Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Dog Obedience Training Program

November 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – November 2014

Claudia Brooks

Dog Obedience Program Student of the Month

Claudia Brooks knew a long time before enrolling at Animal Behavior College that she wanted to work with animals. She grew up in a household that raised all sorts of animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, birds, cattle and fish. Growing up in such a manner provided her with some unique experiences. Claudia helped her father maintain 35 tropical aquariums, in which they raised fish for the local shop. She raised countless kittens and puppies, and even helped birth a breached calf. While Claudia loves working with animals of all kinds, dogs are her favorite. As she explained, “They have been the best teachers I have ever had. They have taught me patience, kindness, forgiveness, perseverance, tolerance, how to handle stress, and unconditional love. Though I have had a number of jobs in my life, working with dogs is my passion.” Claudia’s passion for working with dogs eventually led her to enroll with Animal Behavior College where she graduated with honors and was hired by her Mentor Trainer, Kelly Legaretta of Healing Pawsabilities.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

There are several. Working with the shelter dogs at Gulf Coast Humane Society, and seeing them adopted is definitely near the top. Watching shy and fearful dogs become much more confident would be another. However, the most rewarding moments are when you see the relationship between the owner and her dog change from one of frustration to one of mutual respect.

  • Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work? If yes, how/where?

The one pet story that touched me the most would be Rosie. She was a purebred Rottweiler who came in with some other dogs, and was afraid of everyone. She was difficult to get close to and almost impossible to touch. One day when I got to the shelter, I went into her kennel, which was divided down the middle with partial concrete wall and cutout door. When I opened the door, she dashed to the other side and wouldn’t come out. It took me nearly 20 minutes of just sitting on the floor, tossing her treats and kibble, letting her get closer and closer, until she finally came up to me. She was still scared, but every time I went back I did the same thing and she gradually got better. I found out one of the other volunteers was also working with her and she was adopted in just a couple of months.

I plan to start back with my volunteer work at the shelter in January once I am no longer working at my current job. I found out recently that Gulf Coast Humane Society is building a new shelter very close to my house and I plan to volunteer again with them. At one of the GCHS fundraisers, I met two members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department who work at the Cell Dogs program, a joint program with their department and GCHS. I have been asked to work with the Cell Dog program starting in January and I can’t wait for that.

  • How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

Once when I was taking classes with Kelly Legaretta, she had three ABC students doing their externship. I spoke with them and really liked what they told me about the program. Kelly was (and still is) a great mentor/teacher so I couldn’t have asked for a better program.

  • Which dog breed best describes you and why?

I am a cross between a Labrador and a Border Collie. I have the energy of a Border Collie but the temperament of a Lab.

October 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

ABC
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
October 2014

Tracy Hamilton

Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student of the Month is Tracy Hamilton

Animal Behavior College’s soon-to-be graduate Tracy Hamilton lives in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada, on Vancouver Island. She trains part-time at Cedar Ridge Canine while working at Little Rascals Pets and Supplies in Ladysmith, British Columbia. Tracy said her plate is pretty full, but that doesn’t stop her from hiking. “Don’t worry. I still manage to get in a good hike each week with a few fellow dog lovers,” she said. Tracy has wanted to work with animals her whole life. As a youngster, she wanted to be a marine biologist, but when she realized she wasn’t that good at science, Tracy went back to the drawing board. After researching on the Internet, she came across Animal Behavior College and the rest “is history.”

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

I think one of my most rewarding moments was when I finally realized how confident I was when it came to instructing classes. I always knew how good I was with dogs, but didn’t fully realize until I worked the kennels in the SPCA for a while.

  • Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours.

During my volunteer hours, I had the joy of working with a Cane Corso that didn’t do well around strangers. She was a very large dog and quick to react. My most memorable moment was when I came in to work with her. We had been working a lot on no jumping up, as she was a big girl. She would run at me then do a sliding stop on her back so I could rub her belly. Nothing but dust, jowls and slobber; she was so thrilled to see me. I plan on continuing to volunteer in the future.

  • What are your plans for dog training? Do you want to specialize in a particular type of training?

