Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Student Of The Month

July – Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
July 2013

Judith Julie

Judith Julie - Student of the Month

Judith currently lives in Ypsilanti, Mich.,and works with her former mentor trainer as an assistant in a large basic obedience class. Judith has worked in a number of professions, including respiratory therapy, teaching, veterinary technician, sales, antiques dealer and auctioneer. She loves animals and wanted an opportunity to work with them. She currently volunteers at the humane society and wanted skills that would assist her in better helping shelter animals. Continue reading

July – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– July 2013

Rebecca Koltz

Rebecca Koltz - July Student of the Month

After Rebecca Koltz completed her nine written stages and practice work, she hit the ground running and started her externship requirements immediately at Circle Kennel Club with owner Steve Schroeder. Rebecca has always had a love for animals and often pet sat for friends and family. She decided to pursue her passion and make an everyday job out of it. Continue reading

June – Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
June 2013

Karin Goerl

Karin Goerl - Animal Behavior College June 2013 Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student of the Month

Dedication is something everyone in the dog training industry understands is necessary to turn their passion for canines into a successful, rewarding career. Karin Goerl, a current ABC student and avid dog lover, has been dedicated to not only training but breeding, grooming and showing dogs since adolescence. Karin, a registered nurse, worked in cardiothoracic heart and lung surgeries, specifically in transplantation, until 2007, when she herself was recipient of a double lung transplant. After that, she could no longer work as an RN due to being immuno-compromised. Having trained her own dogs for 12 years, under the guidance of a trainer, she decided to take up dog training professionally.. Being a licensed RN, Karin understood that certification would make this a much easier transition. This was a major motivation for her enrolling at ABC. Karin continues to work with and receives referrals from new owners and past clients alike in her hometown of Ellwood City, Pa. She’s been featured in several newspapers for her accomplishments. and also conducts school assemblies on dog safety and service dogs. Karin is also the coordinator for her local library’s Therapy Dog Reading Buddies Program. Continue reading

June Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– June 2013

Luke Chang

Luke Chang - June Student of the Month

Luke Chang, a current ABC student, resides in North York, Ontario, Canada. He has two daughters, ages 20 and 23, who he raised on his own. For the past 11 years, Luke has worked at the Mathematical Research Institute at the University of Toronto and plans on retiring from the company in a few years thanks to its excellent retirement package. Upon retirement, Luke wants to move to a smaller city where he should have a better chance at success as an owner of a grooming business. Continue reading

June Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

Animal Behavior College Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month – June 2013

Shennandoah Hardesty

Shennandoah Hardesty - June Student of the Month

 Shennandoah Hardesty (she goes by Lizzi) is a very enthusiastic and passionate student who shows great potential in the animal care field. Currently in her externship at Pebble Creek Animal and Bird Hospital, Lizzi was so eager, knowledgeable and dedicated, that she was hired by the hospital during her externship. Lizzi resides in Tampa, Fla., and also bartends on the side. Becoming a veterinary assistant wasn’t her first career choice. Lizzi wanted to be a medical examiner but soon realized she was more passionate about working with animals in a veterinary clinic setting. She grew up with animals and always knew she wanted to work with them to some extent, but wasn’t sure if this was going to be a viable career for her . This changed when Lizzi enrolled in the ABC program. Now employed as a veterinary assistant, she continues to learn about the many different aspects of the veterinary field. Ever curious, Lizzie wants to further her education and one day work with monkeys. She is amazed by the intelligence of these creatures and what they can accomplish. Lizzi’s passion for animals is apparent in her clinic work and schooling at Animal Behavior College. Continue reading

June’s Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Obedience Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month – June 2013

David Mier

David Mier - Student of the Month - June 2013

ABC student David Mier is actively volunteering and offering his training assistance with the Toronto Humane Society, as well as pursuing his RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician) license. Although he has immersed himself in the dog training world, he hasn’t always been involved with it. It wasn’t until 2011when realized that working with dogs was what he really wanted to do with his life. After enrolling in ABC and becoming involved with the Toronto Humane Society, he realized the good that can come from assisting with the basic training of the shelter dogs. He plans to continue doing so to get more experience dealing with shelter and/or behaviorally troubled dogs.

