For James Tilbrook, ABCDT, becoming a Certified Dog Trainer was an easy decision. Growing up in Cambridge, England, James was involved with animals his whole life. Starting at the age of 16, and continuing into his adult years, he taught horse back riding lessons and worked for a Thoroughbred racehorse farm.
When James moved to the United States with this soon-to-be wife, Kathleen Pohl, he knew he was going to have to change careers. His fiancée is a Protocol Officer for the United State Air Force and horses are not very portable. “I decided I needed a job I could take anywhere easily,” explains James, “I choose dog training because I loved dogs and it’s a movable career.”
Even though James had experience teaching in the animal industry, he wanted to become certified. “Certification is important because it makes people more confident that you know what you are doing. It is also great when applying for a job. Even if you have been doing something for twenty years, if you have been doing it wrong for those twenty years, than your experience is worthless,” James said.
When looking for a program, James needed something flexible that also allowed him to practical experience working with dogs. Animal Behavior College’s Certified Dog Obedience Training Instructor Program, with its at-home study and hands-on learning, was exactly what James was looking for. “I learn better practically, rather than just reading about it, and my ABC Mentor Trainer was fantastic!” said James.
James found the knowledge he gained from the curriculum to be priceless. “I grew up with the ‘tradition’ training methods, so gaining the knowledge of the positive training was great,” he explains. “The biggest thing I learned was how to grow relationship with dogs through training.”
Upon graduation from ABC’s Certified Dog Obedience Instructor Program, James was offered a job by his mentor trainer at her facility, Training by Julie. Currently, James is helping to make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs as part of his work at the facility, where they offer free evaluation and training to foster homes and reduced rates to the new parents once the dogs are adopted.
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