Dawn Kalinowski, ABCDT, has loved animals her whole life, but it wasn’t until Dawn started volunteering at a local animal shelter that she believed her love of animals could actually become her career. Dawn says, “I realized that I had been bitten by the training bug while I was at the shelter. There was a dog that came to the shelter with a host of behavioral issues. Not only was I able to help the trainers resolve these problems, my husband and I ended up adopting him! I saw first hand the difference training makes in finding animals forever homes and how rewarding it is.”
When Dawn’s husband, a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy, was transferred from Rhode Island to Norfolk Virginia, she decided that it was time to get a formal education and become a certified trainer. With her MyCAA benefits firmly in place; Dawn set out to find a good school. After much research, Dawn decided on ABC because of its flexibility as she was able to keep working while she went to school. She also chose ABC because she felt ABC’s curriculum set their students up for success. Dawn says, “I felt the course not only covered a wide variety of topics, it focused on positive reinforcement techniques, which is exactly what I believe in. Also, I could keep learning even if my husband was relocated and I was still in school.”
Dawn says, “I also loved that I got to work one-on-one with an amazing trainer during my externship. She was patient in her teaching and encouraged me to use the knowledge I gained through my lessons. I was able to put the course material to work!”
Now that Dawn has graduated from ABC’s program with honors, she plans to continue her work with shelter dogs and start her own dog training business. She says, “I believe that a well-mannered dog is a pleasure to live with. My goal is teach pet owners how to train their dogs using positive techniques so their dogs can reach their full potential and live harmoniously in the home. If I can stop one frustrated pet owner from surrendering his dog due to “bad behavior”, I will have succeeded!”
Lastly Dawn expresses her appreciation for the program saying, “I am grateful to ABC and the MyCAA program for allowing me to achieve my dreams of becoming a Certified Dog Trainer and for giving me a career that I can take with me no matter where my husband is stationed.”
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