Animal Behavior College (ABC) (http://www.AnimalBehaviorCollege.com/info) held its fourth commencement ceremony on November 21, honoring the achievements of its Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program students.
The graduating class of military veterans received certification for mastering various dog training tools and techniques using positive reinforcement for handling canine behaviors. The program also covered effective problem solving, pet first aid and an opportunity to gain hands-on experience via internship.
“You have all come a ways since starting this program, and I am sure there were times when some of you wondered if you would make it through,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College, to an audience of family, friends and employees of the college. “I know as former members of the armed forces this isn’t the first adversity you have faced. You dealt with each day, each challenge and as a result, you are sitting in graduation regalia ready to be certified ABCDTs [Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer]!”
Debbie Kendrick, vice president of operations for ABC, praised the graduates’ accomplishments before handing out complimentary certificates to enroll in an ABC Continuing Education Program (CEP) of their choice. Appelbaum joined Kendrick and Candace Mason, ABC’s director of admission, in presenting award certificates to students. Those students include Richard (Ricky) Kripps, Kristen (Meghan) Clark, Jesse Araujo, James (Jim) Minick and Carlos Valle Jr.
Beth Harrison, a certified dog trainer and course instructor for ABC’s Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program, thanked her former students for their military service and for their dedication and commitment to working in “the world of humans and dogs.” Amanda Yocom, a caregiver and playgroup coordinator for Best Friends’ Animal Society, also thanked students for volunteering at the shelter and complimented their “eagerness to learn.”
“After graduating from college with a degree in fisheries and wildlife management, I served 10 years in the Navy. However, I always wanted to work with animals,” said James Minick, ABC honors graduate, during his commencement address. “After leaving the Navy and getting a job, I came to a crossroad in my life. What am I going to do? I knew I wanted to work with animals and needed a viable living. That is when I found ABC.”
For Minick and other ABC dog-training graduates and other animal care and service workers, the jobs forecast in the U.S. appear promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. With more people in the U.S. owning dogs (35.5 percent or 43,346,000), ABC’s programs are ideal for veterans and career changers. As certified dog trainers, they have the option of working for an established company or building their own dog training business.
All Your Dog Wants for the Holidays is…
Submit what your dog wants more than anything else, win a personalized collar and leash!
If your dog could have only one thing for the holidays, what would he or she ask for? Animal Behavior College and Coastal Pet Products want to know. To find out–and to celebrate the holiday season–we present the Coastal Pet Products Facebook/Twitter Contest. Tell us what your dog wants most in one or more of the following categories:
- Weirdest/most unusual: What is the most un-canine-like thing your dog wants you to give him/her?
- If money is no object: The sky’s the limit—you just won the lottery and your dog knows it.
- Most-selfless: Your dog doesn’t want anything for him/herself; just something to benefit of all canine and/or human kind.
The winner of each category will receive:
- A personalized collar and leash set from Coastal Pet Products.
How to Enter:
- Follow Coastal Pet Products on Facebook here.*
- Follow Animal Behavior College on Facebook here.*
- Submit what your pet wants for the holidays in picture or text form with the hashtag #ABCHolidayWishes via our Facebook or Twitter pages.
*You do not have to follow either company to have your entry accepted.
- You may enter all three categories, but you will only win one of the three prizes.
- Contest ends December 24th. No submissions will be accepted after this time.
- Winners will be subjectively selected based on how the entries best fit each category.
About the Contest Sponsor: Established in 1968, Coastal Pet Products manufacturers a wide variety of high-quality pet products, from collars, leashes and harnesses to toys, apparel and grooming aids and much more. www.coastalpet.com www.facebook.com/CoastalPetProducts
Foods Not to Share
With elaborate dishes, especially prepared meats, vibrant libations and rich desserts, Thanksgiving is a time when most people overindulge. For pet owners, it is tempting to share tidbits of food with Fido and Frisky. However, many of these delicious foods can make them sick. Animal Behavior College cautions pet owners to avoid feeding pets table scraps and offers healthy food alternatives that will keep them safe and happy on this special day.
Turkey Skin and Bones
Cooked turkey skin with no seasoning is hard to digest and turkey skin with butter and spices is even worse. If you decide to feed turkey to your pet, choose white meat, as it is not as rich as dark meat and is easier to digest. Remove the skin and cut the meat into small pieces before serving. Also, avoid feeding dogs cooked bones, as certain bones can lodge in a dog’s intestines.
Gravy/Buttery Side Dishes
Rich gravies and side dishes can wreak havoc on a pet’s digestive system. Dogs can develop inflammation of a digestive gland, pancreatitis, diarrhea and other painful and serious conditions. Instead, add a little turkey broth to their regular meal as a tasty alternative.
Onions, Garlic and Sage
Onions, garlic and sage are staples in Thanksgiving stuffing and other festive dishes. However, they can make pets sick. Onions and garlic are poisonous to dogs and cats and can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. If ingested, sage causes gastrointestinal upset if consumed in large quantities. Instead, give green beans or a plain hard-boiled egg.
