Spencer Scholarship Application

The Spencer Scholarship program has been created to ensure that: 1. Dogs in rescue have access to high quality, humane training and as a result will be more adoptable. 2. Fosters and others in rescue have access to humane training methods that may not currently be available to them. Once your application has been submitted, we will acknowledge receipt within 48 hours and begin the review process. We typically reach a decision within 5 days. If you need us to expedite the review process, please notify us at info@spencerdog.org when you submit the application.

Spencer Scholarship Terms and Conditions

Spencer Group and its partner trainers will attempt to meet the needs of rescue animals by providing positive training instruction to address behavioral concerns. Our partners are experienced trainers who are knowledgeable about current training techniques and have a demonstrated commitment to working with rescues. Spencer Scholarship trainers are committed to working exclusively with positive methods, meaning they will not use any tool or technique designed to be aversive and/or cause the dog intimidation, distrust, stress, anxiety, fear, or pain.

Although the Spencer Scholarship trainers are experienced and well-versed in positive training, they are only part of the training equation. Results may vary due to various factors including but not limited to the dog’s prior experiences, physical limitations, and rescue and volunteer compliance to the training plan and/or the amount of time spent on training exercises. It is unethical for any trainer to guarantee results as the behavior of any living being is highly complex and subject to a multitude of variables, but it is highly likely the dog will make progress during the course of training as long as there is adherence to the training plan.

Training commitment:

Consistency in training is one of the most important factors contributing to the successful rehabilitation of dogs with behavioral issues. As a condition of receiving the Spencer Scholarship, both the rescue organization and any volunteers responsible for caring for the dog must agree to:

1. Use only non-aversive, positive training methods approved by the Spencer Scholarship trainer as long as the dog remains in the current rescue organization.

2. Comply with the training techniques recommended by the Spencer Scholarship trainer without introducing additional techniques unless approved by the trainer.

3. Refrain from using tools or techniques created or used with the intent to cause intimidation, distrust, stress, anxiety, fear, pain, and/or injury. This includes anything that has the potential to cause physical, psychological, or emotional harm, such as: choke chains, pinch collars, shock equipment, alpha rolls and other forms of pushing, unnecessary restraint, punishing and/or intimidation or domination, flooding, hanging, kicking, or hitting of any kind.

Failure to comply with the training commitment terms will result in immediate revocation of the Spencer Scholarship.


The rescue organization agrees to provide copies of Spencer Scholarship training session write-ups to the dog’s adoptive family in order to enable the family to continue working with the dog. In some cases, adoptive families will receive a session with the Spencer Scholarship trainer as part of the original award.


Once awarded the Spencer Scholarship, the rescue organization agrees that the dog will not be euthanized without first consulting with Spencer Group and the Spencer Scholarship trainer.