For those that love dogs and long to work with them, becoming a dog trainer can be the perfect career choice. Although there are many paths to take to this career, the best option is to enroll in a certified school that will teach you everything you need to know.
1. Dog Psychology
Just like humans, dogs tend to behave in certain ways that can be predicted. Some behaviors are shared across dog breeds, but there are also breed-specific quirks that a good trainer is aware of. This training includes learning how to understand canine body language and vocalization meanings. An in-depth study of basic dog psychology should be a part of any certification course.
2. Training Theory
Although there are many theories of dog training, it's important to look for a school that focuses on positive reinforcement techniques (PRT). For example, a PRT-focused program will teach methods of behavior shaping, such as using special toys or treats to teach to enforce behavioral conditioning. Avoid fear-based training theories, as these are no longer considered ethical or humane.
3. Behavioral Issues
Often a trainer is called upon to problem-solve specific behavioral issues and challenges. A certification course will help teach you how to work with pups that suffer from anxiety or fear, as well as how to overcome common behavioral issues like chewing, running, or barking. Preventing behavioral problems in puppies and helping adult dogs overcome bad habits is an important part of being a trainer.
4. Tools & Techniques
Training tools and techniques include both physical training objects, such as treats or clickers, along with techniques such as hand signs and verbal commands. Not only will a course teach you how to use these tools and techniques in your training, you will also learn how to teach the use of the tools to the human companions of your clients. Further, you will learn which tools and techniques are most suitable for a variety of breeds and ages so that you always have the best methods at hand.
5. Business Skills
Not every part of being a trainer is working with the pups, you must also learn to manage the business side of your enterprise. Attracting and keeping clients, handling necessary paperwork, communicating with owners, and handling billing are all vital skills that can be learned in a well-rounded trainer's certification course.
Contact a certified dog trainer school to begin preparing for a new career today.