How To Become A Dog Trainer
Do you intend to train dogs, then? Many dog lovers who want to change occupations choose a career in dog training. A career as a dog trainer can be gratifying. You get to spend time in an environment where dogs are all around you while simultaneously promoting the harmonious coexistence of people and their pets.
But many people only call a dog trainer when they have a problem. This may include working with reactive, anxious, or other problematic dogs. Working with owners to solve these issues can be demanding and challenging, and positive results are never guaranteed. You still have work to do if you want to train dogs, but your only experience is with owning or training dogs.
How to Train Your Dog
The first phase of your journey should involve training your dog. If you don’t already have a dog, find one you can spend a lot of time with to build a regular training routine. Don’t just teach them how to sit or lie, for instance. Teach more complex skills, such as staying still despite distractions and difficulties. Consider participating in a dog sport with your dog if you want to truly delve into the technical aspects of training, such as timing, rate of reinforcement, and reward placement. Finally, if you notice any bad habits, change them.
In the end, your dog doesn’t have to be faultless. However, as your prospective future clients will require assistance with various behaviours, you need real-world experience with whatever you may be asked to teach. You can improve your skills with the aid of all that knowledge. Given that training is a mechanical skill, you must practice it on your dog to the point of being highly competent before showing pupils how to do it.
The Apprentice With Other Dogs
Owning and training a dog is advantageous, but remember that your dog loves you and will overlook your mistakes. If you use the wrong treats or mistakenly praise the bad behaviour, your dog pal won’t care. However, your clients might not be as patient. A knowledgeable dog trainer is also familiar with various training techniques. For example, your dog may have learned to sit with the help of the lure-and-reward method, but another dog might need a different way.
The best way to hone your skills and put other methods into practice is to work with dogs who aren’t your own. You might ask your family and friends if you can teach their dogs. Or, you might approach neighbouring shelters or rescue organizations to enquire about working with dogs. Even better is to work as an apprentice for a seasoned dog trainer. This will provide you access to more dogs and the chance to have someone oversee your technique and guide your advancement. Reach out to any nearby dog trainers to see if they would consider hiring you as an intern or apprentice.
Train people to properly train their dogs.
The truth about dog training is that most dog trainers don’t indeed train dogs. They train people. Your primary training as a trainer is to instruct your clients on how to carry out the exercises independently. Therefore, dog trainers need to have good communication skills. Even if you’d instead work with animals than people, you still need to be able to motivate your clients, develop their skills, and recognize their achievements.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many dogs you’ve trained if you haven’t worked with human clients; you only possess a part of the necessary package. Once more, working with their dogs will allow friends and family members to train their canines. An alternative would be to work as an apprentice for a professional trainer and gain experience with their clients.
Find Out for Yourself
Although many myths about dogs and their motivations exist, modern dog training is based on animal learning and behaviour science. As a result, knowledge of such subjects is essential to becoming a dog trainer. Understanding the four operant conditioning quadrants, for instance, or the fundamentals of classical conditioning is vital. You won’t be able to provide solutions to your client’s problems or adapt your techniques to a particular situation if you don’t understand the basic principles of your plans.
You can build your understanding of dog training by using the many outstanding resources available. For instance, training centres like the Karen Pryor Academy provide a variety of life and recorded webinars and courses on dog training. Just check the instructor’s credentials to ensure that the lectures are based on science. By browsing the list of resources kept up to date by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, you can get a head start on your quest.
How to Obtain a Certification as a Dog Trainer
You’ve worked with people and dogs, taken the courses, and finished them, so you’re now ready to train dogs. First, become a member of a professional organization like the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Suppose you are a member of an organization like this. In that case, your clients will recognize that you are dedicated to your new career. Your membership will also grant you access to information and courses that will keep you updated on all the most recent advancements in the training industry. It will be easier for clients to find you if you are listed in the organization’s trainer locator database.
Next, look into certification. You can identify as a dog trainer even if you don’t have a formal degree or certificate. But if you have, why not demonstrate to your clients that you have worked hard? For instance, to obtain the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers requires that you pass a 180-question multiple-choice exam and accumulate a minimum of 300 hours of experience training dogs over the previous three years. Certification will ensure that potential clients trust your skills and choose you over other dog trainers because the requirements are so strict.
Continue studying, last but not least! It’s crucial to keep up with the most recent developments in dog training research and techniques to become your best dog trainer.