Animal Behavior College Reviews & Success Stories

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Maris Ewing
Certified Nursing Assistant and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

I grew up with animals and loved every minute of it. I was constantly self educating about them and was always interested in learning more. I have always been inspired by the way they have this forgiving and never ending love that they have to share.

I chose Animal Behavior College due to its positive atmosphere and helpful learning environment. I like that they give you a certificate after graduation as well as a card to show your achievements with ABC.

I recently moved to Kansas from Illinois and I am looking to help out people in the area with dog training. It is a huge task to take on all of Kansas cities dogs and owners, but I am in this for the dogs and I have no greater joy than to see an owner and a dog create a loving relationship. I love working with animals and I plan to continue doing so for the rest of my life. I would like to help animals and owners better understand each other by sharing my knowledge.

I plan to continue educating myself through other learning programs,in addition to using ABC as a foundation for understanding dogs and working with them. I have grown up with dogs, and I am never done learning about them. My goal is to help dogs and humans communicate with one another for better dog and human relationships.

I am currently working as a dog trainer for my own business called For The Dogs Training, LLC
as well as making dog collars for

I plan to continue working with dogs for the rest of my life through rescue, training, rehabilitation, and volunteering.


Michaela M. Stofey
Assistant & ABC Certified Dog Trainer

As most people believe, the endeavors pursued in life are influenced from experiences of youth. Having pets as you grow is probably the strongest influence related to the attachment people have to animals. Even though I never owned a pet prior to my adult life, I had a very strong emotional attachment to a collie named “Queenie” that belonged to my aunt and uncle. From the time I was a toddler until my father moved to Ohio when I was 13 years old, I spent my summers with my Aunt Ann, Uncle Tom and Queenie. These were the happiest times in my young life. My strongest memory is lying under Aunt Ann’s dining room table with my head snuggled against or on top of Queenie and taking a much needed afternoon nap.

I don’t remember seeing other pets or dogs in the neighborhood either at home in Pittsburgh or in Washington. Perhaps, as noted in the ABC curriculum, companion pets were not popular during the 1940s; therefore, until the 50s, most of the canine pets were working dogs. However, Queenie was definitely a family pet. Queenie died at the age of 13 years. I was also 13 years old when my family made the move to Ohio.

I was married at the age of 20 and my husband and I decided we would have pets in our home as well as children. During our marriage of 50 years we had four children, 5 cats, and 7 dogs. Although attachment and love may be easily developed through nurturing, it can only be enhanced with learning. There was such a strong desire to connect with canines on their level.
Finally, after many, many years of raising children, being employed at various jobs, including assisting my husband with his company, and partial retirement, I knew I had my chance to become well versed in canine training. I researched the training schools and chose ABC. ABC appeared to offer the most versatile curriculum with the capability of home study. Learning has enhanced my desire to help dogs.

My neighbor has invited us to use her facility, The Paw Patch Wellness Center, as a training facility for my training business which my husband and I have named PuppyLuv. The Paw Patch is located in Chagrin Falls and is very close to home. I also hope to provide in home training. Although I intend to get into training privately, I will continue to help at the county shelter with the hope that more dogs are adopted into homes with a loving family.


Debbie Salmons
Field Trials Competitor and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

Hello, I’m Debbie and these are my two dogs Chief and Dolly. I enrolled in ABC because I wanted to learn more training methods to help build my relationship with my own dogs and to help my clients do the same with their dogs. What I didn’t realize is how much more they had to offer me with their program. The old saying that you can not teach an old dog new tricks doesn’t apply here. The ABC program helped me in many ways. I learned to work with different people, and was able to experience working with a variety of different dogs and problem solving situations. It opened doors before I even finished the program. I’ve been able to help my clients better in building their relationships with their own dogs. Some of them are ready to become therapy dogs, they just need to be tested. I started the program in June of 2009 and finished in November of 2009. I just wanted to keep on moving forward to see what was next.

I have always had dogs in my life. Between my husband and I we have five wonderful English Springer Spaniels that we compete with in Field Events. I started training fourteen years ago in obedience with two of my Springers and each of them received two titles in obedience. Then I moved out into the fields with the dogs. My husband and I train and compete in AKC Field Trials with our Springers. We have titled many dogs in this sport. In 2006 I was awarded the High Point Female Amateur Handler in the U.S. for the English Springer Spaniel Field Trials. This was done with the help of my boy Chief. He received 13 points in one year of competing.

