The Gentle Trainer – Michelle Payson, ABCDT
Media & PR Contact
Angela Peña, Director of Media and Public Relations
|Michelle Payson, ABCDT, is a recent graduate of Animal Behavior College and is already making a name for herself as a positive dog trainer in her hometown of Douglas, MA. Michelle enrolled at ABC in December of 2005 and graduated from ABC with Honors in October of this year.
Like many of you, Michelle had always trained her own dogs. However, it wasn’t until her dog, Cody, began exhibiting more complex behavioral issues that she decided to take an interest in professional dog training. Before enrolling in ABC, Michelle started training Cody using more traditional methods that involved using corrective collars and physical collar corrections; however this just didn’t work with him. Michelle says that her lack of success in using these types of harsh methods made her look into more innovative and positive dog training techniques. Her research led her to ABC’s Dog Obedience Instructor Training Program which focuses on dog training through the use of positive motivation.
Since Michelle is a fitness instructor as well as a professional editor, she needed a program that was flexible and would work around her busy schedule. ABC provided her with an in-home study program that allowed her to go through the program while she maintained her normal work and family schedule. When Michelle finished the in-home study portion of the program, it was time for her to do her externship. Michelle completed her externship with an ABC Mentor Trainer in her own area. Michelle says this was the most important part of the program to her and she loved the fact that it was convenient and so close to home.
Michelle was impressed with her Mentor Trainer’s positive training techniques; this was a pleasant change from the methods she was previously taught. She had a better understanding of the hands-on training because the written curriculum had given her such a strong foundation. Michelle had learned a lot about canine behavior and the science behind it all, and the hands-on training helped to reinforce everything.
Today, Michelle owns her own training business named “That’s My Dog” where she offers in-home dog training and will soon be teaching group classes. Michelle recently began marketing her business by having her company’s name inscribed on her car.
She says the results have been amazing and she has already picked up seven new clients!
Michelle is experiencing the excitement of becoming a professional dog trainer and being passionate about her chosen career. She is known as "the gentle trainer" to her clients who come to her after other training methods don’t work. She customizes her training sessions to fit the customer’s needs in a positive way- that’s what makes her unique to her clients. Michelle takes pride in enlightening people about positive training and has created a successful business for herself in doing so.