Evolution of ABC
ABC was founded in 1998 by Mr. Steven Appelbaum. At that time, Mr. Appelbaum was the owner and President of Animal Behavior & Training Associates, Inc., (ABTA), the largest independent dog training company in the United States.
Over the previous decade, Mr. Appelbaum had created a unique company by securing exclusive agreements to provide dog obedience training classes in all Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. (Petco) stores in the United States and Canadian Petcetera Warehouse (Petcetera) stores in Canada. This was no easy task, but it nevertheless resulted in ABTA, at its peak, employing over 500 trainers in forty-four states and every Canadian province west of Quebec.
The ability to hire qualified dog trainers who love to work with animals was paramount to the success in continuing ABTA’s dynamic growth. The key here was 'quality'. Since there were no state, provincial, or federally recognized testing procedures in the United States or Canada to measure an obedience trainer's knowledge or skill, it was critical to create a method to measure a trainers knowledge and potential effectiveness in performing their animal job duties. ABTA took 6 months to create such a testing procedure and once it was put in place, we were stunned when 70% of all training applicants failed our exam. This was particularly disturbing, as the training applicants were professional instructors with animal jobs and a minimum of two years experience. Clearly, there was a need to create an educational process that would allow ABTA to assist professional instructors wishing to increase their knowledge and skill to a level necessary to train for ABTA.
the largest dog training company in the nation, we had tested
and apprenticed thousands of trainers over the last decade. Since
we couldn't locate enough qualified trainers to fill our needs,
it was natural step for us to create an educational program to
assist trainers wishing to improve to ABTA levels.
As we started to offer educational assistance to professional trainers, we were quickly inundated with inquiries from large numbers of dog lovers or those with a natural talent as a “dog whisperer” who wished to become dog trainers. As dog lovers ourselves, we saw an opportunity to help them fulfill their dream of having a career with animals, and thus Animal Behavior College was born. At the time, there were only two types of dog trainer schools.
first type involved a student traveling to a school and living
on or near the campus for the duration of the program. While this
type of paradigm was effective, it severely limited enrollment.
The average dog loving person wanting to become a trainer could
not afford to relocate for months at a time. Cost was also prohibitive,
since tuition costs would often total $5,000 to $12,000.
second type was a traditional correspondence course. While this
type of training program was far less costly, it was also far
less effective, as it lacked the all important hands on component
necessary for anybody to become an effective dog trainer.
ABC created a third type of school. First, ABC students completed a comprehensive correspondence training program through written material. Then after mastering the theoretical and scientific
principles of animal training, ABC students entered into a hands-on
apprenticeship program. This was accomplished by assigning each
ABC student to a mentor trainer found in ABTA's extensive database
of tested and qualified training professionals. Since only ABTA
(ABC's sister company) had this type of national reach, ABC was
able to create a unique model that was instantly accessible to
people in every state and in Canada. Overnight, ABC became a national
school for dog obedience trainers.
As time passed, ABC continued to evolve. Today, the program has eleven stages and literally dozens of contributors to a curriculum that is extensive and cutting edge.
We are very proud of our programs and are extremely excited about the future of our school. The ABC Dog Obedience Instructor Program is available to dog lovers nationwide and its quality coupled with affordability makes it a viable choice for the professionally minded. This program is perfect for the serious student just starting out or for the professional trainer looking for formal certification.
At ABC our goal is to offer a positive and effective training program which will produce highly motivated and qualified ABC Certified Dog Trainers. As an ABC Certified Dog Trainer you will become part of a national movement to raise the standards of dog training professionals everywhere.
We are excited to offer you admission into this program and are looking forward to following your progress.