MEET THE TRAINER: Abbey Johnson CPDT-KA

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Understanding animals and their behavior has always been a passion of mine. I grew up surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, and various other types of animals throughout my childhood. The more time I spend with animals, the more I realize the disconnected communication we often tend to have with them. Animals, and dogs especially, are always talking to us. It’s our job to stop, listen, and teach them about our human world! I have a passion for helping people understand the “why” behind their dog’s behavior, as well as finding ways to have everyone’s needs met while keeping the dog-human relationship intact.

 

I have an extensive background working with shelter and rescue dogs, so I have a special soft spot for the more misunderstood individuals. Stemming from that comes my love for small breed dogs especially, and although I work with dogs of all sizes, I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people reach their full potential with their small dogs, who can often be overlooked and misunderstood in the training world. I strive to make my two rescued small breed dogs, Phoebe and Pocket, an example to the fact that small dogs are just as trainable and just as deserving of a fulfilled life as any other dog!

 

I graduated in 2018 with my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Auburn University, which gave me a lot of foundational knowledge in learning theory and how the brain works. I continued on to work for over 5 years in animal sheltering/rescue, where I generated a lot of experience working with various types of dogs with varying degrees of behavioral needs. From there, I’ve spent hundreds of hours shadowing several different professional trainers in the area to learn effective coaching skills and various different positive-reinforcement based training concepts. I am always actively learning and making sure that I am as updated as possible on the current research in regards to dog training and effective behavior change. I strive to be warm, approachable, and non-judgemental in my training approaches with people and their dogs. My goal is always “progress over perfection,” and I will never try to hold you to unrealistic or unhelpful standards when working with you and your dog. We do better when we know better, and all of us always have something new to learn in life!

FORMAL EDUCATION

  • Auburn University

    • Bachelor’s in Psychology (2018)

    • Undergraduate Research Assistant (2017)
       

 

TRAINING CERTIFICATIONS

  • Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
     

HANDS ON COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE

  • Volunteer/Shelter Work

    • Lee County Humane Society (2015-2016)

    • Animal SOS (2017-2018)

    • Paws Humane Society (2017-2018)

    • Columbus Animal Care and Control Center (2017-2018)

    • Employed at the Atlanta Humane Society (2018-2021)

  • Internships/Apprenticeships

    • Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch (2016)

    • Pawsitive Futures Training and Behavior (2021)

CONTINUING EDUCATION

  • Fear-Free Pets

    • Fear-Free Shelter Graduate (2020)

  • IAABC Foundation

    • Defensive Handling With Aggressive Dogs Course (2020)

    • Understanding Evidence-Based Dog Training Course (2020)

  • The Loose Leash Academy

    • Aggression in Dogs Virtual Conference (2020)

  • Fenzi Dog Sports Academy

    • The Lemonade Virtual Conference (2021)

 

 

 

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