Have you ever thought about training dogs for a living or become a dog trainer, but didnt know where to begin? Get the inside scoop from a successful professional trainer.
Steps to Become a Dog Trainer
1. Consider whether you enjoy working with people as well as dogs. Many people get into the profession of dog training without realizing that what dog trainers do is really to train people to train dogs. You must have patience and empathy, and be as good a coach to your human clients (lots of positive reinforcement!) as you are to your dogs.
2. Get an education for become a dog trainer. There is no degree required to become a dog trainer, but you should attain both book knowledge and hands-on experience before offering your services to the public. Read books, attend seminars, watch DVDs. Get hands-on experience by mentoring under another trainer if possible, and volunteer to work at your local shelter or with rescue groups. Shelter/rescue work is a great way to get hands-on experience with dogs of various breeds and temperament.
3. Consider whether you want to teach group classes, do private lessons, or both. You will probably start out by training part-time while working another job for become a dog trainer. Whether you can make a living as a full-time trainer depends on how many classes/sessions you are willing to do per week, how much demand there is for trainers in your geographic area, and whether you offer other additional services such as board-and-train.
4. You need to consider whether you want to become a dog trainer, a behavior counselor, a pet care provider or a pet care expert who can offer a wide number of services across all three disciplines. Dog Trainers focus on helping their clients build dog obedience behavior repertoires. The training involves teaching a dog new skills such as ‘sit/stay’ to prevent the dog from begging at the table or teaching the dog to ‘come’ when the owner wants the dog to return to them. On the other hand behavior counseling involves working with a client to change an existing problematic behavior often requiring that you teach the dog an alternative response to a set of circumstances. The results of a survey conducted by Goodloe and Borchelt showed that from a pool of 2018 dogs,: 38% said their dogs showed some fear toward loud noises, 22% reported fear toward unfamiliar adults, 33% were fearful toward unfamiliar children and 14% exhibited fear toward unfamiliar and non threatening dog. Because of this if you are considering a career as become a dog trainer you need to look at options that educate you and support your growth as a dog trainer and a behavior counselor. Your clients will appreciate it and your bottom line will benefit for become a dog trainer.
Tips to Become a Dog Trainer
Join the International Association of Canine Professionals (www.canineprofessionals.com) and/or the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (www.apdt.com) if you want to become a dog trainer where you can network with other trainers online, attend conferences, and continue your education even if you are not a professional trainer just yet.