I enjoy working with dogs and people to reach their goals to have a well mannered dog or to compete with them. I’m going to continue building my business by working with group and individual lessons. I will continue to work towards my future and current goals.


Hope Garlick
Assoc. Director, Computing Facilities at Pratt Institute & ABC Certified Dog Trainer

My name is Hope I live and work in Brooklyn, NY.
Growing up we had several pets, cats, dogs, rabbits,
hamsters and ducks. Animals have been an integral part of my life; as a kid I recall mostly German Sheppard’s or other large mixed breeds it was a multiple dog house hold. I can recall wanting to be a veterinarian as a child and into my teens, finding kittens or some stray animal to nurse back to health, it was a magical feeling and it still is to this day.

I currently have 4 new dogs Majestic, Catalina,Joaquin and Giovanni, two miniature pinchers and two Chihuahua’s who keep me extremely busy. Joaquin is a very fearful dog it took me a week to get him from my front door to the elevator some 15 feet and now he walks beautifully to the elevator and out of the building and down the block. With training and patience I believe any obstacle can be overcome by providing a dog with a good quality of life. After the loss of my beloved schipperkes in the last two years, which I had three of I felt I still had a lot to offer. I have been training dogs all my life, my dogs, families and friend’s dogs so I decided to venture out and offer my services professionally. It is a joyous feeling when you do what you love and what you feel in your heart comes naturally to you.

After some extensive research I found Animal Behavior College. The Dog Obedience Instructor program was affordable and online, this enabled me to study while I worked full time. The best part of the course was the externship where I did shelter work at Sean Casey’s Rescue and training with my Mentor Trainer Dawn Prentiss of Semper Fido, she is excellent at what she does and a wonderful mentor.

After graduating ABC I have been working with
Dawn as an assistant trainer and starting in January will be holding group classes as the head trainer
with Semper Fido, it is just so rewarding to help not only the dogs but the owner to better communicate
with their furry children. I also do private trainings under my company name Little Paws of Hope and
have several clients, one who was very reactive and territorial of his environment and other dogs
outside his house. He now walks calmly and is enjoying life with his dedicated owners. Living and working with dogs of all natures is an extraordinary feeling, one that never tires. Often I have said “I have yet to get in my lifetime from a human what I get from dogs” although my partner comes very close. They are wonderful beings and we are blessed to have them in our lives.


Fran Schoenfeld
Adoption Counselor and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

I am a volunteer adoption counselor at a local humane society. After seeing so many dogs in the shelter and reading the surrender forms from owners, I knew I had to do something to help dogs and their owners stay together. People think that dogs come already housebroken and know they aren't supposed to jump, dig, bite, etc. Dogs are like children who require lots of time, energy, work, and responsibility, so they can grow into well behaved human beings. Dog owners will get out of their dogs exactly what they put into the dogs as far as time and work. If owners don't take the time to change the dog's behavior, the dog will do what works for him.

Dogs and cats have always been in my life from childhood to the present. I was able to teach dogs basic cues and tricks simply from reading about dog obedience and the importance of being patient, consistent, and calm. People say I have a unique connection with dogs because they respond so well to my cues.

After retiring from a Human Resources career in a Rochester, NY corporation, I decided to pursue my dream and passion: working with animals, especially helping to keep people and their dogs living happily ever after together.

After researching several dog training schools, I decided ABC had exactly what I was looking for to reach my goal as a certified dog trainer: online program, challenging curriculum, and hands-on training with a mentor and working in a local animal shelter.

I started the ABC program in February 2009 and graduated in October 12, 2009 with Honors." It was a challenging course and while I worked very hard, I enjoyed every minute of it. My mentor, Jen Carra, was and still is a great resource for me. Jen gave me tips and alternative techniques to try while encouraging and praising me throughout the externship.

My program manager Azure Long and my externship coordinator, Debbie Burrow were very supportive and always answered my questions and concerns promptly.

