Dances with Dogs – Ayda Sandoval, ABCDT

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 : 3:41:05 PM
Dog dancing may sound a little odd to some people, but to Ayda Sandoval, ABCDT, it’s become an exciting part of her life. Ayda is a high school English teacher in Amado, Arizona who used to describe herself as a “cat person.” It wasn’t until she got her first dog that she became interested in dog training.

As Ayda researched becoming a Certified Dog Trainer, she found something that fascinated her -- doggie dancing. She was amazed with what could be accomplished through doggie dancing and was determined to teach it.

In June of 2006, Ayda enrolled at Animal Behavior College (ABC) and trained to become a Certified Dog Obedience Instructor. Animal Behavior College was the key to helping Ayda learn how dogs think and how to properly train them. With the knowledge she gained at ABC, Ayda could go onto any dog training field and could achieve her goal of excelling in doggie dancing.

She studied the curriculum from home while teaching at the high school full time. When it came time for her externship, ABC set up Ayda with a professional trainer nearby where she did her hands-on training and in a real-life training environment.

“ABC gave me a lot of great insight,” said Ayda who discovered that positive motivation training methods were extremely effective and critical for successful dog training. While studying over 1000 pages of the ABC curriculum, Ayda was impressed with all the information about how dogs learn and how they will instinctively do what works best for them. This is where the positive motivation came into play.

Ayda still continues to work as a high school English teacher and does private training lessons in her spare time and during the summers. Her goal is to eventually train full time. She also heads the canine club at the school she teaches at and loves getting her students involved in learning about dogs.

Ayda still refers to her ABC curriculum to this day; she can easily access all the information online to refresh her memory and believes that it’s a great learning tool to have.

Ayda has been extremely successful with her private training clients because of the good word of mouth she has received. She says, “People hear that my training methods work. It makes me feel good that I’m successful. I want to change peoples’ mentality about having pets; they should learn that it’s the owner’s responsibility to train their dog.”

As a proud mother of over 12 dogs including her five Chihuahuas, 5 Border Collies, a Labrador mix and a Shepherd mix, Ayda has become very involved with doggie dancing. She is currently working with her Border Collie, Caballo, teaching him doggie dancing and hopes to compete with him by summer. She is also active in volunteering at her local humane society on adoption days and helping the dogs there find permanent, happy homes. Ayda was excited to share with ABC that through her training, she had formed a relationship with someone that is opening a doggie daycare resort near her home. Ayda will be teaching basic obedience and doggie dancing there and can’t wait to start. She is thrilled with this job opportunity and says, “My ABC certification opened the door for me there.”

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