I feel like I have a good connection with dogs that tend to have a more difficult time in life. My largest goal in life is to run a rescue/rehab center. I would love to continue my career working with the more difficult breeds and can really see myself doing well with aggressive dogs.

  • What has your experience been like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?

I have really enjoyed my whole experience with Animal Behavior College from the knowledge in the book material to the staff that has really helped to keep me on track as much as possible, understanding life tends to get in the way, to the great Mentor Trainer they found for me. I would fully recommend ABC to anyone considering getting their dog training certification.

  • Which dog breed best describes you and why?

I am like a Border Collie. I will work myself crazy to be sure everyone is happy. I don’t think I could have done this program without any of the people I have worked with in the past year. They have really made this much easier on me than it could have been.

 

October 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – October 2014

Chelsi Woolwine

Dog Obedience Training Student of the Month is Chelsi Woolwine

Recent ABC graduate, Chelsi Woolwine currently lives in Ojai, California. As a child, Chelsi always knew she wanted to work with animals. In her neighborhood one day, there was a little dog running around that no one else could catch. Her neighbors came and asked for her help. As soon as she got down on the ground with a leash and treats, the little dog came running over to her—no one could believe his eyes. Chelsi said that was her “this is what I need to do with my life” moment. She heard about Animal Behavior College’s Dog Obedience Program from the Educational Director at a shelter in Colorado who also attended ABC’s program and told Chelsi to go for it, as it was a great starting point for her career.

  • Are you currently employed in another field? If yes, what do you do?

I’m currently employed at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation working as a Program Assistant. I do get to train with the dogs, but I mostly work with bringing new dogs into our program and getting to follow them throughout their lives.

  • Was dog training your first career choice? If not, what was it?

Dog training was not my first choice as a career. I was set on being a veterinary technician until we had to put my corgi/chow down and it absolutely broke my heart. Becoming a vet tech is still something I would love to do so I can further my career.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment was when it clicked for one of the students in our class. They finally understood how to get their dog to do the specific behavior that my amazing Mentor Trainer, Genie Tuttle, had been working on with them. It’s easier to tell someone else how to teach a behavior since you are seeing it firsthand and can correct it right away.

  • Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours.

During my volunteer hours, there was a dog that stole my heart, Rusty, a six- to seven-year-old Shar Pei that had been at the shelter for more than a year. He was often passed up because he always sat in the back of the kennel and didn’t visit with the people walking by. After working on his walking skills and socializing him, he finally got an amazing home and I see him often around Ojai.

  • What will be the secret to your success in the pet industry as a dog trainer?

The secret of the dog training pet industry is to be a sponge. Take in every opportunity you can and learn as much as possible. You can never have too much knowledge because no two situations are the same.

September 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – September 2014

Zackary Morgan

Zackary Morgan is Student of the Month

As a child, Zack Morgan was always interested in how animals behave and learn. He was particularly drawn to the ocean and marine animals. This interest continued into his adult life, and in college Zack majored in biology with an emphasis on marine studies. During this time, he also began working part time at the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue in Reinholds, Pa. It is there that Zack really developed a bond with dogs and realized dog training might be the fulfilling and rewarding career he was looking for. Zack’s manager at the rescue is a current ABC Mentor Trainer and encouraged Zack to become a certified dog trainer through ABC. He signed up for the Dog Obedience Program shortly thereafter and has done wonderfully so far. Zack is currently finishing up his externship and is on track to graduate with honors. Continue reading

September 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

ABC
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
September 2014

Andrew Richards

Andrew Richards is Student of the Month

Before Andrew Richards decided he wanted to be a dog trainer, he worked in the construction industry. After being laid off, he had some time on his hands and decided to really think about what he truly wanted to do as a career. While contemplating what he would do next in life, he looked down at his dogs and decided then and there that he wanted to work with dogs. In Andrew’s own words, “It’s all about what will make a happy life and, for me, that’s dogs.” After deciding to do something in the animal industry, he began researching online and found Animal Behavior College. He enrolled in the Dog Obedience Program shortly thereafter and is now on track to graduate in the next few months. Continue reading

