Part 2, we dive into what DPFL-style Playgroups look like! During this webinar, we will view and discuss dog-to-dog communication and body language, as well as some of the operational aspects of a successful playgroup program.

Attendees will learn the various ways in which handlers should observe and learn about the dogs in their playgroups in order to create the safest, most enriching and informational experiences for the dogs in their care. 

PLayGroups Part 3: The How

In this last section, we take a deep dive into the critical aspects of how to successfully facilitate playgroups in your shelter.

Attendees will be offered a robust collection of video examples and important discussions on safety, effective handling techniques, and how to take the first steps to implement or enhance their own shelter playgroup programs.

Fancy Footwork: Practical Handling and Training Solutions for the Entire Shelter

While playgroups are the foundation of our shelter training program, teaching shelter teams how to implement a generalized, effective, and enjoyable way to handle and train their dogs is another essential aspect of our canine programming! In this webinar, we will teach the fundamentals of our “Fancy Footwork” techniques that focus on achieving good leash manners through the use of your FEET instead of your hands. Come learn this unique and highly effective approach that promotes dogs happily walking softly by your side, offering tons of eye contact, and wowing adopters! This new approach to leash work will enhance your handling skills and increase your ability to train ALL dogs, even those that are highly aroused, stressed, fearful, or not motivated by food, all in an effort to improve quality of life and lifesaving for dogs living in shelters.

Additionally, we will teach you how to implement our critically important kennel routines. The kennel areas of our nation’s shelters can be one of the most challenging and distressing environments that dogs–and their handlers–ever face. DPFL kennel routines have been developed and taught to shelters across the country in an effort to combat these challenges and to provide safer and more successful ways for dogs and people to maneuver through the kennels.

This is a 1.5-hour presentation followed by a Q&A session. This webinar will NOT be recorded and is scheduled on EASTERN TIME.

Sign up for "Fancy footwork: practical handling and training solutions for the entire shelter"

DPFL’s Approach to On-Leash Reactivity

Reactivity on the part of dogs living in shelters is a rampant issue that can contribute to behavioral deterioration, increased length of stay, and even loss of life. From a misdiagnosis of “aggression” to dogs whose reactive behavior escalates to problematic and potentially unsafe levels, learning how to help dogs suffering from reactivity issues is a crucial need shared by our entire industry.

While this webinar can be attended as a standalone course, we will build on our Fancy Footwork approach to handling and training to offer practical training, handling, and safety solutions to on-leash reactivity for dogs living in shelters.

This is a 1.5-hour presentation followed by a Q&A session. This webinar will NOT be recorded and is scheduled on EASTERN TIME.

Sign up for "DPFL’s Approach to On-Leash Reactivity"

Stranger Danger! Advocating for and Advancing Your Human-Reactive Dogs

At Dogs Playing for Life’s Stranger Danger webinar, hosted by Aimee Sadler, CEO and Founder of DPFL, you will learn how to work with dogs that are wary of strangers by building their confidence and helping them develop new skills which will enable them to meet new people (and potential adopters) happily and successfully! Even for the private dog trainer or dog owner, the skills taught in this webinar will help support your stranger danger dog to expand their comfort level when meeting new people at home!

This webinar will demonstrate:
— DPFL’s Assess and Progress approach: fluttering between assessing and influencing behavior to determine how a dog might respond WITHOUT proper human support to determine what training is necessary for successful placement
— Comprehensive Tool Selection: determining what tool will best support the dog while keeping the handler and others safe during the learning process
— Principles vs. Methods: determining what approach will teach the dog as efficiently and effectively as possible
— Creative Proofing: conducting training with the goal of solid generalization of new skills so that dogs are able to work for multiple handlers with clarity and confidence

Come learn how to safely and effectively reach this segment of the canine population through in-depth behavior analysis, dynamic video examples, and practical approaches designed for anyone who is trying to find solutions for the dogs who need this extra human support.

This is a 1.5-hour presentation followed by a Q&A session. This webinar will NOT be recorded and is scheduled on EASTERN TIME.

Sign up for "Stranger Danger! Advocating for and Advancing Your Human-Reactive Dogs"

For Dog's sake, can you stop that? Canine-Friendly Body Language Improvements for Humans

Dogs are resilient and oh-so-forgiving! These qualities make them endearing as companions, along with their ability to love unconditionally. So, why do some dogs struggle to understand us when we are offering affection or when we want to help them, not harm them? In this session, we will focus on the HUMAN handling that contributes to unwanted behavior, even “aggression”. Get ready to rethink your approach as we reveal the common and widely accepted and taught handling errors that set dogs up for failure. Through extensive video examples, we will demonstrate alternative handling techniques that help dogs to trust and thrive!

This webinar will demonstrate:

– Examples of handling that causes negative behavior compared to handling that promotes  desired behavior

– Demonstration of handling that induces trust and learning with dogs that are too afraid to respond initially to food rewards or affection

– Comprehensive discussion around the correct use of pressure and release and why this is a critical skill for shelter canine handlers to master to save more dogs

This is a 2-hour presentation followed by a Q&A session. This webinar will NOT be recorded and is scheduled at EASTERN TIME.



May 2023
Fancy Footwork: Wednesday, May 3 @ noon EDT
DPFL’s Approach to On-Leash Reactivity: Wednesday, May 10 @ noon EDT
Stranger Danger: Wednesday, May 17 @ noon EDT

June 2023
For Dog’s Sake Can you Stop That?: Thursday, June 15 @ noon EDT

August 2023
Fancy Footwork: Tuesday, August 15 @ noon EDT
DPFL’s Approach to On-Leash Reactivity: Thursday, August 24 @ noon EDT
Stranger Danger: Thursday, August 31 @ noon EDT

September 2023
For Dog’s Sake Can you Stop That?: Tuesday, September 12 @ noon EDT



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