Animal Behavior College Reviews & Success Stories

Meet Them Yourself!

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Jennifer Carr
Owner of "Simply Smart Canines"

After attending a Working Dog expo at a local fair, I began to look into going to school for a dog-related career. Dogs have always been my whole life but I never thought it could be a career! I decided on ABC after talking to people about online dog training programs and hearing that it was one of the most widely recognized programs. I got through the book work very fast because I hit it hard! I was eager to get all the knowledge I could the fastest I could! I started the externship right after I got married but had a lapse in it when I got pregnant. I worked right up until I was nine months pregnant and finished after our daughter was born. Now I have started my own business, Simply Smart Canines. It focuses on giving classes in the client's home where the problems happen!


Audrey DiMarco
Certified Veterinary Technician and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

I have served as a veterinary technician for 10 years, and through working in different venues of the profession, I have become passionate about people and their relationship with their dogs. My desire is to improve the bond between owners and their dogs. I chose Animal Behavior College as my source of education because their reputation preceded them in a wonderful way, and I admired the organization and professionalism of their online learning program. My primary objective in getting certified as a dog trainer was to gain the knowledge and expertise I felt necessary to give our veterinary clients professional advice. I do anticipate starting up my own business and working part-time in conjunction with my career as a veterinary technician in the near future. In the meantime, I continue to use my knowledge as I work at North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital in Charlotte, NC to give owners the information they need to have a balanced and obedient dog they can thoroughly enjoy.


Heather Lipps
ABC Certified Dog Trainer and Student

Growing up, there was always a dog in the family. As a little girl, I remember putting my dog on a leash and teaching her how to sit, stay and lay down. I loved practicing with her and seeing what I could do. When I got a little older, I joined 4-H and enrolled in the Dog Project. I went to weekly sessions during the summer and learned how to teach my dog obedience and agility. I also participated in showmanship. I was in the county fair and the regional shows, and am proud to say I have four trophies! In high school, I decided that I wanted to be a dog trainer as a profession. I found the Animal Behavior College online and contacted them. Everyone was very easy to talk to and could answer all of the questions I had. I enrolled, and got all of my information-- I was so excited to start!

The ABC program teaches positive reinforcement techniques and is great for teaching problem solving. The program also teaches students how to teach humans and how to run classes. The externship and volunteer parts of the program are the most fun and rewarding parts of the program. You get hands-on learning and to work with a trainer like you may be one day! I graduated in about a year and I am so excited to get started! I am currently finishing a 4-year college program, but my goals include running my own business some day to offer group and private classes. I thank ABC for making it possible for students' dreams to come true!


Kent Hammit
High-End Electronic Consultant and Installation Specialist and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

After years spent in sales, and then later as a retail manager of a high end electronics chain in Florida, I found myself at 50-something looking for a rewarding and more enjoyable career. My parents had always included dogs and cats as family members since I was a child. I even studied for a career in veterinary medicine and graduated with a BS in Biology from George Mason University. Unfortunately, my resident state Virginia did not have a vet school and I was applying for limited slots at out-of-state vet schools... TOUGH! So I found myself successful at wholesale and retail sales.

When I relocated to South Florida in 1985 for a sales position with a wholesale distributor, I was introduced to a beautiful lady from Pittsburgh. I married Evelyn in 1987 and her large family had never kept animals while she was growing up! So as much as I wanted a dog, she always had good arguments to dissuade me. In 2005 she finally relented. Because we both worked, we wanted a 9+ month old crate-trained dog from a beagle breeder. Amazingly, a beagle kennel across state said that a 9-month-old male champion was available five miles from us! We arranged an introduction on Mother's Day 2005. I kind of expected that, given his breeding and championship status, he would be out of our price range. When my wife met Jack, his wagging tail and licks of her hand, she melted. I was floored when the breeder asked us for her puppy fee of $800.00!

When we took him home with us, he thought his life was over and was terrified. He had numerous issues. He had been crated with his sister, who had dominated him. He had limited experience with men my age, having been around women constantly. He was terrified of me from an early imprint experience but loved kids and older men. I could walk him on leash and he would go into "show ring mode" and behave perfectly, but would slink around me otherwise.

Having Jack in my life with his early "behavioral" challenges inspired my enrollment in ABC. I was looking for a rewarding "late in life" career change, and he inspired me! After researching many programs, the people at ABC were very professional, friendly, encouraging and the curriculum was in line with my training ideas and affordable.

During my ABC "apprenticeship" with mentor Lina Elkhof, Jack surprised me with his perfect responses to obedience cues and his generalization with other people. Lina told me that her previous experience with and opinion of beagles was that they were not so smart. Jack had totally changed her opinion about training beagles. He was the obvious "superstar" dog of the group and made me very proud!

My ideal plan for my ABC education would be to help families pick a dog that fits their lifestyle. I want more people to consider adoption and purchase of puppies only from respectable breeders. I would find it personally rewarding to prevent families from giving up their dogs. I have vast experience with public speaking and sales training. I look forward to group classes, AE group classes and working with teenagers at my local high school.


Manuela Connatser
ABC Certified Dog Trainer

I was born and raised in Germany. My life always included dogs; I was the dog walker in my neighborhood. I walked two dogs a day from different people and I also was a dog sitter for people on vacations. I always liked working with difficult dogs. I even cared for a blind dog. I always liked dogs and hoped one day I could follow my calling and work with dogs.

