Steve Appelbaum Sits Down With Animal House Radio Show
ABC Founder and CEO Talks Pets
Appearing on the call-in show Animal House with host Vicki Gramm on Saturday, March 28, as a featured guest, Animal Behavior College founder Steve Appelbaum discusses various topics, including the animal vocational school itself.
That’s actually been one of the things I’ve heard from a lot of my interns coming out of ABC. That was one of the big draws to your organization was the breadth of different opportunities that you guys have there.
Right. These programs are really phenomenal and these vocations are phenomenal for people who do have to move. Perhaps less the dog program, although I think it’s a great program for spouses, but the veterinary assistant program and grooming program just because one challenge that occurs with the dog trainer program is when you graduate, unless you’re going to work for somebody–a good many of our graduates wind up going to Petco or PetSmart, working with their mentors, some are hired by their mentors or go to a large training organization and they’ll get hired–but most want to start their own businesses and that’s tough to do when you’re moving around and change your station and go to San Diego. It becomes really tough to pick up and uproot and try to start a business again.
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Whereas if you’re a veterinary assistant or a groomer–the sheer volume of veterinary hospitals in the United States is over 20,000–means there is a pretty good likelihood you’re going to be able to find some sort of employment just about wherever you go. No guarantees, but absolutely.
I want to tell people out there, if they’re looking for a trainer, what are things do they need to look for?
I really look for a number of things. First, you want to talk to this trainer and you want to get a sense is this a person that communicates with you in a fashion that you understand and that you can relate to. That’s huge. As we discussed, this is really about training you. Most of us speak the same language, but people learn in different ways so you want a trainer that is able to communicate in a fashion that you’re going to find very easy to grasp.
Experience. You don’t have to have decades and decades of experience, but a little experience is a good thing.
Referrals. Where did you find this person? Is this somebody you found on Craigslist (although there are some trainers advertising on Craigslist). There’s nothing wrong with that, but if it were me, I would probably go to my local veterinarian or some professional source to see what experiences they’ve had and who they can recommend.
It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it certainly makes you a little bit more comfortable knowing that they have to be professional enough to maintain a referral relationship, which is important.
Certification Council on Professional Dog Training actually has a really great trainer referral.
Yes. You can certainly look at things like that. The APDT as you mentioned. We have one as well at Animal Behavior College.
Oh good. I did not know that. And those are all people that have finished both online and their externships, right?
You absolutely have to be a graduate. There are certainly resources to find trainers. But beyond just locating them on either APDT’s site or our site or getting one from a veterinarian, it’s still a very personal thing. I highly recommend to anybody that they interview the trainer. It’s also a good idea to watch the trainer. If they’re teaching classes, go look at one. See, firsthand, how they interact with the students.
Listen to the rest of the interview below: