ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – October 2014
Recent ABC graduate, Chelsi Woolwine currently lives in Ojai, California. As a child, Chelsi always knew she wanted to work with animals. In her neighborhood one day, there was a little dog running around that no one else could catch. Her neighbors came and asked for her help. As soon as she got down on the ground with a leash and treats, the little dog came running over to her—no one could believe his eyes. Chelsi said that was her “this is what I need to do with my life” moment. She heard about Animal Behavior College’s Dog Obedience Program from the Educational Director at a shelter in Colorado who also attended ABC’s program and told Chelsi to go for it, as it was a great starting point for her career.
Are you currently employed in another field? If yes, what do you do?
I’m currently employed at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation working as a Program Assistant. I do get to train with the dogs, but I mostly work with bringing new dogs into our program and getting to follow them throughout their lives.
Was dog training your first career choice? If not, what was it?
Dog training was not my first choice as a career. I was set on being a veterinary technician until we had to put my corgi/chow down and it absolutely broke my heart. Becoming a vet tech is still something I would love to do so I can further my career.
What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?
My most rewarding moment was when it clicked for one of the students in our class. They finally understood how to get their dog to do the specific behavior that my amazing Mentor Trainer, Genie Tuttle, had been working on with them. It’s easier to tell someone else how to teach a behavior since you are seeing it firsthand and can correct it right away.
Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours.
During my volunteer hours, there was a dog that stole my heart, Rusty, a six- to seven-year-old Shar Pei that had been at the shelter for more than a year. He was often passed up because he always sat in the back of the kennel and didn’t visit with the people walking by. After working on his walking skills and socializing him, he finally got an amazing home and I see him often around Ojai.
What will be the secret to your success in the pet industry as a dog trainer?
The secret of the dog training pet industry is to be a sponge. Take in every opportunity you can and learn as much as possible. You can never have too much knowledge because no two situations are the same.