Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Student Of The Month

May Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Obedience Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month

May 2013

Rene Dupuis Rene Dupis - May Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

Rene Dupuis lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It would be an understatement to say that he was into dogs. Prior to enrolling with ABC, Rene was working as a pet sitter and dog walker. He also worked at a kennel, and performed volunteer  dog walking for the Kingston Humane Society. Rene decided to become a dog trainer for two reasons: his love for animals and a dog he once owned that he never gave up on even though it had behavior issues.

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

I found ABC online while searching for schools. I decided to become a certified dog trainer because I wanted to learn the proper way to train a dog, which would give me more confidence in myself and my skills. Doing so also gives the customer more confidence in me and my abilities, knowing that I have actually studied and learned instead of just winging it.

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

Overall, I found the ABC Dog Training Program to be a very positive one. I learned a lot of new information and reinforced many things I already knew. The staff is friendly and very helpful.

  • How has your experience been since becoming an ABC Certified Dog Trainer?

As a certified trainer I am even more aware of dogs and their owners and how they interact with each other, and with other people and their dogs. If I see what might be considered a problem, I immediately start trying to figure out how to fix or correct it. I am also a little more critical of myself and my dog.

  • What are your future plans as a dog trainer?

Once I finish my education I would like to offer both group and private classes if possible, as well as work with shelter dogs. I would like to get into behavior work, too, specifically aggression-based problems. Since I live in Kingston, (Penn Town) I would also like to implement a Prison Puppy Program.

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

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
May 2013

Kelli Parker

Kelli Parker, May 2013 Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month

Kelli Parker lives in Fredericksburg, Va., with her two pit bulls, Krush and Sasha. She is currently putting a business together called “Bully Brigade and All.” Kelli also started “The Pretty Chic with the Pits,” which is an advocacy group for pit bull breeds. She is currently working part time as a dog trainer with her training mentor. Once Kelli has honed all of her training techniques she plans to train full time.

  • How did you hear about ABC the program?

While I was on the Internet, an advertisement appeared asking if I wanted to work with pit bulls? I called the number and spoke with SueAnn; after which I conducted researched and found Tonia Woods (who later became my mentor) to get her view of the program. After speaking with Tonia, my confidence in ABC grew. The curriculum kept me interested and taught me how to communicate with my dogs and dogs in general.

After adopting my second pit bull (Krush), I realized I wanted to work with dogs (primarily pit bulls). Due to the bad rap they have and after interacting—fostering, rescuing and, of course, adopting pit bulls—it was clear where my interests lay.

  • How long have you been training for?

I have been training for about 9 months. I retrained my pit bull and have worked with other dogs.

  • When did you know that you’d be a successful dog trainer?

I knew I’d a successful dog trainer after training a friend’s 2-year -old pit bull and a family dog named Double D, an unbalanced 2-year-old Akita who’s now a well-behaved, balanced and much-loved family pet.

April Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Obedience Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month

April 2013

Shelly Korobanik

Shelly Korobanik is an achiever. After suffering a brain aneurysm in 2006, she bounced back and ran a marathon only four months later.  In September 2011, Shelly combined her love of fitness and dogs, and began her canine fitness business Pooch Partners® in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. In 2012, she decided to become an ABC certified trainer in order to offer more obedience training services to her clients. Shelly excelled in the ABC program, completing her book stages at a record pace and graduating with honors. Continue reading

April’s Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

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

Shawntel Heidebrecht

Shawntel Heidebrecht - April Grooming Canadian Student of the Month 2013

Shawntel Heidebrecht, of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, currently works along side her ABC Mentor at the Kingston Mills Veterinary Hospital, where she grooms all types of dogs and cats. Shawntel also hones her skills at home by offering grooming and bathing services to her friends, neighbors and family’s pets. After completing her ABC schooling, she plans to open an in-home grooming business.

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

My dogs, of course; one in particular is my rescue puppy, Angel. She is the true love of my life ever since I first set my eyes on hers— but don’t tell my husband. Angel came into our family a little more than four years ago and she was in the worst possible condition. Being a puppy mill dog, she was pretty on the outside but sick on the inside. My favorite days were when she came home from the groomers; she would act 10 years younger for the whole week. I wanted to make her feel that way forever and make others feel the same way.

  • How long have you been grooming?

I have been grooming my own dogs for a little more than two years. Animals have always been a passion in my life, even before I considered making it a career. I have been working with my ABC Mentor for two or three months. I love every minute of it and the hours just seem to be flying by.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

I will never truly know until I have learned everything there is to know and more—and since grooming never stops changing, neither will my learning. How does one define success? If I make a dog look great and the owners smile from ear to ear, then I know I’ve done an awesome job. To me that is success; beginner or experienced, we can all be successes.

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

Although I love working in an animal hospital because I am exposed to so much, it is sometimes hard to see dogs in horrible conditions. This is very tough for me. I do get to groom several pets, and I hope I make each one feel at least a tiny bit better.

  • What knowledge and experiences have you gained from becoming an ABC certified pet groomer?

Working alongside vet techs has given me a lot more knowledge than I would have received if I was working at one of the larger chains. Not only am I learning the skills of my trade, I am getting to see what really goes on behind closed doors.