  • Where do you live and train now?

I live and train in Toronto, Ontario, and used to work for the Ontario provincial government doing title searching and mapping of the province’s land records (world’s largest automation project).

  • What did you do before you became a trainer and what prompted you to become a dog trainer?

Once the project was completed in early 2011, I was part of a group that was laid-off, however, we received a good severance package. So, I flew off to Norway to go hiking and think about what I wanted to do with my life. While sitting at the top of a waterfall in the Norwegian fjords, I decided I wanted to work with and toward something I love. I was also thinking how my Akita, Lola, would have loved to be on that hike with me. I then decided I wanted to work with dogs and animals, and remembered how so many people always commented on how well-behaved my 100-lb. Akita was.  It then dawned on me that the dog world came naturally to me and that this is what I really wanted to do with my life.

  • How long have you been training? Do you specialize in particular type of training or in training a particular breed of dog?

I currently am doing basic obedience or “good manner” training, but I also take on cases with extreme behavioral problems, such as aggression, hyperactive behavior, etc. I do prefer to work with large and powerful breeds, such as Akitas, shepherds, etc., as they are often prejudged and misunderstood when they have the potential to be such big and friendly family members or sidekicks.

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

My experience in the dog obedience program has been very rewarding in terms of the knowledge I’ve gained and the intensity and challenge of this program. I was not expecting so many exams, especially a 26-page exam. I was thrilled when my lowest mark was an 85 and my highest was a 96 and overall I averaged 91 percent.

  • Which dog breed best describes you and why?

I think the Akita breed best describes me as I am a well-built Viking-looking guy with lots of tattoos and people often misjudge me and are intimidated. However, like the Akita, I can be such a gentle giant just looking for some quality time to spend with my pack of friends and family.

By: Alex Michaels

June’s Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– June 2013

Steven Dawdy Steven Dawdy - June 2013 Student of the Month

Steven resides in Kansas City, Mo.,, where he currently works as a groomer at the local Petco. Beginning with his initial contact with Animal Behavior College back in 2011 it was and is very apparent that Steven has the drive and sincere desire to work in the animal industry. He first thought becoming a dog trainer would be the best fit, toward the end Steven enrolled in and completed ABC’s Dog Obedience Instructor Program (DOP). After his DOP certification, Steven decided pet grooming was also something that interested him—and it would be an outlet for his passion and creativity. Steven is now in the finishing stages of the Grooming Instruction Program and he is thriving both in his externship as well as in his current position as a groomer. Continue reading

May Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– May 2013

Laura Elizabeth Belford

Laura Elizabeth Belford - May 2013 Grooming Student of the Month - Canada

Laura Elizabeth Belford works full time, running her grooming business at Pet Valu in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. She works with each client one-on-one and offers basic pet grooming for all types of pets. Laura Elizabeth treats all her clients as if they were her own pets. Continue reading

May’s Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– May 2013

Kristin Del Bosco

Kristin Del Bosco - May 2013 Student of the month.

Kristin Del Bosco completed her externship in Oak Ridge, N.J., with ABC Mentor Groomer Sandra Fitzgerald at Clip Shoppe Groom & Board. While working with her mentor, Kristin performed every grooming task, from bathing and drying to clipping and scissoring. She was hired shortly after completing her externship and continues to expand her learning with her externship mentor.

  • What animal or person most inspired you to pursue a career in the animal industry?

Every animal I came across inspired me to pursue a career in the pet world. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew my journey was meant to be with animals, no matter what it might be. If you feel so passionately about something for so long, why not make a career out of it, right?

Although the book knowledge did prepare me, I gained most of my knowledge during the externship. Some types of skills I acquired include how to talk to clients, how to work with difficult dogs and how to really dry a dog. Even though all these tasks sound so simple, they really are some of the hardest skills to gain. In order to be successful every task counts, no matter how small.

