Student of the Month
Dog Trainer Samantha Feinblum
Samantha Feinblum is a graduate of our Dog Trainer Program. She started dog training at a very early age. As soon as she was old enough, Sam began doing tricks with her family dog for fun. When her dog passed away after a long, happy life of 18 years, it took her a while to add a new member to the family. Eventually, they welcomed Pippie, a tiny 8-week-old, barely three-pound Pomeranian puppy into their lives on the condition that Sam would be the one to take care of her.
Sam was honored to take care of Pippie. They became best friends and still are to this day. In junior high, she was researching careers in the animal field when she first learned about Animal Behavior College. Years later, she decided it would be the perfect time to follow her dreams and become an Animal Behavior College certified dog trainer. Sam is currently beginning an amazing career as a dog trainer.
Was dog training your first career choice? If not, what was it?
When I was a young child, I knew I wanted to do things with animals, but I had no idea what. It’s just the way things played out that led me to where I am today.
What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
Talking to large groups or crowds of people was my biggest challenge. Yikes. I can be a shy, quiet person if I don’t know you. Learning to speak to many people at once and becoming confident in my skills and knowledge has been my biggest triumph during this process. Thanks to my great mentors at Kellar’s Canine Academy, I have been guided and shown a great amount of respect and support, which has helped me grow immensely.
What was your most rewarding moment during your externship?
My most rewarding moment was when I was invited to assist in a private session with trainer Lauren Wenzel. I was asked to help with a beautiful, sensitive German Shepherd. My dog was a perfect candidate for the session: very well-trained, nonreactive and small. The German Shepherd had previously been attacked by a very small dog and, after that, was reactive to other dogs. His defensive behavior was always from a place of fear that he was going to be attacked. In the end, everyone did great. It was a completely successful session with great progress for both dog and handler.
Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours.
At a shelter called S.T.A.R.T. II, a Corgi mutt came to us after she was rescued from being tethered to a tree for about a year. I hoped I could help rehabilitate her, teach her to trust and make some kind of progress with her. She has some intense barrier aggression, fear aggression, dog reactivity and so many other things that made her harder to adopt out. I trained her and socialized her for about three months. She eventually conquered all of her issues without any trouble at all. It was beautiful to see her learn to trust new dogs and new people.
Which dog breed best describes you and why?
Tough question. My immediate thought was a mutt. I have loads of different qualities so I couldn’t really pick one specific breed. After really thinking about it though— I think a Pit Bull. I have been described as intimidating and sometimes even unapproachable. (I have loads of piercings, a Mohawk and dark-colored clothing, which seems to scare some people.) However, I am very loving, positive, strong and funny–sounds like the Pit Bull to me.