Animal Behavior College Reviews & Success Stories

Meet Them Yourself!

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Vanessa Gunter-Brown
Professional Pet-Sitter and Trainer with "Thoughts 4 Paws"

I began attending Animal Behavioral College starting in 2004. I went through several personal setbacks throughout my studies, but my teachers were always there to support me. Without their patience, understanding, and encouragement, I am not sure if I could have made it. Thank you for being so professional and so kind to me. I will forever be grateful to Animal Behavior College and their wonderful program... I have learned so much and feel very confident in the skills I now know in dog training. Thankfully, I am able to use my skills everyday at work as a professional pet sitter/trainer at Thoughts 4 Paws. (If you ever need my help, I will be happy to hear from you). Thanks again, ABC....You're the best!


Ed Russell
Retiree and Owner of "Luv’N’Care Dog Training & Pet Sitting"

I have worked with dogs my entire life, but with service, college, and the corporate world, could not give it the attention I wanted. Upon retirement I decided to go back and pursue the thing I really enjoyed. Knowing I was out of touch with the latest methods I looked for a good school. Through the internet I found ABC. Their comprehensive website gave me a reason to call and find out more about their program. I was handled well by people who seemed to be very knowledgeable, and had a true loving concern for the welfare of dogs.

My experience throughout the ABC Program was both challenging and rewarding. The entire staff that handled each step of my program was very professional and attentive to my needs.

I plan on building my training business by providing individual and group classes for dogs of all ages. Currently I am establishing good relationships with pet suppliers, groomers, and shelters. These outlets have already provided me with many referrals.

I also want to specialize in certain areas such as dealing with aggression, and work with dogs in certain service areas. I will continue to look to ABC for more informational materials they may offer so I can continue to extend my knowledge.

I’m now retired and working solely on my dog business, Luv’N’Care Dog Training & Pet Sitting.


Katie Hicks
Owner, "Katie's Dog Training"

I have been a dog lover ever since I can remember. I got to pick out my first puppy when I was just five years old. He was just a good old mutt that came from Honor, MI. Obviously, I didn't start training him, but my father did. My dad has always been a dog lover as well, that's where I get it from. Anyways, my dad let me name him too, so as my first dog at the age of 5, I named him Barney. Ever since I had Barney, I've had a best friend. Unfortunately, after 14 years, Barney passed away from old age. I never thought I'd own another dog again... yah right! We still had our other family dog, Shortie, a St. Bernard/Husky mix that my dad rescued from Oceana K-9.

So, in November of 2006, I decided that I would become a volunteer for Pound Buddies Rescue in Muskegon, MI. I started out cleaning cages and doing Adopt A Days at Petco. Then, I started fostering dogs. I fostered mostly Pit Bulls, because for one, they are the breed that gets put down the most and for two, I have found they are the easiest to train. So, in my time of fostering, I ran a across a 150 lb 5-year-old Rottweiler. He was an owner surrender because supposedly he killed barn cats and rabbits. Well, I had two cats at the time and I didn't have a barn, so I decided to take this big lug home and give him a try. I fell in love with him the first night. Although he was not very mannerly, he was so sweet. He never once bothered my cats. So, I ended up adopting him and now he is trained so well, I take him everywhere I can off-leash and he never leaves my side. Best dog I've ever had. I do have one cat that I have trained to sit, but have not been successful at taking the training any further than that. I just recently had to put my other rescue cat down because he had an incurable bladder disease. Anyways, during this time with training Carl, I discovered that dog training was made to be my career.

