Animal Behavior College Blog

Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

August Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– August 2014

Tania Langreher

Tania Langrehr - August 2014 Canadian Grooming Instruction Program's Student of the MonthSince completing the ABC grooming program Tania Langrehr has opened her own grooming facility in her hometown of Preston, Ontario, Canada. Although grooming was not her first career choice, Tania always new she wanted to work with animals. She tried to work in the veterinary field and learned it was not the right choice for her. Tania is succeeding in the grooming field and plans to continue to build her business as well as learn more grooming techniques.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I have always loved animals, especially dogs. One day my mom asked if I would like to try and groom her Pekingese, I did and I loved it. I have a few friends with dogs and asked them if I could groom them as well. I had so much fun trying different styles and cuts on them that I decided to pursue my career in dog grooming.

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

The biggest challenge I faced during my externship was being able to work with all the different types of dog personalities. There are so many different types of dogs and it was a challenge at times to figure out how to work with each one individually.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment during my externship was helping really matted dogs. Some dogs came in and were so matted you could not see their faces. Watching the dogs run around after the groom and being able to see put a smile on my face.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

A gentleman walked in with his dog to get groomed and we looked down to greet the dog and he managed to slip out of its harness and ran right onto the grooming table. I guess he really loved to be groomed.

What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?

One thing I would like to perfect is to be able to groom a Poodle to the specific breed standard. I would like to be able to do a show cut or specific style cut on a Standard Poodle.

Make Sure Your Pets are Prepared in Case Disaster Strikes

Preparing Your Pets for Evacuation

By Stacy Mantle

RescuePetFloodWe never think it will happen to us, but the truth is a disaster can strike anywhere at any time. From hurricanes and fires, to gas leaks and terrorist threats, there are hundreds of reasons why you and your pets may need to evacuate your home. The important thing is to be prepared and to be certain your pets are, too. Here are some guidelines on getting your pets ready for evacuation.

Microchip Your Pets: This is the best way to ensure you and your pet are reunited. Be sure to register the tag (or change ownership if you adopted a dog or cat from a rescue). If you move, be sure to update your pet’s microchip information.  Always keep a recent photo of you and your pets on you. You never know when this information will be needed in case of separation. In addition to microchipping, your pets should always be wearing a collar with ID tags.

QR-coded tags are handy if you have a pet with a medical condition as you can store the information needed in one simple app. You decide how much of the information a stranger who finds your pet needs to know.

Know Where to Go: You should be certain you have a place to go in case of emergency. Search in advance for pet-friendly hotels in your area. In the event of long-term evacuation, you should have a plan in place with family or friends where you can take your pets.  You might also want to make prior arrangements with a kennel (for dogs or cats), a ranch (for large animals) or an animal rescue (for exotics).

Know Your Emergency Veterinarian Hospitals: Even if you don’t think you’ll need a veterinarian, you should know where your nearest 24-hour hospital is for your pets. This is particularly important if you have large animals who are more likely to injure themselves due to the stress of evacuation.

Make a Plan: You should have several ways to get out of your home with your pets, know how you will gather them safely in a timely period and identify a “meet place” with other family members. Map out your area and know where the nearest 24-hr veterinarian clinic is located so you can ensure your pets receive prompt attention in case of emergency. Verify that your veterinarian, pet sitter, trainer or daycare facility has an emergency plan in place if anything happens while your pets are under their care.

Create a “Go Bag”: Every household should have a single backpack that you can “grab and go” on the way out the door. This is a perfect bag for quick evacuations (gas leak, police evacuation or other temporary threat).

This bag includes a three-day supply of whatever your pets need for longer-term evacuations. Larger animals can carry their own packs if you plan well. You should have a go-bag in place for each animal and teach them ahead of time how to carry a pack. Smaller pets may need you to do the carrying.

  • Documentation: This includes an updated photo of you with your pet, microchip numbers, ID tag numbers and any emergency contact information in case anything happens to you.
  • Water: You and your pet need water. Keep a three-day supply of water for you and your pets in your go-bag. Plan on keeping 1 to 3 ounces of water per pound of body weight for each animal, each day.
  • Food: Keep at least three days of food for each pet in an airtight, waterproof container. Rotate these out on a monthly basis to ensure freshness. You may want to consider feeding your pets moist or canned food to assist in preventing dehydration. You can also consider purchasing premade emergency meal kits. (See resources below.)
  • Medicine: Keep an extra week of medicine on hand for pets who are on prescription medication.
  • Collar, Leash, ID Tags: Your pets should always be wearing a collar and ID tags, but it’s also a good idea to have an extra set stored in your “go bag.”
  • Dishes: Be sure you have at least one dish for feeding and watering your pets.