Also be sure to not allow your pets in the kitchen. With food preparations and other busy kitchen activities, a spilled hot dish or dropped pan or bowl can injure or burn a curious pet. Have someone watch your pet or put her in a quiet room or in a crate or carrier away from the fray. Keep a closed lid on the trash bin to prevent pets from feasting on disposed food that could make them sick.
If a dog or cat is ill from eating toxic food, contact a veterinarian immediately, or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 or visit at www.petpoisonhelpline.com.
In Animal Behavior College’s continuing salute to Canine Champions of Freedom, today we’re highlighting Sergeant Stubby. Stubby has been called the most decorated war dog of World War I, assigned to the 26th (Yankee) Division. Stubby warned his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man’s land, and captured a German spy in the Argonne. After the war, Stubby returned home and led many parades across the country and even became the Georgetown Hoyas’ team mascot. Stubby died in his sleep in 1926.
In Animal Behavior College’s continuing salute to Canine Champions of Freedom, today we’re highlighting Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier who served in World War II. Smoky was credited with twelve combat missions and awarded eight battle stars. She saved a soldiers life from incoming shells and helped them duck fire. Along with serving in combat she also entertained the troops with various tricks. After the war Smoky became a national sensation and even appeared in various TV programs. Smoky died in 1957 at the age of 14.
In an ongoing campaign to support veterans both in the classroom and online, Animal Behavior College has begun a campaign to honor military veterans and strengthen the school’s commitment to them and their spouses who work in the pet-services industry. The campaign, “Champions of Freedom Who Sacrifice for All,” will award dog-training scholarships to veteran volunteers of a nonprofit organization that trains medical-alert service dogs for veterans. The campaign will also spotlight unemployment and underemployment challenges facing many military spouses and share success stories from those who are enjoying rewarding careers in the flourishing pet-services industry.
In addition, ABC is commemorating Veteran’s Day with video tributes. One video features ABC employees thanking veterans, active military and their families for their commitment and service. A second video pays homage to canine veterans and their handlers.
The campaign will conclude in December with an employee fundraiser for a charity that provides an online network of volunteers who offer pet care for military during their deployment and a thank-you-letter-writing and holiday-card drive for deployed troops.
In Animal Behavior College’s continuing salute to Canine Champions of Freedom, today we’re highlighting Lex, a bomb-sniffing military German shepherd, who served with CPL. Dustin Jerome Lee in 2007. Lee and Lex worked close together, scouring roads for explosives and sleeping in the same area at night. A rocket explosion in Iraq killed Lee and despite being injured, Lex stayed by Lee’s side on the battlefield. With shrapnel in his leg and whimpering from his own injuries, medics had to pull Lex away from the body of Lee. Months later, Lee’s family lobbied for permission to adopt the dog and succeeded. Years later, Lex died of cancer.
Charlee Bear’s Bear Crunch Facebook Contest
Submit photos of your dog(s) outdoors, win dog treats!
Animal Behavior College presents the Charlee Bear Photo Contest to celebrate the company’s newest dog treats, Bear Crunch. As the name implies, the new dog treats have a light crunch that dogs love. Bear Crunch treats are grain-free, made with healthful, wholesome ingredients and are great for training. With more than 350 treats in each bag, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on these treats. The prizes for the contest are:
- First Prize: 1 case of Bear Crunch
- Second Prize: 6 bags of Bear Crunch
- Third Prize: 3 bags of Bear Crunch
- Several randomly selected entrants will receive 1 bag
- Follow Charlee Bear on Facebook here.
- Follow Animal Behavior College on Facebook here.
- Submit a photo of your dog enjoying nature–e.g., hiking, playing in the water, romping in the snow, diving into leaves, chasing squirrels at the park, etc. (People may be included in the photo.) These photos may submitted through our Facebook.
- One entry per person
- Contest ends November 30th. No submissions will be accepted after this time.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog/Adopt a Dog Month
Many would agree that there is nothing like the love of a dog or puppy. With so many canines available, adoption has become a preferred choice for some families. Adopting a shelter dog is one of the most important decisions a family can make. Unfortunately, many base this lifestyle-changing decision on emotions having little to no knowledge about the dog’s breed, temperament, potential behavioral challenges and the financial responsibilities that come along with pet ownership.
When these factors are not considered, many of these furry friends end up either abandoned or dropped off at local shelters. Sadly, there are more dogs than homes to care for them. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters every year. One of the major reasons these four-legged friends wind up in shelters is due to untreated behavioral problems, according to organizations such as Pet Finders and the National Council on Pet Population Study Policy (NCPPSP).
October is Adopt a Dog and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Animal Behavior College (ABC) encourages responsible pet ownership. Before you adopt, research and understand specific dog breed characteristics and cost factors beforehand, and commit upfront to providing dog obedience training, as it will create a harmonious bond and will decrease the chances of Fido ending up a shelter statistic.
“Unfortunately, many dogs that wind up in shelters have never received training or guidance when in reality their behavioral problems are correctable,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College. “Taking time to provide professional training will ensure many long and happy years together.”
Since dog breeds have different characteristics, it is important to choose a breed that is compatible with the individual or family’s activity level. For example, Airedale Terriers are independent, energetic dogs that have a propensity for digging, chasing and barking. Individuals who enjoy quiet evenings at home and little to no outdoor activity or exercise may find Airedales annoying and too energetic.
ABC offers the following 10 tips on choosing a shelter dog:
- Decide what kind of dog you want to adopt by visiting your local shelter. With 25 to 30 percent of dogs in shelters being purebreds, there is a high chance that the breed you are seeking is available.
- To help with your decision, research breeds characteristics. Determine if a particular breed is compatible with your lifestyle and personality.
- After finding a potential adoptee, inquire about his previous living conditions.
- Spend time interacting with the dog in an isolated area or room.
- Observe and note his demeanor around other dogs. Is he aloof? Does he display fear and aggression?
- Assess the dog’s health condition by examining his eyes, teeth, hips, legs, etc. and request access to medical information.
- Learn about ongoing medical concerns. Find out if he is taking medication or undergoing treatment.
- Find out how long the dog has been in the shelter and the circumstances for his being there. Was he dropped off or abandoned?
- Determine necessary follow-up services that may be needed.
- Once you adopt the dog, make arrangements for professional training as soon as possible.
With dog obedience training playing an important role in a harmonious relationship with its owner, some shelters have volunteers from programs such as ABC’s Student Saving Lives (SSL) program to provide training to homeless dogs before they are adopted. SSL volunteers enlist more than 10 hours of training to local shelters, humane societies, or rescue organizations for the purpose of addressing behavioral and socialization concerns, giving canine companions a better opportunity of finding a loving home.
To become a certified dog trainer, obtain dog training certification, enroll in the Dog Obedience Program (DOP) or to learn more about the college or the Student Saving Lives program, visit our website http://www.AnimalBehaviorCollege.com/info.
Animal Behavior College celebrated its third graduation class during a commencement ceremony on June 13 honoring the many achievements of its Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program students. The late morning event took place on the grounds of the school’s headquarters located at 25104 Rye Canyon Loop in Mann Biomedical Park, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Dressed in royal blue academic regalia, the enthusiastic graduates, some accompanied by their canine friends, sat composed during the ceremony. Many of the graduates are former military personnel who decided to use the discipline, drive and determination skills they acquired while in the armed services to train dogs professionally, ensuring dogs and their owners enjoy a harmonious and mutually respectful relationship.
“You are professional dog trainers who will continue to make a difference in many lives,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College, to an audience of family, friends and employees of the college. “The road ahead is paved with many challenges. Challenges you are equipped and ready to handle. However, readiness is dependent on your willingness to keep an open mind by expanding beyond your comfort level and maintaining a passion for learning and aspiring to continue to grow professionally.”
Debbie Kendrick, vice president of operations for ABC, also praised the graduates’ accomplishments and joined Appelbaum in presenting award certificates giving special mention to students who graduated from the program with honors. Those students include, Brian Hastings, Irma “Toni” Medina Leitneberg, Breanna Rappleya and Angel Samano Jr.
“Five years ago we came to this school with different expectations,” Angel said during his address. “We have spent the last five months since then learning what it takes to train dogs and their owners and have been given a myriad of tools to use as professionals.”
Beth Harrison, the program’s course instructor, congratulated Angel and his fellow graduates. She provided remarks encouraging them to use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to strive for excellence with the goal of “being the best dog trainer they could be.” Amanda Yocom of Best Friends’ Animal Society and Chris Gant, a former graduate of the college and professional dog trainer, thanked graduates for volunteering in the shelter and inspired them to stay compassionate about helping dogs and working with their owners to ensure a positive owner-to-dog relationship.
The students received certification for mastering various dog training tools and techniques using positive reinforcement for handling canine behaviors. The program covers everything from training basics and safety to effective problem solving and pet first aid. The hands-on portion of the program provides students with an opportunity to participate in an internship at shelters like Best Friends’ Animal Society with a mentor, giving them invaluable practical experience in real life situations.
“I have more knowledge and tools at my disposal to continue to serve people in a new way,” Angel said. With his dog, Bosco, at his side, the former Marine lance corporal credits the program with helping him embark on a new and exciting career. “If you had asked me a year ago what I would do (after the military), being a dog trainer wouldn’t have been on the list. ABC has not only helped to change my life, but has helped to change Bosco’s life.”
Pets today are living longer, eating healthier and receiving more services. In fact, the jobs forecast for dog trainers and other animal care and service workers in the U.S. appear promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. With more people in the U.S. owning dogs (35.5 percent or 43,346,000), ABC certified dog trainers have the option of working for an established company or building their own successful dog training business.
To learn more about the program visit Dog Obedience Instructor Training Program or call 800-795-3294.