Animal Behavior College Reviews & Success Stories

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Beth Grundy

My experience with Animal Behavior College has truly changed my life. The shelter practicum not only opened many doors to my career as an obedience trainer, but also opened my heart to the special needs of shelter animals. As a volunteer trainer for the Sussex County Friends of Animals in NJ, my main goal is to help teach obedience in our dogs and improve their chances of finding a permanent and loving home. Every interaction with one of these dogs is a lesson of the heart for me as a trainer. The rest, like a career, will certainly follow. Special thanks to the faculty of Animal Behavior College. It was a pleasure working and learning with you. And thank you Tate (he is so very camera shy). You are my saving Grace.


Paula Via

I have always loved and respected animals and seemed to connect to dogs especially. After being in the computer industry for over 20 years, I began looking towards the future and asked myself what I wanted to do next. I always agreed with the old saying “Do what you love and know best”, so it was a natural decision to want to learn to become a dog trainer. Little did I know that after taking ABC’s program, not only did I become a dog trainer, but, more importantly, a better dog owner.

Through ABC’s program, I have been able to see how the shelters are struggling and in need of many qualified people to help them make their animals adoptable. I have also learned the importance of a “certified” trainer that instructs with positive motivation.
It has given me the interest in continuing my education and studying Animal Behaviorism in hopes to do more service to these shelters - as well as every animal owner who might experience problems with their companion pets.

Right now, I continue to volunteer at our local shelter weekly, and I work part-time as a dog obedience instructor while I continue my software consulting business full time. Because of my education, I feel more confident that I can be a successful dog trainer, and hopefully, a behaviorist in the near future.


Agnes Lingauer

I was born in Budapest, Hungary and I came to the United States approximately 2 years ago. I have always had an interest in animals, especially dogs. My career goal is to become a Veterinary Technician. With this goal in mind, I believe that understanding the behavior of dogs would complement and assist me on my path.

The knowledge and expertise that I received at ABC was extraordinary. I know that I have learned valuable skills, not just for dog training, but also for my future goals. I plan to train dogs, privately, while I continue toward my final goal. I can only advise anyone who is interested in a career in dog training or related field to take the journey that I did with the ABC program. ABC provides you with thorough knowledge, through assignments and hands-on training, to become the best certified dog trainer. I thank ABC for the opportunity they have given me and for helping me develop my future career.


James Koffel
Owner of Downtown Kennels and Dog Training

Before I enrolled at Animal Behavior College, I was already working as a group obedience trainer. I was taught the old school style of compulsion training and trained about one hundred plus dogs. Through ABC, I learned the techniques of positive reinforcement and that changed everything.

Positive reinforcement, getting the dog motivated to work for a reward, really made a difference for me as a trainer, and I could see how good the dogs response to it was. I really learned a lot from the ABC curriculum; it was filled with not only good methods of training obedience cues, but also invaluable lessons on teaching humans, step by step suggestions on teaching group classes and a section on business building that really helped me to start my own dog training business. The hands on part of the curriculum was probably the best part. I was teamed up with my Mentor Trainer, Lezle Stein, who not only taught me dog obedience and behavior, but also included me in several different events that added to my learning experience.

Through the ABC course, I learned that there are positive techniques that really work and through the whole program I took my training to a whole new level. Now I have my own dog training business, Downtown Kennels and Dog Training, and hope to educate my students the same way ABC has educated me.


Dennis Dornich

I am a husband, father of two, proud owner of three dogs, etc. As a family man, my lifestyle is never dull. Yet I yearned for more...

I found it at ABC. I'vve leaned more than my expectations, and they has inspired me to train more positively, at both ends of the leash. I see more to come through my education.

Thank you ABC for making my future a lot brighter!


Melanie Walker

Melanie Walker has been around dogs all her life as well as a multitude of other pets. Melanie knew from an early age that she wanted a career involving animals. In 1989 she graduated from Albertson’s College of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology with the hope of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. She landed a job at a small animal veterinary hospital and began her career as a veterinary technician eventually leading to emergency medicine. After 10+ years, she left veterinary medicine to concentrate on her family and raising her 3 children.