Crate: Be sure you have a way of transporting your pet securely. Conduct training exercises on a regular basis so that pets know the crate is a safe place. The goal is to have the crate be their location to run if anything frightens them. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a cat that has hidden in fear during an emergency situation.

Sanitation: Be sure you have a way to clean up after your pet. For cats, this means a spare litterbox and litter (these are premade and easy to dispose of). For dogs, this means plastic doggy bags. Your sanitation bags should also include paper towels, a disinfectant and wipes.

Use the Buddy System: A buddy system can be incredibly beneficial in saving your pets lives. Particularly if you work away from the home or have large animals (like horses), larger dogs who may be considered threatening (shepherds, pit bulls, etc.), or exotics (reptiles, ferrets, birds, etc.). Proper handling of these animals often means the difference between life and death. Work out an agreement between three and four families to learn how to handle one another’s animals. That way, you have back up if you’re out of town and emergency strikes at home.

Emergency Resources ASPCAPetFirstAid

 Premade Meal Kits and Bottled Water for Pets:

 First Aid Kit for Pets

 


About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at  www.StacyMantle.com

What to Do if Your Cat Gets Stung

The Cats and the Bees

By Sandy Robins

CatBeeGardenDid you know that July 10 was “Don’t Step on a Bee Day.” Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? If you don’t believe me, go to a website called DaysOfTheYear.com and check this out along with national waffle day and national gummi bear day…

The whole idea of this day is to help preserve bees, which are in danger in many parts of the world. While saving bees is a good thing, they can present a problem when you have cats. Cats find them irresistible to watch, chase—and catch.

We have a succulent on our balcony where the cats are allowed to sit safely and sun themselves. Every year it produces a huge stem with hundreds of tiny yellow flowers and with it comes the bees that probably get more pollen from this one stop than from flitting from flower to flower.

Fudge couldn’t care less. Been there done that—this occurs every year. But Ziggy is fixated, watching their every movement. It must make him dizzy when several bees arrive at once and flit all over this huge flowering stem. When one bee lost its sense of direction and flew inside Ziggy took after it at high speed. I had to spring into action to prevent ensuing conflict.

After a couple of weeks of this, I realized I couldn’t sit and watch Ziggy watching the bees any longer because eventually he could catch one and probably get stung, so I cut off the huge stem and put into it into a vase instead.

CatwBeesWhat do you do if your cat gets stung on her nose, paws or anywhere else? First off, if possible, get the entire stinger out. (Note: wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and bumble bees don’t leave their “stingers” behind.) A credit card is your best friend when it comes to removing a stinger. Use the credit card to scrape it away, making sure you get the whole stinger. Don’t use tweezers or your fingers as you might end up releasing more venom into or onto your cat. A sting won’t be too painful for your cat, according to veterinarians, but the site can swell up quickly. Ice will help reduce the swelling and it’s also a good idea to apply an antibiotic cream.

A friend’s cat chomped on a bee and got stung inside his cheek. That necessitated a trip to the vet and an antihistamine injection. In fact, any bee sting is definitely worth a follow up to the vet because cats can have an allergic reaction and go into shock. They might have difficulty breathing if the tissues of the throat swell. In addition, their blood pressure could plunge, resulting in a life-threatening complication. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after being stung, take her to a veterinarian immediately.

Sorry bees. Next year when this plant flowers, I am going to cut off the flowering stem and put it in a vase straight away. I am going to buy Ziggy a toy that replicates a bee on a wand and play with him instead.


About the Author: Sandy Robins is the 2013 winner of the “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Award.” Her work appears on many of the country’s leading pet platforms, such as MSNBC.com, MSN.com and TODAYShow.com. She is a regular contributor and columnist in multiple national and international publications, including Cat Fancy, as well as the author of the award-winning books “Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat” and “For The Love of Cats.” Learn more about Sandy on her website or Facebook page. #welovecats

Keep Your Dog Cool with Homemade Frozen Treats

Tasty Frozen Snacks for Dogs

By Lisa King

DogIceCreamHot weather is dangerous to humans and animals alike, and climate change means that longer and hotter summers are on the way. Keeping pets cool is an owner’s responsibility, but confining a dog to an air-conditioned house all day just isn’t feasible. Both you and your dog are going to want to spend time outdoors, so while you’re enjoying the pool, barbecuing or working in the garden, make sure your dog has a way to stay cool and be near you.

