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Specialist - Behavior & Training, Dogtown

Competitive Benefits Package to include, Medical, Dental, Vision, 401(k), Vacation, Personal, Sick and Holiday, and much more

Posted January 25, 2023

Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile
Kanab, UT
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About This Job

 Join Best Friends and turn your career into a labor of love. The benefits package is competitive, generous, and one of the best! We offer competitive pay, medical, dental, vision, basic and supplemental life insurance, short and long-term disability, childcare reimbursement, pet sitting reimbursement (when traveling for work), flexible spending account, health savings account, generous paid time off, paid holidays, auto insurance discount, and legal and identity theft coverage.  For added wellbeing support, we offer Pawternity Leave for employees to have time to care for their personal pets, mental health support, and an employee assistance program. We also offer a generous 401k savings plan that offers 100% match on employee contributions up to 6% after two years of service and staff discounts on Best Friends merchandise.  

Location: Kanab, Utah

Summary: The Training and Behavior Specialists conduct the hands-on implementation of Best Friends Animal Society’s behavior and training programs in support of Best Friends’ no kill mission. The team acts with urgency and efficiency to directly train, rehabilitate, and modify behaviorally challenged animals, and participate in developing Best Friends as a leader in behavioral solutions to save the lives of animals currently at risk of being killed in shelters. 

Purpose: Under the direction of the Best Friends’ Advanced Behavior Program leadership, these specialists will co-create and lead innovative outcome-focused behavior programming at the sanctuary. 

Culture Statement: Treat people around you as our most valuable resource by leading with Kindness and Compassion in all your actions, build trust by demonstrating authenticity and following through on your commitments, encourage self-care and work-life balance through your own example, and work to build strong relationships with your team by creating communication loops to share and receive honest feedback. You are responsible and accountable for the culture of your team.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:


  • Work hands-on with dogs and other animals as assigned to participate in identifying behaviors, strategizing solutions; develop training and behavior modification plans for individual dogs and behavior profiles, with a goal of assisting animals to be successfully adopted.  
  • Develop standardized training, behavior modification, and management protocols and training collateral for Dogtown, adopters, volunteers, fosters, Lifesaving Centers, Network Partners and other Best Friends departments as needed; Assist Care Specialists and Team Leads when specific behavior challenges arise that prevent animals from finding a home.
  • Collaborate with the adoption and marketing teams, sanctuary and other Lifesaving Center leadership, to share behavior program success and highlight special achievements in promotion of these animals for adoption.

Training and Behavior Program

  • Functionally assess animals, coordinate ongoing evaluation and progress monitoring, participate in interactions such as play dates, parallel walks, introductions and group housing pairings; Conduct daily training and behavior modification activities for program dogs, Dogtown or other animals as assigned.    
  • Collaborate with Best Friends’ Lifesaving Centers, network partner shelters, and others to replicate successful programs and techniques to demonstrate the ability for rehabilitation outside of the Sanctuary environment.
  • Build behavior, training and animal management capabilities of the animal care teams and volunteers through one-on-one coaching and group class work; assisting with specific challenging animals or situations as identified by animal care leadership.  


  • Work collaboratively, and with a positive attitude, with all Best Friends’ department teams for the care, benefit, promotion and ultimate outcome for animals in our care.
  • Conduct public presentations, participate in the development and hosting of behavior workshops, attend to relevant email correspondence and shelter or rescue group consultations as assigned, with an ability to professionally represent Best Friends’ position on issues.
  • Follow Best Friends policies, procedures, and task lists for daily lifesaving outcome assignments; including accurate and timely communications, work completion, data entry, and recordkeeping. 
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Skills & Experience:

  • Dog training and behavior knowledge and experience to include theory, training techniques, and an interest to pursue continued learning in the field; training experience within a shelter environment preferred.  
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in multiple projects in various stages of development, each with a unique timeline.
  • Customer-centric, non-judgmental approach to engaging with adopters, partners, visitors, volunteers, and colleagues; familiarity and comfort with an open adoption process. 
  • Resourceful, get-it-done attitude; initiative to assist in any area or process; problem solving, seeking answers independently and enthusiastically; flexibility to persist until lifesaving outcome goals are achieved. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills, a team player, personable, professional, and able to get along with people from different backgrounds, as well as the ability to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with well-developed organization skills to juggle multiple competing tasks and demands 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products; familiarity with shelter software (Best Friends uses Shelterluv), or desire to learn.   

Physical & Other Requirements:

  • Must be able to: 
    1. Routinely lift 65 pounds and perform daily strenuous activity including, but not limited to lifting, carrying, reaching, stooping, squatting, cleaning, and bending. 
    2. Work at a computer or driving a car for extended periods of time with repetitive typing, sitting, arm, and hand motion.  
    3. Work indoors and outdoors in a variety of weather conditions including extreme heat and cold. 
  • Daily exposure to dogs, cats and other animals of all sizes, temperaments, and medical status.  
  • Ability to travel, including overnight stays, when needed.  
  • Daily hours and days of the week may vary according to the needs of the department schedule; position includes weekends, nights and holiday work.  

Thank you for your interest in pursuing a career at Best Friends Animal Society. Best Friends Animal Society is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, or domestic partner status.

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About this Employer

Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile

30 North 300 West
Kanab, UT 84741

Telephone (435) 644-2001
Reservations (435) 644-3400

40 Room Hotel

About Best Friends Animal Society

The Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile is an extension of the longstanding hospitality experienced at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with thousands of animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has operations in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Salt Lake City and Northwest Arkansas and runs the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary.

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to about 347,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. 

While you are in Kanab, we welcome you to learn more about our lifesaving work, schedule a tour of the Sanctuary, and consider becoming a member of Best Friends Animal Society

Who We Are 

For over 30 years, Best Friends Animal Society has been running the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and building effective programs that reduce the number of animals entering shelters.

The Best Friends Roadhouse Story

Your southern Utah vacation experience just got better: Welcome to the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile, the latest (and greatest) lodging option among Kanab’s fast-growing hotel and motel offerings.

Located in the heart of Kanab, Utah, just five miles south of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile welcomes pets and their people. For visitors to the Sanctuary and nearby national parks, it provides a pet-friendly place to stay.

The Roadhouse features 40 rooms as well as a variety of dog- and cat-friendly amenities and services, such as built-in cubbies for snuggling, dog washing stations, pet walking and a fenced dog park area with a splash zone. It’s an animal lover’s dream come true! We can’t wait to welcome you to the Roadhouse, where you can experience the warmth of Best Friends hospitality.

Just for Pets

At the Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile, pets are just as much guests as their people are. For their comfort and happiness, we are pleased to provide:

  • Personal pet welcome
  • Complimentary self-serve pet washing facilities
  • Complimentary cleaning products, located in the service building
  • Pet walking service provided in half-hour increments by Best Friends volunteers and staff (a fee applies)
  • Pet visits by our staff during the day (a fee applies)
  • Fenced pet-park area with splash water feature (for pets of lodging guests)
  • Pet treats, beds and retail items in the mercantile building
  • Built-in cubbies and snuggling areas in select guest rooms

Best Friends Animal Society is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, domestic partner status, or medical condition.