Animal Behavior College Reviews & Success Stories

Meet Them Yourself!

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Sandy Stokes
Owner of "Red Barn Ranch and Labradors, LLC"

My husband and I launched a Labrador breeding program in 2001. We raise quality AKC Labradors in our home. Our clients are always free to call us with questions about care and training. It was actually a client who sparked my interest in becoming a certified dog obedience trainer. After several phone calls and e-mails to discuss training methods and problem solving techniques, my client said, “You really should train professionally!”

I began an on-line search and found the Animal Behavior College. Since my first contact with ABC, I have been impressed with their professionalism and level of commitment to their students. The ability to study course materials at home was critical in my decision to enroll with ABC. A residency program would not have fit into my life. Pairing with a mentor to complete my studies through the externship was very beneficial in gaining hands-on experience and exposure to professional trainers and various dog breeds.

I am excited to begin my career as a certified dog obedience trainer. I offer basic obedience and problem solving to dogs of every age and breed using positive reinforcement techniques designed to motivate dogs to learn.


Kata Miller
Owner of "Cave Canis"

Growing up in Budapest, Hungary I found my life-long love for dogs. During my life I have worked with groomers and vets, but my time working with seeing-eye dogs, as well as the childhood love of an Old English Sheepdog, taught me that understanding my dogs and helping people understand their own was my calling.

After coming to America in 2005 I researched many certification courses and found that ABC offered the most well-designed, rigorous course work as well as an externship that truly put me on a path to becoming the best dog trainer I can be. The friendly, knowledgeable, and accessible staff helped me through many of the challenges of the program, including the aspect of learning complicated material in my second language.

With my dog training business I hope to help owners understand and correct problem behaviors in their dogs as well as train them in the ABC methods of obedience.

From start to finish I have loved my ABC experience and would happily recommend the program to anyone who has a desire to enrich the lives of dogs and owners.


Laura McIlroy
Environmental Scientist and Owner of "Diamond in the Ruff"

I have always had a deep love and compassion for dogs, and over the years I have been an active member of the animal rescue community. I wanted to gain more knowledge about canine behavior so I could one day help acclimate strays into new and happy homes. Although I currently work full-time as an Environmental Scientist, my heart kept leading me back to my interest and love for dogs.

I chose ABC because I currently work full-time and was looking for a flexible education. Upon researching canine obedience schools, I found ABC to be the best choice because they offer an extensive hands-on portion to their program. I believe it is very valuable for a trainer to actually apply their knowledge in a hands-on-setting with a mentor before they begin training independently so they can gain more experience in the field. My overall experience at ABC was extremely positive, and the education I received enabled me to open my own business.

I recently started my dog training company, Diamond in the Ruff. I teach basic obedience and behavior modification techniques. I teach one-on-one private lessons in the comfort of my clients’ homes. I feel this is important because it allows me to see the dog in his/her natural environment, which is where they are typically relaxed and act more like "themselves". I hope to one day transition into dog training as a full-time career.


Chris Stiles
Corporate Trainer and Owner of "Gold Star Dog Training"

My name is Chris Stiles. I currently have four rescued dogs who came to live with my husband and I at various ages and with an array of behavioral and physical issues. My life changed when I learned to see these troubled dogs for who they really were inside. I never gave up on them, even when they seemed to give up on me. With persistence, patience, kindness, trial and error, I have helped each of these dogs reach a place in their lives where they are free of the fear and pain they once knew. They all are well balanced and healthy members of our family and community. Each day I am paid back for my efforts by the unconditional love I receive from them when I walk through the door.

I chose to enroll with ABC because the values and training methodology were very admirable and close to what I would describe as my own. My motivation came from seeing my own precious dogs thrown away by their owners like garbage. I have taken what I have learned from my own experiences and added that to the education and experiences I obtained as an ABC student. I plan to continue to use this education to help unwanted dogs get second chances by providing training and support for the shelter I volunteer for, CARE. I can already see my efforts paying off there, too. Recently, a handful of our long-term residents were adopted. The volunteers and I kept pinching ourselves every time one of our "hard cases" went out the door with their forever families.

I am currently employed as a corporate trainer training property damage appraisal and customer service courses. My husband and I do have aspirations to open a doggy day care and boarding facility which would support at least one dog in need of a home at all times. Regardless of where my life takes me, I hope to be able to say that I made a positive impact on many human and furry lives.


