Dog lovers often dream of spending their days working alongside the animals they love. Dog trainers turn this dream into a reality by earning income through working with dogs.
If you are thinking of becoming a dog trainer, there are some specific ways that you should prepare to embark on this career path so that you can determine if it's the right fit for you.
1. Train Your Own Dog
One of the best ways to gain experience as a dog trainer is to start working with your own dog. Your dog knows and understands you, therefore, they will be more forgiving if you make a mistake.
Go beyond teaching your dog basic obedience. Find a dog sport (like agility or dock jumping) that you and your dog enjoy and start competing in this sport. Dog sports require the use of advanced training techniques like timing, rate of reinforcement, and treat placement. Mastering these skills with your own dog will give you the confidence you need to transfer your techniques to other dogs.
2. Work With as Many Dogs as Possible
Once you have gained valuable experience training your own dog, it's important that you start to work with as many different dogs as you possibly can.
Many dog owners seek out the help of a trainer to correct undesirable behaviors. This means that you will probably encounter a lot of reactive and potentially aggressive dogs when working as a professional dog trainer.
The more dogs you are able to work with, the more skilled you will become in reading a dog's personality and modifying your training technique to achieve results.
Work with the dogs of friends and family members, or contact your local animal shelter to volunteer your services as a dog trainer.
3. Complete a Certification Course
Modern dog training is rooted in the scientific principles of animal behavior. You must have a clear understanding of these principles in order to effectively change the behaviors of the dogs you work with as a trainer.
A certified education course can provide aspiring trainers with the knowledge they need to develop effective training programs. In addition to arming you with the knowledge that you will need to problem-solve for future clients, a diploma from a certified education course can help give you a competitive edge over other dog trainers working in your area.
A career as a dog trainer can be extremely rewarding. Train your own dog, work with as many dogs as possible, and get certified to become the best trainer you can be. For more tips, contact a local certified dog trainer school.
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