Behavior Program Associate II
Job Details
Bellevue - Bellevue, WA
Full Time
Nonprofit - Social Services


The Behavior Program Associate II is an experienced animal trainer with knowledge of dog and cat behavior. This position is responsible for providing behavior support to adopters, foster parents, and the public; overseeing shelter dog playgroups; coaching shelter staff and volunteers. They are responsible for all Behavior Program Associate duties designed to improve the quality of shelter animal care, prevent animals from entering the shelter, and build successful lifelong relationships between people and pets. The Behavior Program Associate II supports the mission, goals, and philosophy of Seattle Humane, including adherence to LIMA (Least Invasive Minimally Aversive) guidelines and Fear Free methods. 



  • Reviewing behavior history and observations and implementing behavior management and modification plans for dogs and cats. 

  • Processes “Behavior Review” and other behavior holds and makes necessary additions and adjustments to behavior plans. 

  • Provides behavior advising and consultation for potential adopters, foster parents, and the public on mild to moderate behavior challenges, as assigned. 

  • Leads and oversees shelter dog playgroups, including dog-to-dog introductions and assessments. 

  • Assists with or teaches animal handling and other classes and training, as needed. 

  • Conducts individual coaching for staff and volunteers on safe handling and other related skills. 

  • Support and augment Behavior Program Associate Level I duties, including: 

  • Implements shelter animal behavior programs to decrease stress, improve animals’ well-being and increase successful adoptions. 

  • Hands-on assessments of animals, as needed. 

  • Communicates with other operations departments regarding behavior/special needs/handling of specific dogs.   

  • Works closely with volunteers working in the Behavior Program and related programs.  Provides support as needed. 

  • Assists with shelter dog playgroups, including dog-to-dog introductions and assessments. 

  • Assists with animal handling and other classes and training as needed.  

  • Assists Behavior Program Coordinator in stocking and organizing behavior assessment and behavior modification areas. 

  • Provides ideas and suggestions designed to improve operational programs and working conditions. 

  • Answers incoming calls and responds to voicemail and email messages from customers, program volunteers, and coworkers promptly and professionally.   

  • Complies with all shelter safety rules. 

  • Maintains appropriate files and records. Adheres to the files and records retention policy and procedures. 

  • Attends meetings as necessary. 

  • Assures a clean, orderly, and positive working environment. 

  • Other duties as assigned by Behavior Program Manager, Behavior Program Coordinator, or Chief of Animal Behavior. 






  • Excellent interpersonal skills.  

  • Ability to maintain calm, respectful, and professional demeanor in emotionally-charged situations, including discussions regarding euthanasia. 

  • Communication (verbal and written) with operations staff by direct contact, telephone, email, and remote video services. 

  • Communication with program volunteers through direct contact, email, telephone, and remote video services.   

  • Works in a team setting to implement Behavior Program duties. 

  • Represents SHS in a professional and courteous manner at all times. 

  • Provides quality service to clients, volunteers, and staff; recognizing their individual contribution to the success of our organization. 

  • Commits to valuing diversity and contributes to an inclusive working environment that is sensitive to other opinions, culture, and perspectives. 



High degree of formal policy and procedure to guide work. A high degree of independent judgment is required.  Diverse duties on a weekly basis as routine varies day to day.  Must be able to coordinate several tasks within a day and be able to maintain concentration on a task or series of tasks while dealing with frequent interruptions.  Flexibility and attention to detail in all areas of this position are extremely important. Must be able to respond to unexpected questions, comments, or requests from volunteers and other staff.   Must be able to work well without direct supervision. A high level of customer service skill is needed. Must be able to coordinate specific details and remain focused on Seattle Humane’s long range goals. 







  • Intermediate knowledge of dog body language and behavior.  

  • Basic knowledge of cat body language and behavior. 

  • Intermediate clicker training knowledge and experience. 

  • Experience supporting pet owners in behavior consultations. 

  • Experience handling animals in a shelter or boarding kennel environment as a staff member or volunteer. 

  • Experience supervising and/or assisting dog playgroups in shelter or dog daycare preferred. 

  • Knowledge of various breeds and their behavioral characteristics. 

  • Experience working with and supporting volunteers. 

  • Ability to recognize potential symptoms of diseases common to dogs and cats. 

  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office applications. 



Must be able to speak clearly, hear well, and write legibly; to see clearly with at least one eye; and to distinguish between various odors by sense of smell.  Must have good dexterity and sense of touch with both hands; to stand or sit for four to six hours at a time. Must possess good hand-eye coordination, agility, and stamina. Must be able to crouch, bend from the waist, kneel, and move quickly.  Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds without assistance, over 50 pounds with assistance (from floor to table and vice-versa, and/or carry for six to 10 feet, if not more).  Must be able to concentrate and produce accurate work despite interruptions.  Must have good attention to detail, reasoning and problem-solving abilities, to perform mathematical calculations with or without a calculator. Must be able to solve problems and communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.  Requires the ability to make decisions under time constraints with (sometimes) limited information. Needs to be sensitive to other opinions, perspectives, or cultures.  Must feel comfortable in dealing with angry, confused, and/or emotional people. Must exhibit initiative and motivation in performing all duties. Frequent exposure to emotionally-charged situations, including discussions regarding euthanasia. 



Working conditions in an office/clinic setting, in kennels, and outdoors.  Exposures to potential hazards include cleaning chemicals and disinfectants, needles, animal bites and scratches, zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from vertebrate animals to people), animal hair, dander and wastes, pharmaceutical and biological agents, wet floors, potential electrical hazards.  Constant noise and interruptions, back strain.   


Equipment Used:  Personal computer and printer, multi-lined phone, hand-held radio, specimen collection equipment, microchip scanner, leashes, collars, harnesses, head-halters, muzzles, animal handling gloves, basic office equipment.  


Chemical Interaction: A wide variety of cleaners, disinfectants, detergents and medical products are used on a daily basis.  Each position at the Seattle Humane will likely encounter these chemicals during the routine performance of their duties.  Specific instructions will be provided by a Seattle Humane staff member for the safe and proper use of these chemicals.  If there are any questions regarding this information, copies of our chemical MSDS sheets are available for review.  If asked to use a product that is unfamiliar, contact your supervisor for proper instructions. 


Work Hours:  40 hours per week scheduled, five days per week--five eight-hour shifts to be determined by Behavior Program Manager.  Schedule may vary depending on coverage needs, but will include at least one weekend day. On-call on rotation, as determined by Behavior Program Manager.