August 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – August 2014

Stephanie “Sarah” Trujillo, ABCDT

August Dog Training Program Student Of The Month

Recent ABC Graduate Sarah Trujillo, lives in Kingsburg, Calif.. She is now the Director of Second Chance Animal Shelter of Selma and also owns her own dog training company called K9 Solutions. While at the shelter, Sarah oversees the operations of the shelter, evaluates dogs and educates the public on animal behavior. Dog training was not her first career choice. Before she became a student at Animal Behavior College, Tania was studying Computer Science and Math, as well as working in the accounting office at the college she was attending. While in the Dog Obedience Program, Sarah said one of the biggest challenges she had to face was overcoming self-doubt. The way she overcame it was to think about why she chose training dogs, and to remember the joy that working with dogs gives her.

What prompted you to become a dog trainer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

In 2012, I started feeling complacent in my daily routine and felt I needed to do something to change it up. I have always loved working with animals, so I chose to look for a local animal shelter in my area; little did I know there was a shelter in a nearby city that was 15 minutes from me. I was very excited to help at this small shelter in Selma, Calif. After only a few months, I was helping manage the volunteers, coordinate events and assisting with adoptions. I started working closely with the city police department that oversaw the operations of the shelter. Sometimes I would be asked if dogs were adoptable or not. In having to make these tough decisions, I felt I needed to expand my knowledge in this area—not only to help understand dogs better, but to be able to educate others about their pets so they can avoid having to resort to an animal shelter.

Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work?

While working on my Students Saving Lives volunteer hours, I worked with a German Shepard mix named Rocky. He was brought into the shelter due to inadequate housing. He was found in a yard tied to a tree with no shelter, food, or water. He had no manners around people and would jump to greet. My goal was to teach him how to greet people and walk in a mannerly fashion.

Rocky was successful with these new concepts and they proved helpful to his overall adoption-appeal. His adopters said his well-mannered behavior was one of the most significant reasons why they chose him as a new family member.

Because I’ve witnessed how effective basic training is, I continue to volunteer at Second Chance Animal Shelter of Selma and with other rescue groups in need. The feeling of helping others and cultivating adoptability is one of the greatest.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

Knowing that working with animals is a great passion of mine, my husband informed me of the ABC program after seeing an advertisement on TV. When I called, I was given more information about the Dog Obedience Program as well as the Continuing Education Programs. The one that caught my attention was “Training Shelter Dogs.” They also told me about the Students Saving Lives Program, where we donate a minimum of 10 hours at a local shelter prior to graduating. My whole reason for becoming a trainer was to help shelter animals. I knew this was the school for me, a school that promoted saving lives.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training (e.g., aggression, PTSD, therapy or guide dogs) or in training a particular breed of dog? Please describe.

I plan to continue to grow my business here in Kingsburg, Calif., and show owners the joy that comes along with being a pet parent and how smart their dog really is. I want to do therapy and service dog training with a focus on former shelter dogs.

What will be the secret to your success in the pet industry as a dog trainer?

The secret to my success is working with the intention of giving back to others. Dogs can give so much to their owners, and being able to bridge the communication between dog and owner is the key to creating a successful relationship between the two.

July 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – July 2014

Cheryl Boyce, ABCDT

Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month - Cheryl Boyce

Cheryl Boyce didn’t always plan on becoming a dog trainer. As a “numbers” person, she spent most of her adult life working in an office environment, performing various accounting tasks. Cheryl was inspired by her own dogs to learn more about dog training.

“To witness a dog think and process what you’ve asked of them is truly amazing,”

Seeing this process take place first-hand is what prompted her to look into dog training as a career. From there, she did some research online, talked to a trainer who had graduated from ABC and enrolled shortly thereafter. She has now graduated with honors from ABC, and has had some wonderful opportunities to work with her local shelter to help make life better for homeless dogs.

Where do you currently live and work?

I live in Stuart, Florida, and I work for The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

I learned so much from my mentor trainer and have very high respect for her. At the end of my externship she offered me a job opportunity. I was very honored.

Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours

On my first day volunteering as a dog walker, I was shown a dog who was terrified and would only stay to the back of his run curled up in a ball. He didn’t want to be walked or even looked at. I went into the run and just sat down next to him without paying any attention to him. After a little time had passed, I petted him and then eventually put the leash on him. He reluctantly went with me, but stayed at the end of the leash to be as far away from me as possible. I shortened the leash and just walked with the attitude of understanding he didn’t want to do this, but we needed to and it would be okay. I talked to him in a calm and reassuring way on our walk. By the end of the walk he wasn’t trying to get away from me. I never pushed physical contact on him, just kept going with the reassuring conversation. When I went to this dog a few days later and said hello, he came to the front of the run, jumped up on the door, and happily went for a walk with me. He has now been adopted and is adjusting to his new family.

Have you started training professionally yet? If yes, are you training full- or part-time?

Not at the moment. I have been given the opportunity through my job to help design an enrichment program for our shelter guests. The goal is to give the dogs activities that not only provide exercise, but stimulates their minds so they stay mentally healthy while waiting for their forever homes.

Which dog breed best describes you and why?

The All-American Dog. I don’t feel I can be labeled with one type of drive or behavior.

July 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

ABC
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
July 2014

Michelle Euteneier

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month July 2014 Michelle Euteneier

Michelle Euteneier did not always plan on becoming a dog trainer. Before enrolling at Animal Behavior College, she completed 2 years in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. During that time, she also began working at her local PetSmart in Regina. After about a year of working there, Michelle’s supervisor approached her about becoming a dog trainer. Soon after, Michelle began researching different schools. She made a call to ABC, spoke to one of the Admissions Counselors, and decided to enroll. Michelle said she knew that this was the right career path for her. She recently started her externship, where she will mentor under an experienced trainer in Regina. She is on track for graduating with honors from ABC, and would eventually like to open her own training facility.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

I just started my externship, but as a trainer at PetSmart, I think the biggest challenge for me is having owners not committing 100 percent to the training.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?

My whole experience so far has been extremely positive. Everyone I’ve talked to is so helpful, and they all want to see you succeed in the program.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment as a trainer so far has been seeing dogs come so far in the time I’ve worked with them, and seeing how proud the owners are of their dogs.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training or in training a particular breed of dog?

My goal is to open my own dog training business. Ideally, I would love to work in all different areas of training, but my interest is with aggressive dogs and therapy dogs.

Which dog breed best describes you and why?

I believe that each dog has his/her own personality traits that could be used to describe him or her; so I don’t think there is a specific breed that would best describe me.

June 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – June 2014

Manny Guerra, ABCDT

Manny Guerra Dog Training Student Of The Month

Manny Guerra, a recent graduate of ABC’s Dog Obedience Program, resides in Palm Springs, Calif., and works at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. He was inspired to become a certified dog trainer because of his job at the shelter. While there, Manny gained the basic knowledge of socializing and handling but craved more, and that’s why he started at ABC. He has already started training professionally part-time conducting private lessons and assisting with another company’s basic obedience classes. Manny’s ultimate goal is offer classes through his own business. He approaches training with positive energy and intentions, and said that doing so will result in great responses and lead to his success.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was remembering that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I am a perfectionist and am always trying to reach new heights. We are all human and we all make mistakes. It is what we choose to do after that makes the biggest difference. I was able to overcome this feeling by being consistent and persistent in achieving my goals.

Was dog training your first career choice? If not, what was it?

Dog training was not originally my first career choice but rather an addition to my overall vision. All the other professions I take part in help to reinforce my success as a dog trainer. I am so happy I found dog training because I could not be more passionate about helping dogs. I suppose I am attracted to it because I am already a teacher. Dog training has since helped me with my own dogs as well. My goal is to set up a perfect world for myself where I spend my time inspiring children and dogs to be the best that they can be.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

I learned about the ABC program through another trainer who was doing work at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. She suggested I start there because it would give me an excellent foundation to build from. Since I was already searching for something to further my knowledge, it did not take any convincing at all and I jumped at the opportunity to sign up.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training (e.g., aggression, PTSD, therapy or guide dogs) or in training a particular breed of dog?

