Animal Behavior College Reviews & Success Stories

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Kathy Bellis

I have had pets my entire life! Everything from dogs, cats, bunnies, frogs, ducks, and turtles. I even had an iguana once. I love animals!! Almost 2 years ago my husband, myself, our 2 cats & 2 dogs adopted another dog, a 2 month old Whippet/Red Heeler mix. Although our 2 other dogs were very well behaved we wanted to train Sam the right way & maybe even do some Agility with him. I went to work studying all the dog training books I could find! At the same time I was working at a job I really didn’t like. It was a desk job doing computer work 8 hours a day. I decided to look for some obedience training classes on the internet, that’s when I came across Animal Behavior College. I knew right then that I was meant to do this! I enrolled within the next couple of days & got started right away!

I just found out today that I have officially graduated from ABC as an ABC Certified Dog Trainer! I can’t wait to give my two weeks notice at my desk job & start living my life working with dogs & the humans that love them! I’m confident, capable & ready to finally start living my life the way I want too! My life has gone to the dogs & I’m very, very happy about that!!!!


Amber Wampler

I am a Graduate from Animal Behavior College. Being an ABC Certified Dog Trainer, I know I have embarked upon one of the most rewarding careers in this world. Animals have been my passion since I can remember. I have dreamed of saving, protecting and working with animals all my life. ABC has made that dream a reality.

I started riding and showing horsed/ponies in Dressage, Cross-Country and Stadium jumping at the tender age of 7. Living on a horse farm with cats and 3 dogs I learned the nature of animals. Riding my horses and having the dogs along side me daily, I spent more time around the dogs and horses than people until the age of 17 when I left for college, majoring in Veterinarian Medicine and minoring in Equestrian Studies. I worked as a Vet Tech working with mostly dogs and cats. I love all animals but something really pulled me to dogs. Continuing as a Vet Tech for 3 years, I realized I wanted to work much closer to dogs (medicine was not for me). I left school and moved back to Maryland (my home state) and started working a doggie day care. There I found exactly, without a doubt, what I really wanted to do and still be with the animals/dogs.

It was at this point I asked my employer “how does one become a dog trainer?” After all, they have training classes at the doggie day care. The obedience instructor there told me about some schools that had just what I was looking for. I looked online, did my research on the schools that offered a program and Animal Behavior College had the best and most challenging offerings. I called ABC and applied. I had some trouble finding the finances at first but I must say that ABC’s staff helped me find a way, and here I am. I have never been more pleased, excited and happy about my future and my experience through ABC’s program. The encouragement, feedback and the true concern for students’ learning experience and success in the program is something I will always remember and pass on to anyone that sparks interest in training dogs. I will continue to uphold an honor for everything I have experienced and learned at ABC. Thanks to ABC I am well trained and confident about my future endeavors in the “dog world”. I know I will be successful and I owe this to ABC! Thank you!


Jan van der Els
Co-Owner of Woodstock Kennels

I grew up in the Netherlands where dogs were always a part of my life. My job with a multi-national company brought me to the US in 1993, where I met my wife, Donna, a fellow dog enthusiast. After 11 years of traveling to various locations around the world, our three dogs always in tow, we decided it was time to make a life change.

Through a wish to share my lifelong experience and love of dogs, I began reading up extensively on dog behavior and training, and later enrolled in Animal Behavior College to become an ABC Certified Dog Trainer. I now provide basic obedience training as well as problem behavior modification. I also volunteer with the Ulster County SPCA to offer dog-handling guidance to the staff and volunteers. And, since trained dogs are less likely to be returned to a shelter due to behavior problems, I offer discounted training to families adopting dogs from the SPCA.

My wife and I have also established a boarding kennel at our Woodstock, NY home. The desire to return to a stable home life, as well as to do work which is personally fulfilling, lead to the idea of starting our own business, and the concept of opening a boarding kennel resulted from the belief that we were not alone in our need for a place we could feel good about leaving their dogs when traveling. The result was Woodstock Kennels, which opened for business in March 2006. In addition to providing high-quality boarding that includes plenty of fresh air, excercise and attention, we also sometimes provide temporary space in our kennel to rescue dogs when space elsewhere is limited. We recently fostered a young dog named Chloe Elizabeth for the Ulster County SPCA while she recovered from knee surgery for a month.

What I enjoyed most about the ABC program is the combination of theory and hands-on learning. I think it was also good that some time was spent on safety and good business practices. The ABC staff was fantastic throughout the process, and I was really impressed by the trainer I worked with during my externship. And during the past year I have been putting my ABC training to work on a daily basis since acquiring our newest addition, a Dutch shepherd named Trudie!


Agni Sarmaniote

I love dogs. I always have. For me personally, there is no better companion animal. They love unconditionally. If you want to know how to live life to the fullest, watch a dog playing outside in the sunshine, how they enjoy the simplest of things.

