Animal Behavior College Reviews & Success Stories

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Sandra Zahn
Owner of Mannerly Canines

I have taught elementary school children for many years. I have always loved books and reading to my students. This love led to a desire to write a children's book, but I never had a subject that inspired me until my husband and I adopted a puppy from the local animal shelter. This inspiration motivated me to write a series of stories about our adopted dog from her point of view.

I began visiting classrooms with my dog, Hershey, and sharing her stories. In turn, as students began to share pet stories with me, I began to realize how many people are well meaning, but ignorant of how to socialize their pets. I decided that I would combine my experience as an educator with my love of pets and become a dog trainer. My goal was to encourage people to be patient and understanding of the needs of their pets, while teaching the pets to be more compatible to their owners' lifestyles.

Of the different programs I researched, Animal Behavior College seemed to me to be the most comprehensive one available. Since I am still a full time teacher, I appreciated the fact that I could "go to school" while I was working.

As a teacher, I like how diverse the program is. It covers everything from the history of canines as pets and canine development, to why and how dogs respond to different styles of training. I was also able to actually practice what I had learned through the externship and volunteer portions of the program, and I began to make a difference through the eductaion of pet owners.

The volumes of printed information I received from ABC, and the personal contacts I have made will combine to give me a wealth of reference materials when working with dogs and their owners. I am looking forward to making an even greater impact as an ABC graduate and the owner of Mannerly Canines.


Thomas Falcon

I have had dogs in my life since early childhood. I love and enjoy spending time and working with dogs. That is why I enrolled in Animal Behavior College, to learn as much as I could about dogs. I have enjoyed working and training dogs at the DFW Humane Society. It was a very rewarding experience. Thank You ABC.


Heather Hoge

I have been around all types of animals my whole life from domestic to exotic till this day. Ever since I was a child I was fascinated with animals and their behaviors. I just can’t stay away from animals, so I figured learning more about them and training was my calling.

I joined Animal Behavior College to gain more knowledge of dogs, which has also helped me realize behaviors of other animals. I am excited to open my own business of training dogs and advance in training different types animals as well. My life objective is to learn and train as many as possible. I look forward to the many challenges ahead of me.


Jennifer Lamb

My name is Jennifer and my three dogs are: Murphy (a Dalmatian), Riely (a hound mix) and Marko (a German Shepherd mix). I am the mother of two children that I home school, and together with my husband, we also live with three cats, a guinea pig and a hamster. Daily life in our home evolves around animals and learning.
Prior to enrolling in Animal Behavior College, I had read many books on dog training, animal behavior and animal psychology. This was mostly due to rescuing my little hound dog, Riely. While I was able to train basic obedience with Murphy and with Riely, I found I was learning one problem solving technique after another in order to help Riely become a member of our family. I knew I loved teaching and the challenge of solving problems. I also love my children and my dogs so much that when I was ready to pursue a new career, it was important for me to keep all these in mind.
Animal Behavior College provided the solution. I was able to study on my own time and work around my schedule. I found the program easy to understand and challenging enough to remain excited about it. My dog Marko was added to our family while I was participating in the program. Using Marko and working with my Mentor Trainer, Chris, in the externship part of the program really brought everything together for me. ABC provided an exceptional way to learn a new career.
I graduated with honors in summer 2005. I am pursuing my own business as a private in-home dog trainer, specializing in problem solving, in the Jefferson County, Missouri area. Thank you, ABC, for helping me to bring together the things I love.


Lisa Sylvester

At the age of 5, I participated with my first dog, a Shetland Sheepdog named Calamity, as a junior-junior handler in a local dog show. Calamity & I "dazzled" the judges with a couple of tricks & took home the "Funniest Dog" ribbon & I was hooked! While my life has taken turns unrelated to working with animals, I've always known, albeit subconsciously, that it was what I was meant to do.

A few years ago, I had the chance to spend a lot of time with my uncle while my cousin attended a university near our home. During our frequent conversations, I sometimes talked about being unhappy in my job. He often reminded me that our lives are not rehearsals for the "real thing". He said it's not selfish to want happiness in ALL facets of our lives. Coming from someone who had reached a high level of success & more importantly, his own definition of success, I knew he was right, but I still hesitated.

My uncle's successes lead him to NYC as a bank analyst on the 89th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center...he did not survive the attacks on September 11th. At his memorial service his son read from a note his dad had left him during his last visit. The words he read echoed the guidance my uncle had given me so closely, it was as if he was advising all of us one last time. As I sat there, I silently vowed to myself & to my uncle's spirit that I would always pursue happiness.

I finally found Animal Behavior College & burst into tears of joy after hanging up the phone when I was accepted into this wonderful program. The last piece of my life that I had yet to find happiness in was still my career. Training dogs and helping owners realize for themselves that they can easily and effectively train their dogs using nothing but positive techniques, is even more rewarding than I could have ever imagined! It's so much fun it's not like work at all! ABC has given me EVERYTHING I need to fulfill the vow I made to myself and enables me to honor my uncle every time I "go to work".


