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Manager of Training & Interventions


Part/Full Time


Responsible for a cultivating and maintaining an assistance dog training and intervention team. The manager of Training and Interventions (MTI) will lead and participate in the training of assistance dogs and the incorporation into community programs while in training. The MTI will also supervise volunteers including inmates who work with dogs. The husbandry care, enrichment program, assistance dog team follow ups will all be tracked and supervised by this leader. Clients include children, veterans, and adults with a variety of disabilities or those who serve people with disabilities. Their disabilities include autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Strict adherence to standards established by Assistance Dogs International(ADI) will be required. The MTI will ensure the assisted intervention programming with dogs in training will strictly adhere to Animal Assisted Interventions International standards(AAII).

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership and coaching to assistance dog instructors including tracking of continuing education units required by AAII.

  • Provide support in the form of observations, evaluations, trouble shooting canine behavioral challenges, training skill demonstrations, and public outings.

  • Review trainer entered data on dog progress and proactively manage a trainer’s progress with dogs

  • Assist with all levels of  training assistance dogs, the volunteers who work with them, and assist with clients who receive them.

  • Assist with Coordination and implementation of animal assisted intervention programs that are part of dogs training before placement and that utilize program designated animals.

  • Coordinate general dog health care, grooming, nutrition, veterinary visits, and enrichment to ensure correct and consistent care for husbandry and handling of the assistance pups and dogs in training in conjunction with the animal care coordinator and instructors.

  • =  Develop and implement measures designed to improve processes and efficiencies in the dog training program.

  • =  Expand training curriculum that tracks program milestones with the goal of creating assistance dog partnerships and intervention programs.

  • Supervise and track Department of Labor Apprenticeship program.

  • Perform Guide Dog Behavior Assessment Test (GDBArT) and Behavior Checklist (BCL) scoring on each puppy and dog to determine a dog’s behavioral suitability.

  • Supervise play groups of dogs and train others how to monitor appropriate behavioral interactions.

  • Assist with interview, matching and placement of VIP, PWAP, and general release dogs.

  • Assist with care of assistance puppies and dogs in training at PAALS, at home, and in sometimes prison environment.

  • Accurately track, schedule, and implement medical appointments, assessments, and procedures to adhere to PAALS high standards for health of canines, including updating databases such as the International Working Dog Database.

  • Accurately track, schedule, and implement training of husbandry volunteers, weekend PAALS volunteers through databases and with adherence to PAALS protocols to include responding to ones received with instructors.

  • Communicate with volunteer trainers, instructors and director on dog training issues, including weekly reviews of weekend reports each Monday morning.

  • Support the management of dog files and training logs to include all databases and hard files in a timely fashion.

  • Transport puppies and dogs as needed in personal vehicle or PAALS vehicle (including bus)

  • Assist with general dog health care and veterinary visits

  • Work as a team member who cares for the mission of PAALS and everyone who supports it.

Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate selection of puppies and breeders to acquire through breeding coop as POC and through reputable breeders.

  • Coordinate breeding/whelping and puppy development program.

  • Implement Prison PAALS as needed while tracking overall progress of training with inmates.

  • Ensure appropriate equipment is ordered and available for adult dogs-in-training

  • Work with volunteers as assigned and maintain good relationships with all volunteers

  • Work with director and applicant review committee to set up and conduct interviews with potential clients as required

  • Coordinate dogs in training to participate in “Clients in Waiting” Sessionsto help match dogs with their partners.

  • Work with director, instructors, and volunteer client coordinator to schedule and implement team trainings throughout the year.

  • Timely computer record maintenance, phone correspondence, and email communication

  • Participate in presentations and fund raising/marketing opportunities

  • Oversee follow up of assistance dog teams including annual assessments

  • Assist with applicant interviews as requested

  • Participate in continuing education related to dog training, dog behavior, disability education, and animal assisted interventions

Physical Demands/Environment:

  • Must be physically active and able to work both indoors and outdoors.

  • Must be able to frequently kneel, crouch, crawl, stand and bend to perform cleaning of crates and care of dogs.

  • Must be able to use hands, arms, shoulders in legs to assist with cleaning of the environments both indoor and outdoor, care of dogs, and typing on keyboards.

  • Work in proximity to cleaning agents and disinfectants and must be able to follow instructions for the use and storage of these chemicals.

  • Lift and move up to 50 pounds of dog and dog food


  • College degree in animal behavior, psychology, zoology, biology or related experience

  • At least five years experience in operant conditioning based training, preferably with assistance dogs.

  • Computer proficiency in Word, PowerPoint, and Xcel programs

  • Outstanding communications skills, both written and verbal

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills

  • High Attention to detail

  • Ability to multi-task

  • Must be able to work cooperatively and collaboratively in a team environment

  • Ability to stay focused despite numerous distractions and multiple tasks

  • Ability to communicate effectively with peers, direct reports, management, clients, partners, donors, sponsors and board members

  • Professional under pressure and reacts to changing situations with integrity

  • Clean driving record

  • Background check

Job Location:

Columbia, SC (Northeast)


Based on experience


Medical insurance and retirement benefits not included. Many other perks at the discretion of the director based on work performance and feasibility.


20-40 hours/week, with flexible schedule. Some work can be done remotely.

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