By Steven Appelbaum, ABC President & CEO
Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of What’s Waggin.’
Wow, 2022 is more than halfway gone. I know it sounds a little cliché, but every year seems to fly by faster than before. Here is what is going on at ABC.
New Program Launch
Our Service Dog Training program will launch by the end of September. We are very excited about this course. We know how important service dogs are to those who need them. We also understand how critical the training of these remarkable canines is, which is why we have taken so long to research and create this program. Our Service Dog Trainer program is not an entry-level course but an advanced program for dog trainers who want to take their skills to the next level. The course is open to ABC Dog Obedience Instructor Training Program graduates and graduates of other dog trainer schools, as well as experienced trainers. The Service Dog Training Program was one of the most requested in the history of ABC.
Zookeeping Assistant Program
Our Zookeeper Assistant Program (ZAP), what can I say, we love acronyms at ABC, continues to grow in popularity. ZAP launched in 2021 and registered the fastest enrollment increase since we launched the Veterinary Assistant Program in 2008. The program covers exotic animal husbandry, including carnivores, primates, herbivores of all kinds and more. The program discusses animal housing, exhibits and zookeeper safety, which, as you can well imagine, is a critical component when working with large and potentially dangerous animals. It also addresses behavior, enrichment and training, and much more. ZAP is for people fascinated by exotic animals, conservation and zookeeping. Some graduates might work at rescues, some at zoos; and many take the program because they are keenly interested in these fascinating creatures with whom we share our world.
Pet Grooming Instruction Program Update
We are also very close to completing an overall update and redesign of our Pet Grooming Instruction Program (GIP). All alumni have access to the most updated program curriculum they completed. We invite all grooming alumni to revisit and refresh their knowledge by reviewing our updated program as often as you desire. The GIP update will also launch by the end of September.
Any ABC alumnus who wants to enroll in our Cat Training, Aquarium Maintenance and/or Zookeeper Assistant Programs may do so for 50 percent off. This is a considerable saving. The offer is good until 12/31/22.
Refer a Friend
Alumni who refer someone to ABC who enrolls in one of our main programs will earn anywhere between $100–$300, depending on the program. Of course, we hope you will refer animal-loving friends who want to make a difference in the lives of pets because you had a wonderful experience, and we hope they do as well. However, little extra cash is always welcome in these inflationary times.
Speaking of Inflation. I am very proud that even though the cost of some items has increased by 9+ percent in 2022, ABC hasn’t raised the cost of any of our programs in 2022.We are serious about helping fight inflation and making it possible for animal lovers to fulfill their dreams.
Short-term program enrollments have been robust in 2022. I am always curious which programs are most popular. Here are the programs by order of signups from January through July.
Pet Nutrition and Diet: This course has gradually increased in popularity each year. It provides a thorough overview on nutrition for dogs and cats, as well as pet birds, small mammals, reptiles and horses.
Pet Massage: To be honest, I was skeptical when this course was first proposed to me. Massage for dogs? Really? After review, I learned that proper massage is a fabulous way of bonding, relieving stress and much more. It is our second most-popular short-term program.
Training Shelter Dogs: This course is for DOP students, graduates, and/or those with dog training experience. The program focuses on temperament assessment and helping to address some behavioral challenges common to dogs housed in shelters. Popular in part because dog trainers, in general, want to use their knowledge and skills to help dogs find forever homes, and this course helps them fulfill that desire.
Selling and Teaching Private Lessons: This course is also for DOP students, graduates and/or those with dog training experience. Many dog trainers start their careers assisting and then teaching group obedience classes. At some point in your career, you might want to learn how to conduct and market private lessons. This course teaches you how. Both Training Shelter Dogs and Selling and Teaching Private Lessons were written by a renowned working professional dog trainer and lecturer.
The previous two programs, Training Shelter Dogs, and Selling and Teaching Private Lessons, are both at number 3. That’s because as of the end of July each had the exact same number of enrollments.
Pet Sitting and Dog Walking: One of my favorite programs because it’s a natural business that dog trainers, cat trainers, veterinary assistants and pet groomers can start and offer to selected clients. Pet sitting went from a slightly unusual way for people to watch after their pets to mainstream in 20 years. Dog walking, which was popular in places like Manhattan, Los Angeles and San Francisco for decades, has also become common in large and small communities all across North America.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to sharing more with you at in the Fall.