Animal Behavior College Blog

Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers


ABC Founder & CEO On San Diego TV


Our school started as the germ of an idea in the head of one man: Steve Appelbaum. Steve took his love of dogs, his ability to train them and a whole lot of gumption and turned them into Animal Behavior College, the largest animal career vocational school of its kind in North America.

The creation of  ABC was full of twists and unexpected turns. You can read that story here. Fully realizing the love and concern that all pet owners have for their Furry Friends, Steve established his business on a specific set of training principles that he devised with business partner Debbie Kendrick. Read those training principles here. Below, see Steve give a lecture to ABC students about the in’s and out’s of creating their own pet businesses.

On Wednesday, July 25, Steve will be on live television in San Diego: KUSI/TV 51’s “Good Morning San Diego.” Steve is guesting in two segments: first, he’ll talk about tuition options for military spouses; next, he’ll discuss summer safety tips for your dog.

Steve’s got more appearances coming up. We’ll keep you posted as they get close. Tell your friends and family — your school is growing and we’re getting the word out! (Video soon to follow!)

Pooling Resources: Canine Water Safety


Not All Dogs Know How To Swim

Romping in pools, lakes and the ocean is a perfectly natural thing for some dog breeds. Be aware, though, that there are breeds that don’t — or CAN’T — swim. As cute as the video below might be, dog water safety is not to be taken lightly. If you’re unsure about your dog’s natural swimming ability, click here to read our tips on introducing your dog to water properly and to find out which dogs may be safest kept OUT of the water.

“Swimming’s Not So Tough!”

Does your dog like the water? How often do you go swimming together?

Extinguishing Danger: Fire Safety For Pets


We hear stories all the time about family pets saving their owners from life-threatening emergencies. The video below shows how one lucky man was saved by his 3 dogs who woke him from a deep sleep before it was too late.

Sadly, nearly half a million pets a year are lost to house fires. Lots of people have fire safety plans for their families… but these plans don’t always include contingencies for their pets. The good news is that, with a little planning, pet owners CAN better protect their Furry Friends should the unthinkable happen. Click here to read our tips on Fire Safety for Pets.

Dogs Save Their Owner From Fire

Microchipping Your Pet


It happened in an instant. The gardener left the gate open and the family dog was lost. TWO years later and more than 3,000 miles away, someone clear across the United States positively identifies this lost dog by its microchip and successfully reunites him with his concerned family. An “amazing journey” in real life! Click the video below to watch this astonishing story.

Thankfully, stories like this are becoming more common because of microchipping: a system that combines technology and old fashioned database management to help lost pets of all kinds to be returned to their worried families. Is your pet microchipped? And equally as important, is your contact information current in the system? Click to read our guide. And, if necessary, call your vet and update your contact info today!



Flashmob (as defined here on

“a group of people mobilized by social media to meet in a public place for the purpose of doing an unusual or entertaining activity of short duration”

Flashmobs are a really fun event to watch or be involved in. Whether you are a participant in the “Mob” or simply happen to be at a location where a flashmob dance event erupts, its quite amazing to experience and always sure to bring smiles.

It seems that a few talented canines and their owners who found a great way to do a Doggy Flashmob and entertain a few lucky people who happen to be where the event occurred.

How Can Dogs Do A Flashmob? Watch Here!

Mmmmm… I wonder if anyone could ever get a bunch of cats and their owners to a “Catmob”?

Twilight Dog: Play Dead… Come Back to Life!


Dogs Do Dramatic “Play Dead” Tricks – “BANG!”

Of all the dog tricks that entertain owners, dogs and onlookers alike, one of the most fun is the ‘ol “Bang! Play Dead” trick. It’s fun to teach, to do, and can be a really great trick to strengthen the bond between you and your pooch. Some dogs may take a while to learn it, so be ready to be patient.  The end result will be well worth it when your dog realizes they got it right! For tips on “How To Teach Your Dog To Play Dead”, click here!

This Performance is “Red Carpet” Worthy!

Is your dog’s performance of this trick “dramatic?” Tell us about it in the comments below!

Train Your Dog to Shake Paws Like Sammy


How to Train Your Dog to Shake Paws

Dog Tricks

Dogs shaking paws may be one of the cutest sights, but no one does it better than Sammy, the Shih Tzu. In the video below, you’ll find Sammy excitedly wagging his tail and shaking paws with his dog owner. Learn how to teach your dog to shake paws with these dog training tips.

Get your dog to paw at you

Scratch her chest or touch her toenails to have your dog lift her paw at you. As soon as she lifts her paw, click and treat. Repeat this process for at least 15 times so your dog starts associating her paw lift with a click and treat.

Add your cue

Once your dog begins offering her paw without any problems, introduce the dog training cue. In this case, your cue is your outstretched hand. When she lifts her paw, show your hand, click and treat. Repeat this until your dog becomes used to this behavior. When she’s ready, you can then add a verbal cue. You can use “give your paw” or “shake” as your cue to your dog to shake paws.


The best way to have your dog repeat this behavior is by practicing. Repeat this process in different environments to ensure your dog has learned the behavior. One last tip: take small breaks between each training session. You don’t want to overwhelm your dog.

For more tips on teaching your dog to shake paws, consult with an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT). He can help you train your dog to shake paws as well as provide other dog tricks.

VIDEO: Cute Dog Named Sammy

Teach Your Dog to Speak


How to Teach a Dog to Speak

How to Train Your Dog to Speak

Even if your dog is never able to say “I love you” as successfully as Mishka and Laika do in the video below, you can train your dog to speak on command. Training your dog to speak isn’t as difficult as it sounds. All you’ll need are patience and a few treats.

Get your dog’s attention

There’s no easier way to get your dog’s attention than by playing with him. Exercise him or play a game of tug so he quickly responds to your commands.

Show him a treat

Once you have your dog all energized, show him you have a treat in your hand. Close your hand and place it behind your back. The goal is to have your dog bark when he sees the treat. Reward your dog with a praise and treat as soon as he barks.

If your dog whimpers, but doesn’t bark, try waving your hand with the treat in front of him.

Repeat until he speaks

The second time you do this, say “speak.” Each time you say the cue, keep your voice in the same tone and volume level. Repeat this process until your dog speaks on command.

VIDEO: Husky Dogs Talking

For more dog obedience exercises, consult with an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT).

Do you have a video of your dog talking? Share it on our Facebook page!