Pawsitive Change

The goal of the Pawsitive Change Program is to aid in the rehabilitation of both humans and canines. 

Pawsitive Change

Marley’s Mutts partners with California state prisons to select 24-30 inmates and 8-10 at-risk shelter dogs for each prison program cycle. Over the course of 14 weeks, the inmates complete very challenging blocks of course work which involve weekly homework assignments and personal goals.

​We measure success by the following metrics: 





Human Metrics

  • Increased willingness and ability to cooperate and engage positively in team-settings

  • Increased ability to tolerate, experience, and express emotional discomfort in a constructive manner

  • Increased awareness of the needs and emotional states of self and others, and appropriate behavioral responses

  • Increased reported sense of camaraderie among inmates

  • Increased reported sense of self-esteem and social value

  • Increased willingness and ability to engage in honest self-reflection

  • Increased understanding of canine behavior and how canine-handling principles can be applied to interpersonal relationships in and out of incarceration

  • Procurement of canine-handling skills for professional application after incarceration


Canine Metrics

  • Completion of Canine Good Citizen Certification

  • Increased signs of trust and respect with handlers and other humans

  • Decreased symptoms of nervousness, insecurity, and fear

  • Decreased tendencies toward possessiveness and territoriality 

  • Increased balanced social behavior toward other dogs

  • Increased obedience to handlers

To learn more about the Pawsitive Change program please contact: