Learning how to become a dog trainer is not just about training puppies and dogs, y0u must know how to choose a good dog training school. A trainer not only must know about obedience training and canine behavior but they must also enjoy working with the people who own the pets. What a trainer really does is to train people to train their dogs. In addition to loving dogs and working with their owners, let’s take a look at other qualities that can greatly assist in kicking you off to a good start as a trainer. Assuming that you are in decent physical condition and have reasonable hand-eye coordination, other considerations are:
- Excellent people skills
- Motivation and a “self-starter” work ethic
- Strong business sense
- Good organizational skills
- Sales and marketing skills
If you pass muster here and you want to continue, what qualities would you look for in a good training school? A good school should: Keep classes small to give you a lot of good one-on-one attention with an experienced trainer. Large training schools have lots of overhead so the classes tend to have up to 25 or 30 students per class, therefore time with each student may be limited. The school and trainer should teach you exactly what you want to learn and more importantly, what you will be doing in your career as a trainer.
You definitely must have the “hands-on” experience of training a dog during your time at the school. Most schools provide canines for the students on which to practice and usually test the students on the training of their particular canine. This is critical because every canine is different and some canines come with behavioral issues. For example, you might be assigned to a dog that is afraid. A good training school will provide you with the right tools and knowledge on how to approach and train a dog that is afraid or timid. The school must help you understand the different temperaments of caninesso you will be better prepared for your career as a professional trainer.
The school you choose must have teachers who can give you an excellent academic base of obedience training plus, they must possess the ability to teach the science of animal behavior and how this knowledge is applied in real life situations. Understanding the evolution of dog training, the fascinating and proven science on how canines think and how they learn, will allow you to develop your own philosophy of training and pet behavior as you hone the skills of your trade. To best do this you need the most current information from nationally-acclaimed trainers and professionals working in canine behavior. More importantly, you will definitely need to know how it all applies to your future clients and their pets.
To best understand academic applications to your future client’s pet issues, consider the following as well in your decision of which training school to choose: books and theory will only take you so far, you must be able to learn and understand the people part. You must get a crystal clear understanding of real-life on-going case studies that are representative of what you will be experiencing in your career as a trainer. This should be mandatory.
Participating in real-life case studies would be an ideal way to actually see how people present their pet’s problems to dog trainers and hear the recommended solutions. Being able to follow through on the outcome and see the problems solved would be the icing on the cake. Because how you handle your first client will be critical in developing your career confidence with people and their specific pet issues. There are many dog training schools around the country, so keep all of these thoughts and questions in mind. Whether you visit schools personally, on line or talk with them over the phone do your homework before starting school – you’ll be glad you did.
Becoming a professional dog trainer can afford you the luxury of taking your passion and turning it into a lucrative, fulfilling career. It is imperative that you have the right tools and knowledge that will allow you to understand the canine psychology and understand how usually, bad dog behavior is owner error, and not the dog. Your professional dog training school must devote individualized attention to you to enable you to achieve your dream. Be thoughtful in your choice of dog training schools and attend the best.