So, I got online one night after cleaning the shelter and I searched for dog training schools. I got a wide variety; however, ABC was the only school that offered a hands-on externship, business management and safety, plus they did everything all online for out-of-state convenience and set you up with a successful trainer for your externship. So, I knew this was the school for me. I called that night and talked to an ABC Admissions Counselor, Cindy Clement. She was so fun to talk to and very attentive to my specific needs. Right away she started brainstorming on ways I could make this affordable and what other things the program offered. It wasn't long after that, I was all set to go. After being accepted, I was introduced to my Program Manager, Angel DeLuca. Best person I ever dealt with. I had so many questions throughout the whole program, some of which I thought were on the far side, yet every time Angela was right there to respond to all of my emails within one day. When I started my Externship with my Externship Coordinator, Fawna Kiefer, I was so excited. Every time Fawna called to let me know updates or ask how everything was going, she was always just as enthusiastic as I was. I loved that. She set me up with one of the best dog trainers I have met yet. Her name is Jodi Cole and she is from Sheridan, MI. Not only was she an awesome instructor, but she also trains dogs for Search and Rescue, Prisons and Police Dogs. Needless to say, I received a lot more training than just basic obedience and problem solving. Actually, in the spring of 2008, she will be coming to Muskegon to train myself and 3 other dog trainers for Search and Rescue. After the completion of that, I still plan on continuing with Prison Dogs and Police Dogs as well as Dog Grooming and Therapy Dogs. After that, who knows? Maybe I will study some Massage Therapy for Dogs. Either way, my training will never end.


Carolyn Taylor
Owner, “The Polite Pup, LLC”

I have worked around animals most of my life and can thank my current dog/student for helping to further instill my passion of working with dogs. She is such a willing and fun partner and we have both learned together. To gain more knowledge and to secure more credibility in the area of dog training, I decided to enroll in the ABC Program. The information I learned is invaluable. I am in the process of starting up my own dog training business called The Polite Pup, LLC. I will mainly conduct group classes at a new boarding kennel in my area called Almost Home.


Meredith Weir
Veterinary Assistant and Owner, "Mere-Care Pet Sitting Plus"

Since the time I was very young I’ve had a profound appreciation for all God’s Creatures. I have had my share of pets - dogs, cats, turtles, salamanders, fish, and a hoard of Hoppy Toads from Cape Cod, Massachusetts (which happened to travel home with me in the car to Lake Shawnee, New Jersey where I lived at the time). Life took me in its own path until 1996. My life took an abrupt change then, and gave me a chance to pursue my passion and love for animals. I studied and achieved a degree in Animal Science which allowed me to become a Veterinary Assistant. It wasn’t too long before I discovered that there is such a need for owners to know about First Aid for their pets. In 1999 I went to San Diego and I studied to become a Certified Pet Tech Instructor. This is a wonderful program I would encourage all pet owners to learn. I hope to utilize those skills with my current accomplishment which is becoming a Certified ABC Dog Trainer. The shelters are full of dogs that, with love and patience, could make wonderful companions. I know because I own a rescued Papillion who would have been euthanized. I am blessed to have him in my life. I currently own and operate my pet-sitting business Mere-Care Pet Sitting Plus and am looking forward to adding my new skills as a dog trainer to my business.

ABC has the best curriculum. I really researched the various dog training colleges and none met the standards that ABC has. I was very impressed with the encouragement I received from my program manager. There is such a great need for dog trainers. If you are considering becoming a dog trainer, I highly recommend Animal Behavior College.


Diana Roslie
Veterinary Assistant/Kennel Supervisor and Owner of "Pet Shepherds"

Unlike most people, I didn't have the chance to grow up surrounded by dogs. This is not because I didn't love dogs, but because my parents would not allow me to have any pets. Luckily for them I was a good kid and never brought any strays back home. I lived the first part of my life in Romania and streets there were full of stray dogs but unfortunately I could only play with them while outside. A number of years went by and when I was a junior in high school in Montreal, Canada, I somehow convinced my dad to let me adopt a Siberian Husky. That dog was pretty much my first attempt at training and he amazed me with how fast he learned basic commands. My knowledge about this topic was nil back then but I instinctively managed to teach him to sit, lie down, shake and play dead all in one day. I never managed to get him to stop pulling but to this day he has a very special place in my heart and I'll never forget him.

