WSP Dogs

About the WSP Dog Training Program

Blue Mountain Humane Society’s dog training program at the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) provides basic training and skill-building opportunities for shelter dogs and a unique opportunity for the handlers entrusted to train them. Dogs who go through the program are taught skills to help them pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test and find their forever homes.

Dogs selected for the WSP Dog Training Program then attend an intensive 8-week training session and receive around-the-clock instructions from their handlers in a dormitory-style setting. Handlers teach the dogs that good behavior gets rewards, such as food or play time, and bad behaviors are ignored.

Handlers work on commands such as sit, down, come, walking on a leash and other skills to help the dog pass the CGC test. Once the 8-week training program has ended, the dogs that have been deemed ready can be tested for their CGC certification.

How Do We Choose the Dogs for the Program?

To be a candidate for the WSP Dog Training Program, dogs at the Blue Mountain Humane Society (BMHS) exhibit behaviors that make them harder to adopt, such as jumping, barking, pulling on a leash, shyness or general lack of manners.

Benefit for You and the Dogs

After spending 24 hours a day with their dogs, the handlers have unique insights into the personalities and behaviors of their dog. This information is shared with BMHS, which uses this information to find the best homes for each dog.

Because of the partnership between BMHS and WSP, dogs are given a second chance. Dogs who would have been previously overlooked because of behavior issues are now given the training they need prior to being adopted out. We are privileged to be able to help these dogs, and we hope you would feel privileged to rescue one!

Interested in a dog in training at WSP? Contact the Director of Shelter Operations about putting in application today! 509-525-2452 or animals@bluemountainhumane.org. Scroll down for online application.