Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
As a young girl, ABC Graduate Stephanie McSweenie always wanted to become either a veterinarian or a zookeeper. However, because she could not stand to see animals in pain, even though she would be helping them, she decided to become a dog trainer. While she and her friend were looking online for colleges to attend after high school, they came across Animal Behavior College. It wasn’t until after Stephanie applied at a local doggie daycare that she made her final decision. Her soon-to-be-boss had an ABC Graduate Certificate on the wall in the lobby. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and, will be starting as a full-time trainer for Posh Pooch Hotel & Daycare in February.
What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
The one thing I had to overcome during my externship was public speaking when we had to have a staged class with actual customers. I overcame it easily because I just remembered that I was doing what I love and sharing my knowledge of dog behavior with people who were asking for help.
Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours.
It’s not much of a story but out of the three dogs I was given to train, there was one dog who had little to no training and by the end of the volunteer sessions I had him knowing how to sit, stay, leave-it, come and walk nicely on the leash. This hopefully made him a better adoption candidate (even though he was already adorable enough to get adopted.).
What has your experience been like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?
My experience with ABC was exactly what I expected it to be. The people I interacted with were very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The curriculum was easy-to-understand and very thorough in explaining how to teach specific cues, and the externship was great. I definitely learned a lot from the externship, my trainer was very informative.
What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training or in training a particular breed of dog?
I’d like to specialize in either aggression in an attempt to help dogs from getting put down if they’ve already had a strike or two with the humane society. Or I’d like to specialize in behavior modification, helping people with common problems with their dogs (nipping, housebreaking, chewing, digging, etc.)
Which dog breed best describes you and why?
I’d have to say I’m actually a mixture of a Siberian husky and a German shepherd. I’m quite headstrong when it comes to people telling me how to do things, but other times I can be equally as obedient. I can be quite the social butterfly but at the same time I do enjoy my “me time.” I am also very protective of the people I love, which really any breed is.