As time went by, I secretly desired a career with dogs but I knew I did not want to be a veterinarian, yet I wasn't aware of other pet-related opportunities out there. I was going to school for a degree in business and I thought I had missed my chance to work with animals. One day in 2003 I was thinking about my future and I had a revelation about how wonderful it would be to train dogs for a living. I wanted to work with dogs and their owners to help solve behavior problems, and to improve the relationship between owners and dogs. I knew this would be a difficult road because of my lack of hands-on experience.

ABC immediately stood out not only because it was more affordable than most programs out there, but also because of their hands-on externship requirement. I really liked the idea of being able to study at my own pace from the comfort of my own home. At the time I discovered ABC I did not have the resources to pursue this dream, however three years later I was finally able to enroll. The externship was my favorite part of the program. I enjoyed working with my Mentor Trainer and volunteering at my local shelter. My little Chihuahua/Dachshund mix boy was my guinea pig for my externship and he made me very proud when he passed his Canine Good Citizen test at the end of our training lessons. While I was still an ABC student, I fostered a Siberian Husky who eventually became a permanent addition to the family. He is great to practice my training skills with because he is so easily distracted and stubborn.

I'm currently working as a veterinary assistant but I plan to become involved full-time with my pet sitting / dog training business in Fernandina Beach, Florida. My goals are to continue to learn and improve my skills and knowledge, in order to better educate pet owners and help reduce the number of dogs abandoned in shelters every day.


Jasmine Bass, Honors Graduate
Veterinary Nurse and Dog Trainer

Hello! My name is Jasmine Bass. Ever since I was young I have been fascinated and in love with animals. By the age of 7, my life revolved around them. Dogs, cats, birds, lizards, turtles, fish, frogs, crabs, you name it, I probably had it! I grew up in NC as the “animal girl” of my neighborhood, always the first to find strays and rescues. Unfortunately, when I was about 11 years old, my family moved to Illinois and I had to give up my precious pets. But my love for animals never died. At age 15, I started my first (and current) job working at an animal hospital. With the help of my boss, Dr. Sam Morris and several others I worked my way up from animal caretaker to veterinary assistant to veterinary nurse. As much as I love being a veterinary nurse, it can sometimes be a sad job. I wanted to be able to help owners and their four-legged family members in a different way.

That’s when I decided to find information on becoming a dog trainer. I spent one afternoon browsing the internet for different online schools to become a certified dog trainer. I came across ABC and filled out their form to receive information about the school expecting to get a small package in the mail with all the info. A day later I received a call from Cindy, an ABC Admissions Counselor, and was very impressed. She was so helpful and informative. I did some more research and called her back. ABC was just right for me. The curriculum was what I wanted to learn, the price was right and the program was flexible.

Before I knew it, I was on my way to becoming an ABC Certified Dog Trainer. I was so excited! I really enjoyed my experience with ABC. The curriculum’s relevance was perfect for what I wanted to teach. Having a Program Manager to help you along the way was great. But I think the externship portion was the best. As a hands-on learner, being able to practice what I learned under the supervision of a well-trained professional was amazing! Also, I got married in the middle of the program and ABC was SO patient and flexible with my crazy schedule at that time. ABC really is amazing!

Now, as an Honors graduate of ABC, I am putting together several obedience classes that will take place at the animal hospital I am currently at. Everyone is very excited. I plan on continuing my animal behavior education in animal aggression and more advanced behavior modification. I also see having my own training facility in future.

Thanks ABC for everything you have put into me to be the trainer I am today.


Akiko Makino

I have grown up with dogs for my whole life. I moved to New York from Japan in 2006, and I was surprised to see that many people walk with their dogs in luxury shops along Fifth Avenue. Unlike Japan, I rarely see the scene that dogs are barking each other while walking on the street or parks. I thought, "Dogs are regarded as members of the society in this city".

This made me decide to be a dog trainer. I have a dream that someday Japanese society will become dog-friendly like New York… for humans and dogs to live together, not only do dogs need training but humans do, too.

I learned many theories and concepts as well as training techniques from ABC. Volunteering at the ASPCA and doing hands-on training with my Mentor Trainer Kerry were very precious experiences for me. This gave me a wide range of knowledge and experiences with different dog breeds.

