Animal Behavior College?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Barbara!, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    Any thoughts? Anyone taken classes with them? I am thinking of taking two or maybe all three of the courses they offer, but mainly just the Certified Dog Trainer course. What do you guys think of this school and the way they teach and the trainers they produce? Will I really be a fully certified trainer after their course? I am talking to a counselor now, but it's been hard and back and forth since my house phone is a total biotch...lol. Thanks for any and all input.
     
  2. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I used to work at a place they sent their students for training/teaching after they completed the online course. I was not impressed at all but not surprised either - it's about impossible to learn everything you need to know about dog training/behavior through a short internet course and a couple classes. IMO none of the students were prepared or ready to be trainers on their own after completing the course. I guess if you are already a trainer and want certification because it sounds good, ABC would be ok. But if you are hoping to learn all you need to know to start your own training business, this isn't going to give you that. If that is what you want to do, I'm afraid there is no short cut. You need to put in the time and train your own dog, go to different classes, go to seminars, read as much as you can, volunteer to work with shelter dogs to teach them some basics and volunteer to help with classes at a place you go to.
     
  3. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    My work let's ABC students sit in on classes to observe once in a while. I think only one of the ABC students I've met seemed to have it together. The rest of them tend to usually be terrible at reading dog body language and are just completely clueless in general and a few have been bitten or let a dog fight break out because "oh I thought they were happy because the tail was wagging!!!". Maybe I'm just meeting a few rotten eggs in the bunch but I'm not really a fan of the ABC program.

    We have one ABC student in particular that my boss actually hired and he is repeatedly putting himself in situations where dogs give him whale eye and stiff body postures and yet he still tries to heavy pet them, hug them etc. He said that he can make any animal like him... I'm just waiting for him to end up bit since I've told him multiple times to stop and yet doesn't listen. I'm not saying that he is the example of all ABC students but its odd to me how the majority of the ABC students around here are like him.
     
  4. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I've never found it to seem very impressive. IMO there are better accreditation services out there. CPDT is the one I would eventually like to go through, particularly because they require continuing education.
     
  5. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This.
     
  6. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yeah I went to one training place where we had two people from some school (I think ABC since the shirts looked similar) sit in. One was overall really pretty good. She seemed to be very smart and had a knack with dogs. The other person was an idiot with dogs. I can't even sugar coat it at all. She HAD to make all the dogs like her and would force herself on them. She'd chime in over the trainer with some really crap training advice. It was VERY frustrating for me to have to watch out for this student because she would do so many stupid things that would scare Mia and insist she knew what she was doing. the main trainer was constantly having to tell the girl to back off and be quiet.

    I think skill with dogs is something you either have and can then build off of or it's something you just don't have. If I'm looking for a trainer, I want someone that has real world experience above all else.
     
  7. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I contemplated doing it but my then mentor (an ABC mentor as well) told me she thought it would be a waste of my time. Unless you know nothing about dog behavior then it's not really worth it.
     
  8. FernDog

    FernDog Dog Trainer and Educator

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    Hey, I'm kind of new to this forum but wanted to give you my experience with ABC. I went through their program and found it very overpriced and that it did not come close to preparing me for being a successful trainer. Their materials were outdated and they didn't have the kind of support and guidance I wanted (with the exception of the mentor trainer, who was a friend of mine - but if you get stuck with a bad mentor you will be wasting your time and money).

    After doing dog training for the last 5 years, having a tremendous amount of success in a short time and after receiving lots of request for it, I launched my own online dog trainer course earlier this year. Now, I'm of course very biased but I think my program has everything you need to turn your passion for dogs into a successful career. I just created everything I wish I had when I started out.

    I don't want to go into a big self promotional rant here so I'll just say, check it out and see if it looks like it's a good fit for you. I would also be happy to talk to you to help you figure out what the best option is for you (whether it's my program or another). Just send me a message.

    No matter what, I can tell you from personal experience that there is nothing better than doing a job you feel passionate about.
     
  9. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    Yes, I definitely plan to be CPDT certified in the long run, but wanted to get some basic obedience education in. But, after doing some research and your guys advice...ABC might not be the best choice. I've been told that they base a lot of their training methods off of the old school "dominance" theory, and I just don't want to be taught on an outdated curb like that.

    I do like that their course includes teaching you how to communicate with people about dog training, because that's definitely something I need help with, but yeah.

    I just feel like I need further education than online searching and reading books. I also would LOVE a degree in Animal Behavior Science, but the only college that offers it near me is a way over priced university. Would that degree be a good idea to get online? And can you get tuition help with online schools?

    I also had this school recommended to me, what do you guys think?
    http://www.casinstitute.com/

    Also, I didn't know CPDT required continuing education. How exactly do you continue your education?
     