I started my shelter externship in another local animal shelter on August 1, and to date five hard-to-place dogs that I worked with have been adopted. These dogs were starved, never had been on a leash, jumped, and didn't know basic cues such as sit, down, stay. After working with these dogs for several weeks each, they were adopted knowing basic cues, not jumping, and doing loose leash walking. I offered the new owners one free private lesson demonstrating what cues to use and how to use head collars and walking harnesses. It has been rewarding for me to see these wonderful dogs finally find loving, caring families.

I have started a dog obedience business called Paws-i-tive Behavior offering group classes and in-home private lessons. I would also like to work as an IC at Petco or another dog training academy to broaden my training ability in agility, fly ball, tricks, etc.

I hope the above information was what you needed.


William Allocco
Dog Walker and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

My name is William Allocco and I'm 28 years old. I started the ABC program about a year ago and recently graduated with honors. I chose ABC because of the convenience of the online program, the in-depth curriculum, and the hands-on portions of the program. My program manager at ABC was Angela DeLuca and my externship coordinator was Heather Hartman, they were both extremely helpful with any questions I had throughout the program! My mentor trainer was Jamie Bozzi, CPDT, CC and she was fantastic. She really took the time to make sure I understood the concepts being taught, and shared a bunch of useful training tips she's learned over the years.

I've always loved animals and spend a great deal of time learning about them by reading and watching various nature programs. As a kid I had birds, hamsters, fish, and cats but never a dog. When I got older I used to pet sit for all my friends who had dogs and I realized then I had a love for dogs and their well being. I do lots of dog walking in my spare time and when I discovered ABC, I thought they'd be a great school to expand my knowledge of dogs. The externship and the volunteer work were my favorite steps in the program because the hands-on work you do with the dogs, is extremely valuable. The volunteer work was a wonderful experience and working with the dogs at Labradors and Friends was truly rewarding. Everyone should adopt a dog, there are so many wonderful dogs in shelters and kennels throughout the country and they all deserve a home!

I plan on continuing my dog walking business and plan to work at Petco or for another trainer to gain more experience before starting my own dog training business. I also plan on furthering my animal training knowledge in hopes of working at a zoo or Sea World in the future.

Animal Behavior College is a great foundation for me in my pursuit of a career in the animal industry! Thanks again ABC for all you've done to help me along the way. I would recommend them to anyone looking to become a dog trainer.


Netty Lucht
Nanny and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

I'm 28 years old and have always been passionate about understanding and helping animals. I have had a variety of pets and have experience in taking care of them.

In 2008 I decided it would be great to make a living of something I love doing so much. I went through the ABC program. It was very detailed and I learned a lot.

I'm have been a certified dog trainer since May 2009. I'm currently working on starting my own business in dog training, pet sitting and other pet services. I'm very excited about doing that.


Laura Curry
Home Maker and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

My name is Laura Curry and I grew up around animals all of my life. I have always had a dog around since I could remember. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was growing up but that quickly changed when I got married and started having kids. I worked as a vet assistant for a short time and I loved it.

I have 2 dogs right now that I adopted from someone that no longer wanted them. They have traveled with me all over the country and are always by my side. I have trained 2 dogs for therapy work in the past and found it to be very rewarding to volunteer at nursing homes.

I was looking for a school to go to that focused on animal behavior and training and found that ABC offered the most for a great price. They allowed me to work at my own pace and also when it came time, found me the most wonderful mentor I could have had. She taught me a lot and I think by having a mentor, it really helps you understand things better. ABC's curriculum is very good and I have learned so much from the school.

Currently, I am a homemaker that just moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. I am going to volunteer at animal shelters and apply for dog trainer positions at the local pet store to get started. I am currently offering private lessons and will work my way to starting group dog obedience classes. I also plan on teaching people how to get their dog therapy certified. I also want to be an evaluator for CGC (canine good citizen through akc).


Mark Tipton
Wastewater Treatment Operator III. and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

My Success Story

My name is Mark Tipton. I live in Santa Clarita, which is north of Los Angeles. I started as a student with Animal Behavior College in late September of 2008, and completed my studies in early May 2009. I choose ABC because the curriculum is well balanced. It also was convenient to work and study at the same time because of the flexibility.

My wife brought home a six month old puppy 16 years ago from one of the local pounds. She'd been returned by a prior adopter, because she was difficult to handle. In fact, she was a nightmare and had every bad habit a dog could have. Her name was Curly, and she was a very alpha Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Springer Spaniel mix. She was the first dog that either of us had as adults, and we were completely uneducated at the time about how to train her.