Erin Cooney-Lefort

My experience with ABC unfolded shortly after my dog Fu (mama lying down) and I shared pregnancies! As a psychology major and science-minded woman, I was inspired to pursue the study of canine behavior with the most accredited school I could find. I have been fascinated with the controversies surrounding breed specific legislation and driven to separate myth from reality from an informed perspective. ABC has been a valid, reliable, and priceless source for understanding canine behavior.

As my daughter and Puppy have grown together, we have learned so much about the similarities and important differences between human and canine behavior. The puppy seen here is now 70 pounds, 27" tall and very well socialized. My daughter is now 22 pounds, and 21 months...and giving very clear commands to her companion animals! She is learning both her and her dogs' postures, how to fluctuate her tone of voice, and can even recognize the different types of barking that each of her dogs do, assembling what they mean. Of course, this requires a great deal of consistency, patience, and astute supervision.

Because of the Stage Literature and hands-on experience offered by ABC, my daughter and I have learned how to properly rank our dominant dogs, using appropriate commands and rewards: lessons we will share with dog owners of all breeds.

I look forward to building my business and participating in the international mission of responsible dog ownership.


Kate Jackson

As a full time Dog Trainer, I strive to better my knowledge base and learn as much as possible. I decided to enroll in Animal Behavior College to improve my skills and knowledge as a trainer. I found ABC very informative and supportive throughout my studies with them. I was able to provide more in depth information to clients and help with more complex problems that I had previously been unable to help. Their course content was very relative to today’s dog training methods and teachings. It helped me review my business, bettering methods and procedures. ABC has been a vital part of the success of my business and my success as a trainer. I will highly recommend them in the future to aspiring trainers.


Terri Bullers

I have always had a passion for dogs. Since I was a little girl I had at least one dog in my life that I referred to as my best friend. Now I am an adult and living with a pack of dogs. It is by no accident that I share my home with five dogs. If you want to learn about the dog, hang with the pack! Three of my dogs were adopted from two different rescue organizations. I also foster a dog in my home for a local rescue occasionally.

My favorite portion of the ABC program was the opportunity I had to observe and participate in basic obedience class instruction with a seasoned dog trainer. I had a great time and walked away with a lot of valuable information.

After receiving my certification from ABC in September 2003, I offered my service for free to local area animal rescues. The rescues were grateful to receive the help and I was grateful to have an opportunity to fine tune my skills and get exposure to many types of dog behavior problems.

Now I have opened the doors to my very own consultation business, The “Canine Behavior Center”. I love helping owners and their dogs get past the little bumps in the road.


Diane Riggins

I always had a love for animals. I grew up with Beagles and I happily live with two Beagles of my own. I always longed to work with animals. So, about 6 – 7 years ago, I started to volunteer for the local SPCA, which has been a very rewarding experience for me.

I am currently a special education teacher and have been for the past 12 years. Last fall, I decided I had to make a change in my career because I knew I did not want to teach children for the rest of my life. I wanted to work more with animals, dogs in particular, and apply my teaching education and experience as well. It was at that point I discovered that being a dog trainer was just the profession I was looking for.

Not only has Animal Behavior College allowed me to start a new career, it has also made me a better guardian to my two dogs. I have learned so much from ABC I wish I had learned of their program years ago.

Presently, I am teaching Basic Obedience classes at the dog training school where I did my externship. I have also started to teach private lessons. I love every moment of it – I am having so much fun, it does not feel like work at all! At this point in time, I plan to be a dog trainer part-time, for the next few years. Then, I plan to “retire early” from teaching, so I can work as a dog trainer on a full-time basis.

Thank you ABC!


Andrea Wiegner

I always loved dogs, but I only had three in my entire life because my mom didn't want a dog. I used to have a Brasilian Fila and a German Shepherd, which were both very difficult dogs.

That's how I got interested in dog training. After my own dogs were "in work", I also co-trained dogs of the so called "difficult breeds", such as pit-bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Bullterriers, and so forth. In short, those breeds were or are known to cause trouble by biting children or people, fight with every dog they see and just don't enjoy a nice reputation in Germany.

After I came to Canada, I started working in the Mental-Health field and thought that it would be nice to also do some dog training because people commended Cora's (my German Shepherd) good behavior. I checked the internet and found Animal Behavior College. I had much fun going through the program. Unfortunately, I had to put Cora down while being involved in the program. I was sad, because she was my companion for more than 12 years.

Fortunately, the hands-on portion of the program started and I had to get a new dog. I bought a Black Russian Terrier named Ulmar. He is a wonderful dog, and I enjoyed working with him in the hands-on part of the program. I enjoy working with any dog because they always seem to be in a good mood. I consider it to be important to support the right relationship between people and their dogs. My Mentor Trainer, Joe, was also very good. Thank you very much ABC!


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