  10. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    http://www.ccpdt.org/index.php?option=com_ceu&task=list&Itemid=112

    You continue your education by not stopping learning. => Various organizations require continuing education credits to stay accredited, and IMO it definitely adds weight to the CPDT accreditation that they recognize the importance of continuing to learn in this field.

    What exactly are you looking for when you say "basic obedience education?"

    If you attend an actual university, even online classes, you can potentially get financial aid, and certain other programs have tuition assistance (Karen Pryor Academy is one.)
     
  11. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    Just basic obedience...sit, stay, down, all that jazz plus solving problem behaviors like potty training, jumping, nipping, digging, destructive behaviors....the basics. I already know the basics due to years of my own research and my own dogs....but I would feel more solid in my knowledge if I was given formal education on it.

    I also want education in behavior science.
     
  12. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Honestly I would just study for the CPDT. I've never heard anything good about the ABC, and it doesn't have a lot of respect from actual dog trainers. People who are really out there, training and making a living doing just dog training. Getting a CPDT is far more valuable than going to ABC.

    I'm taking the CPDT in the fall. I've taken their prep test and I passed everything, so I'm pretty confidant that I will do well on the actual test.
     
  13. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    Waste of money... I know several people who went to ABC, got horrible mentors who wouldn't even meet with them, and learned as much as you could learn buying a few basic dog training books.

    I recommend taking animal behavior classes at your local community college and apprenticing with a behaviorist who shares your training ideals.

    The only dog training school that I've heard is truly worth the expense and time is Karen Pryor Clicker Academy. And it's not run by nobodies in the dog training world who are just trying to make money selling basic knowledge, it's run by the INVENTOR of clickers, PIONEERS in dog training, people with their PhDs and who are certified animal behaviorists, who have been doing this for decades! It's all hands on, too, not just reading a bunch of print-outs. I was going to KPA this fall, but plans have changed due to getting pregnant. :/ I might still go, if not I'm definitely going next year.
     
  14. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    Sadly, the only college in my area that provides any sort of animal science degree is a over priced university. I REALLY want formal education in basic obedience...but idk how to get it without paying an arm and a leg.
     
  15. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    I need money, **** it. Lol.
     
  16. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I think your best bet is to find a good mentor and learn from them... and do seminars, take online classes. There are several people who do online courses. The kind of stuff you're looking for isn't something you can sit in a classroom and learn IMHO... it's stuff you need to be out there doing, working with people, working with dogs, and getting experience - not just "this is how you teach sit!"
     
  17. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I got my CPDT while I was doing pet dog training classes, and honestly, I didn't see much benefit in it. I had "CPDT" on my business cards and told potential clients that I was CPDT certified, but I never met a single person who knew what that met or who had found me on the CPDT trainer directory. The only benefit to having it was that it helped me get my current job as a service dog trainer, because other trainers do know what CPDT is.

    I chose not to renew my CPDT certification; it cost a couple hundred dollars if I remember right, was only good for three years, and required CEUs. I actually had the CEUs; my decision to not renew was basically the cost vs. benefit.
     
  18. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    Since you don't have a CC near you, I'd really go with getting as much experience with good behaviorists and trainers as you can. You can still read and familiarize yourself with operant conditioning & animal behavior, and getting hands on experience is just as important as being educated. I like working with as many trainers as possible (even those that I don't completely agree with) so that you don't just get one perspective, you get many... and form your classes & training style based on what you personally like and feel works the best. Trainers who really care about helping dogs & people are more than happy to take on apprentices and LOVE getting a volunteer to help them out... trainers who are focused on making a profit and don't really care about their impact on the dog world as a whole are much less likely to take on an apprentice, they just want to brainwash you to their exact way of training and hire you as an employee. The former type of trainer is almost ALWAYS exclusively using compulsive or dominant methods in my experience. I met with a local trainer to possibly apprentice for him, and he bluntly said "Look, I have my own way of training dogs, and I want some one who knows NOTHING about dogs that I can mold to my exact program. You have too much experience." He was an alpha obsessed jerk, so I'm glad he cut our meeting short! :) I would not have learned anything of substance from him.

    I'm learning from a few great behaviorists, but I really want to go to KPA because it would be an amazing experience for me personally and I would be so juiced to work with my heroes. I feel it would help me figure out the kind of trainer that I want to be, and I love the idea of raising a dog in such an inspiring and motivating training environment.

    You should definitely look into any upcoming seminars around you. Sometimes you'll have to travel a distance, but when they're held be really skilled trainers & amazing authors, it is so worth it! I went to a 4-day seminar last year held by Ian Dunbar, which outlined his own training classes, promotion and how to work with dog owners. It was AMAZING and only cost $300 for all 4 days. Totally affordable and a great place to start. Most seminars are only one day and are much cheaper, I love seminars that address specific types of aggression. My favorite seminar was one the debunked everything that Cesar Millan is about, I almost cried tears of joy!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  19. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    How do you look up when are where there are seminars?
     
  20. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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