Bridget McCormack
Physical Therapist

My name is Bridget McCormack and I live in Havertown, PA. I chose ABC because it offered hands-on learning with the flexibility of independent study. This appealed to me because I am a Physical Therapist working full time so it would have been challenging to try to go to a school & learn. The hands-on learning is invaluable because it allows you to put your skills to work before having your first client. I had an awesome experience due to the people. I had the pleasure of working with everyone from SueAnn, whom I spoke to in signing on, to my Mentor Trainer. They were always there to answer my questions and support me through the process with positive reinforcement.

All my life I have been surrounded by animals, dogs primarily. My alternate career choice would have been veterinary school, and my dream goal is to run a doggie day care. When my husband and I decided to get a dog of our own, we did a little research and found Adopt-A-Boxer Rescue where we got our dog, Gretta. Seeing all of the dogs that needed help to find forever homes sparked the idea of dog training, which led me to ABC. I will use my knowledge gained in this program to help educate animals in organizations like AABR and other shelter/rescue groups, along with private training, with the goal of creating "Forever Homes," one dog at a time. I recently had the pleasure of adopting out my second rescue from the ASPCA. She is a boxer mix named Lexus and is the sweetest dog. I was able to use some of my training skills to help her adjust to my boxer and teach her how to act like a proper lady. I definitely had a hard time letting her go, but it is experiences like this that I look forward to. There is nothing more satisfying than to help a dog find peace and a forever family. Thanks ABC for helping me achieve my goal!


Janet Simon
Owner of "Janet's Doggie Daycare"

I have been a dog lover all my life. I suffered through an abusive childhood, and animals were my only source of unconditional love. Having been gifted with great athletic ability, sports and animals probably saved my life.

I have a special place in my heart for dogs that have been neglected and/or abused, and currently my 17 dogs are all rescues. They are Siberian Huskies (some are Husky mixes), and are sled dogs – we run at the local state forest eight months out of the year.

My doggie day care business is located on 6+ acres at my residence. 3+ acres are fenced in, broken into 5 separate yards. Day care doggies get integrated into my pack and play all day. They go home smiling, happy, and covered in mud! I also work with dogs that have separation anxiety, fear and aggression issues, etc., and I love to be a facilitator in a dog’s rehabilitation. My pack really does all the work in helping a dog to be a dog again. Too many humans have humanized their dogs to the point that the dogs have forgotten how to be dogs and how to have healthy interaction with other dogs. So, my guys straighten them right out and help them remember what it’s like to be in a pack again. (After all, they were born in a pack!) Before you know it, they’re running, romping and having lots of fun! Also, they become much more manageable, stable, balanced and peaceful at home, which makes for happier humans.

I enjoy being a part of helping these dogs rehabilitate for many reasons, one of which is touching the lives of their humans. It brings me great fulfillment to know that the family rhythm and the human/dog interaction is healthier as a result of my and my pack’s involvement in their lives.

Taking the Animal Behavior College course and graduating from the program has truly enhanced my ability and my desire to continue working with dogs. The program not only provided reinforcement to techniques I was already using, but it also broadened my knowledge and expertise, raising it to a new level. The program challenged my thinking and stimulated my creativity in many ways, including implementing different ways to teach both basic obedience and to address behavior issues, using intelligent, compassionate and effective problem solving methods.


Kristen Askey
Owner of "Sunny Dogs"

I have done it! Through ABC, I have become a Certified Dog Trainer and am living my dream of working with dogs and helping people build stronger relationships with their pets.

I have been a dog owner and dog lover my entire life. My interest in working with dogs began when I adopted nine-month-old Hilde from a German Shepherd dog rescue organization. True to her breed, she is smart, excitable, vocal, protective, and just a bit haughty. It was an exercise in patience from the beginning; Hilde not only came from a young life of “I do what I want”, but she quickly became “smarter” than her new family -- though not for long! After obedience classes and some much needed human lessons, Hilde and I learned what was necessary for us to live in harmony. She has grown into an obedient, loving, and loyal member of our family (and has accepted a new older brother, Khori), and I have learned how important it is for dog owners to find the same balance with their dogs so they can reap the valuable benefits and joy of their dog’s unconditional love.