My plans are to spend as much time as possible surrounding myself with dogs and training them. I will build a successful business while I’m at it. I would love to work with all types of dogs but I do have a soft spot for scared and nervous dogs, so there will be some focus in that area.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment during my externship was definitely having the opportunity to meet wonderful trainers who have inspired me to do great things. I am blessed to have had the chance to work so closely with these professionals. I was given amazing feedback that fueled my drive even further.

June 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

ABC
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
June 2014

Laura Rosati

Dog Training Program Student of the Month Laura RosatiSoon to be Animal Behavior Graduate Laura Rosati lives in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada. She decided to become a Certified Dog Trainer for the additional experience and knowledge it will provide for her dog training career. Laura discovered ABC through a Google search. For the past year, she has been training part time at a Petsmart in St. Catherine’s and will become a full time trainer at a Niagara Falls Petsmart location in June. Laura is ecstatic that she will be the Head Trainer and also to have the opportunity to help pet parents, their dogs, puppies and rescues.

What prompted you to become a dog trainer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

After graduating Brock University, I decided to take a year off of school and give back to the community. Part of that was volunteering at my local humane society. While there, I fell in love with one of the dogs who had been there for almost a year. I wanted to help her really, really badly. Her name was Maya and it felt like almost everybody had given up hope on her. She was a hyper, rambunctious crazy girl. It seemed as though she was hard-pressed to find anybody who she could genuinely connect with on a positive level. However, it seemed like I had made an impression on her, so I made the decision to go to all of those with authority at the Humane Society to get approval to work with Maya. I had no previous training other than experience with other humane society dogs. They let me work with Maya, so I was allowed to take her off compound and try to socialize her to regular everyday life occurrences. Maya and I connected on a very social and positive level. I firmly believe that our month together played a big role in her rehabilitation, so much so that someone came into the humane society, fell in love with her, adopted her, and now she has her forever home. Maya was my push to make rehabilitation and dog obedience my career goal.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
I have no major complaints about my externship in terms of difficulties to overcome.

My trainer, Jessica Adams, was an excellent source of information and helped me through everything along the way. My externship felt like smooth sailing. The material was fun to learn and teaching was always a blast. My dog Kramer loved every moment of it as well.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My top rewarding moment was when Kramer completed a series of commands without any preparation. Jessica Adams asked us to demonstrate before for the rest of the class a series of commands in the chain formation that we have never done. I had to ask Kramer to sit and wait on one end of an aisle, walk to the other end of the aisle, call him to me and without touching his leash, get him to go beside me and heel in multiple different directions. Still, without touching his leash, ask him to sit and go to his bed on the floor a little ways away from me. Kramer completed everything perfectly. This really was a testament, not only to how hard we have trained, but also to the bond Kramer and I have built since adopting him last summer from Guelph Humane Society.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?

Nothing but positive; the course work has added to my knowledge while working with customers at Petsmart. I literally hear people saying, “Wow. You really know your stuff.” Once I was called an encyclopedia. Plus, clients whose dogs I train feel more comfortable with me because I can provide them with sound information.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training (e.g., aggression, PTSD, therapy or guide dogs) or in training a particular breed of dog?

Laura Rosati Dog Trainer collageMy long-term goal is to be a very versatile pet trainer, with knowledge in all regards. However, if there is one thing my rescue dog Kramer, and all other dogs I have built strong bonds with have taught me, it’s that I have a natural gift with hyperactive, eager, looking-to-please-and-learn types of dogs. Those dogs you look at and think “Wow, they have so much energy I could never handle that,” those are the dogs I gravitate most toward. My experience is that these types of dogs can go one of two directions: they either become a dog who falls into the hands of someone who can teach them all the right commands and behaviors; or one who falls into incapable hands, learns incorrect behaviors and winds up in a humane society to be euthanized.

I see so much potential in these dogs that I want to give them the opportunity to become the best they can be in the right hands. And this is why, along with basic, intermediate obedience and obedience, I want to offer courses that provide outlets for these dogs, such as agility and trick training that can be used in everyday life. My main focus will always be to strengthen the communication between dog and pet parent so both parties can have their needs understood and met.