By Steven Appelbaum, ABC President & CEO
Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of What’s Waggin. A lot is happening at ABC, so let’s jump in.
Service Dog Trainer Program. After much work and planning, ABC finally launched our Service Dog Training Program in October 2022. This program grew from numerous requests the school received from mentors, graduates, and other professional dog trainers not affiliated with our school that were all interested in the same thing. How can I take my current knowledge of dog training and build on it to help even more people and dogs?
Dog trainers who can teach Puppy K and general obedience classes, private lessons for obedience, and address common canine behavioral challenges, often keep quite busy for years. Some people spend their entire careers happily helping people and pets with those skills. I trained professionally for about seven years before I started to look at expanding my repertoire. In my case, that expansion focused on more difficult behavior problems, specifically aggression and various phobias. Other trainers had no interest in aggression or wanted to avoid taking the physical risks associated with working with aggressive dogs. Instead, they wished to take their practices in a different direction. Some gravitated toward personal protection dog work, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea and is physically hazardous.
Other trainers liked the idea of trying to train dogs for motion pictures or TV, although where a person lived had much to do with that decision. I know dozens of professional dog trainers that have worked with dogs in show business, but I live in Southern California and am much closer to the entrainment industry than someone in Maine or Alaska. There have always been many paths available for dog trainers once they have a strong foundation, and one of those paths is training service dogs. So after working on the content and creation of a program for close to 18 months, ABC launched this main program in October. Enrollments and feedback have been very positive. Also, remember that any alum who wants to take a new ABC program may do so at a significant discount.
ZAP: That sounds like something you would see in a Batman comic. ZAP stands for zookeeper assistant program. We love acronyms at ABC! This program is a must for anyone interested in the habits and behavior of wild animals and how zoos and exotic animal rescues operate. For some, the idea of being able to work or even volunteer at such places is a dream. While taking ZAP doesn’t guarantee you a job at a rescue or zoo, it might give you the knowledge and perspective to make your dream a reality. Plus, it’s just a cool course. Enrollments since the program’s inception have been very high. ZAP is now our 4th most popular program, which is impressive given it is only a few years old.
Interested in taking this course? Find out more info here.
Please contact email@example.com for more information.
RAF: I told you we love acronyms! RAF stands for refer a friend. In 2022 we had 172 students take one of our courses because of a friend that referred them to the school. You can earn $100 for every person you refer who enrolls in one of our main programs.
Do you know someone who would love to be a dog trainer but prefer the immersive environment of a physical classroom? Some of you might not know this, but ABC holds two classroom dog trainer programs each year. Find out more information about his program here.
This course covers everything contained in our DOP, but instead of taking 12-16 months to complete the program at home, classroom students come to our Southern California location and go to class with us five days a week for five and ½ months. The veteran’s administration approves the course, and it is fantastic for military veterans transitioning back to civilian life. Refer someone who takes this course, and you can earn $300. Earn cash, help friends, and help animals to have better lives.
That’s not a bad thing at all! For more information, check out this page in your student center.
There are a lot of other things going on, including but not limited to an affiliate program for non-ABC students and graduates, an operating agreement with a major sports organization that will allow their members and families to take our programs, and several agreements with major corporations that offer tuition assistance for their employees.
This has become more common in the last several years. In fact, if anyone reading this knows a company that offers tuition assistance to their staff, please let us know.
ABC continues to explore other programs and ways in which we can help you make a difference in the lives of animals. We are always open to suggestions.
Until next time, thanks for helping to make the world a better place for pets and the people who love them.