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14 requirements for becoming a dog trainer by Rodrigo Trigosso

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a dog trainer? Here you will find the requirements you should fulfill and the time it may take you to make your dream come true.

Before considering a career in dog training, you should consider some important requirements. You must be aware that loving dogs is not enough to be a successful trainer. You must be proficient in dog behavior, learning theories, behavior modification, first aids (both human and canine), marketing and business management.

In addition, you may want to train dogs for competitions, such as Schutzhund, Agility, Mondio Ring, Freestyle, etc. In this case, you should have a strong knowledge of rules and competitive procedures.

To make a long story short, the list below explains you the 17 most important requirements you must fulfill to be a dog trainer:

1. You must be passionate about working with dogs. Otherwise you will be very unhappy with your job. Taking away exceptional cases, dog training is not a high-salary career. So, you should not expect to compensate frustrations with money. That's why you really have to be passionate about working with dogs. Of course, this passion can only come if you love dogs. If you don't love dogs and are not passionate about working with them, just look for another job.

2. You must feel comfortable working with people. Feeling comfortable working with people is as being comfortable working with dogs. That's because the job of a dog trainer involves teaching people as much as teaching dogs, or even more. If you don't teach people how to handle their dogs in different situations, then they won't be able to control their pets. As a consequence, your dog training business is not going to receive any good publicity.

3. You should be respectful and kind with both people. Acting in an arrogant manner toward other trainers, dog owners, animal behaviorists or anyone, can't help you. Arrogant behavior does not create word of mouth publicity. Even worse, people who attended a training class with an arrogant instructor, tend to not go to the same place when they need help again. So, being polite and respectful is part of developing your dog training business.

4. You should be respectful and kind with animals. This point needs no further explanation. Nobody wants his dog be mistreated by a harsh trainer.

5. Develop teaching skills. Since you are going to teach people how to handle and train their own dogs, you must have some teaching skills. There are lots of good trainers that don't succeed because they can't teach people how to train their dogs.

6. Be patient. Patience is perhaps the most important skill a dog trainer must master. Dogs can't be trained in a couple of minutes. So, you need to be patient to allow the dog (and the owner) learn at their own pace.

7. Sense of humor. You are going to find a lot of problems during training sessions. However, many of those problems are so funny that they deserve a dose of humor. Having good sense of humor allows you to not get buried under a 'problematic job' and helps you to be creative when solving a behavior issue.

8. Be honest. You have to tell the dog owner what really happens. Not what he wants to hear. There are problems that can't be solved by training and, if you face one of those problems, you should inform the dog owner. On the other hand, there could be some issues that you can't handle. Be honest with the dog owner. If you can't address an issue (for instance, aggression) recommend another dog trainer who can.

9. Never underestimate the skills of other dog trainers. It does not matter if they use old techniques that you don't approve. Every dog trainer has his own method and nobody should be underestimated by the way he trains. Of course, you may disagree with other dog trainers, but never underestimate them.

10. Learn about several dog training techniques, even the old ones. Knowing the pros and cons of each technique will let you choose the right ones. This does not mean you should try every technique you've heard about. But reading books and watching videos about different techniques may teach something new and improve your training skills.

11. Keep up to date on the science of animal behavior and learning theories. Dog training is not a science but it is based on some scientific principles. As a good dog trainer you have to be up to date on animal behavior and learning theories to take advantage of recent discoveries.

12. Read a lot about dog training, but don't believe all you read. There are lots of myths and hypes in dog trainer. As a dog trainer you should keep some skepticism and critical thinking.

13. Learn about marketing, publicity and business management. If you are a professional dog trainer, then you have to manage your dog training business. Otherwise you are not a pro.

14. Learn about dog nutrition, health and care. Put a lot of attention of dog first-aids because you will need them sometime. Besides, learn about management of kennels, doggy daycare, etc.


