How to Become a Dog Trainer
A dog is a man’s best friend. A trained dog is a man’s ideal best friend. Having a dog is fun and offers good companionship. But there are some people who have taken their relationship with canines to a professional level – dog trainers. If you are reading this article, then the chances are that you are courting a career as a dog trainer. The good news is, you have come to the right place for all the information you need to set you off. In this article, you will get all the necessary information you need to learn how to become a dog trainer.
Becoming A Dog Trainer
Before you take the next step in your quest to becoming a dog trainer, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. The first question is, do you love dogs? Needless to say, you will be working with dogs. Thus you need to not only love the canines but also to have a lot of patience with them. The second question to ask yourself is, can you work with people? You will not be working with dogs only. Most of the time, you will need to work with their owners also. Thus, learning to have a good working relationship with people is very important. The third question to ask yourself is, why do you want to become a dog trainer? It is one thing to love dogs, but it also quite a different thing to work with them. You have to be certain that a career in training dogs is exactly what you want. And you have to be passionate about it. If you are planning to become a dog trainer because you think it is an easy career choice that does not require getting some formal education or sitting in class or hard work, then you’ve got something else coming. So, are you convinced that becoming a dog trainer is what you really want? Great! Let’s move on then.
Get To Know About Dogs
Don’t roll your eyes. Getting to know about dogs here means more than you think – way more. First, you need to learn about dog psychology and animal psychology in general. In order to be really effective and successful in a career as a dog trainer, you need to know exactly how a dog’s mind works. You should spend enough time reading and researching dog behavior in order to understand better why dogs behave the way they do. You cannot train a dog that you do not understand. There are several informative books on the subject of dog psychology and behavior that you can purchase or borrow from your local library. Also, if you have your own dog, you should take the time to observe it. Study its behavior as you try to bond with it. All dogs are not the same, but this will give you a little stepping stone. Another excellent source of information about dogs is the vet. You can book an appointment with your local vet for a lot of insightful tips on the subject. Also, you can ask your vet to recommend the best books, videos, and other learning materials about dog behavior and psychology. Finally, there are several websites that you can visit to learn almost everything you need to know about dogs. You are here now, so that is a good start.
Get To Know About The Profession
There is always someone who has already walked the path that you seek to walk on. In order to learn to be a dog trainer, you ought to learn about dog training. There are several different career paths in dog training, as there are several different types of dog trainers. Invest a lot of time in researching and reading about the type of dog trainers there are, then decide on which type that best suits you based on your strengths and weaknesses. As mentioned earlier, there are several people out there who have already made that journey you are about to begin. Look for a dog trainer nearby and find out if they can tell you about what goes into dog training. If you are fortunate enough, you may even be invited to spend a day with the dog trainer and get the first-hand experience about dog training. Also, while learning from a dog trainer, ask them about the different opportunities available and which one suits you. A dog trainer’s advice will come very handy to you. Here are three of the different career paths in dog training:
- Dog training for medical response purposes
- Dog training for the security forces (police and military dogs)
- Dog training for the entertainment industry (movies and shows)
Volunteer Your Time
Most often, the best experience comes from the first-hand experience on the job. You may have a dog at home to start your journey with, but that is just not enough. First-hand job experience will take you a long way in your journey as you will become well equipped to take care of other people’s dogs aside from yours. A good place to start is to find a local animal shelter and find out if there is enough space for another volunteer – you. Once you get the opportunity, try to find out if there is the possibility of getting some hands-on experience in dog training. Most animal shelters have dog trainers. Find out if you can join them. And, be honest about your intentions. One important thing about the experience that you will gain from volunteering is that it will help you know for sure if that is the career path for you. It is one wanting to become something and reading about it. It is another thing getting hands-on experience about the good and bad, the challenges and the sacrifices that such a career will come with. Also, you will be able to work with and interact with different breeds of dogs. You will learn about their personalities and how they differ from breed to breed. This will be very important in your career.
Dog Trainer Certification
Yes, you need certification to become a dog trainer. There are two ways to become a certified dog trainer. The first option is through college. The second option is by contacting the Certification Council For Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).
- College: To gain certification through college, you can enroll for a four-year course in Animal Behavior and earn a degree. The Animal Behavior course will give you in-depth knowledge about animal psychology. And, this absolutely essential in becoming an excellent dog trainer. Plus, a college degree makes potential clients more comfortable with entrusting their canine buddies with you. A college degree tells your potential clients that you have invested in yourself and, therefore, are better qualified to train their dogs. Visit your local college and find out about the possibility of taking up a course in Animal Psychology. Find out about the course requirements and the cost of study and be sure you have the time and money to invest. Alternatively, you can also visit a trade school. There are several distinguished trade schools to choose from.
- CCPDT: If you cannot afford to go to college, you can also contact the office of the Certification Council For Professional Dog Trainers for further information. However, you ought to know that you will need to have some prior working and training experience to qualify you to receive your certification. You will also need to pay some fees for your certification. Once you are certified, you will be required to take part in certain annual training programs and seminars.
Once you receive your certification, do not dash off looking for clients as a dog trainer. You need to take your time. The first and best thing to do is to find an already established dog trainer to work with as an apprentice. If you received your certification through school work, this part is likely to be covered by your school as most schools come with apprenticeship programs during and after the period of study. If you did not receive your certification through school, it is best to find a professional dog trainer to work with for some time to get the needed experience. At this stage, monetary benefits should not be your focus as you need to concentrate more on improving yourself. Plus, apprentices and interns receive little to no payment at all. Next, find a job that suits your area of expertise in dog training. Be sure to consider things like the possibility of relocating, opportunities for career advancement, salary, and the chance to learn and better yourself. Before you begin your job hunt, be sure to update your resume and other needed materials. Always have both hard and soft copies of all the necessary certifications you have readily available. Alternatively, you can take a leap of faith and start your own company. Map out your strategy with a clear and lucid business plan that will cover all expenses and expected revenue. Then advertise yourself by taking advantage of the numerous benefits of social media advertising. Don’t forget to get in touch with other dog trainers to keep yourself updated on new trends and techniques.
In conclusion, if you love dogs, a career as a dog trainer is a wonderful opportunity. The first thing is to be certain that a dog trainer is what you desire to be, then take on the steps laid out for you. Mind you, it will not be as simple as indicated here, but if it is what you really want, nothing should stop you. Good luck out there.
- Become a Dog Trainer – Delta Institute