ABC offered me a curriculum with which I could build on my own experiences and instincts as a dog owner. The materials were informative, testing was timely and appropriate, and the practical experiences of working with another trainer and at the local humane society were invaluable. ABC has enabled me to find and act on the passion that I had all along to make the most of my relationships with my dogs, and to have the confidence to share my knowledge with others who seek the same thing. Through ABC, I learned a great deal about animal behavior and how the positive and sensible approach to teaching dogs and building their trust is the most beneficial thing pet owners can do for themselves and their canine family members. At my company, Sunny Dogs, I look forward to helping people and their wonderful canines “shine”.


Teresa Jones

I've had dogs all my life. Each dog seemingly knew how and when to help me "find home" or "find chair". I now understand how this was possible, and what they were responding to: hand movements, the tone of my voice, my standing at a pause all communicated to them.

I didn't know that I had a spatial disability at that time, and my dogs didn’t know that they were "in service.” We only knew that we helped train each other with caring.

The type of education that I received from ABC was just that type of training, caring with personal attention. Thank you to Rita and Karen for the challenging and rewarding externship that exposed me to many assets of formal dog training.
I trust in my goal to open a training center that will focus on - but not be limited to - people with disabilities and the dogs that lovingly serve them.

Sincerely, Teresa Jones, Proud Graduate of ABC


Donna Kading
Retired Police Officer

I retired from the police department after serving 17 years. I have always been interested in dog behavior and training. I trained my first dog as a child and continued with the dogs that I owned often helping others who were having problems with their dogs. While working for the police department, I attended Mt. San Antonio College where I enrolled in the Veterinary Technician Program. After I retired, I worked as a Vet Tech and then started my pet sitting business.

I started my pet sitting business called “Claws and Paws In-Home Pet Sitting” in 1999. I started off with one client and have grown my business to over 400 active clients. I trademarked my name and have opened two additional Claws and Paws Pet Sitting businesses, one in Orange County and one in Riverside County. While working as a pet sitter I offer a variety of services from basic animal care including, feed and water, mail and newspaper service, watering plants, cleaning litter boxes, dog walks and any little thing the client wants me to do.

I decided to attend ABC to become a certified dog trainer to further my education and to add more services to my existing pet sitting business. Before I graduated, I got a job at Petco in Rancho Cucamonga where I taught group lessons. Due to scheduling problems I was unable to keep that job and I am now doing private lessons in my clients’ homes. I would definitely recommend ABC to anyone interested in the dog training field. I am continuing my education by attending various seminars and I am looking forward to helping dogs and their owners live happy and harmonious lives.


Leticia Rossi
Owner of "Lett's Pets"

I cannot recall a time in my life where there wasn’t a dog around. My first dog was a big beautiful German Shepherd named Gino. I remember riding on his back when I was little, as if he were my horse. After his passing, we subsequently obtained a sweet, dopey Pit Bull we named Toro, which is Spanish for “bull”. He was later joined by two more Pit Bulls named Bruno and Dusty. They were all outdoor dogs but most importantly, they were my friends. I used to talk to them and passed the time just playing with them. They were all very sweet dogs. It bothers me that Pit Bulls have such a bad reputation. In my experience, they are one of the most loving and loyal dogs I’ve encountered.

Since my childhood, I’ve mostly surrounded myself with small dogs due to apartment living and the cost of maintaining a large dog. I figure obtaining two small dogs as opposed to one big one sort of makes up for it but I can see owning a large dog again in the foreseeable future now that I am a homeowner.

After considering my passion and love that I have for all dogs, I made a call to ABC in 2004 to inquire about obtaining a training certification and was screened prior to being accepted. The curriculum itself required a lot of reading and test-taking. Although I had to travel a bit to get my hands-on training, it didn’t really bother me so much. I saw my trips as mini-vacations. I was also happy that I had an opportunity to work with shelter dogs. It’s good to know that I can be called upon if someone in my area plans to go through the same thing I did, I’m more than happy to help.

I’ve started at my own pace, despite the three major life changing experiences I’ve had in the past year (death of an immediate family member, getting married and purchasing our first house). The one sure fire thing that has given me a reason to get up in the morning is my husband and my dogs. They bring out the best in me. My younger dog Chuy is very affectionate and his keen senses always tell him when I’m down and he’ll just crawl up on my lap and press his face to mine and just sigh as if he’s comforting me.

So far I’ve been boarding dogs at my home as I try to make a name for myself and learn more about what it takes to make it in this business. I also have a customer lined up for next week to do some obedience training. I’m looking forward to the challenges. It’s an ongoing learning experience and I’m enjoying every moment of it.


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