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

My biggest challenge was getting comfortable with cutting hair off and how much exactly to cut. Most pet owners do not know exactly what they want so sometimes you need to dig it out of them and ask a lot of questions. I am still working on my cutting lengths. However, it is getting easier due to practice and realizing that you can fix your mistakes. Having a supportive team around me always makes the shop run smoother and each client always leaves happy.

  • What grooming technique do you hope to master during the next 12 months?

I would really enjoy working on different types of faces. This is a very technical part of grooming and takes years to perfect. There are so many different types of breeds and they continue to come up with more. I hope to really understand and demonstrate professional scissoring on any type of pet.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I will continue to work with my ABC Mentor at Clip Shoppe Groom & Board until I really feel like a professional groomer and can handle all types of dogs on my own. Once I feel I am ready, I hope to open my own. I will take all the knowledge I gained through ABC and their mentors and make my career out of it. I love everything about grooming and ABC really did provide me with the stepping stones to get there.

May Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month –  April 2013

Mary Baloga

Mary Baloga - Veterinary Assistant Program's May 2013 Student of the Month

Mary Baloga was raised and still resides in Rochester, N.Y. She is completing her veterinary assistance program externship at Veterinary Specialists & Animal Emergency Services. Mary is a dedicated student who has a strong passion for helping animals. It was not always this way: Mary first pursued an education theater, which was her first passion. After finishing school, when Mary had some down time, she found something rather exciting: Animal Planet. From shows such as “Dogs 101,” “Cats 101” and “Animal Cops Houston,” she discovered that not only was she extremely interested in the field of veterinary medicine but also in the wellbeing of animals. She also discovered it could be a possible career choice and joined Animal Behavior College’s Veterinary Assistance Program.

  • When and how did you know you’d be a successful veterinary assistant?

On my first day of my externship, there was a Doberman named “Bogey,” who was diagnosed with “bloat.” I took part in his treatment from start to finish. He was rushed into surgery and at that point I was surprised by not only how fascinated I was by the surgery itself but also that I understood—thanks to my studies—everything that was going on. The respiratory rate, blood pressure, monitoring of the anesthetic, it was crazy to me that I actually comprehended it. After the surgery, I sat with Bogey while he was recovering, petting and loving him. Sadly, in the end he did not wake up. The fact that I was able to handle this situation and seeing the care and concern that the staff showed for the patient and his owners just touched me, I knew I could do this and that I wanted to do this”.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment as a vet assistant?

The most rewarding moment for me was with a dachshund named “Niki” She was recovering from back surgery and  you could just tell that Niki was sad and depressed. When we brought her into the exam room to return her to her owners, I saw a totally different dog as she brightened up. Her owners told us that Niki was their child and just seeing them reunite after such a difficult recovery was so heartwarming and eye-opening.

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

The biggest challenge for me was trying to find the balance between working with small versus bigger animals and the feeling that I was going to hurt the former. One of the technicians, Lisa, guided me and helped me learn the proper way to help. She also assured me that less is more and pointed out the specific areas to focus the restraint on so has not to hurt the animal.

  • What knowledge and experiences have you gained as an ABC certified vet assistant?

I gained a lot of experience with individual treatments per animal; for example, I got to work with a large stray dog who was injured. Learning how to help an animal who doesn’t want to be helped and was terrified of people was a great learning experience. Seeing so many dachshunds come in for back surgery was also eye-opening. In addition, I gained a lot of respect for X-ray technicians. It really is a delicate art and it fascinates me how precise they are with their images, while also keeping the comfort of the animal in mind.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I am definitely going to pursue a job as a veterinary assistant, then possibly branch off into another animal-related position. For now, I would like to get settled into a private practice to become familiar with the doctor and staff. I would especially like to establish better one-on-one relationships with the regular clients and patients. This is something you do not get in an emergency facility since there are so many different people and pets in and out all the time.