We have all seen photos of lions and tigers in zoos licking giant “bloodsicles” during heat waves. These effectively cool down the animals’ bodies so they don’t suffer as much from the heat. You can do the same for your dog without resorting to freezing blood. 

If you have a large dog or multiple dogs, freeze water or salt-free chicken stock in layers in a large plastic container and drop in small toys and treats as each layer freezes. Once it’s fully frozen, run a little hot water over the container and slide the block of ice out onto a flat pan or plate. Set it in the shade where your dog can reach it. He will be able to see the treats and toys and will happily lick away the ice to get to them.

Commercial frozen dog treats are available at pet supply stores and some supermarkets. These are handy, but can be pricey. If you want to save money and be certain of what your dog is consuming, make healthy frozen treats for him at home.

frozendogtreatsThe principles behind making frozen treats are simple: Use foods your dog likes and that are safe for him and combine them in imaginative ways, and then freeze them in ice cube trays (the silicon ones make popping out the treats easy). There are even trays designed for dog treats in which the holes are bone-shaped. You can also freeze treats in small Dixie cups, disposable plastic cups or cupcake liners.

Never add salt or sugar to your dog’s treats. Don’t use grapes, onions, avocados, chocolate, macadamia nuts or anything else on the ASPCA list of foods hazardous to dogs.

Give your dog his frozen treats outside; he is bound to make a mess as the treat melts. Keep in mind that these treats do have calories, so don’t overdo it.

Here is a list of suggested ingredients for frozen dog treats:

  • Plain nonfat yogurt
  • Peanut butter (the natural kind without sweeteners or salt)
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Melons
  • Chopped apples or applesauce
  • Canned pumpkin purée (avoid pumpkin pie filling)
  • Grated carrots
  • Cooked ground or shredded meat or poultry
  • Salt-free chicken stock or beef stock
  • Grated cheese (low salt)

The easiest treats to make involve putting a few berries or pieces of chopped fruit (such as banana, melon or apple) in the bottom of each section of an ice cube tray and then filling the tray with yogurt or one of the combinations below. This gives your dog a sweet and healthy treat. For a low-fat savory treat, put a little leftover unseasoned meat or chicken and a pinch of cheese in each section and fill with salt-free stock.

Here are some ideas for combinations your dog will like. If the mixture seems too thick, thin with a little stock or water.

  • Combine peanut butter with a little yogurt or applesauce.
  • Mix pumpkin purée with peanut butter.
  • Pumpkin is also tasty mixed with plain yogurt.
  • Mashed bananas are delicious mixed with yogurt, peanut butter, or a combination.

This isn’t gourmet cooking. Keep the combinations simple and appealing to your dog. While you and your guests are enjoying frozen margaritas on the deck, he’ll feel as if he’s joined the party.


About the Author: Lisa King is a freelance writer living in Southern California. She is the former managing editor of Pet Product News International, Dogs USA, and Natural Dog magazines. Lisa is also the author of the well-received murder mystery novel “Death in a Wine Dark Sea” and the recently released “Vulture au Vin.”

A Safe, Cozy Home for Your Dog

In the Doghouse

By Audrey Pavia

DogHouseYardDogs are a lot like humans in one respect—they appreciate a safe, cozy home. Descended from wolves, dogs have a strong denning instinct, which means they feel happiest when they have a secure hideaway they can call their own.

Providing your dog with his own “den” will go a long way toward helping him feel comfortable and secure. That den can be in the form of a doghouse or a crate, depending on your situation and your dog’s needs.

 

Doghouses

In the days when dogs lived mostly outdoors, doghouses were a necessity. They provided shelter from the elements and a place for an outside dog to feel secure. Today, we know that dogs need human companionship and should spend the majority of their time in the house, especially at night. But for dogs that need to be outdoors during the day when their owners are away at school or work, a doghouse can provide a welcome respite.

Unlike the simple wooden doghouses of the past, today’s commercially made doghouses come in a variety of materials and designs. While some houses are made from plastic or metal, the most popular styles are still made from wood, with some featuring windows, skylights and front porches.

When selecting a house for your dog, look for a design that allows for good ventilation along with protection from bad weather. Make sure the house is insulated, and large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around.