We called the number on a brochure that someone gave us. Steven Applebaum, the founder of ABC, arrived at our home to evaluate our puppy. We were astounded, as Curly's attitude and level of respect for Steve was instantaneous. In less than five minutes, Steve had total control over Curly, and we could see that we had some hope.

Steve assigned a trainer to us, who worked with us for a few months. Curly bit the trainer, and wasn't an easy dog to train, due to previous abuse, and her alpha attitude. We worked hard with her every day of her life, showered her with tons of love, and she became a model canine citizen who we could take anywhere. My wife and I attribute most of our "dog skills" to the things that we learned from our trainer and from Curly.

My wife began to rescue dogs nine years ago, and we would foster dogs on occasion. Dogs would come to us with all kinds of "baggage", including aggression issues. We would try our best to work with them, knowing that each dog has to be safe to place in a new home.

My retirement with the City of Los Angeles was around the corner. I began to think about what I would like to do after I retired from being a Wastewater Treatment Operator III. My wife was putting AngelDogs Foundation together, which is a non-profit mobile spay/neuter program.

I decided to check out becoming a dog trainer for my second career. Little did I know that I would absolutely LOVE working with dogs. I firmly believe that this is the greatest thing that I have accomplished so far in my lifetime, besides marrying my wife. It is immensely rewarding to see a dog respond to your leadership and show that he/she trusts you. It is hard to explain the personal satisfaction that I gain from watching a dog progress in his bond, training and trust. My one regret is that dog training was not my first and only career.

I volunteered at Downtown Dog Rescue in Los Angeles for my externship. The founder, Lori Weise, assigned me to Mighty Mike. Mikey is a two year old American Bull Dog/Pit Bull mix. Mikey was with DDR for over a year. He had killed four dogs and injured one severely at the time that I met him. He was rescued from a recycling center, and his leg was broken in an attempt to get him to fight.

I take Mikey to a group dog aggression/agility/socialization class every week run by Cornelius "Dog Man" Austin. Dog Man runs this class alone with anywhere from 20 to 30 students and their dogs attending every week. This class is free to the public, and is held at the Coliseum every Sunday. It’s a wonderful outing and training session for the dogs.

I work Mikey at the kennel when he isn't able to attend class. I'm happy to say that Mikey is ready to find a forever home. I plan to continue to volunteer at Downtown Dog Rescue, as there are so many needy dogs. It's a great way to learn about dog aggression and help rescued dogs find homes.

My Mentor Trainer was Angela DeLuca. She is also is an ABC Program Manger. Angela is very personable and knowledgeable, and has command of the class at all times. I hope to develop the same ability and presence. I plan to attend and assist Angela with her group classes when ever possible.

I am very proud to say that I am an ABC Certified Dog Trainer. The name of my business is AngelDogs Training. Our future plans include moving to a larger property that will allow us to have a kennel where we can assist more rescue dogs that need to be rehabilitated and trained in order to find them homes, and to provide boarding and training for private clients at a reasonable price.

I look forward to a lifetime of helping people and their dogs live happier lives.


Gloria Zuleta
Mechanical Engineer and ABC Certified Dog Trainer

My name is Gloria Zuleta, I hold a certification in “Basic Obedience Dog Training” from Animal Behavior College. My education in dog’s behavior goes beyond that. Besides an intense curiosity of ethology, I have hands-on experience in raising dogs. I have worked my dogs, those of family and friends as well as foster and shelter dogs.

During my lifetime, I have owned several dogs, some I acquired as puppies, others as young adults, and they have all been shelter dogs. They have given me the most accurate education on dog behavior one can hope for. I have observed things like bonding periods between strange dogs and the way adult dogs control the over exited puppy. I have had to rehabilitate problematic behavior and dealt with the struggle of the pecking order. Spending time with my dogs has been my joy and working with other people and their dogs is my passion.

I was drawn to the curriculum and Philosophy of ABC, as well as the fact that they offered hands on experience. Through my study of the ABC program I learned that I did not know as much as I though I did, I gained confidence in myself and found a way to make my dream come true.
I am planning to start my own Dog Training business, which will be called Dog & Master Relationship.


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