Contract length:12-18 month Fixed Term Contract
Hours per week: 35 (including some weekend and bank holiday work)
Closing date for applications:COP midnight 26th March; we will interview on a rolling basis and reserve the right to end the vacancy prior to the closing date; interested candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible
Mayhew is an exceptionally special animal welfare charity, and we are looking for an equally special candidate to be our Canine Behaviourist. Our team ensure that every dog and cat in our care receives the expert and personalised care s/he needs, delivered with the understanding, empathy, compassion and love that every dog and cat deserves.
Our Home in North-West London accommodates our Kennels, Cattery, Veterinary Clinic and more. Our kennels house up to 15 dogs at any one time meaning that our Canine Behaviourist is able to truly get to know each dog as an individual and directly impact his or her outcomes. We are looking for a hands-on, practical, do-er who has the academic knowledge to understand rescue dogs and the practical experience in a shelter environment to design and deliver the training and wellbeing programmes required to create successful rehoming outcomes for each of those pets.
This role sits within the Kennels team, reporting to the Head of Kennels. Being a team player, who is good with people as well as animals, is an incredibly important part of the skill set we’re looking for. At the same time, we need an energetic self-starter who can work under their own steam to ensure that every dog in our care is having the best day possible and is continuously progressing on his/her journey through Mayhew to a loving and happy forever home.
As you’ll already know from your prior experience, this role can be physically and emotionally demanding but it will also be hugely rewarding; and that is even more so at Mayhew where this post-holder can really help shape things and where we have a manageable number of dogs in our care.
Our Canine Behaviourist will
- Love dogs and be passionately committed to the achievement of each one’s best possible outcome
- In-take Assess all dogs coming into our care and be closely involved with the Head of Kennel’s in-take decisions (bearing in mind that Mayhew receives dogs from some challenging sources including hoarding and poor welfare environments, and dogs with no known history)
- Rehab Assess all dogs in our care to understand them in their current state and identify their training and behaviour-modification needs
- Design and implement their training and behaviour modification plans, ensuring continuous improvement and sustained good welfare; being agile and humble enough to change plans when things aren’t working
- Coach and support the Kennel Carers so that they can help with the delivery of training and behaviour modification plans, helping them feel included and engaged, and embrace up-skilling;
- Ensure the health & safety of the Kennel Carers and Volunteers whilst caring for the dogs in our care, having the knowledge, experience, strength and confidence to personally handle more challenging dogs and situations
- Undertake each dog’s Rehoming Assessment, working with the Head of Kennels to ensure the right rehoming criteria are set on an individual basis. We don’t take a computer-says-no approach, we want to move mountains to find each dog a successful home.
- Design, and help the Kennel Carers to implement, individualised wellbeing and enrichment programmes to keep each dog physically and mentally healthy whilst they are with us and have the knowledge and prior experience to make each dog’s plan bespoke to them considering a variety of drivers including play styles, energy levels, sociability, guarding behaviours, preferences, and sources of frustration.
- Liaise with foster families caring for Mayhew dogs at the direction of the Head of Kennels as required
- Perform practical sessions with adopters as part of the rehoming process to ensure that training and behaviour techniques Mayhew has put in place successfully transfer with the dog to their new carer and environment
- Work in accordance with Mayhew’s policies and be experienced, responsible and compassionate to be fully involved in the tough decisions which sometimes face all rescues.
- Be up to date with the relevant UK legislation on dogs and safety
- Stay up to date with the fascinating and continually-developing science of canine behaviour and well-being
- Come to work each day up-beat, positive and ready to make a real difference.
To be successful in this role, you need:
- Experience working hands-on with rescue dogs in the shelter environment
- At least 2 years’ experience within an applied canine behaviourist/rehabilitation role, working with dogs with differing behavioural challenges
- Experience of delivering dog-to-dog desensitisation and socialisation programs
- Level 4 or ideally Level 5 qualification in canine or animal behaviour
- Proven experience of a flexible and can-do approach, successfully juggling competing priorities and calmly handling multiple or complex issues in an operational environment