If you choose to build your own doghouse, choose a plan that provides these same benefits. Be sure to use untreated wood in case your dog chews on any part of the house.

 

Crates

Dog crates are useful not only for providing a dog a safe place to retreat indoors, but also to help with training. Crates are invaluable for housetraining puppies, and for confining dogs that are still learning the rules of the house. Crates are also the safest way to confine a dog for travel.

Dog crates come in two basic styles: airline and solid wire. Airline-style crates have plastic sides, with a wire door

MidWest Homes For Pets' LifeStages ACE crates are designed to be a safe place for a dog to retreat.

MidWest Homes For Pets’ LifeStages ACE crates are designed to be a safe place for a dog to retreat.

and windows. Solid wire crates are made of a wire grid on all sides.

Airline-style crates are the most adaptable type of crate. They provide dogs with a sense of security because of their solid sides, and can be used for travel. In fact, these crates are the only type approved for use on airlines, and are a safe place to confine your dog when he’s going somewhere by car.

Wire crates are also popular with some dog owners, who believe this style makes it easier to observe the dog while he’s confined. These crates can also be folded up when not in use for easy storage or transport.

Whatever type of doghouse or crate you choose, keep your dog’s health and wellbeing in mind. Make his “den” as cozy and welcoming as you can by including a soft blanket and his favorite toys.


About the Author: Audrey Pavia is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Labrador Retriever Handbook.” She is a former staff editor of Dog Fancy, Dog World and The AKC Gazette magazines. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreypavia.com.

Animal Behavior College Honors the 2014 Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program Graduates

ABC President Steven Appelbaum Challenges graduates to use their training to make a difference

ABC President Steven Appelbaum Challenges graduates to use their training to make a difference

Animal Behavior College celebrated its third graduation class during a commencement ceremony on June 13 honoring the many achievements of its Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program students. The late morning event took place on the grounds of the school’s headquarters located at 25104 Rye Canyon Loop in Mann Biomedical Park, Santa Clarita, Calif.

Dressed in royal blue academic regalia, the enthusiastic graduates, some accompanied by their canine friends, sat composed during the ceremony. Many of the graduates are former military personnel who decided to use the discipline, drive and determination skills they acquired while in the armed services to train dogs professionally, ensuring dogs and their owners enjoy a harmonious and mutually respectful relationship.

“You are professional dog trainers who will continue to make a difference in many lives,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College, to an audience of family, friends and employees of the college. “The road ahead is paved with many challenges. Challenges you are equipped and ready to handle. However, readiness is dependent on your willingness to keep an open mind by expanding beyond your comfort level and maintaining a passion for learning and aspiring to continue to grow professionally.”

Debbie Kendrick, vice president of operations for ABC, also praised the graduates’ accomplishments and joined Appelbaum in presenting award certificates giving special mention to students who graduated from the program with honors. Those students include, Brian Hastings, Irma “Toni” Medina Leitneberg, Breanna Rappleya and Angel Samano Jr.

“Five years ago we came to this school with different expectations,” Angel said during his address. “We have spent the last five months since then learning what it takes to train dogs and their owners and have been given a myriad of tools to use as professionals.”

Beth Harrison, the program’s course instructor, congratulated Angel and his fellow graduates. She provided remarks encouraging them to use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to strive for excellence with the goal of “being the best dog trainer they could be.” Amanda Yocom of Best Friends’ Animal Society and Chris Gant, a former graduate of the college and professional dog trainer, thanked graduates for volunteering in the shelter and inspired them to stay compassionate about helping dogs and working with their owners to ensure a positive owner-to-dog relationship.

The students received certification for mastering various dog training tools and techniques using positive reinforcement for handling canine behaviors. The program covers everything from training basics and safety to effective problem solving and pet first aid. The hands-on portion of the program provides students with an opportunity to participate in an internship at shelters like Best Friends’ Animal Society with a mentor, giving them invaluable practical experience in real life situations.

Angel Samano, with his dog, Bosco, shares how the Dog Obedience Program changed his life

Angel Samano, with his dog, Bosco, shares how the Dog Obedience Program changed his life

“I have more knowledge and tools at my disposal to continue to serve people in a new way,” Angel said. With his dog, Bosco, at his side, the former Marine lance corporal credits the program with helping him embark on a new and exciting career. “If you had asked me a year ago what I would do (after the military), being a dog trainer wouldn’t have been on the list. ABC has not only helped to change my life, but has helped to change Bosco’s life.”

