Animal Behavior College Blog

Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

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

Why Training a Cat Differs from Dog Training

Can Cats be Trained?

Can you train a Cat? Cat Training versus Dog Training and what to know if you want to train a cat

Can Cats be Trained? Why training a cat slightly differs from dog training. Written by Steven Appelbaum – guest blog post on






They sure can. Anyone who owns a cat knows that they are intelligent, inquisitive beings.

Most people associate obedience training with terms that include stay, heel, come, down etc. However, obedience training is only one type of training.

While that might seem obvious to some, it is at the core of every successful training program. Cats might find different things rewarding to them than dogs but that doesn’t mean they can’t be rewarded and can’t learn. Instead of a scratch behind the ear or tossing a stick, both of which will send the typical Golden Retriever into bliss yet earn you a blank stare or contempt with many cats, try a catnip toy or a delectable treat.

What to Know About Cat Training

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Taking the time to train a cat involves a future of companionship, friendship, excellent behavior and many long happy years together.

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Cat Training Tips by Dog Training expert Steven Appelbaum

Pet Grooming Tips for the Summer

Summer Pet Grooming - Dog or Cat Grooming Careers

Grooming your pets in the summer. Advice from an Animal Behavior College Dog Grooming certificate program graduate. Why you may not want to groom your dog when it gets hot. Pet Grooming Training Tips shared by Student Graduate of Dog Grooming School.

Pet Grooming Tips in Summertime

Although your pet may have a warm thick coat, long-haired cats and dogs are actually kept COOL from this. The coat acts as insulation and it regulates the dog or cat’s body temperature, so when it’s hot, it keeps the cool in, and vise-versa.

The best way to keep your pet cool is to keep your pet’s coat mat-free, well-brushed, and clean.

If you are considering grooming your cat or dog this summer, try to leave at least two inches of fur to protect your pet from the elements. Be aware that once shaved, a double-coated pet’s coat will never grow back the same.

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Pet Grooming Tips for the Summer – by Animal Behavior College Graduate

Steven Appelbaum Guest Post – Car Safety for Dogs

Car Safety for Dogs

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride. Can you take advantage of the safety harness for your dog, when traveling with him/her in your car or truck?

The President of Animal Behavior College, Steven Appelbaum, wrote a guest post on which talks about safety harness crash test results for dogs.

The non-profit Center for Pet Safety tested several brands of pet harnesses using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 213). The crash test was conducted at an independent laboratory that also tests for the Department of Transportation, using life sized dog test dummies.

Steve believes that all pet products designed to keep a pet secured in an automobile will be held to the same or similar standards as human seat belts.

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Your ABC Social Media Opportunities

Social Media Resources for ABC Students

Our school has a presence on a variety of social media platforms across the Internet. Each is designed to support and assist you in the pursuit of your certification.  ABC is proud to have a community of dedicated students, graduates, and mentor trainers 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

“Share the Joy:” The Animal Behavior College Video Contest

Dog Training Tip - How To Train Your Dog To SitWe hear the most amazing success stories every day from ABC students and grads. They never fail to inspire us. Because of that, we’ve got a proposition for you: enter ABC’s 2nd annual video contest, show us your BEST ABC-inspired animal story testimonial and you could win cool stuff! 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.