ABC Dog Training Program
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.
- During your volunteer hours describe one pet story that touched you the most.
An Irish wolfhound, Kramer, was one of the most touching experiences during my volunteer time. Kramer came to the shelter severely malnourished. He couldn’t even walk but a few steps. Of course, he had some trust issues but no aggressiveness. Through dedicated volunteers and veterinary staff, Kramer gained weight and became a beautiful and trusting boy. When I walked him just before he was adopted, he literally bounced along, having a grand time. He was adopted and now lives his life as Clansy in Washington state.
- When and how did you know you’d be a success in the pet industry?
Like many who have a passion for animals, I don’t know if I can ever remember not connecting with them. I can remember when I was very small entering a dog run with a German shepherd. I did this without the knowledge of the adults. Turns out the dog was not well socialized and didn’t care for anyone except the male owner who fed him. When they found me, the dog and I were curled up in the grass in the dog run.
- What has been your most rewarding moment as a dog trainer?
I have two very rewarding moments; one happened very recently. Although this was a happy/sad event, I still find it was positive in its outcome. One older puppy that my mentor trainer and I had in class was too much for the owners— a daughter with leg problems and her elderly mother. We were able to convince them to rehome their pup and look for an older dog to share their lives. Very hard situation to deal with, but the right thing to do. The other incident was much more positive. This involved a very shy dog who blossomed with training and learned confidence as well as basic behaviors.
- How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?
I found the ABC program through the animal rescue site. “Want to be a dog trainer?” I was intrigued and did some research. The rest is history. I believe certification offers credence and gives potential clients confidence. I feel that by doing formal coursework I have gained much more.
- What was your experience like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?
I have nothing but positive things to say about the program. The coursework was challenging, but extremely fair and well put together. The text and videos were helpful. Whenever I visited the site, I was approached by someone asking if I needed I help every time. My contact people were always prompt in answering any questions I had. My mentor trainer was excellent. We have become friends so I have gained that as well. What a grand experience.