I made the move to the USA about 10 years ago. My husband was in the Army at that time and got stationed in Fort Irwin, California. This was my first time moving to the USA. After my husband retired from the Army, he started a job with a company in Charlotte, NC. I walked into a PetSmart store looking for some dog supplies and spoke with the trainer, Sharon. She was impressed with how well-behaved my dog was and, as we talked more, she made me realize that I could turn my passion into a career. It was in that moment that I knew that I wanted to be a dog trainer.

I went home and searched the internet for information, and found the Animal Behavior College. I really liked what I saw and I contacted them. Within one day, I was enrolled and on my way to becoming a dog trainer. I did not know what to expect. When I received my first correspondence I got so excited because not only were my course materials inside, they were accompanied by an ABC shirt and numerous toys and dog accessories. Throughout my entire time with ABC, I had very helpful and positive contact with everybody from the college. I knew that I made the right choice. After only eight months I graduated with honors. I was hired immediately by PetSmart as a dog trainer. My future goal is to work with service animals.

Thank you ABC for making my dreams come true.


Chris Mearkle
Custom Carpenter and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

I chose ABC because of their extensive range in dog behavior, health, breeds, business practice, and variety of training techniques. Though the program was challenging, I learned a lot, and found it fun to put my knowledge into practice. I am a custom carpenter and frequently travel to build skateboard parks. ABC was willing to work with me and my travel schedule to get the most out of the material at hand. I plan to continue my work with training dogs and am interested in additional courses to train search and rescue dogs as I believe this would be very rewarding.

My wife and I live with two cats and a dog. Our cat, Stubby, was taken away from her owner after her tail was cut off by one of their children. While Stubby is still trusting of humans, she is still very much a barn cat through & through. Our second cat, Stinky, was rescued from the Longmont Humane Society. She is the total opposite of Stubby and is the ultimate lap cat (though she is named Stinky for a reason!) Our dog Sierra was rescued from the Boulder Humane Society. Sierra is part Australian cattle dog and was very skittish at first. With positive reinforcement training, a lot of patience and love, Sierra has developed into a well-mannered, happy, fun-loving dog who truly brings joy to my life. It is this reason, to give a shelter animal a second chance, which made me want to become a trainer. I enjoy teaching others prospering training techniques as a way to share my passion and give dogs a second chance.


Joe Dwyer
Vice Chancellor for Administration for the Archdiocese of Newark and Owner of “Proclaiming Treasures (Helping Dogs Become Angels)”

I chose ABC after looking into several dog training companies. I found ABC to be the one that offered the most comprehensive training that focused on positive methods.

My experience throughout the ABC program has been nothing short of awesome. I was treated like a member of the ABC family from the very beginning as I received all of the information in a timely fashion. I also enjoyed the positive motivation style of training throughout the time I studied. I found the externship portion to be extremely valuable and rewarding.

I plan on starting my own dog training business and also integrating the principles I learned into another business as personal business coaching.

I have four dogs I share my life with and one of them that I rescued was the dog I brought through training during my ABC externship. It has not only improved his life dramatically but has provided me with additional motivation to use my education to benefit as many dogs and people as possible.


Jamie Watson
ABC Certified Dog Trainer and Trainer for "The Dog Nanny"

I chose ABC because of all the great reviews and great comments the school received. My experience with ABC was amazing. My Program Manager was always there to help me with any questions I had. My primary occupation is working as a dog trainer for The Dog Nanny.


David Church Jr.
ABC Certified Dog Trainer

I found myself looking for something more in life. I was a single guy living with a roommate who had a very young American Staffordshire mix puppy who was a joy to have in the house but was also a handful at the same time. We started training him how to do basic obedience cues and tricks such as sit, stay, down and high five. I soon realized that I found something wonderful in me that I loved to do – training dogs.

Since that day, I found a school that I absolutely loved (ABC) and began my training. It was such an easy program to follow and all the coordinators were fantastic and easy to work with. Ever since I have been having so much fun working with dogs and teaching people the tools they need to have control over their pets. Basically, I love what I do.

I chose ABC because it was very convenient and affordable. I had a great experience through ABC. I plan on opening my own training place someday.


Damon Mogensen
Journalism Student, Petsmart Support Manager, and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

Growing up in Wisconsin, dogs were a constant part of my life. The love I developed for dogs followed me into adulthood with the adoption of my Pit Bull mix, Daisy, and my Siberian husky, Thursday. While my two “kids” are my pride and joy, it wasn’t until a Boston terrier named Jasmine went into labor that I came to discover Animal Behavior College and the prospect of a dog training career. Jasmine is my mom’s dog, and she was having difficulties during labor. I knew nothing about it of course, so I jumped online at 3:00 AM, looking for any information I could find. Somehow I ended up at ABC’s website, and it was as if a light bulb went off! Eager to get out of the restaurant industry, I immediately requested information and, as they say, the rest is history.

The written part of the program proved to be exceptionally well put together. The curriculum was very in-depth and challenging. It was the externship that I found the most rewarding, however. I was assigned an amazing Mentor Trainer whose teaching and guidance will never be forgotten. A huge thank you to Vickie and the staff at Chippewa County Humane Association!

I currently work at Petsmart as a support manager and training instructor while I attend college, working toward my journalism and marketing degrees. After college, it is my hope and dream to be able to open my own training business where I can offer group classes and private lessons. I am looking forward to a lifetime of working with dogs and their owners and to continue learning all I can about them!


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