Behavior and Training

dog2-COB-WebGreat Plains SPCA’s Behavior and Training Program works to keep pets in forever homes and prepare homeless pets for adoption. The behavior and training program adds tremendous value to the community and Great Plains SPCA’s lifesaving mission through public classes, staff and volunteer training, enrichment programs for shelter residents, and behavioral support to adopted dogs and their new pet parents.

Basic Obedience Positive Reinforcement Dog Training (6 months and older)

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New Classes Starting Soon!

Can old dogs learn new tricks? How do young dogs learn manners? If you are in need of training help, come to Great Plains! We have openings in both our Basic and Advanced training classes beginning NEXT WEEK! All of our classes occur once a week and last for 6 weeks.

Our Basic level classes are offered either Wednesday night from 6pm-7pm or Saturday from 11:30a-12:30pm. These classes cover sit, down, shake, stay, leash manners, not jumping up, sharing toys and treats and a variety of other behaviors!

Our Advanced classes are offered Friday evenings from 6-7pm and will build off of the behaviors learned in Basic to expand duration of stays, improve leash manners to cover turning right and left as well as heel, place, and fun things like roll over and spin.

Both Basic and Advanced classes are $200, but our Alumni Pups get a discount!

Sign Up For a GPSPCA Behavior & Training Program Class Session

K.I.S.S. Dog Training Class Sessions

K.I.S.S. Dog Training Class Sessions held at the Merriam Campus are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sign Up For a K.I.S.S. Dog Training Class Session

*Please note, public classes for our Merriam Campus are coordinated through K.I.S.S. Dog Training. Registrations will also be processed under this name. K.I.S.S. Dog Training DOES NOT honor GPSPCA Alumni Discount.

Meet the Great Plains SPCA Behavior Team

    • Ashley Flores, CPDT-KA
    • Director of Animal Behavior and Training

Ashley has worked professionally with animals for 16 years and is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through CCPDT.  Zoey, Ashley’s 13 year old lab mix, was who sparked her interest in working in animal welfare which lead her to rescuing her pit-mix, Clarabelle. While her career was inspired by the love for her own animals, the growth and trust that each shelter dog shows while at Great Plains is what keeps her going. When Ashley is not at work, you can catch her using positive reinforcement training on her daughter or diving/snorkeling with sharks.

    • Maggie Mann
    • Behavior Manager

Maggie’s career in animal welfare started in zoos where she spent 5 years as a zookeeper for bears and river otters.  She found her way to Great Plains and loves how every single person that works and volunteers at GP wants what is best for the animals. She is inspired by the creativity that everyone brings to their rolls to find the best solution for providing and caring for the animals while they are in GP’s care. Outside of working with dogs and cats, Maggie loves to SCUBA dive, attend Bluegrass concerts, and travel.

    • Meagan Hundley
    • Canine and Feline Behavior Advocate

Meagan loves working for a mission that she is passionate about. At Great Plains, where she has worked for 4 years, she loves advocating for the lives of these animals and helping them succeed both in the shelter and into the homes that love and adopt them. Meagan is passionate about helping the GP’s animals succeed and encouraging and educating everyone to slow down and look deeper to see the reasons behind an animals stress. When not at work, Meagan is enjoying time with her 6-year-old chocolate lab.

    • Anecia Hargrove
    • Canine Behavior Advocate

Anecia has been volunteering and working in Kansas City area animal shelters since she was 16-years-old. The shelter environment can be very stressful so Anecia loves being a friendly face while animals adjust to their stay in the shelter. Anecia loves working at Great Plains because it is a supportive community of like-minded animal lovers where both staff and volunteers work as a team to support, motivate, and advocate for the animals. In addition to being an animal lover and caring for her two dogs, Anecia’s home is a tropical oasis with over 70 different kinds of houseplants and different old furniture pieces that she reupholsters into modern styles.

    • Patrick Whitman
    • Canine Behavior Advocate

Patrick has worked with every species of animal that has come through Great Plains SPCA, from dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and everything in between! His home is slightly less of a zoo with one dog and one cat to care for. After 10 years with Great Plains SPCA, getting the animals adopted out into their forever homes or the heart-warming reunions between lost dogs and their owners is what motivates him. Patrick loves working at Great Plains SPCA because it allows him to help shy and fearful dogs come out of their shells and become the happy, confident dogs they really are. His extreme level of patience with these shyer dogs is a unique trait that makes him a valued member of the Behavior Team.

    • Avery Brown
    • Feline Behavior Advocate

Avery has been working with animals for six and a half years. She is a dedicated cat fanatic with 5 at home, as well as 2 dogs and 3 chickens. Avery loves connecting people with the joy, love, happiness, and comfort animals bring to our lives. Bringing cats out of their shells to show adopters their real personalities is Avery’s favorite part of working at Great Plains. When she is not working to educate people about cat behavior, Avery spends her time bringing her ideas to life through drawing and crochet.

    • Kayla Campbell
    • Behavior Consultant – Foster/Rescue/Hero

Kayla has always held a special place in her heart for animals of all shapes and sizes. No matter what sort of trauma animals may experience in their lives, they can still find happiness. Getting the opportunity to help these animals through their tough times and into a loving home is her driving force. Over the past 9 years she has worked with polar bears, North American river otters, four species of penguins, trumpeter swans, horses, dogs, cats and more. Her passion for animals follows her home where she has 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 Vietnamese potbellied pig, 1 horse, and a saltwater aquarium. She understands that one person alone cannot save them all, but together as a community we absolutely can, this passion transcends throughout the GP family and is what keeps bringing her back each day. When she’s not walking a dog or visiting her horse, Kayla enjoys birding, backpacking, scuba diving, and gardening.


Online Resources

Additional Resources

D.O.G. Obedience Group: We all love our dogs, but sometimes their different mannerisms are just too much. Barking and lunging at other dogs, pulling on the leash, bolting out the door, and nuisance barking are just a few of the things that keep you from having the relationship that both you and your dog want and deserve.

Our fun and interactive training classes use positive training methods to help not only teach your dog, but also teach you to become your dogs confident leader. With our variety of training options you are sure to find the right training environment for both you and your dog. Group classes, private training, and in home training make this possible for almost everyone.  All you need to do now is pick the right class for you, and show up up with a smile.