Pets today are living longer, eating healthier and receiving more services. In fact, the jobs forecast for dog trainers and other animal care and service workers in the U.S. appear promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. With more people in the U.S. owning dogs (35.5 percent or 43,346,000), ABC certified dog trainers have the option of working for an established company or building their own successful dog training business.

To learn more about the program visit Dog Obedience Instructor Training Program or call 800-795-3294.

The Class of 2014!

The Class of 2014!

Keeping Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July

5 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This 4th of July

Keep Pets Safe this 4th of July. For Americans, Independence Day is a time for celebration and reflection. This is especially a time to honor veterans and active duty soldiers who have paid and continue to pay the ultimate price for Americans to remain free.

However, every 4th of July thousands of pets are scared away from their homes by the fireworks. Many are lost and most end up in shelters never to be claimed by their original owners.

Keep pet safety on your mind, please be sure that we take extra precautions and planning around our Independence Day. Our pets tend to be fearful of fireworks and loud bangs. To keep your home and your pets safety a top priority on the upcoming holiday to do list, we have outlined 5 tips to pet safety on the 4th of July.

With the holiday fast approaching, Animal Behavior College (ABC) encourages pet owners to prepare now and take extra precautions to ensure they protect and keep their four-legged friends safe and secure.

4th of July Pet Safety Tips:

Prepare in Advance. Make plans in advance to ensure pets are micro-chipped with current contact information and are wearing a secure collar with appropriate identification tags. Tags should include: your name, a current phone number (preferably your mobile number) and the name and contact information of the microchip company. This will prove helpful in locating your pet in the event he becomes lost or manages to escape.

Keep Your Pet Comfortable and Inside Your Home. Observance activities can overexcite your pet, while festive foods and treats meant for humans can harm your pet’s health. If possible, safely secure your pet away from the soiree. Be sure to communicate clear instructions to guests not to feed your pet, as doing so could cause inflammation of a digestive gland and can be very painful and serious. Alcohol is toxic to dogs and cats. Never leave unattended alcoholic beverages within their reach.

Watch Your Pet Around Children. Some dogs have difficulties interacting with children. They become anxious, stressed and exhibit verbal behaviors and actions such as growling and biting. To avoid negative situations and signs of trouble, closely monitor the interaction between the dog and child. If the dog ignores your command and becomes too aggressive, move him to a secure area or crate.

Hire a Pet Sitter. With an abundance of activities and guests to tend, hiring a pet sitter is an option. Pet sitters adhere to your pet’s routine, provide exercise and walks, administer water and feedings and spend quality time. This personalized care not only relieves owners of guilt and worry, but also gives them an opportunity to relax and fully enjoy their guest and festivities.

Move Pet to a Quiet, Soothing Area. If a pet sitter is not an option, consider moving your pet to a safe place such as a crate, quiet room or escape-proof part of the house. Be sure to check occasionally to ensure there is plenty of water. The center of your home is a great place to allow your pet to feel safe and secure. If anxiety for your pet is too much during fireworks, consider ordering them a Thundershirt to have on-hand for the holiday festivities.

No Fireworks for Fido. For dogs, fireworks and reverberations leave them feeling agitated, startled and stressed. Keep dogs away from fireworks displays and noisy celebrations. Instead, create a peaceful environment by blocking outside sights and sounds, closing blinds and curtains, leaving on the radio or TV and providing their favorite toy or blanket.

Lastly, should your dog get scared and escape, contact your local animal shelter and animal control agency right away.


Animal Behavior College offers three certifications: Dog Obedience Program (DOP), Grooming Instruction Program (GIP) and Veterinary Assistant Program. For more information about Animal Behavior College, visit our website at www.AnimalBehaviorCollege.com.

July – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
July 2014

Emily Fritz

Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month - Emily Fritz - July 2015

Emily Fritz was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She is currently employed at the local animal hospital, where she started as senior in high school. Emily came across dog grooming in an unexpected way. On what seemed like a typical day at work, her supervisor surprisingly requested that Emily shave down her Saint Bernard who was shedding everywhere. Emily had no prior experience grooming animals but took on the challenge and excelled at it. Her supervisor was so impressed by the finished result that she offered to pay for Emily’s schooling so she could become a “professional” groomer. Due to the flexibility and structure of ABC’s Grooming Instruction Program, Emily was able to complete the home-study portion while pregnant with her son. After he was born, she began her externship and enjoyed every bit of it.