I've just moved to Irvine, CA and am excited to start my own class besides volunteering at the local animal shelter. I hope I can help many dogs and dog owners from now on!


Kelly Legarreta
Full-time dog trainer and owner of "Healing Paws-Abilities, LLC"

I have four amazing dogs, one of them with crippling arthritis - a 15-year-old Pomeranian named Papa. I decided to get certified in Canine Massage for him, and when I opened my canine massage business, I was overwhelmed with my clients' constant need for training advice and help. I was lucky enough to get hired and accredited by PetSmart as a trainer, and I realized that helping dogs and their families was ALL I wanted to do. I also realized that I wanted to help the dogs who couldn't make it to PetSmart for whatever reason...aggression, anxiety, uncontrollability, non-obedience related issues, etc.

I started searching for training schools that would help me help dogs on a broader level, and I chose ABC. Through the externship program, I was so lucky to meet my Mentor Trainer Jeannie Bates in Naples, Florida. Together with a group of 7 trainers in southwestern Florida (5 of us ABC trainers or students of ABC) we formed the SW Florida Professional Dog Trainers Alliance ( ), dedicated to promoting positive dog training- "No Force-Just Fun!" We take seminars together, support each other, teach together, refer to each other due to our individual strengths, and strive to make better lives for our four legged clients. The alliance has been able to be a part of every major shelter in SW Florida, offering training programs and outreach support. It is truly amazing.

I chose ABC after researching many programs. I found it to be the most informative, well-laid out program, with plenty of support and an excellent externship opportunity. I wanted a recognizable school with great credentials, and I am very proud to have graduated with honors from such a great program. I had great support from my Program Manager Azure Long, and I am grateful for the information I learned. The material was and continues to be extremely helpful – I reference it often. I am lucky enough to have had an amazing Mentor and continue to work with amazing trainers that I met through the ABC externship program.

I resigned from PetSmart as I was nearing the end of my ABC Training, and I added training services to my massage business – Healing Paws-Abilities, LLC. Almost overnight I was training dogs full time – an absolute dream come true! I became the resident trainer for a wonderful veterinary clinic (The North Cape Animal Clinic in Cape Coral, Florida) and because of their support I will shortly be opening my own training studio (March 2008)! I am a proud member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork (IAAMB), and I am an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Coach. I will always be furthering my education to better help my clients, and I am currently starting a 4-year diploma of Advanced Canine Behavior program with the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI).

I am currently training full time, teaching in-home private lessons, and I am the resident trainer for the North Cape Animal Clinic in Cape Coral Florida where I teach group classes, and I am about to open my own training center! I plan to further my education always, in order to be the best I can possibly be for my clients, and I am about to start another diploma course to be a canine behavior specialist.

I am committed to a lifelong career working with and helping dogs, and my ultimate goal is to enrich their relationships with understanding, positive reinforcement techniques, and harmony of life and health. I am truly the luckiest girl in the world.


Kristen Patterson
Radiology Student and Part-Time Dog Trainer

I am a resident of South Jersey. I love dogs. I have a 13-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier. I believe that the only way to train is with positive reinforcement. I think training is such an important key to owning a well-behaved dog. I feel that there would be less dogs being put to sleep in the animal shelters if people took the time to realize how important simple basic training can be. I am currently a radiology student at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, NJ. I really enjoy training and at the moment I am assisting my Mentor Trainer, Renee Premaza, in Marlton, NJ.

I chose ABC because I loved the fact that I could do the program from home and it was everything I was looking for in becoming a dog trainer. The material was to-the-point and easy to understand and apply in real life. Everyone was so helpful and willing to work with me when I was confused or had questions. I really feel that ABC was the best choice for me and my life. It exceeded all my expectations as an online program and I couldn't have asked to be paired with a more perfect Mentor Trainer.

I plan to continue working as an assistant with my Mentor Trainer, and in the future I would like to go on and begin private lessons and group classes. I would also like to open my own doggie daycare offering training courses for puppies and adult dogs.

At the moment, my primary occupation is a student and I am training part time. But I plan to make it a full time job.


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