November 2013 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
Amanda Leask is an ABC student nearing the end of her externship in the dog obedience program. She presently assists her mentor trainer’s classes in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. After she graduates, Amanda would like to open a dog daycare, boarding kennel and training center. She would also like to become an ABC mentor trainer while continuing to build on her knowledge base. Amanda knows she has truly found her calling and looks forward to her future as a dog trainer for years to come.
- What prompted you to become a dog trainer?
I had a dog who became sick and had to be euthanized as he was in much discomfort. After his passing, I searched for a new dog and found a 5-week-old puppy who was one of a few being sold as 8-week-old dogs. With the help of my mother, we saved the puppies and their father, and from that experience I knew I wanted to be a person who changes dogs’ lives. I rehomed my puppy’s siblings and began volunteering with a local dog rescue as a foster mom. I have since worked with many fearful dogs and found that is my passion, seeing a dog who was terrified overcome his fears. I wanted to learn more and have more knowledge behind what I was already practicing, and I have definitely found that with ABC.
- Tell me about a dog you helped through the Students Saving Lives volunteer program.
There was a dog named Buddy who had been at the shelter for a while, and he just had this way about him that made you happy. He was bouncy and playful, and always happy to see me. He had a fear of stairs, and I was told it took many people to get him up and down stairs, as he was petrified. I asked to work with him on stairs in hopes of learning something new from him. With patience and an understanding of his behaviors, I was able to conquer his fear of stairs in just 30 minutes of working with him. I was so happy, and the shelter was very grateful. I worked with him on a few more sets of stairs, and he now has had no problem going up and down his new family’s stairs.
- What has been your most rewarding moment as a dog trainer?
My most rewarding moment as a dog trainer has been watching dogs transform from obedience classes and seeing people grasp the concept of their actions changing their dogs. During my program, I really enjoyed my volunteer hours and giving back to the dogs who otherwise might not have had that opportunity.
- What has your experience been like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?
My experience with ABC has been amazing. They worked with my work schedule and always made me feel help was only a phone call away. They also matched me with a great mentor trainer.
- Which dog breed best describes you and why?
I’m best described by a Border Collie because they are determined, stubborn, loyal and they chase what they want and don’t stop until they get it.