Learn proven policies and strategies needed to save the lives of at-risk dogs in communities around the country.

Presented in collaboration with Southern Utah University, the online Dog Lifesaving Fundamentals course engages animal services practitioners, shelter staff, volunteers, and advocates in lessons and discussions around saving the lives of dogs.

During this seven-week, university-endorsed college online course, you'll learn from experts in the field and explore proven ways to save the lives of dogs in animal shelters through adoption, dog behavior and well-being, foster programs, canine handling, shelter medicine, and much more. 

At its core, the course focuses on how lifesaving can be increased.

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Dog Lifesaving Fundamentals offers animal caregivers, community members, animal advocates, and volunteers an opportunity to learn about proven policies, programs, and procedures necessary to meet the community’s expectation of dog lifesaving.



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What you’ll learn 

The Dog Lifesaving Fundamentals taps into the knowledge and skills of seasoned shelter staff and experts in the field. 

You’ll learn how to implement the most effective programs and strategies for saving the lives of more dogs in your community. You’ll also come away with a deeper understanding of a wide range of issues affecting canine lifesaving today. 

Module topics include an introduction to dog lifesaving, strategic intake, canine handling and enrichment, fostering and volunteers, dog behavior and well-being, shelter medicine, data analysis, and action planning.

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What to expect 

During the program, you’ll complete seven online modules, participate in online discussions, and submit weekly assignments.

Plan to spend about six to nine hours per week on self-study assignments and discussions.

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Benefits of the program 

After successfully completing the program, you’ll earn one Southern Utah University credit and receive a digital badge.

As a participant in the Dog Lifesaving Fundamentals, you’ll learn how to implement the most effective programs and strategies for saving the lives of more dogs in your community. 

Because the program focuses foundationally on how lifesaving can be increased, activities and discussions are designed to facilitate relationships with animal services advocates and professionals as well as provide resources and assistance.

Upon graduation, you’ll be invited to join a private Facebook group to continue learning and to connect with other graduates for ongoing support.  

Participants who complete this course earn micro-credentials that can be combined to equal three academic credits. Other micro-credential courses include the Cat Lifesaving Fundamentals and Finding Success in Animal Services.

Ready to up your lifesaving game? 

You can make a difference for dogs in your community — start the Dog Lifesaving Fundamentals application process today! 

Tell us that you’re interested in our Dog Lifesaving Fundamentals, formerly known as Dog Lifesaving Course, and we’ll let you know when the next session opens for enrollment.

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If you still have questions, email us at learning@bestfriends.org.