Most of our mutts receive training prior to adoption. It’s part of our Mostly Mutts University (MMU) training program designed to improve the behavior of our rescues. As one of the few animal rescue facilities in Georgia who provide in-house training for adoptable dogs, we are committed to train our mutts to be the best that they can be. Every day, MMU proves that training can transform a dog’s behavior and, it’s future, regardless of a dog’s age or past history.

MMU is led by a professional certified trainer, Emily Shervin, Founder of The Gratefull Dog Training School. Emily has trained a team of volunteers, who are each assigned 2-3 dogs as students. There are approximately 15 dedicated trainers in our program, as well as an assessment team that gets to know every dog that comes to Mostly Mutts. MMU is equal to Basic obedience.

We learn what makes them tick

Our assessment team meets every week to evaluate dogs coming into our adoption program. We’ve found that determining dogs’ behaviors can help identify challenges and personality traits, allowing us to customize training needs, and better match dogs with prospective adopters.

Dogs are tested to evaluate their temperament, energy level, any toy or food aggression, willingness to enter a car, sensitivity to touch, and compatibility with other animals and children.

Benefits of MMU

  • Dogs gain more confidence when they mastery new skills.
  • Socialization teaches them to trust people and other dogs.
  • Teaching skills such as sit, stay, and leave it helps to keep them safe in a home environment and instill good manners.
  • With the achievement of basic skills, MMU dogs develop improved behavior, better adjustment to the world around them, trust, and affection, and ultimately become more adoptable.

Class in session

Trainers work diligently to teach at least 11 basic skills:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Come
  • Leave it
  • Drop it
  • Place
  • Leash walking
  • Walking in/out of doors calmly
  • Accepting strangers
  • Greeting politely without jumping

Dogs are trained several times a week, using positive reinforcement methods, (praise and treats.) Then they are tested, to ensure they master the training skills in our curriculum before graduation. Although each dog learns at a different pace, practically every dog can learn a new skill, or improve behavior, when given the chance to spend time in our program.

For dogs with an aversion to being touched, we work hard to help them overcome this fear and learn that getting a scratch on the head or a belly rub by a human is an act of affection and reward.

Pack plays to help them socialize

Like most animals, dogs are meant to live in packs. MMU trainers host regular pack play dates with dogs of various breeds, sizes, ages, temperaments and gender. Benefits of pack plays are:

  • Dogs learn to interact in a positive manner with other dogs.
  • They acquire confidence.
  • It helps "alpha" dogs develop more flexible behavior, learning that they don't have to be the leader of the pack.
  • It prepares a dog to meet other dogs in its forever home.
  • It helps dogs that have never interacted with dogs learn how to play.

Day trips, outings and hikes

MMU trainers take their students on outings to parks, restaurants, stores, etc., giving them exposure to a variety of environments and interactions. Dogs are given the opportunity to attend fundraising events, acting as our ambassadors while learning how to meet and greet a variety of people and practice their training skills. Benefits of outside exposure are:

  • Dogs bond more deeply with their trainer.
  • Dogs become familiar with other dogs and strangers.
  • It builds confidence.
  • It promotes exercise.
  • It provides break from the shelter.


Metro reentry program

Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue was selected to become a participant in the Metro Reentry Program, which provides vocational training to men who will eventually be leaving the prison system. Utilizing our Mostly Mutts University platform, we have been sending our dogs to the prison to be trained by the men, and they have returned to us with impressive new skills. Read more about the Metro Reentry Program and how Mostly Mutts is making a difference in the lives of the men who in turn, are making a difference in the lives of our dogs.


Our achievements

We are proud to have rescued so many furry diamonds in the "ruff," whom we have polished into brilliant gems through Mostly Mutts University.

As one of the few animal rescue facilities in Georgia that provides in-house training for adoptable dogs, we are committed to training our mutts to be the best that they can be. Every day MMU proves that training can transform a dog’s behavior and its future, regardless of a dog’s age or past.

3238 Cherokee Street | Kennesaw, GA 30144

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