County Administrator HR Clerk of the Circuit Court

Canine Behaviorist

Recruitment #1912-CANINEUNM5-002



Hillsborough County Government provides employees with careers that are both professionally and personally rewarding. With a wide range of independent agencies to choose from, the opportunities within Hillsborough County Government are endless! You are not just an employee within the government, you are an ambassador and business partner making a huge impact within our community that helps shape our future.


Our mission is to provide effective quality service at a reasonable cost with courtesy, integrity and accountability in a manner that protects and enhances the quality of life of our diverse population.


The ideal candidate should possess a Masters in Animal Behavior Science with extensive experience in creating and implementing animal related training programs. The ideal candidate will also possess an accredited certification as an animal behavioral practitioner; or an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB) (Preferred) or Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA).


This position requires formal professional training/education in canine behavior and training techniques; prefer formal certification by a highly regarded independent agency. This position will develop and administrate all dog behavior programs and assessments. Incumbent shall teach employees and volunteers the correct methods of identifying canine behavior, and teach them the tools they will need to modify bad behaviors to make the dog a better adoption candidate. Should be well versed in the Dunbar Bite Scale and its application. Must have a strong track record of working with large populations of dogs that turnover on a regular basis. As well as documented creation of standard operating procedures and training programs.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Behavioral Studies and 
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of progressive, proven program development and implementation – working with large dog populations; preference given for experience/work with large, open admission public animal shelters and
  • Accredited certification as an animal behavioral practitioner and
  • Must demonstrate knowledge of the proper use of animal control equipment; and
  • Possession of a valid Florida Driver's License.


  • Customer Commitment - Proactively seeks to understand the needs of our customers and provide the highest standards of service
  • Dedication to Professionalism and Integrity - Demonstrates and promotes fair, honest, professional and ethical behaviors that establishes trust throughout the organization and with the public we serve
  • Organizational Excellence - Takes ownership for excellence through one's personal effectiveness and dedication to the continuous improvement of our operations
  • Success through Teamwork - Collaborates and builds partnerships through trust and the open exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives to achieve organizational goals


  • Heavy physical work, must be able to control dogs up to 125 pounds with or without assistance, requires standing, sitting, running, bending, lifting, restraining.


  • Indoor and outdoor work; extreme heat, humidity, dust, fecal material, unpredictable dogs, possible exposure to pathogens. 


  • Development and implementation of canine behavioral programs addressing problem/behaviorally challenged dogs in the County public shelter. Program must include proper assessment tools and behavior modification techniques.
  • Train and oversee employees and volunteers that work with the dogs in the shelter – both canine behavior assessment and modification tools.
  • Works closely with veterinary staff to assure no underlying medical problems are present that are affecting the negative behavior of the position. Will also coordinate the level of assessment and training dogs with medical conditions will be allowed to do.
  • Will develop basic training courses to offer to the public and adopters. Will have to comply with the existing county ordinance on dog training.
  • Will participate in research with universities and veterinary medical behaviorists to advance the science and application of principles in an open-admission shelter situation.
  • Will develop and oversee appropriate cooperative programs for the residents of the Lake Magdalene Campus to assist at-risk children and young adults in gaining life skills while modifying behaviorally challenged dogs.
  • Will develop and oversee appropriate cooperative programs with Hillsborough County Sheriff and County Jail.


  • Must make critical decisions on the processes, techniques and scientific methods available to address behaviors and modify them to make the dogs adoptable. This field has wide ranging theories and incumbent must decide the best fit for the community and public shelter environment.
  • Must be able to make immediate decisions based upon situations presenting themselves to the incumbent without warning that may include life-threatening situations.
  • Must be able to effective communicate to a broad audience in classroom and high-stress situations in a calm and instructive manner. Extremely high verbal and written communications skills required.
  • Must be able to balance differing priorities and strategically planning the coordination of various programs into a logical and well-balanced program. Must be able to present and defend this strategic plan to decision makers and the public at large.
  • Must have strong organizational skills to coordinate multiple programs in multiple locations with differing audiences and needs. Not only managing the programs but also managing a small staff of skilled workers and a larger staff of employees and volunteers.
  • Must be a self-starter, with independent leadership skills. Expertise in a highly specialized field will require the ability to lead the community and organization in a new direction independently of other support/expertise.



We offer much more than the competitive pay you expect. We value our employees and Hillsborough County Government is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive benefits package. And because we understand that no two people are exactly alike, you can choose what best suits the needs of you and your family.

  • Health Plan: The County pays towards health insurance premiums for all employees. Employees can select from two (2) healthcare plan options. Coverage is effective the first of the month following thirty (30) days of employment.
  • Dental Insurance: Employees are eligible to enroll in the dental coverage and choose from four options: High DMO, Low DMO, a network Open Access Plan, and a PPO. Coverage is effective the first of the month following thirty (30) days of employment.
  • Vision Care: Employees and their dependents are eligible to enroll in the vision coverage. Co-payment coverage includes exams, lens and frame, as well as an allowable contact lens expense. Coverage is effective the first of the month following thirty (30) days of employment.
  • Employee Assistance Program: This program provides all employees and family members with professional, confidential counseling sessions. All employees and dependents are afforded up to six (6) free visits per Plan year. Coverage begins on the first day of employment.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Employees may be reimbursed up to $1,000 (undergraduate), $2000 (graduate) per fiscal year for classes at an accredited college or university for courses that enhance your ability to perform your current job duties.
  • Holidays: Employees receive up to twelve (12) paid holidays per year.

Visit our Benefits page for more exciting details.

Veteran’s Preference:

Do you qualify for Veteran's Preference? Preference will only be entitled upon initial appointment for eligible veterans and eligible spouses of veterans. Documentation that clearly shows dates of service, campaign awards or medals received, and character of discharge (DD-214 Member-4 or Service-2 copy) to support entitlement to preference must be provided at the time of application.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

Hillsborough County Government provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Hillsborough County Government complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Hillsborough County welcomes and encourages applications from minorities, veterans, and persons with physical and mental disabilities, and will reasonably accommodate the needs of those persons in the application and testing process. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation requests will be on a case-by-case basis.

Hillsborough County Government expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Hillsborough County Government’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge

Hillsborough County is a drug free workplace.

Response/Recovery Activities:

Employees are required to participate in response/recovery activities in response to an emergency or natural disaster affecting County operations and/or its citizens. In such situations, every effort will be made to maintain operations, but employees will be assigned to carry out response activities suited to their skills and capabilities. *MON*



In the event of an emergency or disaster, an employee may be required to respond promptly to duties and responsibilities as assigned by the employee’s department, the County’s Office of Emergency Management, or County Administration. Such assignments may be for before, during or after the emergency/disaster.

Click on a link below to apply for this position:


Applicants are encouraged to use the online application -- once completed, you may re-use it "as is" for any number of additional jobs or you may customize it for additional jobs.

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