Two years ago, Melanie began to develop a desire to go back to work feeling a strong pull toward the field of dog behavior & training. She enrolled in Animal Behavior College, Inc. and graduated earning her Dog Obedience Instructor certificate in April 2006. The education and experience through ABC not only confirmed that this was a perfect match for her but gave her the confidence and knowledge to pursue a career as a professional dog trainer.


Wayne Shaffer
Board of Directors - Valley Humane Society, Casa Grande, Arizona

Dogs transform lives. They are our loyal friends, our protectors, our companions and, sometimes, just make us laugh quietly to ourselves. I became an ABC Certified Dog Trainer to help others enjoy the rewards of those transformations and to find new ways to improve the positive relationship that I have with my dogs - Bailey and Coco.

My ABC training has also allowed me to enhance the lives of dogs at local shelters, and to develop a strong, rewarding relationship with the families that have adopted them. Without the advantage of the training, the educational materials, the attentive staff, and my Mentor Trainer, many of these dogs would never have found a home; today many of them would not even be alive. This would have been an enormous loss for everyone.

My future includes the creation of a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to provide complimentary and/or inexpensive instruction to families that choose to adopt their pets from shelters, to provide basic training services to shelters, and to promote responsible pet ownership.

Thank you ABC!

Please visit me on-line at


Maureen Leach
Owner of Happily Ever After Dog Training, LLC in Inver Grove Heights, MN

My name is Maureen Leach, and I am making a career change after 30 years as a nurse. Working with patients and families over the years has made me sensitive to people's needs and feelings. This is also a necessary part of training people to work with their dogs. The positive training methods that ABC endorses, helps dogs and people enjoy training and learning!

I have loved and worked with dogs my entire life, and have worked side by side with trainers for the past ten years, fostering and training service dogs for disabled members of our community. Right now I'm fostering and training a yellow Labrador puppy, so I'll have him for about two years before he gets placed with a client.

Even though I've had a fair amount of training experience, the ABC program made me work! I did invest a large amount of time learning how and why these methods of training are effective. I feel I learned a lot from the program.


Jane Hufstader
Petco Canine Obedience Instructor

Growing up we had all sorts of breeds. My Mother showed Yorkshire Terriers, and I would go along and help her at the shows. I learned a great deal and as an adult continued my love of dogs. I own two Airedale Terriers and compete in both Obedience and Agility. I enjoy being around people and dogs and wanted to further my knowledge and start a career as a dog trainer. I researched schools online and was very impressed with ABC. Not only did I learn from the study guides that were required reading, but I also gained a wealth of knowledge from the externship. The hands-on learning both at the shelter working with dogs and the training with an actual trainer gave me the confidence to become the Canine Education Instructor at our local PETCO Store. Thank You ABC!


Andrea Collashaw
Dog Trainer at Pet Peeves

I have been an animal lover my whole life and love all kinds of animals. As a child I wanted to be a vet, but I soon realized that vets had a tough job when it involved sick animals who would not recover.... During school I took a turn career-wise and ended up doing Accounting and Management in Corporate America for 12 years. I had a "great" job - great pay/benefits/respect, but I traveled too much and missed my family and animals at home.

I finally decided to do what I always wanted to do - work with animals. I knew I couldn't be a vet, so I opted for dog training and started researching some schools. ABC was my first choice from the beginning - the externship they offer is extremely valuable and I cannot imagine going into the training world without the hands-on experience it gave me.

In fact, the company that I interned with, Pet Peeves, hired me! Now I train dogs basic obedience in 7 days! The company is great and ABC did everything they promised and more. I am now working and doing what I love with plenty of time for my family. There were sacrifices and risks along the way but they were all worth it. I would advise anyone who is on the edge and undecided to follow their dream and live their life getting paid to do what they love. This career allows me the opportunity to help dogs become more adoptable and family pets to fit into their families. The gratification is immediate when you teach a dog to "sit" and just gets better from there.

In my extra time, I am also able to create pastel portraits of people's pets, which can be viewed at The training company I work for is Thanks ABC for everything and all the support along the way!


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