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

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– April 2013

Blake Hernandez

Blake Hernandez - April's grooming program student of the month

Blake Hernandez lives in San Francisco, where he works full time as head groomer at a local grooming shop. Blake has been grooming for about 2½ months since his externship. He offers many different services, including cat grooming. His future plans are to become a certified master groomer and open up his own shop, as well as become a breeder.

  • Was grooming your first choice for a career?

No, I originally wanted to be a gemologist and jeweler. However, every time the thought of working with animals came to mind, I always thought of grooming.

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

My dog Fiona; she is a fifth- generation AKC-registered lab. Her mama passed when she was only three weeks old, so I took her in and bottle and spoon fed her until she was old enough. Then that’s when the nail painting started, and I think it all snowballed from there.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

When people gush over how beautiful I make their dogs look.

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

His name was Cheetoh and he was a crazy 6-lb. mix breed that just needed a puppy cut, but was so squirmy and tiny I thought I was going to breakdown and cry. Thankfully, I was still in my externship and my mentor helped me through it.

  • If you could style a dog or cat after any celebrity, who would it be and why?

President Obama, because he has a dog who gets national attention, and I want national attention as a groomer.

April Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month –  April 2013

Shayna Thiebold

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month –  April 2013

Shayna Thiebold lives in beautiful Orange County, Calif., and is the proud owner of a four-year-old American pit bull named Mia Amore and a four- year- old Puggle named Emily. Her passion for the American pit bull is what led her into the veterinary field. Shayna is an active advocate of the breed;  she is their voice and they are her reason. Continue reading

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

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
April 2013

Michael Ryan

April – Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month – 2013 Michael Ryan

Hailing from Kirkwood, Mo, Mike Ryan is proud to call himself an ABC graduate. Having grown up with all sorts of creatures—from dogs to chickens and even a monkey—Mike entered the ABC program with an understanding and love of all animals. In particular, his 10-plus years breeding German shepherds gave him a special connection with dogs. Like many of our students, Mike spent most of his life in other careers, first in the military and then pouring concrete, until he made the decision to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a dog trainer. He found ABC online and doesn’t regret the decision to enroll. He really appreciated the staff’s desire to go above and beyond in explaining a concept or assisting him with any questions. Continue reading

March Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

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

Krystal Tyers

ABC Grooming Student of the Month - Canada - Krystal Tyers

Krystal Tyers lives in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada and is currently a part-time groomer for a small shop there. She has been working as a groomer for five months and plans on staying at her current shop to learn as much as she can from her boss. Continue reading

March Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

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

Cindy VanFrankfoort

Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student of the Month March 2013 - Cindy VanFrankfoort
Cindy VanFrankfoort, of Peterborough, Ontario Canada, has worked in the veterinary field for 23 years as an office manager, and is involved in competitive Flyball. She also assists with puppy classes and volunteers at the local humane society. Cindy enjoyed teaching beginner Flyball training so much, she looked into dog training and found Animal Behavior College. The program sounded very interesting to her since it covered topics Cindy was interested in. Continue reading

March Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– March 2013

Karen Carr

ABC Grooming Student of the Month, March 2013 Karen Carr

Karen Carr lives in the Upper Marlboro area in Maryland. Aside from her full-time job as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, she also works alongside her ABC Mentor, Nikki Lee, at Gentle Touch Groom & Go. With her mentor/co-worker’s assistance, Karen keeps expanding her knowledge in order to perfect her grooming skills.

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

My police dog Cody changed my life forever. We worked together on a regular basis and some of my responsibilities were brushing and washing him. Unlike most police dogs, Cody had an all white coat. His hair was thick and coarse, and he constantly needed to be groomed. I was doing such great work that the other officers started asking me to keep their police dogs clean as well.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

After I received Cody, I was grooming coworkers and friends dogs frequently and it became apparent that I had a natural gift not only for grooming but also working with dogs.  I started to hone my skills on the police dogs in my unit, and later went on to groom the personal dogs of the officers and their wives. The more I worked with pets, the more I realized I could not go on without working with animals in my daily schedule.

  • What services do you offer as a groomer?

I offer full-service grooming. I do not want to turn any dogs or cats away. ABC’s externship taught me that in order to become a successful groomer one must know everything about grooming: the good and the bad. My grooming and scissoring skills are combing, clipping, undercoat removal/care, trims and/or shaping. I also include anal glands, ear cleaning, nails, undercoat removal/care and teeth cleaning upon request.

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

The biggest challenge was working full time and attending classes each day. It was very difficult at first, but then I settled into a nice routine that worked for me. I paced myself and made sure that each day I learned something new. I loved every part of my externship and am so happy I made the time to work with the girls at Gentle Touch Groom & Go.

  • What knowledge and experiences have you gained from becoming an ABC certified pet groomer?

Patience. The most important thing when it comes to grooming and handling a pet is patience. When you and the environment remain calm, your dog will tend to follow. Grooming is difficult work and ABC prepared me for every wonderful part of the career I have in front of me. My experiences in the shop were all pleasant and I have grown as a groomer by watching and asking lots of questions.