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The Underdog Project was founded by Jenna da Silva Pinto in 2011 after she identified a need in her community for humane education and greater care for unwanted, unloved animals and children. Selecting untrained shelter dogs as therapy partners, positive reinforcement dog training techniques are taught to the children as a form of non-invasive group therapy. Positive-reinforcement training is a force-free, non-violent method of training that builds confidence in both dogs and trainers.