Rodrigo Trigosso is a biologist and professional dog trainer. To learn more about how to become a dog trainer, visit his website, the Dog Training Tutorial, which provides objective and reliable information on dog training and behavior.
This article is free for republishing
Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_146061_54.html
Rodrigo Trigosso is a biologist and professional dog trainer. His website, the Dog Training Tutorial, provides objective and reliable information on dog training and behavior.
http://www.dog-training-tutorial.com

3 Steps for becoming a dog trainer by Rodrigo Trigosso

-- Step # 1: Don't miss the theoretical framework --

Get some dog training books, videos and magazines to deepen your knowledge. Reading some books and watching some videos is a must, even if you are thinking to enroll in a training school. But be careful with what you read and watch. There are many bad books and videos on dog training.

After reading at least two or three books, and watching at least one video, decide on the best way to get practical skills for becoming a dog trainer. A good first step is to attend to dog training seminars and conferences. You are not going to get any handling skill in a dog training seminar, but you will be able to watch, ask and discuss some issues.

Since it is very unlikely that you learn all you need just by attending seminars and conferences, you also need to get hands-on experience.

-- Step # 2: Get hands-on experience --

To get hands-on experience, you may assist to a school for dog trainers in order to take a complete course. Of course, this option is only available if there's at least one dog trainer's school in your area. But be careful to choose a good school... not every training school is good.

On the other hand, if you have a degree on a related area (veterinary, biology, psychology, zoology, etc.) you could think to attend to a graduate program in animal behavior or experimental psychology. Just look for a program that provides hands-on experience, not only research experience (unless you're looking for a scientist career, of course).

There are also some college programs that offer undergraduate studies on animal behavior. These college programs may be a good choice if they offer hands-on experience.

What if you can't find a dog trainers' school or college/university program in your area? How can you become a dog trainer? Well, look for a canine club and enroll to practice any dog sport (schutzhund, agility, freestyle, etc.). This is a great way to get hands-on experience while you learn from experienced trainers. Of course, you are only going to train your dog, but you will learn a lot from the other trainers.

And what if you can't find a canine club in your area? Ok, there are some options to become a dog trainer under such circumstances:

- Volunteer at an animal shelter and go through the self-learning way. Volunteering is not going to provide you training skills, but it will help you to understand dog behavior and to gain experience with dogs. Moreover, you will be in contact with more experienced volunteers (not trainers) and handling dogs with several personalities (including many aggressive non-socialized dogs).

- Become the apprentice of an experienced dog trainer. This might be the best way to gain hands-on experience and become a dog trainer... if you are lucky to find a good professional trainer. This could be even better than attending schools for dog trainers.

- Hire a certified dog trainer to teach you. Hiring a professional dog trainer is a good option if you can't find a good trainer who gives you the chance to be his apprentice. It is also a good option if you don't have enough time to work as an apprentice or a volunteer. While this is not the best way to become a dog trainer, it is better than nothing.

- Take some distance courses on dog training and animal behavior. This should be your last choice because it is not a good one. You are not going to gain any hands-on skill through a distance course. Therefore, a distance course is not useful if you can't find the way to gain hands-on experience. However, a distance course can be a useful guide while you are volunteering at animal shelters or learning a dog sport (schutzhund, agility, etc.).

Besides the learning way you choose, keep updated in dog training techniques. Read a lot of books (not only the first three you bought), watch several videos and subscribe to dog training magazines. Moreover, study about animal training and behavior.

-- Step # 3: Get involved with dog people --

Get involved in canine activities and talk with vets, breeders, handlers, certified dog trainers, behaviorists, etc. You will learn a lot from these people. While they are not going to teach anything about dog training (with the obvious exception of trainers) you are going to learn a lot about dog care, health and nutrition. In addition, these people may be the perfect match to promote your future job.


Rodrigo Trigosso is a biologist and professional dog trainer. To learn more about how to become a dog trainer, visit his website, the Dog Training Tutorial, which provides objective and reliable information on dog training and behavior.
This article is free for republishing
Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_146062_54.html
Rodrigo Trigosso is a biologist and professional dog trainer. His website, the Dog Training Tutorial, provides objective and reliable information on dog training and behavior.
http://www.dog-training-tutorial.com