I have a very strong bond with my Pug, Velvet. She came into my life at a period in time when I needed her most. She makes me laugh every day. She comforts me when I need it. All the negatives of a given day are washed away when I walk through that door and see her just so happy to have me home. I want everyone to be able to have this feeling with their dog. When I was laid off from my job in April 2005, I took a long hard look at my life and decided to change careers. I was burnt out after working many years in Administration and Customer Service. I'd always wanted to work with dogs and thought now was the time. So, I enrolled with ABC. This was the best decision I could have made. The curriculum is informative, challenging, and thought provoking. The support I received from my Program Manager, Externship Coordinator and Mentor Trainer were beyond my expectations. What I learned from my Mentor could not be learned in books.

Thank you ABC for giving me such a solid foundation and wonderful start to my new career. I feel confident that I can make positive changes in both my client's lives and their dog's!!


Bruno Mithout

Bruno grew up on a farm in the French Alps where he enjoyed the company of many animals and learned how to care for them. One of his fondest childhood memories is a Britany Spaniel named Ruby who lived in and guarded the chicken coop.

While pursuing an acting career and a few stunts in the restaurant business, Bruno had dogs whom he trained as constant companions. Today he lives in New York City with a thirteen month old English pointer mix named Astro whom he trained from puppyhood using the methods of ABC.

Becoming a trainer through ABC has been a rewarding experience, which allows him to take on private clients and successfully teach them how to develop a positive lifetime relationship with their pet.


Brian Monschein

After having dogs as pets during my entire childhood, I was excited to finally get a dog of my own. In October 2003, Riley, an 8-week old Border Collie, joined our family, and I was able to train her from an early age. Riley's training began with the basics such as housebreaking, sit, down and stay, but quickly evolved into more advanced sessions with a special focus on Frisbee (Toss & Fetch). I spent many hours working with Riley, teaching her to catch a Frisbee in the air, at various heights and speeds. Though I always knew I loved dogs, it was my experience with Riley that assured me that dog training was a job I could do well and thoroughly enjoy.

I studied with Animal Behavior College and received my certification in early 2006. I now work with another trainer conducting obedience classes, and I also do home visits working one-on-one with dogs and their owners to help them master basic commands. In addition, I've spent many hours volunteering at at a local animal shelter in Stratford, CT, training the dogs in basic obedience in order to increase their chances of being placed in a new home.

ABC helped me get my kick-start into dog training, and I'm now working on a new business venture with another trainer to ultimately open our own dog day care and obedience training facility.


Brittany Paquet
Professional Dog Trainer

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved dogs, they are my passion and will always be a part of my life. When I was little I thought that I would become a Veterinarian, but as I got older I knew that I would not be able to stand to see and animal suffer, nor would I ever be able to operate. I thought as I graduated from high school about grooming, but that didn't seem like enough reward for me, so I thought about training and that's what led me to ABC.

I took my first job at a kennel when I was thirteen years old cleaning out kennels and walking dogs. That soon turned into bathing and light grooming. I can honestly say that it was the most rewarding job that I've ever had.

I have gone on to work at several more kennels, and other jobs in between, but something always draws me back to the animals. I have learned a lot from ABC, most of all I have learned that I can take an unwanted dog, because of bad behavior, and turn him into a dog that someone will love. I enjoyed the hands on part most of all. I was seeing the different breeds, and the personalities of people that pick those breeds.

I presently own four dogs: an Akita, English Bulldog, and two pugs. I hope to one day open my own Kennel and be a founder of a rescue service for unwanted dogs of any breed. I would like to offer services of training both in a group setting and private, along with many other services like grooming and behavioral problem solving, so dogs can be placed in good loving homes.

I truly believe that there is a dog out there to fit everyone's personality and ABC has taught me that.

Thanks ABC, it has been a great experience!


Kimberly Mercy-Wagner

All my life dogs have touched me, both as part of my family and in my experience of day-to-day life. Dogs have a lot of personality; they always find a way to make me smile even when I’m blue.

It was after 9/11, I decided to do something that would contribute to life. I always wanted to work with dogs but didn’t know how? I needed to learn. I applied for work at the Guide Dog Foundation caring for dogs and I was training to be a trainer for their company. However, I decided to set my own goals. I now have my own business, two years later, and it has grown. My business is based on pet sitting, dog walking and dog training.

My experience with ABC has been very interesting and a good beginning into the world of dog training. The materials and hands on training are very intense, but well needed, especially the experience of seeing other trainers work on the skills that are part of the training from ABC. The ABC staff is very nice and helpful when you need it.

Animal Behavior College is wonderful at educating both trainers and dogs.

Thank you ABC in making my dream come true!


Judy McMullen

I have had dogs all my life. I can’t imagine life without at least one dog. I decided to be a dog trainer because of my love of our four-legged friends and know I will never regret it. Thank you so much, ABC, for an extensive learning program! I truly feel like I’ve received the best education possible for this field.


Bill and Marge Hall

We’re Bill and Marge Hall and both recent graduates of ABC. Our love for our dogs, Adak and Kodiak (American Eskimo’s), and our interest in changing careers in mid life is what brought us to ABC. Both of us have been very impressed with the curriculum, externships and shelter experience we have received. We are looking forward to starting our training business, and sharing the techniques we’ve learned with our students. Our recent move to Billings, MT, from Denver, brings new and exciting changes and opportunities to pursue our doggy business dreams.


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