The Color Levels

The BRATT (Behavior Rehoming Assessment and Training Team) Color System at Austin Humane Society:

Green – We have to go through an initial orientation to handle these dogs and that’s it.  These are basically the sweetest, easiest dogs to manage.  They are easy to remove from their kennels, are friendly to other dogs, and generally have pretty low energy levels.

Blue dot – After we have logged 12 hours at the shelter either walking and handling green level dogs, shadowing higher levels BRATTs, or doing other important shelter tasks such as making sure dogs have water in their kennels and stuffing kongs with kibble and peanut butter, then we are eligible to take the next training class, then we get a blue dot on our green volunteer badge and we are free to work with the Blue dot dogs.  Blue dot dogs are low to medium energy dogs, they may pull a little on leash, but they are generally good-natured and ok around other dogs.

Blue badge – We have to log at least 16 hours with the dogs prior to taking this course.  The training class for blue badge is a five-week course which meets once a week for several hours.  This is the course where we really learn about training the shelter dogs.  Blue badge dogs (or BB) need basic training.  They have moderate to high energy levels or they could be shy.

Yellow – The next training class is yellow; this is another five week course which is only offered a couple times a year.  Before taking this course volunteers must have been coming to the shelter to work with the dogs for a minimum of four months.  Yellow dogs need consistent training every time they get out.  They have high energy levels or extreme shyness.  Some may be dog reactive.

Orange – The training for Orange level volunteers is by invitation of staff and other BRATTs and consists of a 4-6 month training program under supervision.  Orange level dogs have a managed training plan.  They are often dog reactive, have high stress levels or extreme anxiety.  These shelter dogs really need help!

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