What one thing stands out for you in terms of knowledge and/or skills acquired from the program?

Once I began my hands-on training at my externship, suddenly, things I remembered reading in my book made sense. I knew exactly what I was learning hands-on because I had already read about it in my textbooks.

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

I’m a fast learner and normally catch on quickly after being shown once or twice how to do something. However, expressing anal glands has been my biggest challenge so far. I’m able to do it but it takes me a few tries to get it.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

One day, when I was doing my hours at my externship, the owner of the shop came up to me and told me how awesome a worker I was, and how she would love for me to work for her. She offered me a position after I finished school.

What are your future career plans?

I plan to work at the animal hospital where I am currently employed and gain more experience as well as build my clientele and pay off my debts. Then, I plan to work for myself and either establish a mobile grooming business or work from home and be a stay-at-home mom.

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

I’d have to pick Cruella de Vil, because I think doing a dye job on a dog or cat would be so cool.

July 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – July 2014

Cheryl Boyce, ABCDT

Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month - Cheryl Boyce

Cheryl Boyce didn’t always plan on becoming a dog trainer. As a “numbers” person, she spent most of her adult life working in an office environment, performing various accounting tasks. Cheryl was inspired by her own dogs to learn more about dog training.

“To witness a dog think and process what you’ve asked of them is truly amazing,”

Seeing this process take place first-hand is what prompted her to look into dog training as a career. From there, she did some research online, talked to a trainer who had graduated from ABC and enrolled shortly thereafter. She has now graduated with honors from ABC, and has had some wonderful opportunities to work with her local shelter to help make life better for homeless dogs.

Where do you currently live and work?

I live in Stuart, Florida, and I work for The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

I learned so much from my mentor trainer and have very high respect for her. At the end of my externship she offered me a job opportunity. I was very honored.

Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours

On my first day volunteering as a dog walker, I was shown a dog who was terrified and would only stay to the back of his run curled up in a ball. He didn’t want to be walked or even looked at. I went into the run and just sat down next to him without paying any attention to him. After a little time had passed, I petted him and then eventually put the leash on him. He reluctantly went with me, but stayed at the end of the leash to be as far away from me as possible. I shortened the leash and just walked with the attitude of understanding he didn’t want to do this, but we needed to and it would be okay. I talked to him in a calm and reassuring way on our walk. By the end of the walk he wasn’t trying to get away from me. I never pushed physical contact on him, just kept going with the reassuring conversation. When I went to this dog a few days later and said hello, he came to the front of the run, jumped up on the door, and happily went for a walk with me. He has now been adopted and is adjusting to his new family.

Have you started training professionally yet? If yes, are you training full- or part-time?

Not at the moment. I have been given the opportunity through my job to help design an enrichment program for our shelter guests. The goal is to give the dogs activities that not only provide exercise, but stimulates their minds so they stay mentally healthy while waiting for their forever homes.

Which dog breed best describes you and why?

The All-American Dog. I don’t feel I can be labeled with one type of drive or behavior.

July Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– July 2014

Shyanne Bird

Grooming Program Student of the Month - Canada - Shyanne Bird - July 2014

Shyanne Bird resides in Orillia, Ontario, Canada, and works at the local veterinary hospital as a veterinary assistant. She has always had a love and passion for animals. While in school to become a veterinary assistant, Shyanne discovered grooming and chose ABC to become a certified.

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

The biggest challenge I had was with a special dog who had seizures. This dog had seizures no matter which groomer worked with her. As soon as she would walk into the grooming salon, she would immediately have a seizure. I decided to talk with the owner and work out a plan to bring her in once a week, not for grooming but for a “cookie” appointment. The owner agreed. At first, the three of us would hang out then eventually, I would just take her on my own to my room and give her treats and play time. From there, I would get her onto the table, then the tub and so on. After about six weeks, I was able to groom her with no problem at all.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moments are when the clients come to get their dogs with a smile on their faces as if to say “job well done.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

It has been great. The staff was very helpful, my questions were always answered, and I was able to call and talk to someone when I needed to. I would recommend you guys to anyone I know.

What one thing stands out for you in terms of knowledge and/or skills acquired from the program?

Clipper blade knowledge stood out for me. Professional blades are completely different from the ones that you could buy at Wal-Mart or your basic pet stores. Also, I like knowing the standard clips of certain breeds.

What are your future career plans?

My future career plans are to get a bit more experience. I would then like to start up my own business from home. Once I decide to have children, I want to be able to spend time with them.