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Employment 2017-09-21T10:49:39+00:00

Pooch Pawsitive mission

Why are we in business?

The Long Story…

In 1987, Heidi bought Bentley, a Yorkshire Terrier…her first dog as an adult!  Trying to do the right thing, Heidi took Bentley to dog training classes while living in Boston.  Bentley liked to pull on the leash so the trainer recommended getting a prong collar.  So at the next class, with prong collar in tow, Heidi obediently put the collar on Bentley, the trainer then demonstrated how to snap the collar, Bentley gave out a cry and Heidi felt awful and was moved to tears.  That just didn’t seem right. She never used that again.

Years later, Heidi bought her miniature poodle, Colby, in 2001 while living in California. She found Sirius Puppy Training classes and was happy to find out that she could get the dog’s happy cooperation with rewards, not prong collars (much to her relief!)  Impressed with how quick Colby learned using positive reinforcement and clicker training, she was enthralled by the whole training process!

In 2002, Heidi enrolled in the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers run by Jean Donaldson and Janis Bradley. The Academy was held at the San Francisco SPCA where students worked with the shelter dogs to teach manners and learn how to work with behavior problems.   While there, Heidi learned that many of the shelter dogs were surrendered during their adolescent months (7-12 months of age) and had never received any training or were poorly socialized as puppies.  Most of the dog behavior problems reported at the time of surrender were all things that could have been easily addressed when the dogs were young puppies!

Heidi decided that the best way that she could help with the shelter overpopulation problem was to promote early puppy education and training for pups and their families!  It’s easier to teach a young puppy good manners right from the start instead of trying to retrain an older dog that has developed bad habits! (Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks…it’s just harder than teaching a puppy!)

There are two core things that drive Pooch Pawsitive’s services and programs:

  1. Teaching people about the puppy’s needs and how to communicate with their puppy to get cooperation.
  2. Teaching the puppy how to behave in the human family unit!

Pooch Pawsitive also places a premium on our staff being formally educated in dog’s developmental stages, dog behavior, animal learning theory and modern training methods.  Preventing behavior problems in the first place is our goal!   Our mission is to help pups become social, confident, happy family members that stay in their forever home!

Core Attributes of Pooch Pawsitive Employees

Pooch Pawsitive is in the business of teaching. We just happen to teach “Dog.”  We teach puppies. We teach adult dogs.  We teach human adults and children. We educate the public about modern training methods.

Beyond education and training, all employees at Pooch Pawsitive must have the following personal qualities:

  • Must love dogs
  • Must love people
  • Have the heart of a teacher
  • Be patient
  • Be calm under pressure
  • Able to multitask
  • Be caring and nurturing to both dogs and people
  • Be kind to both dogs and people
  • Be punctual
  • Be reliable
  • Be teachable yourself…be open to learning new things
  • Jump right in to help
  • Resolve conflicts in a win-win manner
  • Be humble
  • Must believe in, and embrace, the Pooch Pawsitive mission and philosophy
  • Be pleasant and nice to be around
  • Be happy
  • Doesn’t mind cleaning!

Job Descriptions

This is a good entry level opportunity for someone 16 years of age or older to get experience in the dog daycare environment.  This is a part time position, most likely during after school hours.

Specific responsibilities include cleaning, laundry and any other tasks that need to be done. Interacts with the entire daycare staff.  This position does not work with the dogs.


  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Have reliable transportation to get to work on time.

The Assistant Group Leader helps the Group Leader with dog activities in his/her group.  Follows all instructions of the Group Leader.  Shadows the Group Leader to learn.


  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • High School Diploma
  • Satisfactory completion of Knowing Dogs 101 (Dog Gurus)
  • 6 – 12 months dog related experience.

Goals for career growth:  Pursue formal education in dog behavior and training.  Take online courses. Watch seminars in the Pooch Pawsitive DVD library.

The Group Leader is responsible for managing and directing dog play of an entire group.  The Group Leader engages the dogs in play and learning activities and keeps arousal to a minimum.  Monitors dog-dog interactions and makes recommendations for dog pairings or rearranging playgroups.  Makes observations about individual dog behavior and enters them into the daily activity log.  Talks to parents about their dog’s day and behavior.  Makes recommendations and gives advice as to how to solve behavior problems, both to the parent and with daycare staff.  Writes daily dog report cards for parents.

Additional requirements:

  • Education in dog training/behavior.
  • 1-2 years of hands on experience in a dog daycare setting.
  • Successful completion of Knowing Dogs 201 (Dog Gurus)
  • Successful completion of Dog Evaluations course (Dog Gurus)
  • Pet First Aid/CPR course (and maintain certification)

Goals for career growth:  PACCC Provider certification.  Complete 6 CEUs per year.

The Group/Shift Supervisor is responsible for managing all aspects of the shift.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sets up the initial dog groupings
  • Sets up and conducts dog evaluations
  • Tracks dog check-in and check-out
  • Maintains records
  • Reviews registration forms/medical records for new dogs
  • Manages staff, breaks
  • Provides staff training as needed
  • Is involved in the hiring process of staff
  • Handles client payments
  • Assists the Group Leader as needed.
  • Is the point person for all in-person client interaction

Additional requirements:

  • Formal dog training education in a certificate program from an approved institution.
  • 2-4 years’ experience in a dog daycare setting
  • Experience with managing staff

We will provide training for:

  • DogBizPro software
  • Credit card processing

Goals for career growth: PACCC Manager certification.  Complete 9 CEUs/year.

Please email your resume, availability, salary requirements and why you think you’d be a good addition to our team to Heidi Palmer McNeil at heidi@poochpawsitive.com.